The art of reading is a quintessential part of being a drag queen. Not only is it fundamentally important to be able to throw a read, a good queen is able to take the comments with a grain of salt and not let them tear them apart emotionally. It’s just drag.
Reading shouldn’t be confused for shade, where you deliberately insult in an underhanded way. It’s subtle, but it is meant to offend or deconstruct your character while reading can be harmless and used to size up your competition.
If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you might agree that one of the best challenges on the show is the reading challenge when each queen takes a turn at reading their fellow competitors to filth. From commenting on their talent to their outfits to their image, the queens are out for blood when the library is open!
Over that last 10 seasons of Drag Race and now 4 seasons of All Stars, over 100 queens have put on their reading glasses and served cold hard reads. Some have flopped, but some of the best and most memorable ones snatched our wigs, left us gagging, killed us, and resurrected us from the grave.
You might have gone on a YouTube frenzy searching for all the best reads in Drag Race herstory and you’d never be able to find all the reads or the ones you remember the most.
But now, thanks to VH1, a compilation of EVERY SINGLE reading challenge since Season One of Drag Race has been created.
Below are all the reading challenges to day in 3 parts, including and extended version of the most recent reading challenge from RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 4.
Who was the best queen to read the house down?