Tonight is the airing of the final episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 5. They are doing what they did last season, which is to delay the final crowning until the reunion show. Apparently I wasn’t wrong last week when I said last time that they tape three different endings to the show, mostly to ward off Twitter leaks by fans in the audience. And apparently the queens themselves don’t know who won until everyone else does, according to Jinkx.
As noted by Ru on the final three episode and the “RuCap,” they encouraged fans to vote by tweeting and by reposting on Facebook. Although I can’t get Facebook data directly, I’m going to look at the Twitter data that I’ve collected. Before delving into the final predictions, I remembered that I have Twitter data from last year’s airing from the Twitter gardenhose. From that, we should be able to get a sense of who had the sway of public opinion on Twitter.
The graph below plots the last week of season 4, between the announcement that the queen would be crowned at the reunion, and the final reunion show. I chose to focus only on mentions of a queen’s Twitter handle, instead of using #TeamWhatever, because there weren’t many counts of those in the gardenhose. The first peak is the final contest show, and the second is the actual crowning.
The case here is rather clear cut — Sharon Needles leads everyone for nearly the whole time period. The raw counts of mentions show no contest there. I’m actually rather surprised that Phi Phi led Chad. Maybe there was another way they showed support for her?
Keyword Count sharon_needles 2538 phiphiohara 877 chadmichaels1 497
For this year, I managed do two collections. One was the gardenhose that I described in the last post, and one was a focused sample of Drag Race related tweets. I collected on five accounts (@RuPaul, @RuPaulsDragRace, @JinkxMonsoon, @Alaska5000, and @RoxxyAndrews) and four hashtags (#DragRace, #TeamJinkx, #TeamAlaska, and #TeamRoxxxy).
The figure below plots the two datasets against each other. I used both mentions of the queens and their respective “team” hashtags. They’re normalized for the max count in each dataset.
The first peak is the final competition show and the second one is the RuCap. In the first peak, #TeamJinkx blows it out of the park. In the second peak, however, there’s some close competition between Jinkx and Alaska. Roxxxy is nowhere close to either of them. A really interesting thing is how closely the full collection tracks with the gardenhose, giving more support that the gardenhose has the face validity that Twitter claims it does.
The final numbers given Jinkx a thin advantage over Alaska, especially compared to how many mentions that Sharon got over her competitors. Both #teamroxxxy and @RoxxxyAndrews come in dead last, though.
Keyword Full Gardenhose #teamjinkx 24920 2692 #teamalaska 21890 2375 jinkxmonsoon 14965 2346 alaska5000 8587 1479 #teamroxxxy 5203 539 roxxxyandrews 4005 854
So those are the numbers, folks. It looks like it’s going to be a photo finish! With the amount of support that both Jinkx and Alaska have gotten, I could see either of them winning. Will it be the elegant, hilarious Jinkx, or will Drag Race have its first royal couple in Alaska and Sharon?
From what we’ve seen this season, money’s still on Jinkx. But it could easier go the other way. We’ll see tonight, hunties!