Top 10 Early Season RuPaul's Drag Race Queens: Where Are They Now?



Top 10 Early Season RuPaul's Drag Race Queens: Where Are They Now?

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: B Stevenson
We've been thinking about these early season "RPDR" queens. Where are they now? For this list, we'll be looking at what the most notable contestants from the series' first five seasons have been up to since they sashayed away. Our countdownt includes Delta Work, Carmen Carrera, Nina Flowers, and more!

Top 10 Early Season RPDR Queen: Where Are They Now

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Early Season “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Queens: Where Are They Now?

For this list, we’ll be looking at what the most notable contestants from the series’ first five seasons have been up to since they sashayed away. We’ll be focusing on the figures who haven’t had prominent roles on the show since their elimination.

Which of these queens’ careers do you follow? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Delta Work

This queen was a part of the legendary “Heathers” clique on Season 3 of “Drag Race.” And while she didn’t excel in maxi challenges, she almost always looked gorgeous. Plus, she gave us some truly memorable lip syncs. Though her time as a contestant came to an end, Delta later worked as a personal hairstylist on “Drag Race” for a while, winning a Creative Arts Emmy in the process. She’s also had some notable celeb encounters. Not only did she impersonate Adele in Taylor Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down” video, she also joined the “Hello” singer on stage in 2016! Nowadays, you can tune in to “Very That”, a podcast where she and season 3 winner Raja discuss anything and everything.

#9: Monica Beverly Hillz

Besides looking amazing on the runway, Monica is remembered as one of the first contestants to come out as transgender on “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. Since her stint on Season 5, she has continued to perform in drag, even walking in Chicago Fashion Week. She’s also an outspoken advocate for the trans community. The star has notably called out “Drag Race’s” use of offensive language and criticized RuPaul’s controversial statements about trans women competing on the show. Her op-ed for “The Washington Post” is just one example of her commitment to inclusivity. Monica’s activism may not win her a comeback appearance on the show, but we’re grateful for contestants like her who strive to make the industry better for all.

#8: Lashauwn Beyond

All it took was one fateful “Untucked” quote to instantly turn this queen into an icon: [“this is not RuPaul’s best friend race.”] It’s a valuable lesson that fans and contestants alike remember to this day. Unfortunately, she was eliminated in Season 4’s second episode, so we didn’t get to see the full scale of her talents as a seamstress. Since the show, however, she’s enjoyed a flourishing career as a fashion designer. For one, she’s made pieces for fellow queens Latrice Royale and Kennedy Davenport. But fans can also spot non-drag queens sporting Lashauwn’s gorgeous and glittering designs all over her Instagram page.

#7: Ivy Winters

Who could forget Ivy Winters? She was a pleasure to watch, and had some iconic runway looks. As a former clown, this circus queen even debuted stilts on the runway. It doesn’t hurt that Ru couldn’t get enough of saying her name, either. After being crowned Miss Congeniality, Ivy teamed up with Darienne Lake to host a crafty web series called “Queen Acres”. Although she seems to have stepped back from drag in recent years, she’s kept up her creative spirit. True to her name, her Instagram shows off a massive and flourishing garden. And no matter what she does next, we’re sure it’ll be stellar.

#6: Kenya Michaels

This queen brought her high-energy brand of drag to the show, serving some excellent looks and delivering fun performances. Granted, her Beyoncé impression in the Snatch Game wasn’t exactly Oscar-worthy. But it was nothing if not entertaining! After lighting up the “Drag Race” main stage, she came out as transgender, and now goes by Kenya Olivera. She continued to perform for some time, and posted on social media about her experience surviving the tragic Pulse nightclub incident in 2016. Today, Kenya is a multi-talented creative, fashion designer, and stylist. Plus, she shows off gorgeous and inspired looks on social media.

#5: Mariah Paris Balenciaga

Okay, this fierce alum DID appear on “All Stars” Season 5 since her original stint on the show. But her return to the franchise was short, and her career has been too interesting not to mention. A founding member of the ballroom House of Balenciaga, she’s enjoyed some notable media gigs as well as a flourishing drag career. Notably, she appeared in a music video for Lizzo’s “Juice,” as well as in “AJ and the Queen” and as a backup dancer in “Lip Sync Battle”, among others. She’s also graced such web series as “Fashion Photo RuView,” and created a line of candles in 2020. Last but certainly not least, fans can see throwbacks and photos with friends on Mariah’s Instagram page.

#4: Carmen Carrera

This elegant queen wowed everybody during her time on season 3. She had some truly unforgettable lip sync moments, and her stand-up comedy was on point. After competing on the show, Carrera came out as trans and is now a notable activist for her community. She appeared on a notorious episode of “Katie,” during which she and Laverne Cox educated the host about respectful interview practices. Plus, she recently booked a major part in “Trans Los Angeles”, an upcoming anthology movie that’s making waves. In addition to her TV career, she’s also had success as a model. Aside from posing for photographer Steven Meisel, she’s walked in New York Fashion Week and Miami Swim Week. It’s clear that this fearless queen is going places.

#3: Tyra Sanchez

James Ross snagged the season 2 crown as Tyra Sanchez with an attention-grabbing lip sync. But his dramatic reaction to the win was even more memorable. However, he’s also remembered for rubbing his fellow contestants the wrong way. And in the years following his victory, he unfortunately exhibited some questionable behavior online that drew widespread criticism. Notably, the former contestant took a dispute with fellow “Drag Race” alum Morgan McMichaels too far by suggesting that the latter had passed away. In 2019, he posted an apology for his online actions. The following year, he revealed that he was retiring his drag persona Tyra Sanchez altogether. Ross’ Instagram page now appears to be devoted to an apparel line.

#2: Nina Flowers

Nina made a splash on Season 1 with a unique aesthetic and fierce runway strut. Although she was bested in the final lip sync by Bebe Zahara Benet, the likable performer was unsurprisingly voted Miss Congeniality. Since then, she’s pursued a music career, with a single that made it to #15 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. These days, Nina is a successful touring DJ, but only appears in drag while behind the decks. Of course, her all-too-short run on the first season of “All Stars” can’t be forgotten, either. If that weren’t enough, in 2009 the mayor of Denver declared May 29th “Nina Flowers Day” for her contribution to her community. She’s a true Miss Congeniality indeed!

#1: Willam

There’s arguably no “Drag Race” moment quite as shocking as Willam’s season 4 disqualification. Although she was a strong competitor with a memorable personality, she was sadly asked to leave the competition after breaking the rules. However, she’s since become a very prominent figure in the fandom and the drag world at large. She’s a talented singer, and has achieved major success on YouTube and with the since-retired girl group DWV. The accomplished star is also an author and podcaster, and she even has a makeup line. To top it all off, she and Shangela were in 2018’s “A Star is Born.” Suffice it to say, we expect Willam’s star to keep on rising for years to come.