RuPaul’s Drag Race has gone from being an obscure show only known by a few people in the LGBT+ community to being a phenomenon worldwide. With 10 regular seasons and four seasons of All-Stars, there have been dozens of drag queens featured on the show. While everyone has their own personal favorites, there are certain queens that have proven they have the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to stay popular and creative. Some of the best queens haven’t won their seasons but have remained just as popular anyway. Meanwhile, some of the worst queens got pretty far on their respected seasons whether they should have or not. Regardless, here are five of the best (and five of the worst).
10. Best: Katya (Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova)
Katya has always been a fan-favorite. Her weird personality and iconic looks have allowed her to stand out from the crowd. Although she didn’t win her season, she did get runner-up in All-Stars 2. She has also gone on to have her very own Funko Pop! doll and received a lot of success with her web series turned Viceland show, The Trixie & Katya Show. Katya is a talented queen who just has that IT factor that fans are drawn to, and she will likely always be one of the best-known celebrities from the series.
9. Worst: Alexis Michelle
Not all of the queens that go on the show can be winners. While most of the queens will never get a crown, many others still get a lot of fame and other opportunities. On the other hand, some queens just don’t have quite the talent or star factor to keep people engaged. Alexis Michelle might have gotten sixth place in season nine, but she’s not regarded as one of the better queens to ever pop up on the show. She definitely thought she was more talented than she was and spent a lot of time whining instead of improving. Overall, she just wasn’t very memorable.
8. Best: Shangela
Shangela might not have started out as one of the most talented queens on RPDR, but she slowly gained her way to fame and into the hearts of many viewers. While she came in last during season one and sixth in season three, she was a runner-up in All-Stars 3. Many people rightfully feel like Shangela was robbed of her win and that she should have gotten that All-Stars crown over Trixie Mattel. Many felt the show was rigged to give Trixie the win even though Shangela had out-performed her. While Shangela might not have won, she is clearly an extremely hard-working—shady, yet likable—queen who we won’t soon forget about.
7. Worst: Joslyn Fox
Poor Joslyn Fox just didn’t quite have the drag queen skills needed to make her mark, “wonk, wonk!”. While she might have gotten sixth place on season six, she likely should have been eliminated much earlier. Her personality might have been fun, but her runway looks weren’t impressive and often looked rather cheap. She also didn’t have any skills to write home about related to comedy, acting, or performing. Overall, she definitely needed to hone in on her drag abilities a lot more to hold her own with other queens.
6. Best: Bianca Del Rio
Bianca Del Rio was a delight to watch on season six from her very first appearance. She is known for her comedy and insightful ability to throw the meanest shade, but, on top of that, she also had a really big heart and would help out other queens throughout her season. It’s no wonder that Bianca got the crown. She was poised, put-together, and experienced. Her comedy, as well as distinct style, never faltered. Del Rio's iconic moment as Judge Judy on Snatch Game will always be a memorable moment for fans. We love this shady queen with a big heart!
5. Worst: Milk
While Milk might have made it onto All-Stars 3, it’s hard to see why. Part of what makes a drag queen the worst is their personality and how they treat other people. Milk spent most of her time on All-Stars 3 complaining and not understanding why she wasn’t a top look. She was consistently resistant to taking any constructive feedback and seemed to think she was better than everybody else just because she was good-looking. There is a lot more to being a great drag queen than just being pretty, and Milk is proof of this.
4. Best: Adore Delano
Adore Delano might not have been the most polished queen by far, but she definitely has a star quality that makes fans love her. Delano also appeared on an early season of American Idol, and it’s clear she has singing chops. Along with that, she’s pretty funny and commands a room with her weirdness and pop-star likability. While she was a runner-up in season six, she didn’t get too far in All-Stars 2, opting to leave the show after saying she didn't think her drag was right for it when Michelle Visage gave her harsh critique. However, she continues to have success with her singing career and will always be remembered as a queen who has a very Kesha-esque quality that you just can’t help but love to watch.
3. Worst: Kelly Mantle
Kelly Mantle was one of the more experienced queens going into season six. So many people were quite surprised when she was the first queen eliminated that season. Kelly Mantle will always best be known for the dress she made that looked like it had bacon wrapped around her chest. Maybe it was just a bad week for Mantle, but her make-up skills seemed subpar along with her eye for fashion being such a hot mess. She possibly just needed more time to get into her groove, but from what we saw, she just wasn’t on the same level as the other queens.
2. Best: Alaska ThunderF**k
Alaska Thunderf**k won All-Stars 2, and while she might be known for being a bit snake-like at times, there is no denying that she has got talent. There were a lot of skilled queens on All-Stars 2, but Alaska’s weirdness combined with her skills in areas such as lip-syncing and strange fashion (like that one time she painted herself blue) got her the win. Alaska is definitely one of the best-known drag queens to come out of RuPaul's Drag Race, and we are sure she will continue to have many fans as her career continues.
1. Worst: Jaymes Mansfield
Jaymes Mansfield is definitely known for being one of the least-prepared queens of all time on RuPaul's Drag Race. The judges and fans noted that her drag looks seemed unrefined and like they had been gathered from a dollar store bin — and not in a creative way. She was the first eliminated on her season, and it’s probably for the best as she seemed woefully unready. Her appearance and performance on the show left many asking how she even made it on in the first place.