This might be my favourite blog post of all time (besides my wedding and birth story) because Ru Paul’s Drag Race is quite literally my life. I could talk about it all day long, so don’t get me started! I discovered it earlier this year and binged it from Season 1 to 11 along with Seasons 1 to 4 of All Stars and you best believe I am loving Drag Race UK at the moment! My favourite queen is Baga Chipz. Over the course of this year, I have fallen in love with some popular and maybe, not so popular queens? Today I want to share (counting down from 20 to 1) my top favourite Ru Paul’s Drag Race contestants of all time (US only). I’m going to be including video clips along with each contestant and some amazing fan art from Instagram! I will be crediting these artists and yes I have their permission. Before we begin, please be aware there will be tons of spoilers. I really hope you enjoy because Drag Race is EVERYTHING!!! Let’s do it!
20 – ONGINA
In Season 1, I fell in love with sweet, little androgynous Ongina who was always so kind and full of smiles. Every move she brought to the runway was hip, trendy and fun. But what really got me was when she broke down on stage and revealed that she had been living with HIV for a couple of years. This paved the way for future queens on Drag Race to admit they too had been suffering. You may think this is dramatic, but I cannot watch her confession without crying. It always hits me right in the heart. She’s so beautiful and brave. You don’t have to watch the whole clip, just skip to 40 seconds in.
19 – BEBE ZAHARA BENET
Coming in at #19, is Cameroon’s African Queen, Bebe Zahara Benet! Not only was she the winner of Season 1, she was the first ever winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race ever! This sultry, elegant queen won me over with her stunning looks week after week. Every single time she came down the runway, I would gasp. The fashion, design and beauty of her outfits were out of this world. It was always so exciting waiting to see what she would wear next. Don’t believe me? Check out all of her best looks below. I’m going to throw in her Cover Girl performance too because I love it! My daughter loves the song too.
18 – RAJA GEMINI
Raja Gemini was the winner of Season 3. She’s a gorgeous model and beautiful drag queen full of avant-garde, edgy fashion styles. To meet the criteria of Drag Race Superstar, Ru Paul looks for charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to which Raja ticked all the boxes. She was one of the older, more seasoned queens to ever grace the runway but you could tell that all of her years of experience had completely paid off; securing her the title. I just loved looking at her, plain and simple! I also love that the artwork above captures my favourite look of hers: Marie Antoinette. Check out some of her best moments below. You’ll be left gagging!
17 – KIM CHI
Kim Chi – the adorable Korean cos-player who came on the show with her parents still completely unaware that she was a drag queen. She was terrified of the shame and judgement she would face in her culture which was so sad. Every look was flawless, inventive and completely outside the box. Kim Chi was so talented she made it to the top 3 and will forever be one of my favourites. She sewed all of her own costumes and her makeup/wig work was impeccable. Check out her best work below. My favourite is her crescent moon face!
16 – JUJUBEE
Jujubee was my favourite contestant on Season 2. She made it to the top 3 and for good reason. She may not have been the best designer, but her personality and quick-witted insults had me in stitches. Did you know her birth name is Airline? Why her parents thought to name her that is beyond me. Juju returned to All Stars where she once again made top 3. It was so much fun seeing her again. Big love for this queen! Watch her read her fellow queens to filth! I also included her Black Velvet lip sync because it’s iconic!
15 – TATIANNA
Tatianna is without a doubt the most beautiful drag queen to ever walk the runway. She is so fishy (a term meaning a drag queen that looks like a woman) that she is constantly mistaken for female. I love that Tati never put up with any crap. She called out the nastier drag queens on Season 2 and even came up with a few catch-phrases that are very well known now (choices and thank you). Her Snatch Game impersonation of Britney Spears stole the show and in All Stars, she won the talent show with her spoken word piece: The Same Parts. Check it out below.
14 – AQUARIA
Aquaria won Season 10 and boy did she deserve it! This drag queen could act, dance, sew and move. She is stunning both as a male and female. I actually have a crush on her as a guy. So cute! Aquaria is also really sweet, full of confidence and easily excitable. I just love her and all of her looks. Plus huge points that her drag name is based off her zodiac sign!
13 – VALENTINA
You either love Valentina or hate her. There is no grey area. I love her! This Spanish princess stole my heart in Season 9 and in All Stars 4. She is so full of herself, it’s actually endearing. She knows she’s gorgeous and you can’t get mad because it’s true! Valentina was voted Miss Congeniality in her season but she also has the most controversial elimination when she refused to show her face during the lip sync due to not knowing the words. This sent her packing. I just love how beautiful and innocent she is. That big smile and her quest for a telenovela ending kept me entertained all the way through.
12 – VANJIE
At #12, we have Miss Vanessa ‘Vanjie’ Mateo who is a huge fan favourite. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t love Vanjie. Every single time she speaks I cackle because the deep voice just doesn’t match the gorgeous face. Vanjie is known for her time both on Season 10 and 11. She is also imitated the world over for her Miss Vanjie exit which was random and hilarious. I love everything Vanjie says and does and I’m really hoping she comes back on All Stars 5. People couldn’t get enough of her!
11 – SHARON NEEDLES
Known as the ‘Queen of Halloween’, Sharon Needles won Season 4 and was the first winner to be completely different to the rest. She’s gothy, edgy and spooky. She’s also hilarious and excelled at most of the challenges; ensuring her win. I rooted for her from the beginning and I’m so glad she won. She changed the world of drag and introduced everybody to a new type of style. She’s still so wildly successful to this day and has even released a music album.
10 – KATYA
If you want a laugh, Katya is your girl. She is an extremely flexible, silly, lovable queen that strutted onto the runway on Season 7. It was pretty clear from the get go that she would become a fan favourite. She made it quite far in her season and in All Stars 2, she made it to the finals. Katya literally could never do a thing wrong. She was beloved by all. I adore her infectious laugh and ability to tear the house down with a lip sync. I think it’s pretty fair to say Katya is most people’s first choice. She’s a Drag Race legend!
9 – GINGER MINJ
Everybody say it with me: GINGER MINJ WAS ROBBED!! She was placed runner up in Season 7 against Violet Chachki, who in my personal opinion did not deserve to win. Out of all the seasons, 7 was the weakest for me, but Ginger made it enjoyable to watch. She was such a body positive queen who believed that it was time a big girl took the crown. She was hilarious, talented and full of sassy quips. I really wish she had won.
8 – ADORE DELANO
You may recognise Adore Delano from Season 7 of American Idol. She can sing up a storm! You can’t help but adore Adore. She’s known for her potty mouth and being a little slow, but she makes up for it with her sweet nature and incredible voice. Adore made it to the top 3 in Season 6 and when she returned for All Stars, she eliminated herself after the first episode when she realised how much she had changed since her season and was no longer comfortable with the rules of Drag Race. I like that she stayed true to herself. She is one of the most successful queens to ever grace the stage. Plus she’s a super cute boy!
7 – WILLAM
Once again, you either love Willam or hate her. I LOVE! Willam is known for being overly confident and a name-dropper. She spent most of Season 4 telling everyone who would listen which movies and television shows she had starred in. She also loved bragging about her high designer fashion. Sounds obnoxious right? Well she was, but she did it in such a way that you couldn’t help but laugh. Most of the contestants hated her, but when confronted, she would never defend herself. She had such a good nature. That’s what made her so likable. Willam is the only Drag Race contestant to be kicked off the show for breaking the rules. She was sneaking her husband into her hotel room for conjugal visits which was absolutely not allowed. She also stole props from the set and was drunk in the workroom. Quite a lady! Despite all that, she became extremely popular with fans and I jumped on the bandwagon right along with them!
6 – EUREKA O’HARA
Eureka gets a bad rep for being a bossy, loud mouth but she’s so sweet and funny that I don’t understand the hate. I love this body positive queen who showed the world that big is beautiful. Eureka had to leave the show in Season 9 due to a knee injury but she was guaranteed a spot in Season 10 to which she came runner up to Aquaria. She’s incredible. I just want to hug her! I hope she comes back in All Stars 5 because she’s so talented and fun to watch. Also her performance in American?! I had to include it below. Love Aquaria in it too!
5 – BIANCA DEL RIO
To this day, Bianca del Rio is considered the most deserving winner and best drag queen to ever compete. She took out the crown in Season 6 with style. Bianca is known for being the comeback-queen. She can insult you with ease and class. She is a stand-up comedian, has written a book and is still wildly successful. She oozes sarcasm, charisma and a soft spot that makes an appearance every now and then. She’s the best. You cannot help but love her. She’s hilarious, sassy and downright talented. If my mum actually liked Drag Race, I think Bianca would be her favourite. Alas she does not – boo! Watch her best moments below and try not to laugh! I also included her performance in Sissy That Walk because I love her dance moves and that is my favourite song of Ru Paul’s.
4 – JINKX MONSOON
Does anyone else love a good revenge story where the underdog rises to the top and wins above the bullies? This is basically the story of Jinkx Monsoon who is one of my top 5 favourite drag queens. From the minute Jinkx walked into the room, I could tell she was something special. She was so sweet, dorky and lovable but also insanely talented which left some of the other drag queens super jealous. They bullied Jinkx and undermined her, making her feel very isolated and depressed. Still, Jinkx rubbed it in all their faces when she took the crown and won Season 5. Post-filming, some of the other nasty drag queens came forward and apologised; confessing their envy of this multi-faceted queen. One of my favourite moments is when Jinkx faced off against Detox in this jaw-dropping lip sync and kicked her ass. You can see the judges are mesmerised. It was so satisfying. Good triumphed over evil!
3 – LATRICE ROYALE
Oh Latrice Royale, my chunky yet funky mama. I even named my bicycle after her. Latrice was known as the mother of the group in Season 4. She took care of everybody and shared her pearls of wisdom. As an ex-convict, Latrice had seen the darker parts of life and wanted to make a positive change. She is known for her catch phrase ‘good God get a grip girl’ and ‘the shade of it all.’ I don’t know one person that doesn’t love Latrice. She’s the kind of person you want in your life, guiding you and providing support. I also have to include her lip sync below against Kenya Michaels where she delivered an emotional and gripping performance of You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman. She holds her belly so tenderly as if it contained her unborn child. There is nothing like it.
2 – ALYSSA EDWARDS
I wish Alyssa Edwards and I were best friends. Seriously, name a more iconic queen? Season 5 introduced me to this incredible dancer and I was never the same. Alyssa had me in hysterics the whole show. What I loved about her, was her ability to laugh at herself. She’s kooky and silly but also gorgeous and fierce. She’s known for her phrase ‘backrolls’ after one of her competitors accused of her having a lumpy body. I watched a bit of her show on Netflix but it didn’t feature her enough. She will be styling the Ru Paul Celebrity Drag Race queens that is coming soon. I’m so excited. Always and forever, Alyssa Edwards *pops tongue*. ALSO I WANT THE ABOVE PRINT ON MY WALL!
1 – MANILA LUZON
At number #1, my favourite drag queen of all time is the beautiful and zany Manila Luzon. Hailing from the Philippines, Manila is a campy, funny queen that loves to pull wacky faces (see lip sync below) and create outside-the-box fashion designs (best looks below). She was runner up on Season 3 and returned in All Stars 1 & 4 as a fierce contender. I adore her. She will always be my favourite and I cannot sing her praises enough. If I was a drag queen, I would emulate her style and look. I think Manila resonates with me the most because she’s extremely kind and caring. Her season 2 boyfriend and contestant Sahara Davenport was killed tragically a few years after her time on the show and it was devastating for Manila. She has since then married a wonderful man who is her biggest supporter. From the first time I saw her in Season 3, I knew she was my kind of queen!
What did you think? Did you agree with my list? Who is your favourite Drag Race contestant? Please go check out the artists I mentioned, they are truly amazing! Thanks so much for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo