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• RuPaul’s Drag Race Week: “Responsitrannity” video!
• RuPaul’s Drag Race Week: Ten Best Episodes!
• RuPaul’s Drag Race Week: Top Five Contestant Singles!
• RuPaul’s Drag Race Week: Most Underrated Queens!
• RuPaul’s Drag Race Week: Top Five Villains!
• RuPaul’s Drag Race Week: Best and Worst Lip Syncs!
It’s tough to really point fingers on reality TV shows, especially when you take into consideration that the reality in question was one created by committee. It isn’t so much that everything is fake, so much as events are nipped and tucked in order to create a more cohesive narrative, otherwise the end product would be muddled chaos. And one thing every narrative needs is an antagonist to stir the pot, create conflict, and throw shade. Granted, most people don’t enter reality TV for the sake of being the a-hole, but eventually, someone always rises to the top as the queen bitch, and RuPaul’s Drag Race is no exception to this rule. With that in mind, here are the top five evil queens from the show’s herstory.
#5 Season One’s Akashia
One of the lost girls from the sadly looked-over season one, Akashia was … well, she was a mess. She had a poisonous attitude, going after both contestants and judges alike, and in one instance, she even had Destiny Child’s Michelle Williams calling for security. But for all her baditude, Akashia was kind of a mess. She placed in the bottom two for the first three episodes in a row, she tripped over her own dress on the runway, and she even showed up to the reunion special with stains on her dress. Sure, she may have gotten lost in the annals of Drag Race herstory, but if you caught season one (available on iTunes!) you remember Akashia.
#4 Season One’s Rebecca Glasscock
Drag Race has been accused numerous times of keeping some of the more unpleasant but fishy queens in the competition for the sake of keeping the drama high, but Rebecca was the first ever recorded case of this happening. Rebecca segregated herself from the other girls, regularly placed low in the competition, was unprofessional in challenges (she walked off the Mac Viva-Glam Challenge and showed up late to the video shoot for Cover Girl) yet somehow managed to stumble ass-backwards into the top three. But much like Akashia, she places lower on the list solely due to the fact that the poor bitch was clueless.
#3 Season Two’s Tyra Sanchez
Let’s get one thing straight: Tyra was talented. She was beautiful. But the personality … Ooooo lord, that personality. Her bizarre behavior in Here Comes The Bride was either one of the most sublimely non-self-aware acts on the show, or a calculate attempt to successfully drive the other queens insane, and the ensuing blow-up on the main stage was pretty painful. But for all her bitchiness, Tyra had the talent to back it up, and the fact that she was doing it all to help support herself and her son helped to humanize her.
#2 Season Four’s Phi Phi O’Hara
Phi Phi. Never has a queen been raked over the coals quite like Phi Phi was. By the time Drag Race hit season four, the show had become something of a phenomenon. This had two major outcomes: The title of America’s Next Drag Superstar now had more esteem, and the show’s queens were now under more scrutiny. So when Phi Phi made her way onto the show, her agenda was to win by whatever means necessary, and did not waste any time in cutting throats. Sure, her feud with Sharon Needles was placed front and centre but her interactions with the other queens weren’t much better: She sabotaged Jiggly Caliente, got into it numerous times with Chad Michaels, tried to get Latrice Royale to throw the Frienemies challenge in order to oust Willam, referred to Dida Ritz and Latrice as “The Help”, and convinced Kenya Michaels to give her the best DILF while giving the worst one to Sharon. To her credit, she was talented, and after the show she took the criticism to heart and changed for the better, but for all her talk about coming from a bullied background, it didn’t really excuse her actions on the show.
Surprised? Think about it: We can call out Akashia’s messiness, Phi Phi’s attitude, and Tyra’s diva trips, but who was behind the scenes pulling the strings? Who was throwing last-minute twists into the competition to shake things up? Who is the reigning queen of Drag Race? RuPaul. It’s no coincidence that the theme of season four had RuPaul serving mad scientist realness and supervillain chic. RuPaul is a dadaist trickster goddess doling out punishment and reward as she sees fit. She’s simultaneously the warm, nurturing mother figure, and the guillotine blade coming down. She’s the angel and the devil, all wrapped up into one flawless package. That’s what makes her the show’s best villains: she represents both halves of the balance between good and evil. It’s RuPaul’s world, we’re just living in it.
HONORABLE MENTION: Season Three’s Boogers vs. Heathers
Oh my God, did I ever hate this. Hate, hate, hate, HATE. Season three didn’t really have any clear-cut villains so much as the workroom split itself down the middle into two groups: The Heathers — comprised of Raja, Manila Luzon, Carmen Carrera, and Delta Work — and The Boogers — Shangela, Alexis Mateo, Yara Sofia, and Stacy Layne Matthews. The divisiveness between them was damn near toxic (and as much as I love Delta, she was the worst offender), and every time the groups went at each other, the show came to a screeching halt. Thankfully, it was resolved in the finale, but it proved that a workroom divided cannot stand.