Ranking the Winners of 'Drag Race' Based on Their Track Records
If you only looked at the numbers, which 'Drag Race' winners would stand out?
Numbers don't matter that much on RuPaul's Drag Race, but analyzing a winner's track record can be lots of fun!
Here, we're aiming to rank the past 14 winners of the regular seasons of Drag Race based on how well they did in their respective seasons -- statistically speaking. To do so, we looked at each winner's maxi challenge wins and times in the bottom two, and we also took into consideration how many times they placed high (in the top three) or low (in the bottom three) of each week.
Unlike Ru, we are not ranking charisma, uniqueness, nerve, or talent. We are also not judging a queen's star power or fan favoritism. In this exercise, we're solely looking at the statistics and seeing how the Drag Race winners stack up to one another in a game of numbers!
14. Willow Pill
Willow Pill was an incredibly fierce queen on RuPaul's Drag Race season 14 who had the strategic mind and talent of a winner. When it comes to pure statistics and numbers, though, Willow only won one maxi challenge and landed in the bottom two twice - putting her at the bottom of this ranking.
13. Yvie Oddly
Yvie Oddly only won one maxi challenge in season 11, and it was a shared win alongside Scarlet Envy. In turn, Yvie landed in the bottom two during the Snatch Game, which is considered a landmark challenge for most Drag Race fans. Overall, these numbers are not strong enough to rank Yvie higher in this statistical comparison between the winners.
12. Sasha Velour
There's no arguing against the era-defining rose petals reveal that Sasha Velour pulled out in the season nine finale. The rules changed, the top four had to lip sync for the crown, and Sasha won her two lip syncs. Alas, there's also no arguing against her actual track record over the course of the season -- she only won two maxi challenges (both shared wins with Shea Coulee), which put Sasha behind Shea Coulee and Trinity The Tuck in terms of maxi challenge wins.
11. BeBe Zahara Benet
BeBe Zahara Benet won two maxi challenges during the inaugural season of Drag Race and she placed high once. Alternatively, BeBe only landed one time in the bottom. This is a solid track record, particularly when taking into consideration how short season one was. With that said, BeBe's track record still sits towards the tail end of this ranking when it comes down to numbers.
10. Jinkx Monsoon
Despite keeping a low profile for half of the season, Jinkx Monsoon placed high six times and won two maxi challenges in season five. The one time that Jinkx fell into the bottom two, she delivered a stellar lip sync performance to Yma Sumac's "Malambo No. 1" that just solidified her winning track record. It's hard for a queen to walk away from a lip sync for your life as if that was basically a maxi challenge win, but Jinkx did just that.
9. Jaida Essence Hall
Jaida Essence Hall's season 12 track record was nearly spotless: three maxi challenge wins, three times in the top, and only one bottom two placement. Moreover, Jaida won the first maxi challenge of the season and then won the iconic makeover challenge. Because there are a few more impressive winning track records for us to get to, Jaida takes this spot in our statistical ranking.
Despite facing fierce competitors like Manila Luzon and Alexis Mateo in season three, Raja managed to win three maxi challenges and only landed in the bottom two once. She also placed high four times, which solidified her frontrunner status throughout the competition. Of note, Raja won the first maxi challenge of the season, as well as the "Drag on a Dime" design challenge.
7. Bob The Drag Queen
When ranking the Drag Race winners with three maxi challenge wins and only one bottom two placement, Bob The Drag Queen's track record in season eight is the most impressive. Bob won the Snatch Game, which is considered a big deal, and when it comes to mini challenges, Bob won the iconic reading challenge. Bob steamrolled through the competition in season eight and held up the frontrunner status from start to finish.
6. Violet Chachki
Violet Chachki's crowning was controversial back when season seven aired, but when it comes down to it, she was the only queen that season that never landed in the bottom two. In turn, Violet won three challenges: the first maxi challenge of the season, the ball challenge, and the traditional "Drag on a Dime" design challenge. Some fans argue that Violet could have landed in the bottom two at least once, but she didn't, which contributes to her higher placement in this ranking.
Drag Race season 10 was very competitive, but Aquaria got to the end with three maxi challenge wins and zero bottom two placements. This track record may seem familiar to the fans, but it is noteworthy that Aquaria's wins include the Snatch Game and the ball challenge - arguably the two most traditional challenges in the Drag Race series. But despite the fact that Aquaria never lip synced for her life on the show, she did get a low placement twice, thus justifying her position in this ranking.
4. James Ross (the artist formerly known as Tyra Sanchez)
James Ross, the retired drag artist formerly known by their stage name Tyra Sanchez, had an absolutely stellar track record in season two with three maxi challenge wins. For one, James was the first Drag Race contestant to win the show without ever landing in the bottom two. This achievement wasn't replicated until Bianca Del Rio in season six, which makes James' track record even more impressive. Of note, James also won the ball challenge, which had an even bigger importance to the show back then.
3. Bianca Del Rio
Bianca Del Rio won three maxi challenges on Drag Race season six: the "Drag on a Dime" design challenge, the standup comedy challenge, and the makeover challenge, which are all memorable. Aside from those victories, the judges also ranked Bianca in the top five times over the course of her season. Alternatively, Bianca never got even close to landing in the bottom two.
After winning four maxi challenges in season 13, Symone could've easily reached the top of this ranking! Symone's notable wins include the season's first maxi challenge, as well as the makeover challenge, but she did land in the bottom two twice during the course of her season, which makes her numerical track record the second best in Drag Race herstory.
1. Sharon Needles
Sharon was the first queen in Drag Race herstory to win four maxi challenges during a single season. It is also worth noting that Sharon's only time in the bottom two was during a maxi challenge where she was forced by production to work with her archnemesis on the show (Jaremi Carey, the artist formerly known as Phi Phi O'Hara). Numerically and contextually, this reads as the strongest track record ever from a Drag Race winner.