RuPaul’s Drag Race is continuing to pound the pavement with its seven remaining contestants after this lackluster episode of “Snatch Game” where Derrick continued to do the same thing every week to no affect and we are left wondering how awesome Cynthia Lee Fontaine would’ve been. Speaking of Cynthia, she is the one contestant so far this season that I think has been considered underrated, in terms of just how amazing her potential is. Getting eliminated for a role that wasn’t going to be funny no matter how you acted it (Empire challenge), she had a lot left to give and wasn’t given the chops or the TV time in order to prove how great she is. This can be said for the Top 10 list that I’ve created of queens that had a lot going for them while on Drag Race, but were overshadowed for so many different reasons. Some of these queens in my book could’ve gone the distance or even won the whole damn thing, but alas… didn’t. This is who I think deserved to get a lot more than they did, and who I root for to this very day.
10. Stacy Layne Matthews
I found the shade factor against Stacy very hilarious in her season, considering most of the girls who threw shade at her were eliminated before or right after she was (Phoenix, Delta Work). She had a lot working against her, weight taken out of it. Because she was soft spoken in a group of “Halleloos” and “Heathers”, it landed her in the bottom early on when it really shouldn’t have as she blossomed in so many challenges and rightfully won Snatch Game with her impression of Mo’Nique. I’m still baffled that she went home for the cake challenge when her outfit didn’t look that bad compared to one who had bloomers showing the whole time (and that person won the challenge). Stacey was a formidable player that I still don’t think really got the recognition she deserved.
9. Joslyn Fox
With Season 6 being chock full of some incredible and amazingly talented queens, it became hard for anyone to really get out of the Bianca-Courtney-Adore-Ben spotlight for more than a minute. Joslyn was a great player that season, but her story became more about her adoration of Courtney Act which turned sour as the season went on. She excelled like crazy in so many challenges like the rapping challenge (which she should’ve gotten way more credit than she did), Snatch Game as Teresa Giudice, and the reading mini-challenge where she slayed the house down. To her credit, she made it all the way to the final six over some very talented queens, but I wish they would’ve given her a better edit as she was a force to be reckoned with.
8. Ivy Winters
I had Ivy Winters pegged as a front runner from the first episode, due to her amazing costume construction, great performances in challenges, and overall likability in a season where most of the girls were just god awful to each other. Here’s the problem- she’s mainly remembered for RuPaul saying “IVY WINTERSSSSSSSSSSSSSS”, which even when she tried to justify it at the reunion still fell on deaf ears, especially with LaToya Jackson who the saying was inspired by. For Ivy to be eliminated in the perfume challenge, seeing as I don’t even think hers was the worst of the bunch (cough cough Roxxxy), and to lose over Alyssa, who was performing horribly week after week, really was a bummer.
A lot of people really went in on Tatianna for making it past fan favorites in Jessica Wild and Pandora Boxx, however unlike Rebecca Glasscock, she earned herself a spot in the end as she was a consistent performer who only was in the bottom two or three twice in the entire competition, outside of her elimination. Love Juju and Raven, but they had just the same amount of times if not more in the bottom. Tatianna shut her haters up, similarly to Stacey, when she won the Snatch Game challenge as Britney Spears, an impersonation that fared way better than the basic girl that did it this season. I am really hopeful that she will be on All Stars as she should be on the same level as some of the other girls that were in her season in terms of fame.
6. Tammie Brown
This is where my problem with Drag Race truly rises, is that it becomes cookie cutter a lot of times in terms of being put in a box of what drag really is. Tammie was so far out there and unique, that season one really needed someone like her due to how plain the first season was. Her zany type of behavior and legendary lines (I don’t see you walking children in nature), should’ve propelled her much further in both S1 and All Stars. I hope we haven’t seen the last of her as she really is a diamond in the rough in the world of Drag Race.
5. Mariah Balenciaga
When Mariah entered in the werk room on the first episode, I pegged her as someone going the distance as she had the beauty drag look down, more than anyone else on the show at that point. Her elimination wasn’t really justified for me, as even though her Joan Crawford wasn’t what a lot of us expected, it wasn’t half as bad as Carmen Carrerra’s J. Lo, which brought nothing to that character, or Raja, who even though the Tyra thing was funny, it was just the same joke each answer with nothing new. Mariah was a formidable threat to really win the whole thing had she made it past Snatch, as her aesthetic and professionalism was on point each episode. The Emancipation will happen one day for her, I hope.
Milk was another queen that was wrongfully judged in her season by queens who kind of did the same thing over and over again (Darienne, Gia). While those girls were very glamour heavy, Milk went the opposite way with her unique style, highlighting wearing a suit as a drag piece, a beard, and rocking the pregnant look for the Tony Awards realness, where half the other girls looked like they were going to prom. I kind of understand why she went home for the rapping challenge, especially against Trinity, but even in a forte that wasn’t hers she still rocked it with her funny dancing and great lyrics. I for one, am ready for another tall glass of her.
3. Phi Phi O’Hara
Oh Phi Phi, boy did she come across as the villain. If you took out a lot of the bullshit that happened that season, Phi Phi really was just a serious competitor who took the whole “This isn’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race” thing to a level that bothered the millions of people who watched it. On the contrary, she really dominated in every challenge that she was given and was really only in the bottom two with Sharon that week as a fake out to get Willam off the show. For all the haters that said she didn’t deserve to be in the top three… take a closer look on that season. She really did.
2. Pandora Boxx
For all the people that got mad at me for not including Pandora in the other Top 10 article, there was a reason why. I was saving her for this. Yes, she was a great competitor in season 2, but was overshadowed a lot in challenges that she should’ve won in. It is still a toss up to this day about who should’ve won Snatch Game, however her version of Carol Channing is still one of the best the show has ever had, and much better than my homegirl Bob did the other night. The fashion was a bit off, but made her stand out I think in a positive light as she took that criticism and came back to All Stars with a new confidence and sense of fashion that made other legendary queens like Latrice Royale notice upon arrival to the werk room.
- Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Shangela was hella underrated for so many reasons by her fellow competitors in season 3, that it made them bringing her back so much more special because she sort of was the original Adore Delano in seeing a queen blossom from newbie to graduate in drag by the time she was ousted in the top 5. For Season 2, we barely got to see her as she was out the first episode, however her charm, personality and humor got her very far in Season 3, and she was able to take down half of the Heathers while defending herself and her drag each and every episode. She brought a huge amount of life to S3 that should not go unnoticed.
What do you think about this list? Is there anyone I missed?