Season 9, Episode 9: Your Pilot’s On Fire

Executive Summary

I finally get to talk about an elimination spike this season! There were some little ones, but the biggest elimination spike happens when RuPaul sends someone home, and everyone feels betrayed. While Valentina’s Challenge Score was dipping, her popularity was at an all time high. She has 375K followers, and I bet she’ll be pushing half a million by the finale.

I thought that Peppermint was going to be crowned Miss Congeniality, but similar to BenDeLaCreme and Katya, I now wonder if Valentina will get the sash. Miss Congeniality is about the most congenial (yes) but it also appears to be a consolation prize for a favorite queen who didn’t make top 3.

In other news, the fans are noticing Trinity Taylor. After episode 7, she ranked #11 on Twitter. Today, she ranks #7! Trinity is certainly the dark horse, and not the villain that I predicted earlier this season.

Challenge Score

  • Shea (15) leads Sasha (12) by a 3-point margin, and Sasha leads Trinity (9) by a 3-point margin.
  • Peppermint is now in 4th place.
  • Although Valentina has been eliminated, she still holds 5th place in the Safe Sucks Challenge score. Alexis and Nina are in 6th and 7th place.


  • For Valentina’s elimination spike, she gained 34K followers on Instagram this week. Granted, she gained 34K followers two weeks ago as well. Maybe it’s a mild spike for her, but NOBODY sees those increases. She now has 375K followers on Instagram.
  • Over the course of the season, Valentina has shown the highest relative growth episode over episode. If you look at the last graph, you can see that her relative growth surpassed all the other queens. That graph is a little iffy on its mathiness, because it additively shows percentage growth per episode, but it does illustrate Valentina’s ability to continually grow her fan base.
  • Farrah (315K) and Aja (234K) are still 2nd and 3rd most popular.
  • Sasha (220K) is still slightly more popular than Shea (214K) and Nina (179K).
  • Trinity and Peppermint have gone up in rank. Trinity is now in 9th place (109K) and Peppermint is in 10th (108K).

Let’s just take a moment to look at Valentina’s spikey growth over the season.


  • Valentina (54.4K) just leapfrogged over Farrah (50.8K) to 1st place. Her relative growth was 19% this week, compared to episode 8 (10%) and episode 7 (9%).
  • When you just look at the histogram, Valentina, Sasha, and Shea all have little spikes this week. They all have gained more fans after episode 9, compared to the last couple of episodes.
    • Valentina: 4K (Ep 8); 8.7K (Ep 9)
    • Sasha: 3.9K (Ep 8); 6.8K (Ep 9)
    • Shea: 3.6K (Ep 8); 5.2K (Ep 9)
  • Trinity Taylor has moved to 9th place. She has hopped from #11 to #7 in just two episodes.

Season 9 Episode 8: RuPaul Roast

Executive Summary

Please note: I posted the wrong graphs last week. Some of the content has changed. The Challenge Score did show that Shea, Sasha, and Trinity had the top 3 scores. However, the week prior (week 7), Valentina and Trinity were tied for third place. I don’t like to rewrite my data herstory, especially given the elimination on week 9’s show, but I removed some references to Valentina being Top 3.

  • Shea still looks like the winner of Season 9. She has the highest Challenge Score (11.5). She is not as popular as Sasha on social media, but popularity will only tip the scale. Shea has a strong leading margin of 3 points on both the Safe Sucks and the AnalRPDR score.
  • The data show that the top three are Shea, Sasha, and Trinity. Sasha has a Safe Sucks score of 8.5, and Trinity’s is 7.5.
  • Peppermint has a moderate ranking (5th on Challenge score) and low popularity  (11th on Instagram, 10th on Twitter). I have no numbers to back this up, but Peppermint will be Miss Congeniality. Because DUH!
  • Nina and Alexis are not doing well. Both have low Safe Sucks scores (4 and 3.5, respectively). Both queens are pissing off the fans this week. Time to go home!

Challenge Score

  • Shea now has the highest Challenge Score. Her Safe Sucks score is 11.5, and her AnalRPDR score is 9.
  • Sasha Velour is in 2nd place, with a SafeSucks score of 8.5, and an AnalRPDR score of 6.
  • Trinity has the 3rd highest Safe Sucks score (7.5) compared to Valentina’s 6.5. However, their AnalRPDR score is tied (5). Valentina has been safe five times.
  • While Peppermint won this challenge, she is still placed 5th since she has only one win, 2 highs, 1 btm2, and 1 low placement.


  • Sweet Lady of Guadalupe, Valentina has 341K fans! Next in line is Farrah, with 296K fans.
  • Sasha and Shea and hobbling along with 198K and 195K fans, respectively.
  • Trinity Taylor jumped from 12th place to 10th place, with 97.2K fans. She technically leaped over Peppermint, who moved from 10th place to 11th place, but Peppermint has 97.1K fans.
  • Trinity has the highest relative growth this week (16%).
  • Alexis Michelle moved from 11th place to 12th place, with 90.4K fans.
  • Everyone’s relative growth has slowed down at this point. It doesn’t look like Sasha and Shea will be able to surpass Valentina, Farrah, or Aja’s followings.


  • Farrah still has the highest number of followers (47.5K), but I wonder if Valentina (45.7K) can pass her now that Farrah has been eliminated.
  • Sasha is in 3rd place (38.7K), and Shea is in 4th place (33.3K).
  • Trinity has jumped from 11th place to 9th place, with 18% growth. She now has 23.8K followers.
  • Peppermint has dropped from 9th place to 10th place, but only has 500 fewer followers than Trinity.
  • Alexis Michelle is in 12th place.






Season 9 Episode 7: 9021-HO

Shea Coulee is going to win this thing. But first…

And the winner is… RuPaul! Look who just got 1.13 million views on YouTube last weekend! (I might have watched it 1.05M times.) If you haven’t watched Auto Shop on SNL, then you need to take a break from my blog and watch this beautiful work of art. Good job, SNL. It was smart and didn’t cash in on homophobic jokes.

So we might as well graph it. It’s not SNL’s biggest hit, but it didn’t have Kate McKinnon in it.

Executive Summary

At the moment, the numbers point to Shea winning. Trinity now looks like she could sit in the top 3 spot with Shea and Sasha, ousting Valentina. Valentina’s challenge score (6.5) is slightly lower than Sasha and Trinity’s (7). Valentina is more popular than anyone, which could give her a boost if Ru loves her.

Knowing that the producers sometimes lurk in the rupaulsdragrace subreddit, I know that they pay attention to challenge scores. It seems as if they are distributing wins more evenly to obfuscate the winner. Does anyone else in RPDR Land feel this way?

For example, I kind of thought Sasha Velour was going to win Snatch Game, so I asked all you fishes to weigh in:

Yup. If Sasha had won Snatch Game, she would have a score of 9 (instead of 7) and Alexis would have a score of 3 (instead of 5).

Am I just biased because I like a drag queen who makes fun of Judith Butler? (yes)

Redditor Predictions

The votes are in! Last year, the only data that truly predicted Bob’s win was fans’ predictions. It’s looking like Shea Coulee!

  • We had 580 respondents, and 485 (84%) think that Shea Coulee is going to win.
  • HOWEVER, Sasha is the one that people want to be crowned (192, 33%), followed closely by Valentina (121, 21%) and Shea (111, 19%).
  • Nina and Trinity are kind of popular, but they are not taking home the crown. 

Challenge Score

  • Shea Coulee has the highest Challenge Score (10) due to TWO wins, TWO highs, and no lows.
  • Sasha and Trinity are tied for second place (Safe Sucks Score = 7). Sasha has one win and two highs, and Trinity has 2 wins, 1 high, and a bottom 2 placement.
  • Valentina’s ranking is going down a bit, with a Safe Sucks Score of 6.5. She has 1 win and 2 highs, but tends to be safe (which doesn’t help with her Safe Sucks score).


  • Holy Jesus, Valentina is super duper popular. She still ranks first (312K followers) and gained 34K new followers this week.
  • Farrah is still extremely popular (277K followers), and she gained 20K followers this week. With such a low challenge score (-0.5), I can’t imagine her sticking around much longer.
  • Aja is third place (219K), but she didn’t get an elimination spike this week. She gained 12K new followers, which is on par with the last few weeks.
  • Trinity had the highest relative increase in followers (15%) due to her win. She now has 85.2K followers, putting her in 12th place.
  • Sasha still holds 4th place (179K), but Shea is only 1K followers behind (178K). Shea moved up in rank from #6 to #5.
  • Nina Bonina moved down from #5 to #6.


  • Farrah Moan is the most popular girl in school. This should feel good, given her high school experience. Grrrl, you are beautiful and really sweet.
  • Valentina is STILL in 2nd place. I kept thinking she would catch up with Farrah any second now. Nopey nope. 2nd place!
  • Sasha Velour is the third most popular (34.8K followers), and Shea Coulee is in 5th place with 29.7K followers.
  • Alexis is in 12th place. She is very talented and sweet, but I don’t see as much Nerve and Uniqueness as a Bob, Bianca, or Jinkx. I don’t understand why my (okay, not my) friends at Alright Mary keep talking about her as if she is going to win.

Season 9, Ep 6: Snatch Game!

There is no original or primary gender a drag imitates, but gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original. –Judith Butler

We finally had the Snatch Game! I’m finally interested in Season 9!

So… go answer this poll and tell me: Who do you think won Snatch Game? Who will win Season 9? Who do YOU want to win Season 9?

My bets for top 3 are still Shea, Sasha, and Valentina.

  • Shea Coulee is the strongest contender at this point. She has 2 wins, 1 high, and 0 lows/btm2s. In terms of popularity, she has moved up in rank, and is now #6 on Instagram and #5 on Twitter.
  • Sasha has a strong challenge score, with 1 win, 2 highs, and 0 low/btm2s. She is more popular than Shea, ranking 4th on Instagram and 3rd on Twitter.
  • Nina, Alexis, and Valentina are all in a mixy-mixy bag of maybe-they’ll-be-top-3-but-maybe-they-won’t. They all have the same AnalRPDR score (4). Nina has a higher Safe Sucks score because she placed low and was oh so close to bottom 2 in episode 5. Valentina appears to be getting the best edit, reflected in her performance on social media. She continually has high relative growth.

Alexis and the Snatch Game

I don’t like to be shady, but it’s kind of my job.

Alexis won Snatch Game, but she didn’t win our hearts. She only gained 6.9K followers on Instagram, whereas Valentina gained 36K, Farrah gained 24K, Shea gained 21K, and Sasha gained 19K. There are similar trends over in Twitterlandia. She won, but I typically see a stronger reaction to a Snatch Game win.

Alexis has such an interesting edit. She is the talkative drag mom, facilitating heartfelt conversations and including all the children. The folks over at Alright Mary think she’s definitely bound for top 3. The numbers just don’t stack up.

Peppermint had a rough time on the Snatch Game, but TURNT IT OUT in her lip sync. There’s a little bump in her Instagram ranking (from #11 to #10).

Cynthia did not get an elimination spike. I think she peaked when she was Miss Congeniality. For example, she had 40K followers on Instagram at the end of last season. When she returned this April, she had 98K followers. Now she has 123K. She’s doing great, but her relative growth has been fairly low this season.

Challenge Score

  • Shea is still in the lead (8.5), with Sasha in 2nd place (6.5) and Nina in 3rd place (5.5). (Last week, it was Shea, Sasha, and Valentina.)
  • Alexis is now in 4th place (5 – tied with Valentina), due to her win in Snatch Game. Last week, she was in 7th place due to being consistently safe.
  • Queens that aren’t doing so well: Aja, Farrah, Peppermint, and Trinity.


  • Valentina is still in 1st place, and Farrah has a strong hold on 2nd place. Aja (3rd place) would need 50K more followers to catch up.
  • A few moved up in rank:
    • Sasha moved from #6 to #4.
    • Shea moved from #7 to #6.
    • Peppermint moved from #11 to #10.
  • A couple moved down in rank:
    • Kimora moved from #4 to #7.
    • Alexis moved from #10 to #11.


  • Farrah Moan STILL has the most followers (40.2K)! ANNND she has gained the 2nd most number of followers (5.1K)! ANNND she increased followership by 15%! (Which is 3rd place in that category.)
  • I keep thinking Valentina will pass Farrah, but she doesn’t. Still, she gained the most followers this week (5.4K) and has the highest relative growth (17%).
  • Sasha Velour jumped to 3rd place, bumping Cynthia Lee down to 4th place. You can just eyeball Cynthia’s growth and see that it has been pretty flat. No elimination spike for Cynthia. She peaked when she won Miss Congeniality.
  • There has been a lot of shifting. Some queens moved up in rank:
    • Sasha moved from #4 to #3.
    • Shea moved from #6 to #5.
    • Nina Bonina moved from #7 to #6.
    • Aja moved from #9 to #8.
    • Trinity moved from #13 to #12.
    • Eureka moved from #14 to #13.
  • Some moved down:
    • Cynthia Lee moved from #3 to #4.
    • Charlie Hides moved from #5 to #7.
    • Kimora moved from #8 to #9.
    • Jaymes moved from #12 to #14.