RuPaul’s Drag Race has been bringing us new queens every year ever since 2009. Now in its tenth season, fans still haven’t had enough of RuPaul as she tries to discover the next greatest drag queen to grace her stage. The show has featured notable judges like Michelle Visage, Ross, Mathews, and Carson Kressley who expertly critiques the contestants throughout the competition.
Drag Race has inspired many spin-offs, including RuPaul’s Drag U and RuPaul’s Drag: Race All-Stars, in which former contestants are invited back to compete amongst each other. Heck, there have even been Christmas specials since fans couldn’t help but want more. Drag Race has gone on to win many awards, including three consecutive Emmy’s from 2016 to 2018, as well as a GLAAD Media Award.
Given how long it’s been on the air and how many spin-offs and specials its led to, there are countless queens who’ve stepped up to the competition and wowed us all. There have been tons of gorgeous, creative outfits, fierce walks on the stage, and, of course, a ton of drama thanks to the hilarious and talented contestants featured each season. Keep reading to discover what some of our favorite Drag Race alums have been up to since turning heads on TV.
10 Bob The Drag Queen
Fans will remember Bob the Drag Queen from season eight in 2016 where she won the competition single-handedly. Following her victory (and in the same year), Bob went on to release a single called “Purse First” with DJ Mitch Ferrino. She also collaborated on two singles in 2017: “Yet Another Dig” as well as “Deck A Ho” with Shangela.
Bob went on to air his own TV comedy special, Bob the Drag Queen: Suspiciously Large Woman in 2017, and is was a regular co-host on The Trixie & Katya Show. Last year, Bob announced that he would be hosting a podcast, Sibling Rivalry, on SoundCloud alongside Monet X Change, who was featured on season 10 of Drag Race. He also had a part in Berkeley Rep’s Angels in America from April to July of last year.
9 Kim Chi
Kim Chi instantly became a fan favorite on Drag Race during her time on season eight in 2016, which she eventually won. She was the first Korean-American contestant on the show and—even cooler—the first Korean-American drag queen on TV.
After her time on the show, Kim Chi has launched quite the empire for herself. In 2016 she partnered up with SugarPill Cosmetics to create a line of makeup products, including a donut-scented lipstick. In the same year, she also released a line of emojis aptly called Kimchiji. In 2017, she participated in the “Werq the World” tour, which featured other former contestants, and was featured in 2018’s RuPaul's Drag Race Holi-slay Spectacular.
8 Tyra Sanchez
Tyra Sanchez (aka James Ross IV) is now better known for her bad behavior rather than her professional accolades. The reality star first made waves when she won the second season of Drag Race, making her one of the youngest contestants ever.
And although fame followed her after her victory, it wasn’t for the right reason. In 2015, she responded to a disgruntled fan's tweet by telling her to end her life, to which he refused to apologize. In 2017, she posted a fake obituary about Morgan McMichaels in order to gain attention to her SoundCloud page, which subsequently made Morgan refuse to perform at a booking they were scheduled at.
Finally, in 2018 Tyra introduced a timer with the acronym ‘B.O.O.M’ as well as a timer, causing alarm amongst fan. It led to her being banned from the 2018 RuPaul’s DragCon, since it was considered threatening.
7 Sharon Needles
Sharon Needles (aka Aaron Coady) was the season four winner in 2012 and also made appearances on other Drag Queen specials since.
Since then, she’s been heavily involved in the music scene. In 2013, she released her debut album PG-13, which reached number 186 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her second album, Taxidermy, was released in 2015 along with music videos for the singles “Dracula” and “Hollywoodn’t.” Her third album, Battle Axe, was released in 2017, as was the time she contributed to the Christmas Queens 3 CD.
Sharon is also a huge animal activist. She was the face of a national advertising campaign by PETA to promote veganism.
6 Bianca del Rio
Bianca del Rio (aka Roy Haylock) made history when she became the first Latina contestant to win during 2013's season six. She quickly became a fan favorite thanks to her witty sense of humor.
The reality star has continued to pursue comedy post Drag Race. She’s gone on multiple comedy tours, including The Rolodex of Hate (2014), Not Today Satan (2015–16), and Blame It On Bianca Del Rio (2017–present).
Bianca has also tried her hand at acting. The same year she won the show, she went on to star in an independent film, Hurricane Bianca. She even went on to make a sequel to the movie in 2018 called Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate.
5 Sasha Velour
Sasha Velour (aka Alexander Hedges Steinberg) was the season nine winner in 2017 likely due to her incredible lip-sync performance of “So Emotional” by Whitney Houston.
So what’s this fierce Sasha up to nowadays? Sasha continues to pursue a career in the fashion industry as well as a drag queen. At the 2018 New York Fashion Week, she was among 40 LGBTQ+ models chosen to walk in the opening ceremony. She was also invited to attend Rihanna’s fourth annual Diamond Ball last fall.
If you’re ever in New York, you can catch up with her at “Nightgowns,” the monthly drag show she produces in Brooklyn.
4 Trixie Mattel
Trixie Mattel (aka Brian Michael Firkus) was a contestant on the seventh season of Drag Race and later went on to win the third season of Drag Race: All-Stars.
After her initial appearance on Drag Race, Trixie went on to star in the web series UNHhhh alongside former fellow contestant, Katya Zamolodchikova. The two later went on to star in their own show, The Trixie & Katya Show, which debuted in 2017. The two also starred in a drag adaption of the 1997 film Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion in 2017.
Trixie has also participated in multiple tours, including the “Haters Roast” alongside other Drag Race alums. In April 2018, she began her newest tour “Now with Moving Parts.”
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3 BeBe Zahara Benet
BeBe Zahara Benet (aka Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa) is the original winner of Drag Race after she claimed the crown in season one in 2009. She later came back to star on 2018s Drag Race: All-Stars, where she ultimately placed third.
The reality star went on to release her first two singles in 2010. She also made a cameo in the revamped music video for Erasure’s song A Little Respect the same year as part of a fundraiser for the Harvey Milk Institute. BeBe then released her third single in 2012 and a fourth in 2014.
More recently, BeBe started a Kickstarter page in 2018 to help produce a documentary about her life which she plans on calling Being BeBe.
2 Jinkx Monsoon
Jinkx Monsoon (aka Jerick Hoffer) won the fifth season of Drag Race in 2012. Since then, she’s had an active career in the entertainment industry. In 2013, she played Hedwig in the Moore Theatre’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch as well as Velma Von Tussle in the Seattle Men’s Chorus production of Hairspray.
Jinkx went on to release her first album, called The Inevitable Album, in 2014. Her second album The Ginger Snapped came out in 2018. She also had a role in a 2014 episode of Blue Bloods, and her voice work has been featured on Steven Universe and Mighty Magis world.
1 Katya Zamolodchikova
Katya Zamolodchikova (aka Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova)appeared on the seventh season of Drag Race as well as the second season of DragRace: All-Stars, both of which aired in 2016.
Since then, she’s been active on her YouTube channel where she’s uploaded multiple web series like Drag 101, Total RuCall, and Irregardlessly Trish. In 2015, she participated in the Christmas Queens album and was also featured on former contestant Trixie Mattel’s album Homemade Christmas.
Katya and Trixie used to host the web series UNNhh, which debuted in 2016 (and is still going!) and starred in the Trixie & Katya Show together in 2017. Since 2018, Katya has been a co-host on the podcast Whimsically Volatile.