Over the years, several queens who had been doing a good job in the competition ended up being prematurely eliminated, prompting Drag Race fans to adopt the term “robbed queen” for these fierce contestants. We’ll never know how things would’ve actually played out if these queens stayed on the show, but there’s definitely a feeling that they could’ve gone all the way to the end as strong contenders to fight for the crown.
When talking about “robbed queens,” it’s important to point out that this isn’t about negating that the right queen was crowned during each of those Drag Race seasons. In this list, we are featuring queens who were “robbed” of getting farther in the competition – not that they’d necessarily win the show. With that in mind, it’s time to list some of the fiercest “robbed queens” in Drag Race herstory!
Scroll through to see our fan-casting of an all-“robbed queens” season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, which is available for streaming on Paramount+.
As Drag Race season one reached its halfway point, the two frontrunners of the competition were Ongina (with two maxi challenge wins) and BeBe Zahara Benet (with one challenge win). Unfortunately, both of those queens landed in the bottom two in episode five, which led to Ongina’s elimination. BeBe was obviously the clear winner of the season, but we can’t help but wonder how Ongina would’ve done had she stayed longer on the show.
This will be… one of the easiest picks for a list of “robbed queens.” DiDa Ritz did very well for herself throughout season four, delivered one of the most iconic lip syncs of all time with “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”, and made it all the way to the top six. And yet, DiDa was constantly overlooked by the judges and didn’t get to win any maxi challenges. It is clear that DiDa needs another shot at Drag Race on an All Stars season.
Lineysha Sparx (Season 5)
Lineysha Sparx served some of the fiercest looks featured on season five of Drag Race. She was also a beautiful and charismatic contestant who, unfortunately, did struggle with not speaking English fluently at the time. There was definitely room for Lineysha to go further in the competition, so it would be extremely fierce to see her compete again on All Stars.
A significant portion of Joslyn Fox’s edit during season six revolved around her admiration for – and subsequent issues with – Courtney Act. She was also constantly criticized on the runway for giving the judges similar looks. With that said, Joslyn was a much fiercer contestant than the judges and the other queens gave her credit for. Overall, she excelled in several challenges and was repeatedly overlooked, which absolutely means that she’s earned the label of “robbed queen” within the Drag Race universe.
She’s a brand! Back in season seven, it was nearly unthinkable that a drag performer could make a living without booking gigs to perform at clubs and bars. But Miss Fame already had a clear vision that she was on a different path… a path that she has absolutely succeeded in over the years. Watching back season seven, it becomes evident that Fame was elevating the level of runway looks that would later be served in subsequent seasons of Drag Race. Though she struggled to compete in a season that had so many group challenges, acting challenges, and comedy challenges, Fame deserves a spot in a “robbed queens” season of All Stars.
Thorgy Thor is one of the most talented and charismatic queens in Drag Race herstory, but it just so happens that the odds were certainly not in her favor during season eight and All Stars 3. In many ways, Thorgy has everything it takes for a queen to snatch the crown, but the judges just seemed to overlook her performances time and time again in the competition. It would be wonderful to see Thorgy back on All Stars… and who knows? Maybe third time’s the charm.
Asia O’Hara did get praise from the judges and got herself all the way to the grand finale of season 10. However, the pressure to outdo Sasha Velour’s iconic rose petals reveal at the season nine finale was clearly a major factor that got in the way of all the finalists in season 10. This is even truer for Asia, who by all means was a contender to win the crown, but who fell short as her butterfly reveal turned out to be an epic fail. We need Asia to get another chance on All Stars, stat!
On both season 11 and All Stars 6, one can’t help but feel that Scarlet Envy had more to show when she was eliminated from the competition. Both of her eliminations felt like casualties caused by external factors, not necessarily because she was underperforming on the show. All things considered, it’d be great to see Scarlet getting a fair shot on All Stars.
Most fans have labeled Jan as a “robbed queen” due to her not winning the Madonna Rusical of season 12, but the truth is that Jan was overlooked in a lot more challenges than just that one specific Rusical. For a queen with such powerhouse vocals and a great sense of marketing herself, you’d think that Jan would be taken seriously as a contender like Adore Delano and Courtney Act in season six… but that’s not at all the reception she received from the judges on season 12 and All Stars 6. Jan deserves a full Ru-demption story arc, and we’d love to see it.
One of the most recent entries to the list of “robbed queens” is Denali following her run on Drag Race season 13. She gave us memorable lip syncs, plenty of charisma in the confessionals, eye-catching runway looks, and showed off her incredible dancing skills. But along came the makeover challenge, which landed Denali and Olivia Lux in the bottom two and ended up taking Denali out from the competition very suddenly. It feels like a given that Denali will come back to compete on a future All Stars, but we’ll keep manifesting this casting choice just in case.