Drama has been a crucial ingredient in the Drag Race recipe since the show's conception. During every new season, contestants get into heated altercations on screen and blogs report about backstage tensions. However, the drama is not limited to the cast and crew of RuPaul's Drag Race.
Online forums and blogs are virtual battlefields for dedicated fans of the show. Viewers love to debate the outcome of each week's challenge and whether or not the right person was sent packing. Some fans claim the competition is rigged against their favorite queen, while others question if a queen advanced based on her talents or on pure shrewdness. Throughout its run, RuPaul's Drag Race has served up many controversial eliminations. From lip syncs that were too close to call to suspected producer manipulation, it seems to fans that Mama Ru has not always chosen to keep the most deserving queens around.
Participating on the show is an intense experience and many strong queens have buckled under the pressure. Versatile queens have been known to trip up and end up facing a lip sync assassin in the bottom two. These feared competitors may underperform in the weekly challenges but manage to keep themselves afloat in the game by delivering solid lip sync performances. This list takes a look at the most disputed eliminations of favorites, and which queens were robbed for a shot at the crown.
Here are 13 RuPaul's Drag Race Queens Who Were Eliminated Too Soon (And 7 Who Stayed Too Long).
20 Too Soon: Monét X Change - Season Ten
Opera singer and sponge promoter Monét X Change is adored by audiences and fellow queens alike.
In season ten, she ended up being sent home by lip sync assassin Kameron Michaels.
The two battled it out to Lizzo's "Good as Hell" in one of the series' tightest lip syncs. RuPaul had already granted a double save the previous week, which meant that there were no life boats left for the remaining queens. Fans nevertheless took to Twitter to voice their disappointment and demand a second double save. Monét’s journey on Drag Race has only just begun and hopefully she will grace the stage in a future season of All Stars.
19 Too Soon: Joslyn Fox - Season Six
Joslyn Fox was slowly coming out of her shell and claiming her place in the competition when she was tripped up by a makeover challenge. In the season 6’s tenth episode, the queens were tasked with transforming grooms into brides for an on-screen wedding. Joslyn struggled with a reluctant groomsman and received criticism by the judges for his ashy makeup. Several snippets of information have surfaced since her elimination that suggest the competition was skewed against her.
During a Dragcon panel, Joslyn revealed that her unwilling groom was signed onto the show by his scorned wife as revenge for cheating on her. An eagle-eyed viewer also claims that the judges exaggerated their critiques of Joslyn’s bride. It seems the cards were stacked against Ms. Fox, who probably would have made it further in the competition if she was playing on a more level field.
18 Too Long: Phi Phi O'Hara - All Stars 2
On her first season of Drag Race, Phi Phi O'Hara was portrayed as the villain of the group. She later competed on All Stars in a bid to redeem her image, but to little avail. Phi Phi, who now goes solely by Jaremi Carey, got a similar edit the second time around and has since cut his ties with the franchise altogether. Jaremi is not the only one who was upset about his time on the show.
Fans did not respond positively to Phi Phi's Machiavellian ways and eagerly expressed their discontent online.
The Chicago native has put his wigs on the shelf for now and is focusing on a musical career out of drag. He has expressed regret about participating on the show and probably should have stepped away from Drag Race sooner.
17 Too Soon: Alyssa Edwards - All Stars 2
Fans were up in arms when Alyssa Edwards was eliminated from the second season of Drag Race All Stars. There was little doubt among viewers that she had fallen victim to a rock-solid coalition between three of her fellow contestants.
Bestowing the queens with the power to eliminate the competition remains a controversial choice. It has led to a lot of talented queens disappearing from the race before their time was up. Alyssa's elimination has gone down as one of the least deserved in Drag Race herstory, but the boisterous queen seems unfazed. She came back to the show as a choreographer in season ten and currently has her own show on Netflix called Dancing Queen.
16 Too Soon: Latrice Royale - Season Four
Latrice Royale is one of the most inspiring and soulful contestants to appear on RuPaul's Drag Race. She commanded the stage with riveting lip sync performances and broke audiences' hearts with an emotional exit. It was all the more frustrating to fans that Latrice exited the competition while Phi Phi was still in the running for the top spot.
Latrice was later crowned Miss Congeniality and returned to the franchise for the first installment of All Stars.
According to online rumors, she was invited back for the following season of All Stars but declined. Fans might not have gotten enough of Latrice Royale, but the Queen herself does not feel the need to return to the show.
15 Too Long: Bebe Zahara Benet - All Stars 3
When RuPaul's Drag Race was still in its infancy, it elected the gracefully regal Bebe Zahara Benet to represent the art of drag to a broad audience. As the competition evolved, fans started to also embrace the campy comedy and extravagant looks that are unique to drag.
By the time Bebe Zahara Benet returned for All Stars 3, the competition had changed. Next to her fellow competitors, Bebe often came across as muted and one-note. In the season's finale, only one of the competing queens voted to put her into the final two. The demands of the competition had shifted since its first season and Bebe struggled to keep up with the new batch of drag performers.
14 Too Soon: Valentina - Season Nine
Valentina was one of the judges' favorites and could do no wrong-- until she found herself in the bottom two, that is. Considering her strong performance in the competition up until that point, Valentina had probably gambled on staying out of the bottom and devoted her attention to turning it out on the runway. It became blatantly clear during her lip sync against Nina Bo'nina Brown, however, that she had not spent much time memorizing lyrics. Valentina tried to keep her mask on to disguise the fact that she did not know the words to the song, but she was swiftly sent home by a flabbergasted RuPaul.
Fans were devastated by her elimination and even Ru proclaimed that she thought Valentina would make it to the top.
Valentina is rumored to return on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season four where she will hopefully get a shot at the crown.
13 Too Long: Kennedy Davenport
According to an anonymous insider, Kennedy Davenport was kept around on season seven because producers wanted a “villain” in the top four. She later redeemed her image on the third season of All Stars where she came across as a much more likable competitor. Kennedy’s time on All Stars was filled with highs and lows and she found herself in the bottom more times than any of the other queens.
Kennedy eventually made it into the top two thanks to votes from the eliminated queens. Although she clearly got along a lot better with the All Stars queens, many of them justified voting for her by claiming that she needed a win more than her competitors. Kennedy’s advancement in both season seven and All Stars prove that it is not always the most talented queens that come out on top in Drag Race.
12 To Soon: Ongina - Season One
This fierce and fearless queen made a lasting impression on audiences. Ongina competed on the hazy first season of RuPaul's Drag Race and was eliminated only five episodes in. She had up until that point been on a winning streak and kept herself out of the bottom.
When she came up against powerhouse Bebe Zahara Benet, her fate was sealed.
Ongina approaches drag with a unique sensibility and has opened up to viewers about her struggles. She came out as HIV positive on Drag Race and has since then hosted a show on Logo about living with HIV. Her time was cut much too short on Drag Race, but fortunately she found new spaces where she could share her artistic perspective and compassionate worldview.
11 Too Long: Derrick Barry - Season Eight
Many queens have been accused of resting on "pretty" during their time on RuPaul's Drag Race. Derrick Barry, on the other hand, rested on her likeness to pop singer Britney Spears.
Before coming on the show, Derrick was an established celebrity impersonator in Las Vegas. As the season went on, it became clear that she knew little about applying drag makeup or crafting a drag persona. She made it to the top five by virtue of her impersonation skills, but when it came to the art of drag she fell far short of the other competitors. After competing on Drag Race, Derrick has continued to develop her drag persona and she regularly performs alongside her partner Nebraska.
10 Too Soon: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo - Season Ten
No other queen has made as big an impact in as short a time as Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. Vanessa was the first queen eliminated during season 10 but her presence lingered throughout the season due to her memorable exit.
Miss Vanjie's final steps off the stage became a viral sensation and a running joke between the remaining queens.
Not only that, but her catchphrase "Get these cookies, baby" has also made it into the Drag Race lexicon. Her instant popularity with fans will hopefully earn her a chance to compete on season 11. This House of Mateo alum clearly has a lot more to offer.
9 Too Soon: Vivacious - Season Six
Ambassador of drag and original club kid Vivacious let the competition know she was not there to play when she walked into the Werk Room. Sporting an extra head on her head, aptly named "Ornacia,", her entrance look intrigued audiences and introduced a different style of drag.
Club kids were a predecessor to more outré interpretations of drag, like that of Sharon Needles, and dominated the club scene in the early nineties. Vivacious' aesthetic reflects an important passage in drag history and she could probably have schooled many young queens on fashion and pop art references. Unfortunately, Vivacious was eliminated only three episodes into the season.
8 Too Long: Darienne Lake - Season Six
In season six, Darienne Lake pit herself against fan favorite BenDeLaCreme. Darienne came across as bitter and spiteful in her talking heads and seemed to have a thorn in her side towards DeLa.
Picking a fight with the most likable queen on the show is never a good look. Darienne only infuriated fans with her comments.
The two queens ended up going head to head in a lip sync battle not once, but twice during the competition. The first time around Ru decided to save them both, but on the second go she sent DeLa home. Fans were not impressed with the outcome of the lip sync and even Darienne's own fans thought she should have been eliminated sooner.
7 Too Soon: Thorgy Thor - All Stars 3
Thorgy Thor spent much of her time in season eight complaining that her efforts in the competition were being undermined. Although her suspicions came across as paranoid, her run on All Stars 3 seems to echo this. In episode two, the queens had to lip sync to a prerecorded track while they impersonated an iconic diva. While her competitors got to perform as over-the-top singers like Mariah Carey and Dolly Parton, Thorgy was given the part of the much less extravagant singer Stevie Nicks.
Thorgy says she did not have any creative input on the lyrics or the choreography.
She has also revealed that producers did not give her any of the props she asked for. The challenge put Thorgy at a disadvantage and she was sent home as a result.
6 Too Soon: Shangela Laquifa Wadley - All Stars 3
Thorgy Thor was not the only queen who got a raw deal oin the third season of All Stars. Shangela Laquifa Wadley, a tireless queen from Texas, was also snubbed for a shot at the crown. Shangela competed in both the second and third season of RuPaul's Drag Race. When Shangela returned for All Stars 3 the stars were aligned for her ascension to Drag Race royalty.
Shangela worked her way into the top four but was faced with an unexpected twist; for the first time in the competition, eliminated contestants would get to decide who would make it to the final two. Under different circumstances she might have claimed the crown, but her peers did not vote Shangela into the finale.
5 Too Long: Rebecca Glasscock - Season One
Many fans consider Rebecca Glasscock, born Javier José Rivera Nieves, the least deserving queen to ever make it to the top three. A Reddit poll even placed her among the least popular queens of the entire series. In her season, Rebecca came across as insincere to both viewers and her fellow competitors.
Despite her high ranking on Drag Race, Rebecca does not seem to have had an active career in drag since the show.
Based on Javier's recent online activity, he seems to be supporting drag from the sidelines nowadays but he also appears to be nostalgic about his time spent on Drag Race.
4 Too Soon: Miz Cracker - Season Ten
The "thin, salty, and white" Miz Cracker brought a unique wit to RuPaul's Drag Race. Miz Cracker kept herself out of the bottom for the first ten episodes, winning once. During the Evil Twin challenge, however, Miz Cracker's luck ran out. Miz Cracker was not able to bring her inner saboteur to life and had to lip sync against Kameron Michaels.
Kameron had been in the bottom three times already, but managed to stay in the competition with yet another solid lip sync performance.
3 Too Soon: Lashauwn Beyond - Season Four
Even though she only lasted two weeks on the show, Lashauwn Beyond made Drag Race herstory. In Untucked, Lashauwn got into an argument with Jiggly Caliente and eventually shut her down with the phrase "This is not RuPaul's Best Friend Race." The line has become an unofficial Drag Race catchphrase and is often referenced on the show. Unfortunately, Lashauwn was sent home before she could gift viewers with more iconic quotes.
In addition to being a gifted wordsmith, Lashauwn is also a talented dressmaker and would probably have turned out many memorable looks on the runway.
2 Too Long: Roxxxy Andrews - All Stars 2
During RuPaul's Drag Race season five, Alaska, Detox, and Roxxxy got on like a house on fire and coined the group name Rolaskatox. When all three of them were brought back to compete on All Stars 3, their friendship turned into an alliance that would rock the competition.
Alaska claimed that their friendship did not affect their decisions, but when she managed to persuade Detox to send Alyssa home instead of Roxxxy, viewers saw the writing on the wall. Thanks to their coalition, Roxxxy managed to stay in the competition until the final episode, despite ending up in the bottom four times in a row.
1 Too Soon: Katya Zamoldchikova - Season Seven
Katya was the breakout star of season seven and is an all-time Drag Race favorite. Fans had high hopes that she would walk away with the crown, but she was eliminated only a few weeks before the finale. Her exit from the show was followed by online controversy and fans questioned whether or not the congenial queen was done wrong.
When she appeared on Drag Race All Stars, fans once again welcomed the possibility of a Katya win.
Unfortunately, Miss Zamoldchikova was not able to take home the crown the second time around and this time fans did not mince their words.
Which RuPaul's Drag Race queen do you think was eliminated too soon? Let us know in the comments!