Over the past few years, I've watched and enjoyed many new shows, but there are few shows that have impacted me the way that RuPaul's Drag Race has. I started watching about 4 years ago, and quickly fell in love with it and went back and watched every single episode of every single season. It's a show that I find myself going back and re-watching all the time, and it found itself super high up on my list of favorite TV shows when I ranked them back in May (which you can check out HERE).
So, as with everything that I really love, I've decided to do a ranking of all of the seasons of Drag Race! I've decided that this list is going to include both the regular seasons AND the All Star seasons. I went back and forth several times, but eventually settled on including them because when I do my winner rankings (coming soon!) I want to include the All Stars winners in my rankings. So, these are my rankings of all 11 seasons. Per usual, I'd like to remind everyone that these are just my opinions. We all have differing opinions. I respect yours, so I hope you'll respect mine by not yelling at me in the comments if you disagree with a season's placement. With that being said, let's go ahead and jump into the rankings!
I feel like season 1 just has to be the worst by default. It's also been dubbed the "Lost Season"... and for a pretty good reason. Fans always joke about the horrible "blurry filter" but I feel like the video quality is even worse than the jokes lead on. In my opinion, this is by far the least compelling cast. As the show has gone on, it's gotten much more high fashion, while this first season was very ready to wear-- some queens even walked into the workroom in a t-shirt and jeans. Seriously. Like many first seasons, Drag Race hadn't quite figured out their formula yet. The timeline within the episodes was incredibly wonky, jumping back and forth between segments in a way that was hard to follow, and including things that they would later realize simply weren't important. There are definitely some good aspects to the season-- Tammie is such an interesting character, Ongina's story is always inspiring, and we get some really great queens like Shannel and Nina. But overall, this season is the clear weak link when compared to the other seasons.
We also got some really gag-worthy moments, like the cringey lip syncs and Sasha's finale lip syncs that made up for all of the bad ones. I think the weakest point for me was some of the challenges. They were fine, and nearly all of them fit into one of the typical challenge molds for Drag Race, but it just always seemed like something was missing, whether it was the contestants' ability to impress, the writing, or just the challenge as a whole. While I'm mostly very #GurlBye on Lucian Piane being gone, I do think that his musical talents were pretty sorely missed.
Now, here comes the slight negative. I feel like this season definitely tainted my opinion on a few queens that I absolutely love. Going into All Stars, my top 3 favorite Drag Race queens of all time were Adore, Bianca, and Alaska-- probably in that order as well. Now... let's just say that Bianca is firmly in first place. I still love Alaska and Adore, and they're probably still both in my personal top 3. But, for some people, this season completely tanked their reputations. I have no qualms with Alaska winning the show- she killed it almost the whole season and clearly deserved the crown. But, that hissy fit that she threw in the second-to-last episode was just a mess, and I think we all know that Katya deserved the money on at least one of the challenges that she narrowly lost to Alaska. Despite those couple of hiccups, I really enjoyed this season and despite some pretty low moments, I thought it was a really entertaining season.
On top of that, the challenges this season were fantastic. We got the perfume challenge, which gave us the now-classic Alyssa's Secret. The RuPaul Roast was not only a fantastic challenge overall, but the lip sync that episode was the one where we got Roxxxy's wig reveal. We also got the great telanovela challenge and the candy couture challenge as well. Plus, the kids Barnyard Buddies TV show challenge. There were just so many really, really great ones this season. And of course, the drama. Alyssa and Coco were constantly at each other's throats, giving us the amazing "Backrolls?" line (technically, that was Jade's doing, but let's just forget about her), Roxxxy was coming for Jinkx constantly, and the aforementioned Serena ChaCha totally brought the drama for the 2 episodes she was on. This whole season was just so entertaining from beginning to end, and I can't help but re-watch over and over and over.
The challenges this season are also amazing. Honestly, I think every single challenge this season is memorable. Every time I re-watch, I have trouble stopping because I see the next week's preview and think "ooh, I love that challenge." For me, this season's Snatch Game is unquestionably the best in the history of the show. Even the people who landed in the middle were overall fantastic, on top of the fact that Bianca, Adore, and De La's performances were elite. The Scream Queens challenge was really great, Oh No She Betta Don't was hilariously perfect, and Shade the Rusical is in contention for my favorite challenge in the history of the show. It's amazing. Like I said, I don't think there's a single challenge this season I don't like. Every single one is so good. Plus, in addition to these challenges, Laganja gives us a great amount of drama. It's so much fun to also watch the Adore/Bianca friendship develop from strangers, to slightly antagonistic, to actual besties. Plus, the development of Trinity K Bonet as a character is really fantastic. Overall, this season just has everything I could ever want and I re-watch it over and over and over. It's amazing.
So, those are my rankings of the seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race! I'm planning on ranking the winners very soon, so watch out for that very soon! Let me know down in the comments what you think of my rankings, and which season of Drag Race is your favorite!
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