The Library is Open: Season 9

Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race has started! Drag Race is a reality competition show hosted by the legendary drag queen RuPaul to find the next drag superstar. Each season, between 12 and 14 queens compete in challenges, which could consist of sewing together new looks for the runway, acting in parody scenes of gay cult classics, singing, or dancing. At the end of the episode, one queen is named the winner of the challenge and the two queens who fall in the bottom must lip-sync for their lives. They perform a lip-sync to a pre-chosen song on the runway for RuPaul, and whoever impresses most gets to stay, while the other is asked to sashay away.

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The Library is Open

Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered on March 7. As the season airs, Drag Race fans enjoy speculating who will make it to the top three, rooting for their favorites. I’ve been diving into machine learning recently, and one of the biggest uses of machine learning is for prediction, and I thought it would be fun to try to apply a few machine learning algorithms to data about the 100 queens who have appeared on Drag Race to try to predict how season 8 might progress. This is inspired in no small part by Alex Hanna’s excellent survival analysis of season 5, and I use the data she collected, adding in seasons 6-8. If you haven’t read Alex’s posts about season 5, and are fans of both Drag Race and statistical analysis, I recommend checking it out before reading on.

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