HomeOur ObsessionsAll the queens that won ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

All the queens that won ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Because Pride month is just over, we’re taking a look back at the last eleven seasons of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' and the queens who’ve come out on top.

All the queens that won ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

We’re still reeling in shock over what happened in the last season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and how Yvie Oddly ended up on top over fan favorite Brooke Lynn Hytes. Brooke may have given Yvie a run for her money, yet in the end Yvie still managed to snatch the crown (and the money), joining ten other queens named America’s Next Drag Race Superstar. Don’t lie – your heart did a death drop no matter which team you were on.

Not only do we know we’re getting a 12th season sometime next year, we just got the news that there’s going to be another spinoff of the show in Canada, so we’ll get a lot of new queens to celebrate in 2020.

Because Pride month is just over and the world is looking more gray, we’re taking a look back at the last eleven seasons of Drag Race and the queens who’ve come out on top.

Season 1: BeBe Zahara Benet

Drag Race wasn’t really taken seriously during this first season, and even Ru himself calls this the “lost season”. Let’s be real: you probably forgot who BeBe was. But let’s not forget the amazing queens S1 introduced to the world: the impeccable Nina Flowers and the hilarious Tammie Brown.

BeBe came back for season three of All Stars and tied in third place with Shangela, which we hope has helped more people get to know who she is. She’s got a mean sashay, epic costuming, and a loud personality – but unfortunately BeBe got crowned before being crowned actually meant something.

Season 2: Tyra Sanchez

It’s hard not to talk about Tyra’s controversies when discussing her Drag Race win. 

Whether it’s the time she called suicide victims “selfish cowards”, the time she got herself banned from DragCon because she made terrorist threats, or the time she pretended fellow season two contestant Morgan McMichaels died to get SoundCloud clicks, she’s definitely got the loudest voice out of all the former queens (which is saying something).

Tyra’s got talent and she’s clearly got the sass to kill it, but she chooses to get negative attention as if being infamous is just as good as being famous. Nice try, Tyra – but you’re still on most Drag Race fans’ blacklists.

Season 3: Raja

The queen who used to be a makeup artist on America’s Next Top Model won? Wow, that’s such a shock. All jokes aside, week after week Raja killed every challenge, mastered the lip-sync battles, and 100% earned the crown. Raja walked so Bianca Del Rio could run. 

Long after her season, Raja continues to stay in the limelight thanks to her Drag Race recap series with Raven, her killer dance-pop singles, and a glorious starring role in a Blonde music video. Plus: Raja was the first Asian-American winner.

Season 4: Sharon Needles

Sharon Needles was the first creepy queen to win Drag Race, and we’re betting that her ascent to drag superstardom paved the way for our new queen Yvie Oddly. While every one of Sharon’s looks belonged in a haunted house, her comedy queen stylings and wonderful personality made her a favorite with audiences worldwide. 

Sharon was easily the most emo-looking queen, which in season four was fresh & different. Sharon helped redefine what drag makeup was on Drag Race and concocted some absolutely insane looks that would probably scare a small child. 

But Sharon’s uniqueness was undoubtedly innovative, making her a worthy winner. Plus, she dealt with Phi Phi O’Hara with grace and humor – enough to make her worthy of the crown in itself.

Season 5: Jinkx Monsoon

Jinkx is every theater kid’s dream come true: being recognized for one’s talent on a national level. Jinkx got recognized for her drag persona rather than her acting, but that’s still pretty good. 

Jinkx’s idols were older female comedy legends and her mother, so she won with her old-fashioned style & charisma rather than trying to do something flashy. That paid off, as Jinkx was the only main show winner to get a Funko Pop doll when the Drag Race collection was released in 2018, cementing her place in drag history next to Alaska, Katya, and Trixie Mattel. 

Jinkx’s hilarious snatch game performance as Little Edie from Grey Gardens is still racking up views on YouTube.

Season 6: Bianca Del Rio

It’s probably not an exaggeration to say Bianca is the most successful of the Drag Race winners. She managed to crowdfund a really bad feature-length movie that had Alan freaking Cummings in it – clearly she’s got some star power. 

Blanca’s professional costuming and sassy comedy styling made her stand out from her competition. She also let the audience see her soft & motherly style. Blanca’s also the only queen never to go up for elimination throughout the entire season, so mad props are due for killing it till the end. Bianca was a hurricane that took Drag Race by storm, and they still haven’t recovered completely.

Season 7: Violet Chachki

Let’s be real, here. Violet was a cocky drama queen during her season. Though she was a bit extra at times, it was a shame to see her fellow queens treat her like the nerdy kid getting picked for dodgeball – but her confidence made her a winner from the get-go as she won the first challenge of her season. 

Violet definitely stood out for her attitude and fashion sense compared to the other queens. She’s managed to carve out a successful career for herself, still killing the fashion game, modeling lingerie, and performing in burlesque shows (with none other than bio-queen Dita Von Teese).

Season 8: Bob the Drag Queen

Best remembered for constantly going at it with Derrick Berry on her season, Bob was easily the strongest comedic drag queen in the history of the show – so much so that she got her own comedy special after winning (though we’re still disappointed it wasn’t called “Walk In Purse First”). 

Bob was always genuine in her message. Who could forget the story of the first time she did drag and got arrested at a drag protest? We’ll never forget how Bob was the first queen to impersonate two celebrities in the Snatch Game and killed both personas.

Season 9: Sasha Velour

Talk about a true underdog. Sasha is probably best known for being one of two bald queen contestants – a touching tribute to her late mother who was a cancer patient. 

Throughout the season, Sasha continued to place in the middle of various challenges, winning only two main challenges. But she definitely kept true to herself and stuck with a darker fashion sense similar to trailblazer queen Sharon Needles. Sasha’s dedication to her work and big heart for supporting her fellow queens is what put her on top in the end.

Season 10: Aquaria

The youngest queen to take the crown, Aquaria is one of the more well-rounded queens to compete, with skills in nearly every category. A lot of people assumed she was all beauty and no talent, but Aquaria quickly shut her haters up early on in season ten. 

Aquaria’s got the skills in beauty & fashion, but is also a killer lip-syncer and possesses solid comedic chops. She’s also got heart, and had a following before the show that she still keeps up with, staying in touch with the causes of the LGBTQ+ youth. 

Season 11: Yvie Oddly

As we said before, it’s still a shock that Yvie Oddly managed to come out on top this past season. She won only one maxi-challenge the entire season, though also only ended up in the bottom two once as well.

But Yvie is still a strong queen, going against the “boring local drag scene” of Denver she so despised, and shocking the audience with bizarre looks that just worked. Her name is even a call-out to those who used to call her performances weird, making her buckle down on the criticism. Yvie is bold, unique, and bizarre compared to her fellow queens, and that attitude is what scored her the crown in the end.

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Bethany is a recent graduate who dreams of making her own award-winning film, but for now writes about other media. She’s a child at heart specializing in hot takes on animated family movies (and sometimes other films & TV).

bwade@filmdaily.co