RuPaul’s Drag Race is about to crown its latest winner with Gigi Goode, Crystal Methyd or Jaida Essence Hall taking home the coveted crown. The Emmy-winning series has come a long way from its blurry camera, small stage, low budget kind of look that it had when it began way back in 2009. It’s now a pop culture phenomenon with no signs of slowing down any time soon. Die hard fans of the show have debated about a zillion different topics that have happened within it. One of those centers on which seasons were the absolute best, the somewhat meh, and the ones we never want to watch ever again.
What makes one season better than the other? Is it the casting of some of the most legendary queens? The hilarious and emotional challenges? How the group gelled with one another? Did it produce the right winner? There are many different factors that come into play when determining this kind of list.
So, without further ado, here is my ranking of all the Drag Race seasons ranked worst to best including All Stars, henny.
16: All Stars 1. Winner: Chad Michaels. Runner Up: Raven.
It’s such a shame that I had to rank this last given how great the cast was. The debut All Stars season should’ve been iconic given that this group had everyone from Latrice Royale to Jujubee to Pandora Boxx in it but there was one thing in the way that f**ked it up: the duo twist. Putting the queens in duos didn’t allow them to show off their individual talents at all as they largely had to rely on each other to make it to the next round. Did anything meme-worthy or memorable happen while this was airing? No. It was a rushed mess that barely any fan looks back on from a positive point of view.
15: Season 7. Winner: Violet Chachki. Runners Up: Pearl & Ginger Minj.
There were many reasons why this was a bust. One: it followed season six (more of that to come) so they needed to bring that same sort of vibrant energy which never happened. Two: this group just didn’t seem to mesh well with one another and the vibe was largely negative (that last Untucked with the final four was painful to watch). Three: a lot of the comedy queens who had major potential went home way too early (Trixie Mattel, Mrs. Kasha Davis, Tempest Dujour) and the one we wanted to really win got kicked off in the final 5 (Katya). On the flip side a lot of these queens have done very well individually post-show. But as a collective, meh.
14: Season 11. Winner: Yvie Oddly. Runner Up: Brooke Lynn Hytes.
The combativeness of these girls mixed with lackluster challenges and somewhat boring lip syncs make this an easy choice to put towards the bottom. Sure, Yvie was a unique talent that we really never saw on Drag Race before but that was sort of overshadowed with the fact that she got into sooooo many arguments with her competitors. It’s fun to see the shady side of the queens but it was uncomfortable to watch them scream at each other in such a nasty way after a while. Still, there were some lovable people in this group like Yvie and runner up Brooke as well as the delightful Shuga Cain, Nina West and Plastique Tiara.
13: All Stars 4. Winners: Monet X Change & Trinity The Tuck. Runners Up: Monique Heart, Naomi Smalls.
The lip sync for your legacy concept that began in AS2 grew tiresome two seasons later. I don’t know, this just wasn’t too much fun to watch. Gia Gunn being unnecessarily shady towards Farrah Moan, Latrice Royale getting the villain edit for whatever reason that may be and having two winners in the end where only one should’ve been crowned (leaving that open to interpretation) were just a couple of reasons why I don’t think this is worth a 2nd watch. Because you’re left kind of feeling nothing after its over.
12: Season 8. Winner: Bob The Drag Queen. Runners Up: Kim Chi & Naomi Smalls.
Was this entertaining to watch? Yes. A good group of girls? Absolutely. Here’s why this is ranked so low: we knew from the beginning that Bob was going to win. Bob was an unstoppable force who made it virtually impossible for anyone else to score the crown in the end. That’s not really a bad thing as it shows how talented she really is, but it was sort of pointless to watch as you knew what the outcome would be. Also only having 12 competitors to fit with the whole 100 episodes, 100 queens thing robbed us of a longer season that could’ve made it that much more interesting.
11: Season 1. Winner: Bebe Zahara Benet. Runner Up: Nina Flowers.
This had to start somewhere. Season 1 looks like a completely different show compared to what it is now but it laid the foundation for all the good times to come. There was also a ton of memorable contestants that are still beloved today including Ongina (my winner) who will FINALLY be competing on the new season of All Stars.
10: Season 9. Winner: Sasha Velour. Runner Up: Peppermint.
Season 9 produced an amazing winner in Sasha, someone who’s creative vision was something to really admire as the show progressed. She also gave us one of the biggest moments in Drag Race history with the rose petal extravaganza during her lip sync for the crown against bestie (and likely winner) Shea Coulee. It was just a pretty dull season before that with not much drama seen throughout minus the Valentina mask scandal.
9: Season 12. Winner: TBD. Runners Up: TBD.
The Sherry Pie drama aside, this was a fun season to watch. Many of us were drawn in during the premiere where we fell in love with the first seven contestants, their backstories, the way they rapped to their verse on “I’m That B**ch” and so much more (not to mention Nicki Minaj being an amazing guest judge). To be honest I think any of the final three would make a great winner as they each have something very special to offer the world. I only have one other thing to say: Heidi for Miss Congeniality.
8: All Stars 3. Winner: Trixie Mattel. Runner Up: Kennedy Davenport.
The 3rd season of All Stars was fun to watch even though it was a bit of a hodgepodge kind of situation with this group compared to the one before it. This would’ve ranked much higher if the freaking eliminated queens did a better job at picking the final two which SHOULD’VE BEEN Trixie and Shangela with the latter winning. Actually it should’ve been Shangela and BenDeLaCreme but we all know how that turned out.
7: Season 10. Winner: Aquaria. Runners Up: Eureka & Kameron Michaels.
Season 10 was fascinating because anyone from the final six could have won. It was such a satisfying group of contestants to watch from start to finish and even though I wasn’t 100 percent thrilled with Aquaria winning the title I understood why she did. She was able to breakthrough being just fashion-forward and pretty and actually proved that she had other talents inside her (see: her Melania Trump impression during Snatch Game).
6: Season 2. Winner: Tyra Sanchez. Runner Up: Raven.
There is still this ridiculous debate in the Drag Race fanbase about the authenticity behind Tyra’s win. Guess what? She deserved it. Her presence on the show, albeit rude at points, did not stop the Atlanta-based queen from keeping her eye on the prize and being the first competitor to win with that common reality mind set of “I’m not here to make friends”. Can’t fault her for that. Outside of Tyra this was a fun bunch to tune into that included the beginnings of a superstar in the making named Shangela.
5: Season 3. Winner: Raja. Runner Up: Manila Luzon.
Some of the best fashions and contestants came from season 3. This was when the show was really starting to hit its stride and the juicy looks, drama, and entertainment that each of these girls provided helped with that point tremendously. Raja, in my opinion, remains the best model the show has ever seen from a runway perspective and it was enjoyable to see her and the “Heathers” take on the “Boogers” each episode.
4: Season 5. Winner: Jinkx Monsoon. Runners Up: Alaska & Roxxxy Andrews.
These queens didn’t give a f**k and we ate it up. They called you out no matter what the circumstance and did it in the most eye-catching of ways. Jinkx had the most satisfying victory ever given that she was pretty much bullied along the way. And let’s not forget the most meme-worthy contestant of all time, Alyssa Edwards, and her seemingly endless and confusing battle with fremeny Coco Montrese. BACKROLLS?
3: Season 4. Winner: Sharon Needles. Runners Up: Chad Michaels & Phi Phi O’Hara.
The one that put this show on the map. Oh my god everything about season 4 was amazing. You had the show’s first ever rivalry in Sharon and Phi Phi. We were introduced to mega-talents in Willam, Latrice and Jiggly Caliente. The Untucked drama was just as good as the stuff going on in the werk room. And Sharon being the first non-traditional drag queen to win just made this season one I could watch over and over again.
2: All Stars 2. Winner: Alaska. Runners Up: Detox & Katya.
So much fun. The producers got it right with All Stars 2 by introducing an amazing concept where the queens sent each other home. This led to their sisterhood with one another cracking at many times with tensions continuing to rise as the end neared. Alaska’s mental breakdown, Tatianna’s triumphant return (both in the beginning and during the show), Adore Delano quitting episode two and so much more make this the best AS season so far and almost the best season overall.
1: Season 6. Winner: Bianca Del Rio. Runners Up: Adore Delano & Courtney Act.
Nothing will ever top this season. Seriously. Everything about it worked. The best group, the best final three, the best challenges, and ultimately the best and arguably most successful queen to ever win. No “BALONEY” here. Just straight facts.