It’s hard to believe that RuPaul’s Drag Race has now done 13 total seasons its Emmy award winning show (including All Stars). It has given us diehard fans a reason to love, like and hate many of them as the competition went on, with our opinions changing during each episode it seems.
Thirteen queens have won that coveted crown and have developed major careers in doing so. Question is, how did each of them win their respective seasons in the end, and did they deserve it?
Read on to see my take on each winner and how they got to the finish line.
Season 1: Bebe Zahara Benet. Bebe was great, but I still don’t get how she made it past the lip sync against Ongina when the latter did much better than her. The eventual winner had grace, elegance and a great style to her, something that Ru might have been looking for when the show began.
Season 2: Tyra Sanchez. She received far too much hate and criticism for why she won over Raven and Jujubee. Tyra was there to win and not make friends. It’s that simple. And she did a great job at both.
Season 3: Raja. Raja had an unshakable confidence that many queens wish they had. Add a great sense of humor and self, killer fashion and one of the best damn runway walkers the show has ever seen, and you have the winner of season 3.
Season 4: Sharon Needles. Sharon changed the show forever with her different type of drag that was not seeing on its first three seasons. It was a necessary change that helped make the show what it is today, as she was proof that you can win something and not be cookie cutter. That’s why she was able to do so well and win the hearts of pretty much everyone come finale night.
All Stars 1: Chad Michaels. Chad didn’t win season 4, so Ru gave it to her for the first season of All Stars. That’s really all I can do to explain that as the season was a dumpster fire from the get go with no real purpose for these talented queens to be in groups and diminish how great they were as the show went on. But, yeah, Chad won.
Season 5: Jinkx Monsoon. I don’t think anyone really saw Jinkx as the winner in the season opener, as there were far bigger personalities that entered the werk room that episode (Detox, Alyssa Edwards). She had the audience behind her as the little engine that could who did incredibly well in each challenge while holding her own against the “Mean Girls” of the season. That scored her an easy W at the end of it.
Season 6: Bianca Del Rio. Hard to find a reason why she wasn’t going to win. Nothing was going to stop Bianca from getting that crown, even though this season had the most likable cast ever with a ton of fan favorites emerging from it (Adore Delano, Joslyn Fox, etc).
Season 7: Violet Chachki. I used to despise Violet on the show when I first watched S7. Now I get why she won. Innovative, talented with an IDGAF attitude about what people thought about her. It should’ve been Ginger Minj or Katya, but Violet did just as good of a job as the others in a season that has come a long way from being so hated many years ago.
All Stars 2: Alaska. Did Alaska do great throughout All Stars 2? Yes. Did she rely on her crutches in some of the challenges? Yes. Did she step outside the box a lot? Debatable. All Stars 2 is considered to be one of the show’s best seasons, yet I do wonder how different the outcome would be if RoLaskaTox didn’t really control most of it.
Season 8: Bob The Drag Queen. No one really challenged Bob during her season to really win the crown. Others came close (Kim Chi, Chi Chi DeVayne) for their own reasons, but Bob simply slayed everyone else and rightfully won in the end.
Season 9: Sasha Velour. It was Shea Coulee’s season to lose, and many people thought the shift to the whole “lip sync for the crown” thing screwed her over as Sasha just had some better tricks up her sleeve (literally). Sasha should not be discredited though. Her style and view on drag is one that was completely original and not seen before on the show, and she did a stellar job in all of the challenges as well. She was only in the bottom 3 once and had a great story behind her that helped seal her the crown outside of two Whitney Houston songs.
All Stars 3: Trixie Mattel. I love Trixie very much, but she’s lucky to have won in the end as BenDeLaCreme eliminated herself and Shangela lost due to what I believe to be some of the other queens simply being bitter towards her. The format of the eliminated contestants choosing the final two is one that I hope that they don’t do ever again, as we all knew Shangela should’ve been with Trixie in that last lip sync instead of Kennedy Davenport, who did a meh job throughout.
Season 10: Aquaria. She was kind of the one to beat from the beginning, but wasn’t flawless throughout like some of the previous winners of the show. Aquaria won season 10 due to her killer eye for fashion (similar to Violet Chachki), surprising challenge wins outside of what she was known for (Snatch Game), and ability to grow as the season went on.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.