You following? For most drag performers, there’s no bigger stage than RuPaul’s Drag Race. With the ubiquity of the series at an all-time high thanks to its ever-growing slate of seasons, international versions, and spin-offs, the competing queens also enjoy a Ru Girl boost on social media. Like the aliens in the claw vending machine in Toy Story – who deified the crane and believe it chooses them to go to a better place – queens with Ru’s cosign are ascending to overnight drag stardom at a faster and faster rate every year, even without the more than $2 million in cash the host has given out over the years.
A day before the series revealed its new crop of contestants to the world on December 9, we took one last look at each of their Instagram follower counts. From the most-followed contestant, Gottmik, the show’s first transmasculine queen (around 128,000 followers at the time of counting) to up-and-coming queens like Elliott with 2 Ts from Nevada (around 5,600 followers at the time of counting), a thrilling part of every season is watching everyone compete on an equal playing ground.
Below, we crunch down the numbers of what the Ru Girl boost did for each of their Instagram accounts between the time they were announced in the cast and the day following the season premiere.
*Update: After the reunion and ahead of the finale, we wnet back to see how these numbers changed over the span of the season.
The history-making performer had the most followers coming into the season with at whopping 128,262. By the day after the season premiere she had upped that by 102% and boasted 260,301 followers. Yep, that's 132,039 additional followers.
By the reunion, Gottmik had 930,537 followers total. This mean the performer increased 802,275 followers over the span of the season for a 625.5% increase.
This female illusionist that hails from Arkansas was at 32,151 followers before she was ever announced on the show. But following the premiere she was at 125,014 making for a 288% increase or 92,863 new accounts.
By the reunion, Symone was up to 701,768 followers. This was an increase of 669,617 followers or 2,082.73%
The live singing New York diva came into the competition with a solid 34,300 followers but exited the premiere with 84,297 — that's up 145% or 49,997 accounts.
By the reunion, Rose had 485,440 followers which was an increase of 451,140 or 1,315%.
The ice skater built 11,517 followers all her own but the day after the premiere she was up to 75,156. That 552% increase comes out to upping the masses by 63,639.
By the reunion, Denali had 434,574 followers which was an increase of 423,057 followers or 3,673.33%
The wild, goofy queen came into the show with 12,226 before being announced but the day after the premiere she had rose to 96,929 making for a 696% — that's 84,703 accounts if you're keeping track.
By the reunion, Utica had 428,722 followers, which was up 416,496 with 3,406.64%
The Brooklyn-based pianist brought in 13,267 fans before being announced as a part of the long-running series. The day after the premiere she had upped that to 66,674. That's a 402% increase which is 53,407 accounts.
By the reunion, Olivia was up to 358,521 which means she was up 345,254 accounts. That's about a 2,602.35% increase.
The "Dominican doll" is not playing! She came into the game with 64,791 followers but by the end of the premiere had upped that to 130,923. That's an increase of 102% which is 64,587 accounts.
By the reunion, Kandy had 314,953 followers, making for an increase of 250,163. Percentage wise that's a 386% increase.
The creator of the Iman dynast came into the show with a modest 3,525 followers. That exploded to 39.986 the day after the premiere meaning she increased by 33,461 which is 949%.
By the reunion, Tamisha Iman had 272,452 follwoers which was a 7,629.13% increase or 268,927 followers.
Some are calling her the trade of the season and before the series announced its cast she had 14,837 followers. After the premiere she was at 86,274 which is a 481% increase (71,437 followers).
Joey Jay was up to 263,562 by the reunion meaning ther was an increase of 248,725 which is 1,676.38%.
The Bob Mackie doll's 14,646 adoring fans increased to 51,796 after the premiere. That's 253% or 37,150 followers.
By the reunion, Kahmora Hall ahd 166,171 followers which was an increase of 151,525 accounts.
The longtime traveling dancer built up 5,675 followers but after the premiere she had 38,919. The increase was 585% meaning it's 33,244 people.
Elliott with the 2 Ts joined the reunion with 148,404 followers which was a 2,525% increase.
The Atlanta-born performer came into the race with 6,769 followers on Instagram but the day after the premiere she had 45,219. That makes a 568% increase which is 38,450 accounts.
By the reunion, LaLa Ri had 133,845.
The red head came into the race with a respectable 22,178 followers but that expanded to 48,692 by the close of the premiere. That's upping the game by 119% or 26,514 fans.
Tina Burner had 108,686 followers at the reunion which was an increase of 390.062%