Almost ten years have passed since the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race premiered back in February of 2009, and what a wonderful and crazy ride the show has experienced since then.
Over the course of ten seasons, RPDR has developed internationally known catch phrases, won several Emmy awards and has put drag on the map in a way that no one truly expected, even RuPaul himself.
Each season has brought something totally different from the rest, which has helped keep this show as one of the most watched and talked about reality competition programs on television to date. Question is: which ones fared better than the others?
Let's break down what RPDR seasons were ultimately the best, and which ones we can delete from our DVR's at this point.
1. Season 6 (2014). To me, this was their pinnacle for so many reasons. The show started gaining steam around season 4, and went full throttle two years later with such a well-liked cast that it was hard to spot the booger among them. You have the greatest winner of all-time (IMHO) in Bianca Del Rio as well as wonderfully executed storylines with Adore Delano, Trinity K. Bonet and BendelaCreme. Overall this is a season I could watch over and over again and never get tired of seeing.
2. Season 4 (2012). Two queens helped solidify this show directly into pop culture ubiquity, and that happened to be the sparring Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O'Hara. Love her or hate her, Phi Phi was polarizing in her efforts to get to the top three, and turned RPDR into its own version of Bad Girls Club with her nonstop fighting with Sharon and Willam. At the same time, Season 4 winner Sharon opened the doors for other types of drag to walk into the werk room for future seasons, inspiring an assortment of other winners and contestants who didn't fit the "pageant" norm that the show was known for in its first three seasons. Also… LATRICE!
3. Season 5 (2013). It wasn't really a shock that half the cast of All Stars 2 were from season 5, as they truly scored themselves some memorable drag queens in Alyssa Edwards, Detox, Alaska, Roxxxy Andrews and Coco Montrese. The storyline of how Jinkx Monsoon became the eventual winner was spellbinding all the way to the very end, and the battle between former friends Alyssa and Coco was confusing but captivating all at the same time. Back rolls?
4. Season 9 (2017). I wasn't too thrilled with this group on the first episode, but boy did they make up for it as the show went on. Eureka's dramatic exit, Valentina's oversized ego and Sasha Velour catapulting herself to an incredible win in the end proved what a "race" this season was, as there were plenty of girls who could've easily scored the W in the end.
5. Season 2 (2010). This was when the show started to mold itself into what it is today, but it took baby steps to get there. Season two was still a bit rocky and basic when it came to the overall execution of it, but it still brought the drama with Tyra Sanchez feuding with practically everyone and the soap opera type battles between Raven and Tatianna. It also introduced us to Shangela, who went home in the first episode but came back in future seasons not once… but twice (and should've won the second time for All Stars 3).
6. Season 8 (2016). It produced a satisfying (and sort of predictable) winner in Bob the Drag Queen, and had some polarizing cast members such as Derrick Barry, but overall this season was the 2nd in a row to not impress the way that the earlier ones did. Them bringing back Naysha Lopez was unbelievably pointless, and the challenges were sort of one-note in helping Bob win (acting and comedy-focused). As Michelle Visage once famously said, "Meh."
7. Season 3 (2011). This was a fun season to watch just for the drama between "The Heathers" versus "The Boogers." In the end, a "Heather" won in Raja (great choice now that I look back at it), but other than that, it was a pretty basic season where the only historic moments really happened in Untucked (Shangela vs. Mimi Imfurst, "Who the f**k is Heather?, etc).
8. Season 1 (2009). The one that started it all. Look, it was what it was. With the Barbara Walters filter, the runway that looked smaller than my actual head size and the fact that several of the queens sort of gave up before the show ended (Tammie Brown, Shannel), made it rough around the edges at first but it needed to happen in order for the show to be where it is today.
9. Season 10 (2018). This season has failed to impress me on multiple angles. The girls just aren't that interesting and we are in a final six where anyone could win but that isn't necessarily a good thing. There hasn't been one queen this season that has stood out from the pack, and the "winner's edit" they are giving Eureka has become a force-fed situation at this point (once again, IMHO).
10. Season 7 (2015). There were so many problems with season seven that its hard to figure out where to begin. First of all, season six was so iconic that trying to follow that up with another group of one-of-a-kind girls was near impossible. The bottom line though was that the final three were just purely unlikable throughout the season, even though each had some wonderful talent that they displayed throughout it all. We all collectively were done with the season once Katya and Trixie Mattel were eliminated, so finale night just seemed like another "meh" situation where Violet Chachki won. Cool.
This 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.