I did a post back in May that ranked all the regular seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race from one to ten. I stand by most of what I wrote, however a dramatic shift has occurred in the Drag Race world since then with the addition of an eleventh season and All Stars 4, which aired back to back after my initial article was posted.
All Stars and the regular seasons of Drag Race are drastically different but spellbinding all at the same time. The former brings a ton of familiarity as we all know and love (or hate) the queens that are competing. The latter illicit a different emotion of intrigue as we really don’t know much about the new queens but are fascinated by their storylines and how they do throughout the show (minus Silky).
It’s hard to believe this show has produced fifteen seasons in ten years and we are still yearning for more. Some seasons have fared better than others for reasons that are pretty obvious. Which one, however, ranked as the all-time best?
Check out my list of the RuPaul’s Drag Race seasons ranked, worst to best.
15. Season 7. Ugh. I’ve come to the conclusion that this flock of girls were much better individually than as a group. The momentum that the previous season gave came to an instant halt the minute Miss Fame walked into the werk room. There was just something off about the energy that this group created, although it did produce several stars that we love and adore to this day (Trixie Mattel, Katya, Ginger Minj).
14. All Stars 1. It was bad. So bad. Horrifically bad. The duo twisted screwed these legendary queens over and the challenges were weak and pathetic. I still get frustrated thinking about what could’ve really been if they did these girls justice and had them compete individually.
13. Season 11. I think it’s pretty fair to say that season 11 has been a hot ass mess for so many reasons. Several girls went home when they shouldn’t have (Nina West,Shuga Cain, Scarlet Envy) and we’ve had to endure the never ending Silky Nutmeg Ganache show. The Chicago queen has basically wrecked this season with her over-the-top attitude, selfishness and never admitting fault even though Stevie Wonder can see it.
12. All Stars 4. I put AS4 so low because it was Drag Race overhaul at that point. We just finished season 10 and had All Stars 3 right before that. Many of the queens who competed weren’t developed enough to be an All Star just yet IMO (Monique Heart, Farrah Moan) and the only thing that was really sickening were the amazing fashions that hit the runway.
11. Season 8. It was a fun group with a very predictable (yet likable) winner in Bob The Drag Queen. Fans kind of knew it was his game to lose from the beginning… and they were right. It was also a very short season with a smaller amount of girls (12 compared to 14) that went very quickly with little to remember from it.
10. Season 1. It had to start somewhere, right? The original format wouldn’t work whatsoever today. Fans would be bored. The initial cast was pretty entertaining for the most part (Nina Flowers,Ongina, Shannel) on a season that was basic beyond belief (the runway alone looked smaller than my apartment).
9. All Stars 3. The bogus twist in the end is why this season is so damn low. It produced a ton of great drama between the ten queens competing that ended with a controversial winner inTrixie Mattel. We all damn well knew it should’ve been Shangela, and the gag of the eliminated queens determining the final two over Ru was egg on the producer’s faces. Yes, I’m still mad.
8. Season 10. This falls in the middle of the pack for me as it wasn’t horrific but not amazing. Aquaria was a fashion phenomenon that also surprisingly brought it in the humor department. We also fell in love with so many other queens like Monet X Change and Miz Cracker. Not sure though if we will look back on this season as immensely memorable a decade or even five years from now, as there weren’t any stellar moments that stand out in my head in the present day.
7. Season 3. Raja was a great winner and Shangela was a fabulous returnee. Outside of the Heathers vs. Boogers drama there really wasn’t much else that made this season that amazing… besides Stacyy Layne Matthews as Mo’Nique in Snatch Game. Yas, henny!
6. Season 9. What I liked most about season 9 was its final four. Their journeys getting there was very inspiring and it was the first season where you really couldn’t figure out who the clear winner was.Shea Coulee was robbed in the lip sync for the crown format, but I’m perfectly happy with Sasha Velour winning over her in the end.
5. Season 2. The drama was nothing short of freaking delicious but had a captivating part to it that the recent seasons don’t seem to grasp. The arguing between Tyra Sanchez and pretty much everyone, Raven and Tatianna and Morgan McMichaels and Mystique Summers Madison was juicy and amazing to watch. That, plus their irresistible personalities (Jessica Wild, Jujubee, Pandora Boxx) ultimately helped make this show what it is today.
4. Season 5. Loved this group. Loved Jinkx Monsoon’s underdog storyline against RoLaskaTox. Loved Alaska finally getting her recognition after trying out for the show for five straight years. It was enjoyable to watch from beginning to end and is one I check in on every once in a while.
3. Season 4. The drama between Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O’Hara is legendary. Phi Phi also battling Willam was hilarious to watch. This was such a well done season that gave us Drag Race’s first winner that didn’t reek of elegance. I wholeheartedly think Sharon is a big reason why the show is such a success today, as so many of its fans see themselves in her.
2. All Stars 2. The producers righted the wrong they did inAS1 and gave us an insatiable group of girls who came ready to win the crown. There were so many amazing moments that happened including Adore Delano quitting, Alyssa Edwards getting ru-venge on Phi Phi and Alaska’s triumphant win in the end. It also gave queens like Tatianna a chance to reintroduce themselves to a fan base that didn’t watch the earlier seasons of the show.
1. Season 6. The best damn season this show will ever see, hands down. No boogers or villains, the best winner ever in Bianca Del Rio and fabulous storylines with Adore, BenDeLaCreme and many more. This was their peak before it all started to go a bit downhill.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.