Millions of us have tuned into RuPaul’s Drag Race for a variety of reasons. The amazing queens, fashions and lip syncs are just some of the things we love about this Emmy-winning series that has been a phenomenal hit for over a decade now.
Another part of the formula that has made this program so beloved is the A-list stars who show up and show out during their time as a guest judge.
Mainstay judges RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Ross Mathews, Merle Ginsberg and Santino Rice have excelled in their own hilarious chit chat and funny one-liners about the queens on the runway over the years. Throw in a fabulous guest judge who can go toe to toe with them and you have an irresistible combination that fans can’t get enough of in each episode.
Take a look at our picks for the 10 best guest judges to ever appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race ahead of its 13th season premiering on January 1.
Sheryl Lee Ralph: Season 6, Episode 3. The OG Dreamgirl made our jaws drop when she said the following to Trinity K. Bonet in a very serious manner: “Put a cork in it!” Turns out she was just trying to help with her speech issues but it was still a memorable moment from arguably the best season Drag Race has ever had.
Joel McHale: Season 11, Episode 4. You’d think Tiffany “New York” Pollard would be worth mentioning on this list but surprisingly Joel McHale was the one who stole all the thunder from her. The former Community star’s interesting judging antics bugged the living hell out of Michelle Visage which was truly hysterical to witness.
Johnny Weir: Season 3, Episode 9. The decorated Olympian got a little action when Carmen Carrera kissed him on the lips during her lip sync against Yara Sofia. Carmen also went all NSFW on us when she stripped naked against eventual winner Raja in their lip sync battle to Paula Abdul‘s “Straight Up”.
Leslie Jones: Season 12, Episode 4. Let’s face it, Leslie Jones was practically all of us if we got the opportunity to be a Drag Race guest judge. She left Ru and co in stitches with her ridiculously funny commentary before and during the runway presentations that had fans petitioning for her to become a permanent fixture on the beloved show.
Leah Remini: Season 6, Episode 7. The King of Queens star’s argument with Michelle Visage over how much of a hoe Trinity K. Bonet was in one of the challenges was one for the record books. It was all in fun of course but still funny to watch as we rarely see the guest judges get into it with one of the mainstays.
Lady Gaga: Season 9, Episode 1. I mean, what a way to kick off a season! Gaga first tricked the s9 cast into believing she was one of their competitors before they figured s**t out and lost their minds in the process. She also spent a lot of extra time with the queens in Untucked and gave them fantastic advice about their Gaga-inspired ensembles all while behaving in a grounded and fabulous manner.
Aubrey Plaza: All Stars 2, Episode 7. Aubrey’s deliciously awkward persona provided a ton of comic relief during an episode that was very emotional (it was the family makeover challenge). “This is the best day of my life. I’m killing myself tomorrow,” she quipped in a hilarious yet morbid manner after Ru introduced her.
Aubrey O’Day: Season 5, Episode 8. Aubrey took her job seriously. A little too seriously for some as she went in on a lot of the queens for their signature fragrances commercials with an IDGAF kind of attitude. She did, however, bring on the laughs on the sidelines while they were filming which left Michelle Visage giggling alongside of her.
Tamar Braxton: Season 7, Episode 7. Tamar was getting her life big time during her first appearance on Drag Race when she and Michael Urie took part in the show’s biggest episode of each season… Snatch Game. She could not stop laughing with all the memorable jokes being dished out from Little Richard (Kennedy Davenport) and Adele (Ginger Minj).
Nicki Minaj: Season 12, Episode 1. Nicki, just like Gaga, was really immersed in each of the queen’s while appearing on the show. The “Super Bass” rapper was engaged throughout, gave fantastic feedback about their rapping and fashion skills and generally looked like she was having a great time. Also her reactions during Widow Von Du and Gigi Goode‘s lip sync were beyond meme-worthy.