Over the course of RuPaul’s Drag Race, we’ve seen a wide variety of queens grace our screens. The show does its best to be inclusive (despite some controversial comments RuPaul herself made lately about allowing trans women to participate) and you’re guaranteed to see people of all colors, sizes, and drag personas compete for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.
Just like any reality show, there are also a lot of people who are clearly there to start some drama.
You wouldn’t have good reality television if people just got along all the time -- so even though it might drive the other contestants up the wall, there will always be a few queens who delight in causing trouble.
On the other side, there are have been plenty of queens on the show that showcase their winning personalities.
These are the ones that help out their fellow contestants during sewing challenges when someone clearly doesn’t know their way around a mannequin, or the people who do their best to help reimagine what drag can look like.
For this list, we’re rounding up eleven of our favorite Drag Race sweethearts -- along with ten who are anything but.
We’ll just be sticking with their behavior on the show, unless they’ve done something super shocking outside of it that definitely needs to be included. How nice they are to fans when they meet IRL or how shady they are on Twitter doesn’t have any impact on this list.
Ready? Here are the 11 RuPaul Queens Who Are Legitimate Sweethearts (And 10 Who Aren’t).
21 Sweetheart: Aja
Aja is one of the youngest queens to compete on the show, slightly older than Blair St. Claire at 24. She competed on season nine of Drag Race as well as season three of All-Stars, where she finished in ninth and seventh place.
She might be young, but she’s already started her own house and become drag mother to four daughters: Dahlia Sin, Kandy Muse, MoMo Shade and Janelle No. 5. She’s also been supportive of the other queens on the show, even though they’re her competition.
When Jaymes Mansfield was sent home, she left her a note with her phone number telling her how amazing she was and invited her to get in touch any time.
When she was eliminated herself, she even gave some of her clothes to Nina.
She’s really won over the fandom since appearing on All-Stars, even though she had some good moments in her first season. She’s a fan favorite for her fashion, talent on the runway, quotable moments, and that fantastic All-Stars rudemption. A true queen.
Is there a way to bring her back again even though she was already brought back for All-Stars season 3?
20 Not: Magnolia Crawford
RuPaul’s Drag Race has been a part of pop culture for so long now that it’s hard to remember a time before “Shantay, you stay,” or “Hey, squirrel friend!”
However,casual viewers also might not realize that the show has played a huge part in bringing drag culture into the mainstream conversation. It’s not just fun, it’s groundbreaking.
Because of that, it’s a huge deal to be able to compete on Drag Race, and the competition is fierce before the cameras even start rolling. Most of the queens on the show are grateful to be there and hungry to win. One very notable exception? Ms. Magnolia Crawford.
Magnolia ticked off her fellow contestants early on by complaining about how ugly the materials were that they were given to work with.
(That came back to bite her later, since she was then critiqued for not using enough of the materials. Oop.)
She doubled down as the season went on by openly and repeatedly admitting that she was only competing on Drag Race “for the exposure.”
That wasn’t just insulting to the rest of the queens on her season, it was insulting to the show, too.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, boo.
19 Sweetheart: Blair St. Claire
Seeing this queen go home so soon, especially after losing to one of her good friends on the show, was one of the shockers of the season.
Although 22-year-old Blair St. Clair got her name from Gossip Girl, she’s much nicer than the inspiration for her drag name. On each episode, it was clear that she’s nice, down-to-earth, and a relatable queen.
Not only did she have a fantastically bright personality and charm, along with some fantastic lip sync skills thanks to her love of Broadway, she made sure to encourage people to speak up about fought experiences.
She bravely spoke about her experiences with assault before she was eliminated, which is difficult for anyone to talk about under normal circumstances -- let alone in front of a camera.
Blair never really had issues with anyone her season, and was eliminated in part because the judges thought she was being ‘too quiet’ on her wig panel during a challenge.
Even though she was eliminated by The Vixen, who was obviously close with her on the show, both of them are still good friends and make sure to publicly support one another.
We hope she’ll be brought back somehow so that we can hear more about her dedication to self-love!
18 Not: Shangela
Shangela might not have gotten the villain edit, but she’s still divisive for Drag Race fans. While some people love her dearly, others cringe every time they hear her signature “Halleloo!”-- and trust us, she says that a lot.
She was the very first contestant to come back for multiple seasons, but there’s a lot to be said about whether or not she earned that honor.
She spent most of her first season seemingly competing with herself to be as loud and obnoxious as possible, even by drag standards.
There’s no doubt that she’s a talented queen, but there have been others who have just as much talent and bring way less drama.
However, the worst thing was easily her screaming for joy when her other contestants were eliminated and had to leave.
Let’s be real — Drag Race is a competition, and your competitors have to go home if you’re going to be the one to end up on top. That doesn’t mean you have to rub it in everyone’s faces by shrieking when they’re the one sent home.
Love her or hate her, that makes for a pretty ugly look. Don’t bring that kind of attitude into the werk room. The queens might be competing with one another, but at the end of the day, drag is a community.
17 Sweetheart: Chi Chi DeVayne
If you can get Jennifer Holliday of all people to recognize you and name you an official Dreamgirl, you know you’ve won at life and drag. Chi Chi DeVayne earned that honor when she was a contestant on season eight of Drag Race.
She also came back to compete on season three of All-Stars, like many of the other queens on our list.
Her lip sync of “And I Am Telling You” is one of the most iconic moments of the show, which won her love from a lot of fans.
She had to fight her way to that spot, though -- she wasn’t exactly pegged as a front-runner when she first made her entrance into the werk room, since she entered in a dress literally made of garbage bags.
Her narrative over the course of the season was one of finding herself and being happy in her own skin, something she also encourages fans of Drag Race to do.
She’s close with almost every queen from her season and tries to stay in touch with all of them, as well as encouraging people from small towns to get into drag.
Chi Chi herself is from Shreveport, Louisiana, a long way away from a place like New York or San Francisco.
She doesn’t get ready. She stays ready.
16 Not: Serena ChaCha
On any reality show, contestants have to figure out how they’re going to distinguish themselves from everyone else.
On any season there’s going to be a few fan favorites and a few villains, and no one wants to get the villain edit. So, how do you make yourself stand out?
In Serena’s case, by reminding everyone she went to art school-- loudly and repeatedly.
Serena was the youngest queen of her season at only twenty-one years old, which we would give her a pass for if she didn’t rub it in everyone’s faces at basically every opportunity.
She also thought that she would have an edge over the other girls because of her art school education.
She spent the entire (short) time she was on the season telling the other girls to read more books like she did, telling them about how what she learned in school would help her win the competition, and how her art school environment had given her a specific set of skills. She ended up being eliminated in the second episode of season 5.
By the way, did you know she went to art school? If not, maybe you should read a book or something to get on her level.
15 Sweetheart: LaTrice Royal
The "drag Oprah" is easily one of the biggest sweethearts on the show. LaTrice was originally on season 4 of Drag Race, where she finished in fourth place.
She was later brought back for a season of All-Stars, where she cemented her place as a fan favorite.
She also won fans over with her backstory -- she wasn’t close with her father and had spent some time in jail, but is still relentlessly positive and hilarious. She was crowned Miss Congeniality by fans at the end of season 4.
Don’t get it twisted -- just because she’s nice doesn’t mean she won’t read you for filth.
However, unlike some of her fellow queens, where the audience could tell that they were dragging each other out of spite, you could tell that LaTrice was just telling people about themselves so that they could do better.
As she said to someone farther down on this list, “Reading is fundamental, but you better learn how to spell first.”
If you watch one episode with her in it, you’re guaranteed to remember her laugh, her sense of style, and the colors she brought to every episode. She is LaTrice Royal, and you will respect.
14 Not: Mimi Imfurst
Drag is many things. It’s a way to express yourself, a way to reject social norms, a beautiful part of queer culture. One thing it is Not is a contact sport. There is one drag queen in particular who didn’t get this memo.
Ahem. Mimi, we are looking at you.
She probably wouldn’t even be on this list if it weren’t for her infamous lip sync battle with India Ferrah. Both of them were up for elimination, so it was time for them to lipsync for their lives.
During the performance, Mimi decided it would be a fantastic idea to pick up India and carry her around the stage. Girl. No.
Needless to say, Mimi was eliminated after that challenge, but how ridiculous that moment was will always live on in Drag Race herstory. It remains a mystery why she somehow thought that was okay to do.
Even before she was eliminated, she had a irritating sense of humor that was obviously grating on some of her fellow drag queens. (We will give her back some points, though, for some truly hilarious looks she pulled off before being eliminated.)
Picking up a fellow competitor was just the last straw.
13 Sweetheart: Trixie Mattel
It’s not often that a contestant is so loved that her elimination causes a social media firestorm. (Most of the time, those social media uprisings are related to drama or spectacular death drops.)
However, when Trixie Mattel was eliminated from season seven, Twitter went into a meltdown and got the hashtag #justicefortrixie trending.
Trixie was loved for her hilarious personality and super unique makeup skills. Her signature look is the subject of many YouTube makeup tutorials.
She was so well-liked that she even won the right to come back a few episodes later, going on to fight her way into the top six of the competition.
Fans of Trixie were in luck, since she also came back for season three of All-Stars. This time, there was no need for a trending hashtag to get her back on the show. She went on to become the winner of that season, cementing her place as a Drag Super Star.
She’s so popular that she’s one of the few queens to have a Pop! Figurine designed after her, and her Instagram followers are through the roof. She doesn’t need to snatch a trophy -- she is the trophy.
12 Sweetheart: BenDeLaCreme
Her nickname isn't "Ben DeLaChrist" for no good reason.
BenDeLaCreme was first introduced on season six of Drag Race. Since then, she's become a favorite of both the show's fans and contestants.
It's easy to see why, considering the way she describes her drag persona is "terminally delightful" and "so positive she could cause death at any moment."
Granted, that did lead some people to call her fake (looking at you, Michelle Visage) but that hasn't stopped fans from totally falling in love with her.
She might have finished in fifth place that season, but she was voted Miss Congeniality by the fans.
Luckily for people obsessed with her over-the-top personality, DeLa came back for season three of All-Stars. This season, DeLa had been one of the top two competitors and pretty much slayed the competition the entire time.
Eventually, she earned the right to bring someone back into the competition and send one of the other queens home after winning a lip-sync battle. The name of who she wanted to send home was written on a tube of lipstick.
Instead of sending home one of her competitors, she revealed that she'd written her own name on the lipstick -- basically sending herself home since she had "nothing left to prove." She also brought back Morgan McMichaels in the same action.
11 Not: Raven
Raven is one of the most well-known queens on Drag Race. She competed on season two of the show, ultimately coming in second place after having the title just barely snatched away.
She then later came back for the second season of All-Stars, where she once again came in second place, this time to Chad Michaels. She clearly landed on her feet, though -- she’s now RuPaul’s makeup artists and one of the most popular queens.
We say all that to make it clear that it’s not her talent that landed her on this side of the list -- she’s obviously an amazing queen.
However, we can probably all agree that sweetheart she is not. Her rivalry with Tatianna showed off her passive-aggressive side, and sometimes it seemed like she was way too cold towards the younger queen.
It’s also hard to walk the line of knowing your talent and blatantly coming off as thinking that you’re better than everyone else -- and Raven usually fell on the wrong side of the line.
We love shade on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but you’ve got to keep it cute. Knowing how to throw shade without coming across as too mean or rude is hard to do, but as another queen below has said, it’s a fundamental skill.
10 Sweetheart: Katya
We were lucky enough to get a double dose of Katya. Not only was she a contestant on the seventh season of Drag Race, she also came back for the second season of All-Stars, where she was the runner up to her friend Alaska.
There’s no doubt she was invited back for All-Stars partially because she was such a star on season seven.
While she was on season seven, she was the glue of the challenge groups she was in, helped by how genuinely hilarious she is.
As she says, Katya is “right at the intersection between glamor and comedy.” (She’s also especially good at embodying her persona — she often tricks people into thinking she’s actually Russian.)
She made a lot of friends during both seasons she appeared on. Her fantastic personality led to her season seven elimination being super controversial, since she was such a fan favorite.
At the reunion later on, fans voted her Miss Congeniality. Along with other queens on this list, she’s considered one of the all-time stars of drag.
From her runway looks to her acting, she captivated both her audience and her fellow queens. Well-deserved, Katya. Party.
9 Not: Laganja Estranja
One would think that Laganja’s love of the devil's lettuce would have helped her to chill out a bit during her season. You’d be wrong, though — her drag persona was pretty loud. (Though she did also give us one of the most iconic entrances in Drag Race herstory, so we’re grateful for that.)
Maybe it’s because she was new to drag — she’d only been performing in drag for a year by the time she made it into season six — but her personality proved to be a bit too much for her fellow competitors.
Instead of believing that she genuinely was happy and bubbly all the time, she was called out and accused of being fake for the cameras.
Adding insult to injury was the fact that she was called out by one of her own friends/friendly rivals, Adore Delano.
When even one of the nicest people on your season takes the time to call you out on what she feels is your foolishness, you might want to reevaluate what you’re doing.
She’s since figured out who she wants to be while in drag, though, and has made sure to redeem herself and her bubbly alter ego.
8 Sweetheart: Sasha Velour
Don't judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a Drag Race contestant on her entrance.
If you only had Sasha Velour’s creepy (and slightly off-putting) entrance to go off of, you probably wouldn’t guess that she’d go on to be one of the stars and sweethearts of the show.
The Gothic queen proved that spooky drag can succeed, too. She definitely stood out during her season, eventually going on to win season 9 and claim the crown.
Sasha Velour appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race in season 9.
While she was on the show, she was usually praised for being the “Future of Drag.” She didn’t earn that title just for the spooky aesthetic, even though it helped.
She was super talented, knocked every category out of the water, and helped bring about a different idea of what drag can look like.
Sasha is known for being an eccentric artist. She produced "Nightgowns" in 2015, which is a monthly drag show that takes place in her hometown of Brooklyn. She has also appeared in various publications, such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Billboard.
7 Not: Willam
Willam would have made this list for his personality alone. Who can forget the scene where he started fake crying when he was declared safe, only to turn around and say that he was only sad for his fellow competitors because they were guaranteed to lose?
All queens are confident, but Willam was definitely self-assured to the point of getting on people’s nerves.
He never gave the attitude a rest. While some people probably found his sense of humor hilarious, it grated on others. Drag Race is hard work, but it’s also supposed to be fun.
Being catty doesn’t look good on anyone, and it’s especially not a good look when you’re in close quarters with other people for weeks.
It turned out that the other competitors on his season got the last laugh, because — surprise! — Willam didn’t end up winning.
He was actually kicked off the show for knowingly breaking the rules, even though he’d been performing well up until then. Drag Race has rules for a reason, and if you can’t follow them, you’ve got to go.
Since then, he’s even had some ill-advised, public fights with the queen herself, RuPaul. Yikes.
6 Sweetheart: Adore Delano
We adore Adore, but honestly, who doesn’t?
Even if you don’t watch Drag Race, you might recognize Adore as Danny Noriega. Before they were on Drag Race, Noriega was a contestant on American Idol.
Whether or not this gave them an edge in lip sync competitions once they got to Drag Race is definitely up for debate.
Adore was a season six finalist and also came back for the second season of All-Stars. On both shows, she was one of the best people to watch. Don’t be fooled by her last name, which she apparently got from looking up demonic child names. Adore Delano is one of the sweetest queens on the show.
You could count on her for a funny quip or slightly shady aside, but she didn’t directly attack people like some of the other queens that season.
Instead, she made friends with basically everyone, and even still keeps in touch with some of them. She’s said that she’s in a group text with Bianca Del Rio, Courtney Act, and Darienne Lake where they talk all the time.
Adore is the first queen to leave Drag Race by choice after leaving her season of All-Stars. It’s a testament to her personality that she’s still mainly remembered for having such a sweet persona and not leaving the show.
5 Not: Jasmine Masters
Ah, Jasmine. She didn’t get the villain edit like some of the others on our list, but she definitely made up for it by making sure she told everyone what she was thinking. With zero filter whatsoever.
Jasmine competed on season 7 of Drag Race and was eliminated pretty early on, finishing in twelfth place overall.
In the episodes that she was on, though, she made so many negative comments about her fellow contestants that fans turned against her. (And many of the fans took their dislike way too far, forcing Mama Ru to step in and tell them to cut it out.)
This probably should have gained Jasmine some sympathy, since no one deserves to be cyber-bullied.
However, even after she was eliminated from the show, she continued critiquing both the show itself and the contestants.
She uploaded videos to her YouTube channel ranting about how RuPaul’s Drag Race ruined drag and detailing her issues with the season 9 contestants.
She’s become a meme queen in the process — the picture above has probably been used as a reaction photo or GIF on Twitter thousands of times.
At least if she couldn’t take home the Drag Race crown, she can easily take the meme crown. No tea, no shade, no pink lemonade.
4 Sweetheart: Kim Chi
Kim Chi might have been the runner-up of season eight, losing out to another queen on our list, but she definitely stole the hearts of the audience with her humor and personality.
Not only is she super talented -- obviously, since she made it all the way to second place and won two challenges along the way -- but she’s also kind and makes sure to bring others with her on her way to the top.
It was revealed on the show that Kim Chi helped another Drag Race alum, Trixie Mattel, get her first gig as a drag queen in Chicago.
She also became the drag mother of Triple A girl Alaska back in 2017. While she was a contestant, she also took the time to help the other queens on the show when they needed it.
Don’t think that you can play her just because she’s nice, though. She didn’t get the “Shade Chi” nickname for no good reason. She can throw shade with the best of them, but you know that she’s an absolute sweetheart at the end of the day.
Plus, her “I’m not going to be ashamed of being hungry, I am hungry!” will forever be #relatable. Donut come for her.
3 Not: Charlie Hides
Charlie Hides competed in the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, so there is no excuse to not understand what the rules of the show are.
There are a few basics that everyone knows, like the fact that if you’re in the bottom two and you don’t want to be eliminated, you have to lip sync for your life. That rule applies to everyone.
Unless, of course, you’re Charlie Hides, who decided before she even came on the show that she wasn’t going to lip sync. She “only sings live,” and if it came down to it, RuPaul was just going to have to ask her to sashay away because she refused to lip sync.
Spoiler alert -- Charlie was asked to lip sync for her life and stood as still as a deer in headlights. No matter what, this will probably always be what she’s remembered for. Or it would be if it weren’t for a character she played before even competing on the show.
Before entering the werk room, Charlie was well-known for a drag character that was in blackface and used offensive stereotypes. She only retired the persona after a Change.org petition called for the show she was performing in to remove her.
We usually wouldn't mention this, but since she continued to defend the character instead of learning from her mistakes, it earns her a mention on this list.
2 Sweetheart: Bob the Drag Queen
Bob the Drag Queen could automatically earn a spot on any favorites list just for that hilarious drag name.
Right off the bat, she proved to us that she was here to change people’s conceptions of drag and what a successful drag queen can look like.
Although a lot of successful drag queens are white and slender, Bob the Drag Queen was one of the Drag Queens who wanted to bring a completely different look to the forefront of drag.
She knows how to work her curves and love what makes her different -- which is part of what helped her to ultimately win the Drag Race title.
It just makes it even better that she’s such a nice person. Whether performing or interacting with her fellow contestants, she brings a genuine energy that’s visible even on screen.
Bob is known for her hilarious personality, uplifting quotes, and bomb acting skills. We definitely hope that we’ll be able to see more of her in the future of drag.
1 Not: Phi Phi O'Hara
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention Phi Phi O’Hara, the first Queen so dramatic she didn’t even attend a reunion special.
Phi2 is one of the only queens who consistently makes lists of the Drag Race queens that fans love to hate — despite the fact that she tried to redeem herself.
Let’s take it back to the first time she appeared in Drag Race as the main villain of season 4. It didn’t take long for her to build a reputation as being petty, spiteful, and bitchy to pretty much everyone around her.
No one could deny that she was a super talented queen, but her behavior was way too much. Know when and how to throw shade, boo.
When she came back for All Stars season two, she was determined to redeem herself. No more villain Phi Phi, nice Phi Phi was here to stay...except then she wasn’t, and her old ways resurfaced before too long.
She might get more love from the fans if she would just embrace the fact that it’s not the editing that’s making her look mean, it’s her attitude. Be who you are, but own it. Otherwise, sashay away.
What do you think of our list? Do you have a favorite queen that we left off, or think any of our non-sweethearts deserve a Ru-demption? Let us know in the comments!