Top 20 Shady Queens on RuPaul's Drag Race

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Top 20 Shady Queens on RuPaul's Drag Race

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: B Stevenson
These queens bring the shade on "Drag Race." For this list, we'll be looking at our favorite sharp-tongued contestants from the reality series who aren't afraid to tell it like it is. Our countdown includes Detox, Jade Jolie, Raven, and more!
Transcript

Top 20 Shady Queens on RuPaul's Drag Race


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Shady Queens on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

For this list, we’ll be looking at our favorite sharp-tongued contestants from the reality series who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. However, we won’t be including competitors whose behavior is more nasty than shady.

Who is the real queen of shade? Let us know in the comments below!

#20: Daya Betty


The so-called ‘villain edit’ is a notorious part of the “Drag Race” experience. This, of course, is when a queen is painted as the season’s antagonist in the editing room, whether or not they deserve it. In Season 14, there’s little doubt who this applies to. But you can’t argue with the many eyerolls, critiques of other people’s outfits, and sarcastic comments that Daya delivers. At the end of the day, this queen has given us entertainment, and she clearly has love for her sisters. We all need someone to voice what we’re thinking ― even when those thoughts are on the shady side.

#19: Detox


Detox is one of the most recognizable faces from the “Drag Race” cinematic universe. She turned looks in “All Stars” 2, but she was arguably at her shadiest in her first franchise appearance. Throughout Season 5, Detox’s confessionals showcased hilarious digs at her competitors. No matter the subject, the queen’s wry humor and wit came through clearly. And in “Untucked!,” she certainly didn’t mince words either. In one instance, she truly schooled Serena ChaCha after the latter’s condescending remarks about education. Detox isn’t mean-spirited — but when she’s had it, you’d better watch out.

#18: A’Whora


Season 2 of “Drag Race UK” just wouldn’t have been the same without A’Whora. Sure, she wasn’t the only one with entertaining confessionals. But her remarks had a bite that made for sheer entertainment. A’Whora pulled no punches when critiquing her peers’ outfits — and considering her background in design, we don’t blame her. But she had funny and sassy lines for a whole variety of situations. Her shadiness arguably reached its peak, though, when she and a competitor clashed over similar looks. With A’Whora accusing Sister Sister of aping her concept during the filming break, the claws were out.

#17: Valentina


Some shady queens get into tussles and others reign supreme in confessionals. And to be sure, Valentina had no problem reading her competitors for filth when necessary. However, her shady qualities emerged most prominently at the Season 9 reunion. She was revealed as that installment’s Miss Congeniality, and let’s just say some queens took issue with the news. Multiple contestants attested to her less-than-congenial behavior during and after filming. Plus, they called out her reluctance to reel in overprotective viewers. Most of all, though, her treatment of Farrah Moan seemed to speak volumes. Valentina staged a major comeback in “All Stars” 4, but her shady behavior surrounding her first “Drag Race” appearance can’t be forgotten.

#16: Utica Queen


Season 13 was full of big characters, but this queen had one of the most striking personalities of all. Utica combined a youthful innocence with an unusual artistic sensibility — which made her cutthroat shade all the more shocking. This was most apparent in the truly unforgettable comedy roast episode. Her routine did have some truly daring moments, like asking RuPaul to stand and expose the lower portion of her outfit. However, although most of Utica’s jokes were brutal, they weren’t well-received. This roast performance was one of the cringiest in “Drag Race” her-story, but it was also one of the shadiest.

#15: Acid Betty


Long before Daya Betty showed off her signature eyeroll on Season 14, another Betty practically patented the move. That would be makeup artist extraordinaire Acid, who brought realness and attitude to Season 8 until her fateful Madonna lip sync. Who could forget when her shadiness came up at the finale? In front of a live audience, Trixie Mattel unforgettably confronted Betty about the latter’s choice words during an “Untucked” episode. As Trixie’s video message had played to Kim Chi, Season 8’s shady lady simply couldn’t contain herself. Betty’s critiques of Trixie’s makeup were definitely uncalled for, but they did produce an iconic finale moment.

#14: Violet Chachki


We simply couldn’t have passed over the Season 7 winner. She was even voted “Shadiest Queen” during her season’s DESPY Awards challenge. From the premiere episode onward, Violet showed that she had opinions about her competitors’ abilities. Crucially, though, she had the goods to back up her confidence. She could definitely put her foot in her mouth, like when she declared she hated Michelle Visage. But, as we saw in the reading mini-challenge, she would read you to your face just as well. This queen has become a fashion authority for good reason, and we’ll never get tired of her fiery hot takes.

#13: Jimbo


Although Jimbo could certainly read a queen on her season of “Canada’s Drag Race,” the claws ― and the breastplate ― truly came out in “UK vs the World.” Her competitors came after her for ostensibly making multiple alliances, but that wasn’t even close to Jimbo’s shadiest move. After she was eliminated by Pangina, the Canadian queen left a hilariously snarky message on the Werk Room mirror. Then came Jimbo’s barrage of “hypothetical” critiques of Pangina during the finale episode. We know that the Canadian queen plays a larger-than-life character dripping with irony. But there was no denying that in this case, the shade was real.

#12: Thorgy Thor


There’s shady, and then there’s salty. Thorgy Thor happened to be both during her Season 8 and “All Stars” 3 appearances. Don’t get us wrong: we love this vivacious, clowny queen. But she didn’t hesitate to stir up drama as a contestant, and it made for great TV. On her first season, she often spoke of being underappreciated by the judges, especially when compared to Bob the Drag Queen. In “All Stars,” meanwhile, she again complained of unfair treatment ― but this time, she might have had a point. In any case, her goodbye letter to Trixie Mattel with some choice words for Shangela caused serious drama in the Werk Room. “Looking good, feeling Thorgeous” ― and acting shady.

#11: Darienne Lake


If Bianca Del Rio calls you shady, then we can safely say it’s the truth. Darienne wasn’t usually outright mean, but some queens certainly got on her bad side. She never shied away from providing feedback or facing down her competitors, whether Trinity K. Bonet, Gia Gunn, or Courtney Act. But her shade was often targeted at BenDeLaCreme, who seemed to rub her the wrong way. From questioning the comedy queen’s challenge wins to calling her big-headed, there was no telling what critique Darienne would lobby next. But DeLa didn’t just sit around and take it. Throughout this Season 6 feud, she had no shortage of quick-witted retorts up her sleeve.

#10: Ginger Minj


This three-time competitor is one of the funniest to ever do it. Her shadiness isn’t the only reason why, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. She pulled no punches in her original appearance, coming for the likes of Max and Kennedy Davenport in “Untucked!” Mere moments into “All Stars” 2, meanwhile, she subtly questioned Violet Chachki’s Season 7 win. And did we mention her success in reading mini-challenges? They certainly weren’t the only instance of Ginger’s shadiness. But they did demonstrate her ability to come up with cutthroat one-liners like nothing else. When the glamour toad is around, no one is safe.

#9: Jade Jolie


This queen is responsible for one of the most savage reads in “Drag Race” her-story. However, she didn’t only direct her ire at the iconic Alyssa Edwards. In the Season 5 premiere, she got into a brutal back-and-forth with the infamous Serena ChaCha. Although she got hit a few times, there’s no question she emerged from the feud on top. But of course, Jade’s shadiest moment came about during an iconic “Untucked!” episode. Jade had previously clashed with Alyssa, but it’s obvious the dancing queen wasn’t expecting the now-infamous “backrolls” call-out. Jade “got her” ― and got under her skin.

#8: Courtney Act


Did this Australian queen get the villain edit on Season 6? That’s up for debate, but there’s no question she threw down her fair share of shade while on the show. For one, we can’t ignore her condescending attitude towards her admirer Joslyn Fox. She referred to Joslyn as her little sister… but we feel bad for anyone whose sibling treats them like that. Aside from her main victim, Courtney also loved to come for Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano. When your very first words to someone are backhanded, it’s obvious that there’s more shadiness to come.

#7: Tatianna


“Thank you,” Tatianna, for providing countless unforgettable moments on your two “Drag Race” appearances. Whether way back in Season 2 or in the second installment of “All Stars,” she never failed to comment on her competitors’ questionable choices. She quarreled with Tyra Sanchez during her first appearance, calling out the eventual winner right in front of the judges. She was underestimated at first during her comeback season, but quickly showed she could hit back at her fellow ‘All Stars.” And who could forget perhaps Tatianna’s shadiest appearance of all? In an episode of “All Stars” Season 1’s “Untucked!,” she appeared on video to read the contestants for filth.

#6: Shangela


If “Drag Race” has a clapback queen, then Shangela is surely in the running. She clashed with the likes of Carmen Carrera and Raja in “Untucked!” But her most iconic shade-fest involved the notorious Mimi Imfurst. Sure, Shangela came for Mimi’s makeup and brand of drag, but once the latter responded, the gloves were off. Shangela did not take kindly to accusations of financial support, to say the least. In her incredible run “All Stars” 3, Shangela had calmed down considerably. But she could still lay down the law when needed, especially when it came to Milk. Halleloo!

#5: Raven


RuPaul’s makeup artist got her start as one of Season 2’s sassiest competitors. Although she would find friendship in queens like Jujubee, any fan of the show knows she has a dark side. She delivered no shortage of brutal but hilarious comments, particularly towards her nemesis Tatianna. In one particularly memorable exchange in “Untucked!,” Raven claimed she would never say a certain something about Tatianna. Of course, this wasn’t quite the truth. The duo also butted heads at the reunion over Raven’s disparaging comments. But we can’t forget how the “All Star” also went after Nicole Paige Brooks and Pandora Boxx, among others. She seems to have softened over the years, but Raven will always have an edge that makes for pure entertainment.

#4: Jujubee


With the likes of Tyra Sanchez, Raven, and Tatianna butting heads, the shade was bountiful in Season 2. However, Jujubee still managed to stand out for her wit and candor. Who could forget her assessment of Tyra’s star potential (and her shoes) in “Untucked!”? And need we remind you that Jujubee has won three separate reading challenges? She told us she would read a queen to filth, and she certainly wasn’t wrong. Who could forget phrases like “leg and dairy” and “Meh-hem Miller”? She’s had no shortage of appearances throughout the franchise, but a mind like hers keeps us coming back for more.

#3: Willam


This early-season queen has never returned to “Drag Race,” but her original appearance is about as iconic as they come. She didn’t usually get loud during conflicts with her fellow queens, but she didn’t need to. Even when they were quiet, her clever retorts were perfectly timed. She also had no lack of confidence, and made sure everyone knew it. Sure, her big talk about her acting career got old, but she’s a legend for a reason. Even though she could rub her fellow queens the wrong way, her passive aggressive brand of shade made Season 4’s “Untucked!” one of the best ever. “Nurse!”

#2: Gia Gunn


We have to give her credit: this queen was never afraid to speak her mind, even when it didn’t make her the most likable. In fact, she’s one of the most cutthroat queens to ever compete on the show. From the moment she met BenDeLaCreme in the Werk Room, Gia showed she was a master of backhanded compliments and cheeky comments. And shall we discuss her takes on Kelly Mantle? Unsurprisingly, Gia wasn’t exactly a peacekeeper upon her return for “All Stars” 4. However, she certainly gave us some hilarious quotes while she lasted. Would we keep watching? “Absolutely.”

#1: Bianca Del Rio


Although Trinity K. Bonet infamously couldn’t answer Bianca’s line of questioning in “Untucked!,” we don’t know if we could either. That’s how towering a presence Season 6’s reigning comedy queen is. She’s viper-tongued and whip-smart, and she showed throughout her appearance that she could read her competitors like no one else. Although her critiques could be brutal, her sense of comedic timing made her shade some of the funniest “Drag Race” has seen. Whether an oversized ego or a dull personality, it was all material for Bianca. And we were happy to be her audience.
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