Who’s Thriving & Struggling The Most So Far on ‘Drag Race’ Season 13?

Credit: VH1


2021 kicked off on a fabulous note when RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 premiered on New Year’s Day. 


It was a shocking beginning like the show has never had before as the entire cast had to lip sync by episode’s end. They introduced the cast two by two as each made their way into the werk room for the very first time. Each duo (minus the last grouping which was a threesome) chatted and got to know each other for a bit before they were whisked off to the runway in a state of confusion and panic. 

Here they chatted with judges RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews before lip syncing for their lives against each other. Six were crowned victorious while seven had to sashay into the Porkchop Loading Lounge where their fate throughout the program remained undetermined. 

At the end it was revealed that the losing group would be voting one off similarly to how they do it on their sister series All Stars while the winning bunch would go on to choreograph a number based on one of Ru’s songs. So we really don’t know what the f is going on in terms of who will be eliminated on Friday if anyone. 

The show’s fan base definitely had their opinions on how things began for this new crop of queens as some enjoyed its latest twist while others thought what happened was very mean spirited. 


Regardless it was an interesting way to begin a show that has take over our world for many years. With that said, here are the power rankings for the season 13 cast in its first week. 

1: Symone. She’s my favorite at the moment. We’ve only seen a little bit of the queen’s personalities, fashion abilities and lip syncing skills so far but I picked up on her X Factor kind of qualities the instant she stepped into the room. And those are ones we’ve seen from Drag Race legends (some who won, some who lost) like Katya, Latrice Royale and Jinkx Monsoon just to name a few. Should be interesting to see how she progresses. 

2: Gottmik. For one, they’re hilarious. Two, their style is unlike anything we’ve really seen before which is huge given how many contestants have been on this show. Three, it’s about damn time that we have an openly transgender male on Drag Race and they’re a great choice for what will hopefully be many more to come in the future.

3: Tina Burner. Tina’s personality reminds me of fellow New York City competitors who have competed on Drag Race like Bianca Del Rio and Monet X Change. Even if she was in the losing group I still would’ve placed her high based on how memorable she was from the gate not to mention a potential storyline brewing between her and fellow Big Apple gal Rosé


4: Joey Jay. She may have been in the losing group but Joey has definitely won over a good portion of the fan base so far (present company included) with her hilarious one-liners and upbeat personality. I’d like to think she’s here to stay for a while based off that as long as she survives the vote next week.

5: Olivia Lux. I tend to vote for the underdogs on this show and Olivia may just be one of them due to her still being new to drag. She beat Rosé, a queen with years of experience on her, in their lip sync battle, proving that she has the ability to slay and stay regardless of how long she’s been in her profession. Which brings me to…

6: Rosé. Cute personality, cute guy, cute presence so far. Again I’m referencing her relationship with Tina as a reason why I’d like her to stay beyond episode two so we can get some tea on what’s really going on between them but I also think she’s talented enough to survive such an early cut this week (if it happens). 

7: Utica Queen. If you’ve noticed I didn’t put the six winning queens in the top six here for a reason as some of the losing ones outshined them in this episode. Utica’s quirkiness is something the show’s fan base falls in love with each season and her unique personality shines amid some of the other dull ones in this group. 


8: Kandy Muse. Kandy was the perfect queen to be the one to be the first one in the werk room this season. You need a competitor with a brash and bold persona like hers to kick things off and she definitely embodied that and then some. Only putting her in the middle for now as I don’t really see her making it thatttttt far in this competition similarly to how I felt about her former house members Aja and Dahlia Sin. But, stay tuned. 

9: Tamisha Iman. Just like Tina, she’s a legend. Her lip sync with Symone should’ve been a tie IMHO as they both embodied Janet Jackson in different but fascinating ways. Also she battle back from stage 3 colon cancer to compete on this show. These things alone are enough for me and many others to root for this Atlanta-based queen. 

10/11: Denali/Elliott With 2 T’s. They are tied for a couple reasons. One, they should’ve been in the winning group (with Elliott & Tina claiming victory for their round as opposed to just Tina). Two, they seemed to be the most bummed of all the losing girls not to mention the drive and determination seen within them throughout the episode. 

12: LaLa Ri. Thoroughly underwhelmed part one (so far). Part of the winning group, yes, but nothing has made me want to scream “YAS” about her just yet. 

13: Kahmora Hall. Thoroughly underwhelmed part two (so far). Maybe its because she didn’t arrive until the end of the episode and was part of a grouping with bigger personalities but soft-spoken queens like her usually don’t make it far on this show. 

This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other contributing writers.

Leave a Comment