In this article:
- The latest season of RuPaul’s All-Stars Drag Race will feature eight winning drag queens from previous seasons, competing to keep their crowns.
- It’s the first time the franchise has done a season featuring a lineup exclusively made up of past winners.
- As the fiercest season yet kicks off, it’s a great opportunity to look back through the years of RuPaul’s Drag Race and at how each of these eight drag queens clawed their way to their respective thrones.
For the first time in the herstory of the franchise, RuPaul’s Drag Race is hosting an all-winners’ season. An All-Stars season with crowned drag queens vying to keep their rightful throne? That will be fierce and we’re totally here for it.
RuPaul’s Drag Race: A Quick Herstory Lesson
After getting his own start in drag at the Celebrity Club (now the Atlanta Eagle) in Atlanta in the 80s, RuPaul gradually grew a fandom, becoming one of the world’s most well-known drag queens.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on the air since 2009, with the goal of helping more drag queens achieve mainstream success and generally creating a space for celebrating and being your best, most extra self.
The pilot season, with BeBe Zahara Benet making herstory as the first crowned drag queen, was a little rough around the edges. But the competition clearly made for great reality TV.
It was like America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, and America’s Got Talent all rolled into one queer, campy, and loud extravaganza.
Since then, we have now seen 14 American seasons and a few international editions to prove that the franchise and the fandom are growing stronger than ever. The show has won 19 Emmy Awards (after being nominated for 39).
And the drag queens are still elevating the game. Or, as producer and host RuPaul liked to say, they’re stepping their pussies up. Indeed, the competition gets fiercer and fiercer each season.
The fourteenth season has just concluded, so an All-Stars season with former competitors who still have a lot to give was long overdue. For years, fans have been clamoring for an all-winners’ edition.
Bianca del Rio’s stand-up comedy routine would be the star of a variety show. Raja’s and Violet Chachki’s outfits would undoubtedly be fit for the gods in a Drag on a Dime challenge.
And if the show broke tradition and opened with Snatch Game? Other drag queens better hope they’re not competing against Alaska or Jinkx Monsoon and their masterful celebrity impersonations.
Finally, a season with drag queens who’ve won their season is no longer just a dream or a rumor.
Drag Race fans like myself were left gagging when the upcoming All-Stars’ cast of drag queens was finally revealed. And if you knew who they are and what they are capable of, your jaw would be on the floor, too!
The 8 Winning Drag Queens Coming Back for All-Stars 7
Raja Gemini, Season 3
Most Drag Race competitors identify as a certain type of drag queen. Be it a comedy queen, a pageant queen, or a dancing queen — there is at least one area of drag that they already do really well or grow into while filming.
But to do an art form that relies so much on aesthetics, all drag queens just have to look good.
We’ve seen many fashion queens strut into the Werk Room, but the fandom can agree on Raja as the original look queen. Her sophisticated eye for aesthetics, perfect execution, and iconic runway walk make her a Drag Race legend.
Who could forget the eleganza gown she constructed out of paper money for the Ball Challenge? Even her fascinator was made out of fake bills! What about her Marie Antoinette runway moment?
My personal favorite is her Standup Comedy Challenge look. She walked on the stage as Carrie, a bucket of blood pouring over her head to top her campy aesthetic for the night.
One thing Raja does really well, other than being blessed with legs for days, is know how to work her figure. She can create a couture dress or pantsuit she can swerve — or, to be more accurate, serve — and pose the house down in.
It’s been years since Raja competed in Drag Race but she’s stuck close to the franchise.
Since 2014, she’s been co-hosting RuPaul’s Drag Race Fashion Photo RuView on Youtube with Raven. Flips and deathdrops have never been Raja’s expertise anyway, but we know she can still turn a look!
Jinkx Monsoon, Season 5 Winner
Seattle-based drag queen Jinkx Monsoon was the underdog of her season.
She was joined by big personalities like Alaska, Detox, and Alyssa Edwards, who are now legends of Drag Race in their own right. It seemed the odds were stacked against the narcoleptic and eccentric theater queen.
That season is iconic for a lot of the fights and drama that ensued.
Jinkx was definitely embroiled in it given her rivalry with Roxxxy Andrews. They butted lacefront wigs plenty of times, but Jinkx taught us the valuable lesson of not letting the negativity affect her. As she liked to whisper, it was only water off a duck’s back.
It was Jinkx’s theatrical talents that shined through her drag queen persona. Her winning Snatch Game performance is considered one of the best.
Even in her bottom placement that forced her to lip-sync for her life showed us what a performer she really was — and, hopefully, still is for this new season of All-Stars.
Monét X Change, All-Stars 4 Winner
Monét is one of the more seasoned competitors of Drag Race. That is to say, she’s already participated in two seasons before All-Stars 7 and would love to get another win.
The proud Brooklyn-based drag queen came in sixth in the 10th season, just two spots shy of the finale. She didn’t come home empty-handed though — she was voted the season’s Miss Congeniality.
If you ask me, she should have also gotten the award for Best in History! Remember the debate the drag queens had over American and British accents? Monét was right all along and nobody believed her!
Monét came back to All-Stars 4, not for an “I told you so” moment, but to snatch the crown and scepter. She became known as an all-around performer who could stand up to any challenge RuPaul threw at the drag queens.
This slingshotted her to becoming the frontrunner of the race…well, almost.
For the biggest gag in any season of Drag Race, RuPaul declared two winners, with Season 9 alum Trinity the Tuck being the other crowned drag queen. This did not make Monét’s win any less meaningful, but the double crowning was a divisive moment for the fanbase.
Fans and former contestants had plenty of things to say but Monét herself wasn’t upset about it, so why should we be?
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the winning drag queen said, “We’re both really happy about it, because here’s the thing: we both won. Winning the title just gives us both the resources for the things we really want to do.”
Trinity the Tuck, All-Stars 4 Winner
As the other winner of All-Stars 4, Trinity faced the opposite side of the controversy. But the drag queen had this to say in an interview:
“The thing is, I come from pageants, and there’s never a tie in pageants . . . if we could have chosen, like, of course, girl, who wouldn’t want their own reign? But at the end of the day, this is representing something way bigger than us, and I’m happy to be part of something that’s so positive.”
We couldn’t expect anything less graceful from the self-proclaimed pageant queen.
Her background in competitions allowed her to thrive under pressure. She came prepared with her elegant gowns, kicks and flips. But the most remarkable thing that she brought to the table was something Trinity didn’t even know she packed: comedy.
The Alabama-based drag queen was, to the judges’ surprise, hilarious and thrived in the acting and stand-up challenges, particularly in All-Stars 4.
Like Monét, she was the complete package, which made RuPaul’s decision difficult and, ultimately, understandable. The two winners were more than happy to share a reign, but let’s see if a solo win is in the cards for Trinity or Monét in All-Stars 7!
Yvie Oddly, Season 11 Winner
First impressions matter. All drag queens try to make their entrance into the Werk Room memorable. Some do it with a fierce look, a funny quote, or a literal ear-piercing scream (looking at you, Sasha Velour).
Yvie Oddly did it with a remote control car attached to her snake-inspired emerald gown, saying, “Watch out ladies, this race just took an odd turn.”
Yvie’s entrance quickly earned her a reputation as the “odd” queen, a title she wore proudly. There was nothing conventional about the Denver-based drag queen.
She didn’t — still doesn’t — like to put herself in one box and it allowed her to take risks, many of which paid off as is made clear by her win!
Her mold-breaking victory is definitely a momentous occasion not just for the drag community, but for the entire queer community as well. You don’t have to represent a certain type of drag or queerness, you can just be yourself even if who you are is odd!
But Yvie did also make people with invisible disabilities proud, as someone afflicted with Ehlers-Danos syndrome. It’s actually due to her joint condition that she’s able to do insanely flexible moves.
Knowing what the Season 11 winner has to live with makes her dedication to being a drag queen all the more admirable. But she doesn’t really have to do flips to impress — she has more weapons in her arsenal that we’re excited to see again this season.
The Vivienne, UK Season 1 Winner
Easily one of the best Snatch Game performances was The Vivienne’s in the first season of Drag Race UK.
Her Donald Trump was vulgar, self-absorbed, and caked in orange foundation — a pretty accurate impersonation of the controversial figure. One of the best moments of that episode was Trump flirting with Baga Chipz’s Margaret Thatcher, because you know he absolutely would grab that opportunity.
Many drag queens who won this challenge went on to win the entire competition and the Liverpool-based drag queen continued that trend.
But her wits are not her only scone and butter, having slayed three maxi challenges and only being on the bottom once.
The Vivienne is a self-described polished queen and it shows in the way she painted, the outfits she wore, and how she carried herself throughout her season. Fans are very happy to have her compete in All-Stars 7.
The UK spin-off doesn’t have any cash prizes but our homegirl from across the pond deserves some coin!
Jaida Essence Hall, Season 12 Winner
Look over there! It’s Jaida Essence Hall, the essence of beauty.
The Season 12 winner’s best TV moment is the political debate hosted by Jeff Goldblum and Rachel Bloom.
Jaida’s politician persona does what most real politicians do when they don’t have an answer to a question: create a distraction. And she did it in a quite literal manner by shouting, “Look over there!” This won her plenty of laughs from the panel and a well-deserved challenge win.
The drag queen from Milwaukee became an icon for her elegance, on-point lip-syncing skills, and versatility on stage.
What we were robbed of is a grand finale fit only for the best of drag queens. Unfortunately, the pandemic made it impossible to film the finale. The top four had to improvise with at-home setups for their final lip sync battles, as the world watched their Zoom recordings.
Unlike previous winners, Jaida’s reign also had to evolve with the times.
She spoke about learning to be more digitally savvy. Without live appearances, social media was the only way she could connect with her fans and spread her legacy. No matter, there’s a second chance for everything and Jaida surely isn’t going to let that go this All-Stars 7.
Shea Couleé, All-Stars 5 Winner
Let’s put this matter to rest: Shea Couleé wasn’t robbed of a win in Season 9.
Sasha Velour deserved the crowning after pulling out one of the best lip syncs in Drag Race herstory. Shea even paid tribute to this moment with a winning look in her return to All-Stars 5!
She’s proven herself one of the most deserving drag queens to ever sashay into the Werk Room. She can dance, act, and rap all the while looking fierce from every angle.
But the Chicago drag queen isn’t ready for her Drag Race career to end just yet. Shea Couleé looks hungry and ready for a new competition to slay — and fans would totally be happy with another Shea reign!
Honestly, the fandom would be happy to have any of these contestants win All-Stars 7. They all deserve to be the first drag queens to compete at an all-winners’ season. Long live all these legendary drag queens!
If you didn’t know it yet, the season premiere is already available for streaming on Paramount+. Here’s a quick taste: