Like Roxxxy Andrews, we’re here to make it clear.
Over the course of 10 years, we’ve been blessed with 12 iconic seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, four All Star editions and a British spin-off; providing us thirsty-ass drag fanatics with plenty of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.
Bebe, Tyra, Raja, Sharon, Chad, Jinkx, Bianca, Violet, Bob, Alaska, Sasha, Trixie, Aquaria, Monét, Trinity, Yvie and The Vivienne have all won the coveted crown – but which of their respective seasons comes out on top?
To commemorate the season 12 finale later this week, and in anticipation of All Stars 5 the week after (!), we’ve ranked every season of the show from worst to best (except Celebrity Drag Race, four episodes didn’t feel fair).
Remember, this is just our opinion. Feel free to disagree in the comments. Water off a duck’s back and all that.
16. All Stars 1
Most iconic moment: Raven vs Jujubee – Dancing on My Own
Is anyone surprised? All Stars 1 ranks as our lowest ever season of Drag Race because of the sheer amount of talent that was wasted on the dreadful twist, which saw the queens compete in teams of two. It’s disappointing because we had the likes of Manila Luzon (robbed!), Raven, Jujubee, Latrice Royale, Tammie Brown, Chad Michaels and Shannel, to name a few. With a cast like this, it could’ve been the best season of Drag Race ever.
15. Season 1
Most iconic moment: Shannel – “I am beautiful”
The first season of Drag Race – also known as the “lost season” – really isn’t appreciated enough. Yes, we didn’t have Snatch Game, and we were cursed with that vaseline filter, but it gave us so many incredible performers such as Bebe Zahara Benet, Nina Flowers, Tammie Brown, Ongina and Shannel. The reason why it’s ranked so low is because it isn’t the Drag Race we all know and love today.
14. Season 8
Most iconic moment: RuCo Empire
Ranking season eight below seven may be a controversial move. However, the season was one of the shortest – clocking in at only ten episodes – didn’t have many controversial or shocking moments (except for perhaps Acid Betty’s elimination), and was the most predictable instalment of the entire series. Did anyone really doubt Bob the Drag Queen would walk away with the crown?
13. Season 7
Most iconic moment: Violet Chachki’s tartan reveal
Season seven receives a lot of hate from fans, and it’s understandable. A cast consisting primarily of fashion queens were wasted on a season overstuffed with scripted comedy challenges. Despite this, the season delivered some of the most beloved Ru queens ever in Katya, Trixie Mattel, Pearl, Miss Fame, Ginger Minj, Violet Chachki, Max, Kennedy Davenport and Jasmine Masters. Oh, and the drama between Pearl and Ru? Iconic.
12. Season 11
Most iconic moment: “OPPALANCE! YOU EARN EVERYTHIIING!”
Season 11 wasn’t bad, at all. Compared to other shows out there, it still comes out on top and it was a thrilling ride from start to finish. But when you place it within this line-up, it was – like Nina West in the finale – “meh”. The drama felt mean rather than shady, it was perhaps the worst Snatch Game of the entire series, and Nina’s elimination hurt. However, Yvie Oddly is undeniably one of the most memorable winners in HERstory, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo provided fans with the first ever on-screen romance and “OPPALANCE” became another massive viral moment on social media.
11. All Stars 3
Most iconic moment: BenDeLaCreme’s self-elimination
The third instalment of All Stars may have not lived up to its predecessor, but it sure gave us some legendary television. Aja deservedly became the breakout star (that death drop!), season one winner Bebe Zahara Benet made an unprecedented comeback, Shangela proved her status as one of the most iconic queens in HERstory and BenDeLaCreme broke the mothertucking internet when she eliminated… HERSELF. We’re still not over it.
10. Season 10
Most iconic moment: “Miss Vaaaaaaaaaaaaanjie”
The show’s tenth season featured the most viral moment of the series so far when Vanessa Vanjie Mateo sashayed away (backwards) from the main stage and recited her own name over 12,000 times. Sharon Needles’ drag daughter Aquaria also proved to be one the most sickening fashion queens in HERstory, several fan-favourites were controversially eliminated by lip-sync assassin Kameron Michaels, while The Vixen and Eureka provided fans with one of the most explosive feuds ever. Honourable mention to Asia O Hara’s butterflies: may they rest in peace.
9. Season 2
Most iconic moment: “Tyra is a complete bitch.”
The sophomore season of Drag Race is where the show came into its own. It’s possibly the bitchiest of them all, with iconic throw-downs such as Mystique vs Morgan (“Bitch, I am from Chicago!”), Tatianna vs Tyra Sanchez (“I don’t think you’re seeing that Tyra is a complete bitch”) and Tyra against, well, everyone. Season two also featured the first ever Snatch Game and the lip-syncs were turned up a notch with drag assassin, Jujubee. It’s an absolute classic.
8. All Stars 4
Most iconic moment: Double crowning
Even though it’s our favourite show, we thought it was a bit overkill to have two seasons of All Stars within a year. But with a cast like this, how could we complain? Trinity The Tuck, Monét X Change, Monique Heart, Naomi Smalls, Jasmine Masters, Valentina, Farrah Moan and Gia Gunn came back for a second shot at the crown, joined by All Stars 1 contestants Latrice Royale and Manila Luzon. Despite first competing nine years ago, Manila proved that she hadn’t gone soft and swept the competition. But of course, every season needs its controversial elimination doesn’t it? Even though she had the best track record, she was eliminated by Naomi… and it was her first time in the bottom! Gag of the century? Yas… until the finale, which saw both Monét and Trinity win the title and 100,000 dooollahz each.
7. Season 9
Most iconic moment: Valentina – “I would like to keep it on please”
Again, this may be a controversial placement, but this season blessed us with an incredible roster of queens. Shea Coulee, Trinity the Tuck, Valentina, Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Nina Bonina Brown and Alexis Michelle all came to play (that) and to be honest, pretty much everyone in the cast had charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. It also ranks so high because it had some of the most iconic Drag Race moments of all time: Eureka O’Hara’s injury, Valentina’s elimination, Sasha Velour’s rose-petal lip-sync to So Emotional, to name a few.
6. Season 3
Most iconic moment: “GET HER OFF OF ME!”
In hindsight, season three is probably the hardest season of Drag Race. It had more obscure sewing challenges than any other season, such as: holiday thrift store drag; couture cake inspired outfit; three outfits for a hair show – one made entirely of hair; and a dress made out of money. It gave us some fabulous lip-syncs, with Manila Luzon vs Delta Work, Raja vs Carmen Carrera, Mimi Imfurt vs India Ferrah, and the closest top two in the show’s HERstory. This should’ve been the double crowning.
5. Season 4
Most iconic moment: Willam’s disqualification
It feels like season four of Drag Race is when the show reached another level, especially on a commercial scale. While many of the series’ contestants have flourished after their stint, Sharon Needles became – as cliché as it is to say – a beacon of light for young fans who felt like they weren’t part of the “in crowd”. To this day, she’s one of the most beloved queens the show has ever produced. Her relationship with Phi Phi O’Hara was also the most iconic rivalry of the entire series, and boasted the now infamous line: “Go back to party city where you belong!” The season also featured the debut of Willam – and its first and only disqualification so far – and one of the best lip-syncs ever from Dida Ritz. Plus… Latrice Royale.
4. Season 1 (Drag Race UK)
Most iconic moment: Frock Destroyers
After years and years of rumours and anticipation, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK finally launched back in October and honey… it was absolutely worth the wait. The crass sense-of-humour and references to iconic soaps and dramas, as well as the interactions between the contestants, was a breath of fresh air and resulted in peak British television. It wasn’t Americanised, like we feared. The challenges were more of the same, but the way they were executed? Perfection. Downton Draggy? BAFTA worthy. Snatch Game? Two of the best celebrity impressions in Margaret Thatcher (Baga Chipz) and Donald Trump (The Vivienne). And Frock Destroyers? Little Mix: watch out. Season two has some big boots to fill.
3. Season 5
Most iconic moment: Alyssa vs Coco – Cold Hearted
While season four had the show’s best rivalry, season five had the best underdog storyline. Jinkx Monsoon competed in a season of heavyweight drag competitors such as Roxxxy Andrews, Alaska, Detox, Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese. Despite not being as polished (at the time) as those fierce queens, she broke the record for most consecutive weeks in the top, with nine, and cemented herself as one of the most talented competitors on the series. The season also boasted some of the biggest personalities in all ten seasons of the show, hence why five of them appeared on All Stars 2.
2. Season 6
Most iconic moment: “I feel VERY attacked!” (Untucked)
Now this is peak Drag Race. Season six was the perfect blend of comedy and drama, and had a perfect mix of design and performance challenges. It’s often considered to have the most iconic top three in Bianca Del Rio, Adore Delano and Courtney Act, and the lip-sync showdowns were some of the show’s best. Trinity K Bonet may have not slain every challenge, but she established herself as one of, if not the best lip-sync queen ever. It was also the season of the catchphrase… OKCURRRRR!
1. All Stars 2
Most iconic moment: Alyssa Edwards vs Tatianna – Shut Up and Drive
How could this not be number one? All Stars 2 is the definitive season of Drag Race. It boasts the best cast in the show’s HERstory, with drag legends such as Alaska, Katya, Detox, Roxxxy Andrews, Alyssa Edwards, Tatianna, Phi Phi O’Hara, Ginger Minj, Adore Delano and Coco Montrese. Revenge of the Queens is potentilly the best ever episode, providing fans with the most jaw-dropping lip-sync of all time when Tatianna and Alyssa slayed the house down to Shut Up and Drive by Rihanna. Oh, and that mirror scene? Cooped. Phi Phi’s reaction? Gooped. The confrontation? Mother-tucking gagged… henny.
All 12 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race are available now on Netflix UK.