RuPaul’s Drag Race has become a phenomenon of epic proportions in the gay community, serving us sickening looks and gag-worthy moments since its debut in 2009. Here are our 10 most fiercest, most shocking moments that left us with our wigs snatched, hunty.
10. Violet Chachki’s Teeny-Tiny Cinched Waist
In the “Death Becomes Her” challenge of season 7, Violet used her notoriously trim waist to her advantage. All 18 inches of it. In a sickening look that received literal gasps from RuPaul herself, Violet cinched her waist so tight she was serving numb-from-the-waist-down realness. Although she lost the challenge to Katya’s shark leg look, the outfit is legendary and will no doubt go down in herstory as one of the most wheeze-worthy – albeit most dangerous – looks ever on the runway.
9. Tyra’s win over Raven
Everyone knew unforgettable fashionista Tyra Sanchez was a shoo-in for top three, maybe even top two. But everyone thought fan favourite and queen of all things dark and beautiful, Raven, was the definitive winner of season 2. Needless to say, fans were as gagged as Tyra was when she was crowned the winner. Not only was their lip sync finale one of the most neck-to-neck, nail-biting sequences of the show’s herstory, I think I speak for everyone when I say Tyra’s breathless breakdown was literally the reaction of all of us watching. Same, Miss Thang. Same.
8. Ongina’s HIV Status
Season one was a season of remarkable firsts, for obvious reasons. But one – if not the – stand-out moment from the freshmen run of RuPaul’s Drag Race was Ongina bravely announcing and embracing her status as HIV positive after winning the Mac Viva-Glam challenge. Even today in 2017 it’s still quite taboo to talk about the subject, can you imagine the absolute courage it must have taken for Ongina to do it in 2009? She paved the way for queens further down the line to open up and talk freely about it, such as Trinity K. Bonet, as well as creating a safe, loving space and opening up the conversation for transgender drag queens Sonique, Carmen Carrera, Monica Beverly Hillz and the first trans finalist Peppermint.
7. Adore Delano Willingly Dropping out of All Stars 2
Many fans don’t know about the RuPaul spin-off All Stars show that brings back past legendary queens to compete in an uber-intense race to be in the Drag Hall of Fame. Adore had the briefest of brief appearances on its second season. After some extremely harsh criticism on the first day, Adore was shaken and immediately brought back to all the insecurities she felt when originally competing in season 6. In her words, she felt like she had to keep proving her drag was meaningful after so many years and although she expressed remorse over her decision on the reunion it’s still tough to watch her admit to Ru that she wants to go home. It’s also heartbreaking knowing how talented Adore is and how far she could have potentially gone.
6. Bianca Del Rio as Judge Judy
While this selection isn’t shocking per se, notorious insult comedy queen Bianca Del Rio slayed as Judge Judy on the season 6 Snatch Game. From her eerily accurate makeup to her impossibly snappy Judy comebacks, Bianca gave the performance Michelle Visage – among many – had been dying to see. After all, Judge Judy had never been done before and as one of Ru’s faves, it was just a matter of time. Well, Bianca certainly did raise the bar for anyone who dares to follow her act. If her standup and her consistent reads were anything to go by, Bianca was probably the only queen who could have served it like she did. Piping hot.
5. The Season 8 Lip Sync Finale Extravaganza
Season 8 brought us Bob The Drag Queen, appropriately titled, Naomi Smalls, also known as The Legs, and Kim Chi, makeup creative extraordinaire. These three went on to be the top contestants of their season, packing back-to-back lip syncs of original songs with choreographed performances that left the crowd roaring in the finale. Kim Chi proved dancing during a lip sync is overrated with her killer “Fat, Fem & Asian” lip sync. She wore a gorgeously gargantuan gown, while the men around her swayed with claws, and looked elegant and campy – letting loose at the end with what can only be described as gyrating. Naomi stuck to her guns, or should we say her buns, with her song, “Legs”, encompassing her passion for modelling all the while highlighting her self-appointed best feature. Bob The Drag Queen who (SPOILERS) ended up snatching the crown also snatched our wigs with her song, “I Don’t Like To Show Off”, in which – yep, you guessed it – she showed off in the best possible way. All three performances are available to watch on the Logo YouTube channel.
4. Mimi Imfirst vs. India Farrah
Drag is not, I repeat – not, a contact sport. Whatever was going through Mimi’s mind when she picked up India like some kind of drag wrestler is, to this day, beyond me. Her lip sync was doomed from the start, her shoddy wardrobe was malfunctioning, her dance was uninteresting and India was obviously going to be staying while Mimi was sashaying. Her solution was, apparently, to try to divert all the attention to herself but it only resulted in the judges struggling not to laugh and Ru sending her home for her poor taste and lack of judgement. Picking someone up during a lip sync is a definite no-no, but it will also always one more thing to write in the herstory books.
3. Valentina’s Mask Debacle & The Aftermath
I like to think I’m not alone when I talk about my love-hate relationship with Valentina. The season 9 beauty was effortlessly charming and stunning, quickly winning the judge’s approval with her unflinching ability to dedicate herself to any task and her always on-point runway looks. It was no wonder the fans felt so warmly towards her. Which was why so many were heartbroken when she was sent home for not knowing the words to her lip sync song, she tried to cover it up with her club kid mask and RuPaul ultimately had to stop the lip sync to demand she show her lips. But the truth came out when the reunion aired and fans who, like me, aren’t on the Twitterverse or up to date on their drag social media knowledge found out about the dark side of Valentina. Die-hard fans are no new thing, even to Drag Race. I sipped my tea watching queen after queen attack Valentina for a maelstrom of things; first of, neglecting to defend Alexis Michele or Nina Bo’Nina Brown while her fans incessantly bullied them was something else altogether, then Shea did most certainly not come to play, pulling out receipts the whole reunion, and apparently Farrah’s on-screen friendship with Valentina didn’t last long after the cameras stopped rolling. A black spot was marked on Valentina’s once pristine rep and the latest drag gossip has some more sins to add to her list. Red M and Ms, anyone?
2. Roxxxy’s Double Wig Reveal
If Don’t Pick Up A Fellow Drag Queen is rule number one on the list of things NOT to do during a lip sync, snatching your own wig is a very close second. But Roxxxy Andrews, top three finalists during season 5, proved this rule to be fine on occasion. Her lip sync against Alyssa Edwards is known as one of the most recognisable lip syncs ever to hit the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ru herself was gagged, Michelle whooped and hollered – when was the last time you saw Visage whoop and holler ever? Jaws dropped as Roxxxy revealed her much more hair whip-friendlier wig and rocked out to the song like she was Willow Smith herself, leading both her and Alyssa to be safe.
1. Willam’s Sudden Disqualification
And lastly, Willam’s out of the blue disqualification from the show lands on the number one most shocking spot on this list. Willam was a character who didn’t Rupologize over ANYTHING and her no-explanation sashay away came out of a left field. Fans had to wait until the finale to finally learn that she was breaking the rules and having secret rendezvous meetings with her husband in her hotel room. Ru, of course, couldn’t allow her to continue on in the competition (as fierce as she was) and sent her on her merry way after hurling backstage. I’m a firm believer in Willam at least landing in the top three if she had not been disqualified, a first for the show, but since leaving Willam has gone on to form the drag girl group The AAA Girls with Alaska and Courtney Act, write a book and even have her own talkshow on Fullscreen.
Do you agree with our list? Sound off in the comments below and remember: If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?
Just a Gemini who likes long walks on the beach.