Imagine the scene. You’re flicking through channels on TV, or maybe through videos on YouTube, not really paying attention to what’s on. Finally, something catches your eye. It’s a beautiful woman, dolled up in perfect make-up and a glittering ball gown. What is this, the Miss World finals or something?
But wait – no. This isn’t Miss World at all. It’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the woman you have been admiring for all this time has something different between her legs. That’s right, honey – you’ve had a crush on a drag queen.
It’s perfectly understandable. Some queens go for the drama or love the retro look, but many modern queens are all about looking as fishy as possible. To those of you who don’t speak queen, that means that they try as hard as possible to look like a real woman. A lot of them succeed so well that they would put their own sisters to shame.
Not only do they manage to look like a woman, but some of them take fishy to a new level by being one of the hottest women you’ve ever seen. It’s almost not fair that these guys manage to be super talented at sewing, singing, dancing, lip-syncing, and are also blessed with the bone structure to wear a face of make-up so perfectly it makes you want to ask for their number. These 15 queens have been stars of the show, and they’re absolutely hot AF – so get ready for some conflicting feelings if you’re a straight man.
15 Courtney Act
Courtney Act wasn’t exactly unknown before she went on Drag Race. The Australian is a singer who was actually a finalist on Australian Idol 2003. Rather than competing as a male, Shane Jenek actually took the decision to enter as Courtney and almost took the win. A music career was quick to follow, as well as a number of roles in television. Courtney’s music career has continued since being a runner-up on season six of the show, and she has also appeared in music videos for other artists. Her style is very feminine and genuine, normally with an emphasis on elegance and glamour. She’s one of the fishiest queens ever to compete on the show, and it’s hard to remember she’s really a man when watching her perform. In fact, if you caught one of her music videos without knowing who she was, you would probably be fooled from start to finish.
14 Adore Delano
Adore is the poster kid for the grungy style of drag. She is always seen with a grungy wig that wouldn’t look out of place on Kylie Jenner, thick eye make-up, and a more casual style of dress than the other queens. She also scrubs up pretty well when it comes time to do a photoshoot. Adore started out as a contestant on another kind of reality TV show – American Idol. As a male, under his real name of Danny Noriega, he made it through to the semi-finals in 2008 but didn’t get any further. He became a YouTube personality afterwards, both as Danny and as Adore, and soon made enough of a splash to get RuPaul’s attention. Adore also took part in All Stars 2 but made history as the first drag queen to voluntarily bow out of the competition, saying that she didn’t feel she fit in anymore with the more glamourous queens.
13 Manila Luzon
Manila Luzon was one of the biggest characters to come out of the third season of the show, and came as a runner-up in a very close finish. She also went on to compete in All Stars season 1, though she didn’t make it through to the final. Tragically, Manila had been in a long-term relationship with Sahara Davenport, another contestant from season 2. Sahara passed away from heart failure in 2012, leaving Manila heartbroken. She has dabbled in a music career with a few singles being released, and has been immortalized as a doll wearing her infamous pineapple dress which you can actually order online. Manila is known for a quirky style and her signature white streak through a black wig – worn no matter the hairstyle. Her dresses are often showstoppers, and she’s not afraid to pull a funny face for the camera. She’s not too hung up on perfection to have a good time!
12 Miss Fame
Miss Fame only came seventh in season seven, but it was enough to launch her music career with an album featuring several other prominent queens. She is known for a series of makeup tutorials titled Painted by Fame, and has even gone on to represent L’Oréal in some of their publicity. Her running joke on the show was that she didn’t get one of the big double entendres that RuPaul is known to use. Normally Ru will say, “How’s your head?”, the correct response being “Haven’t had any complaints.” However, Miss Fame kept getting it wrong time and again, actually thinking that RuPaul was asking about the headaches she had been experiencing. She was originally called Fame Fatale but dropped the Fatale to avoid confusion after Britney’s album of the same name. Her style is often very classic, with a nod to Hollywood golden age glamour, including chic wigs in the waved style.
11 Carmen Carrera
Carmen Carrera has to go down as one of the hottest queens ever on drag race. While many of them use their beauty to work cute or classy angles, Carmen is only interested in looking hot AF and being proud of it. She has a kick-ass body which she isn’t afraid to show off, and her looks were some of the most revealing ever seen on the show. If you find her attractive and that worries you, then there’s one consolation that you can enjoy. Carmen is actually a woman now, having made the transition after the show aired. She’s now a big transgender rights activist and also makes music, often with her close friends from the show. At one point there was even a petition for her to become a Victoria’s Secret model thanks to her perfect body, though sadly nothing came of it. Carmen is the fishiest queen on the show, and it’s no wonder considering she is now a real lady.
10 Violet Chachki
If you had to name one of the most shocking queens of the Drag Race legacy, Violet Chachki would have to be one of them. She has an incredibly tiny waist thanks to years of cinching, and used this to great effect in a series of skimpy corsets which had the judges gasping. She even played on it by coming out with an oxygen tank as a joke on one of the episodes. Violet went on to snatch the crown, shouting out an iconic “Come through!” in victory as it was announced. Her biggest moment, however, was when she returned for the next season for the traditional handing over the crown from the last winner to the next. She wore an incredible gown, which was so stunning that nothing like it has been seen before or since. That tiny waist lends itself well to a feminine beauty and an old Hollywood style that suits her well.
9 Derrick Barry
It’s pretty easy to find Derrick Barry attractive. Why? Because this performer is actually a full-time Britney Spears impersonator. She had the honour of being the 100th queen to enter the show, but she ended up leaving in fifth place. Derrick was another American Idol contestant who made it through to the quarter-finals of season three. Derrick is his real name – being a Britney impersonator means that he doesn’t usually need to have a stage name. One of the most interesting facts about him is that he is in a three-way relationship with two other men, one of whom became a fellow drag queen after appearing in one of the makeover challenges on the show. It seems like Drag Race is a very exclusive world which links all of the members together very closely when the season wraps, as many of them end up in relationships together or spending a lot of time performing together.
If you’ve seen anything about Drag Race in the last 12 months, it was probably to do with Valentina. She has made all kinds of controversy while taking part in season nine. First of all it was the fact that she was young, and therefore the older queens immediately looked down on her – only to be quickly outdone by her ability to create garments, do make-up, and perform on stage. Then there was a backstage rant which went viral, of another contestant accusing her of being so perfect and beautiful that the others had no chance. Finally, she forgot the words to the first song she had to lip-sync to, and was sent home under a cloud. Her massive army of fans were hugely disappointed. It all came to a head again when she was accused of being nasty in the reunion show. Whatever her real personality may be, one thing is clear: Valentina is one of the most stunning queens to appear on the show yet.
7 Farrah Moan
One of the newer queens appearing on season nine, Farrah Moan already had a huge Instagram following when she came onto the show. She’s known for her make-up looks and is quite a star in the beauty blogger world. This surprisingly caused some real rifts between the contestants, with some of them resenting the fact that she has an established fanbase who are known for sending her expensive presents. Farrah is one of the fishiest queens to walk the Drag Race runway, with a cotton candy-sweet style paired with luxe fashion sense. When you look at her, it’s hard to realize that she’s a drag queen – she could be any of the young make-up obsessed women on YouTube and Instagram. Her beauty only got her so far, however, and she was often criticized for appearing dumb and not making smart enough choices during the challenges. She wasn’t well-prepared for the show as she hadn’t expected to get in.
Although the man behind Katya is an American, he decided to create a hilarious Russian character for his drag persona. Katya Zamolodchikova was another Miss Congeniality who was loved by the fans, and though she also competed in All Stars 2, she has never managed to take home the title. As well as looking like a real woman, Katya has another secret weapon up her sleeve: her humour. If laughter is the way to your heart, you’ll fall in love with Katya very quickly. She has been hosting a webseries called "UNHhhh" on the WOWPresents YouTube channel since being on the show, and loves to play on her character with Russian phrases and poor grammar that make everything she says that little bit funnier. Despite not being strong enough for the win, she’s the kind of queen that everyone warms to during production. With a winning personality, it makes her all the hotter.
5 Laganja Estranja
One of the younger queens to have competed on the show, Laganja Estranja faced criticism when she entered the show because of her perceived lack of skills. She was accused of not having a great style, and of being far too fake and conceited. She was especially targeted for her over-use of stereotypical phrases and mannerisms which are known within the drag community. The other contestants, and the judges, felt that she was just play-acting at drag instead of taking it seriously. Her weed-based persona didn’t really mesh well with the show, and she was never quite able to make her mark before being booted off. It’s a shame, as with her long, model-like legs and creative style, she could have made more of an impact with a little more experience. It just wasn’t to be, but there’s always the next season of All Stars if it ever comes around.
4 Joslyn Fox
Appearing in season six, Joslyn Fox had previously been spotted on audition tape footage which was played during previous seasons. The producers made the decision to place her in that season as she considered Courtney Act to be one of her idols, though the interaction between the two of them quickly convinced Joslyn that Courtney wasn’t as much of a star as she thought. Joslyn was noteworthy for being a fan of wearing as little clothing as possible, a look which showed off her fishy body to the maximum. It also earned her criticism from the judges, however. Looking at her body in lingerie, it’s hard to believe that there is a biological man underneath that getup. She chose her drag last name after being called a ‘stone cold fox’ by one of her friends, and you can see why the description seemed apt. She wasn’t destined to be anywhere near the win, however.
3 Ivy Winters
Ivy was forever immortalized amongst Drag Race fans by the drawn-out pronunciation of “Ivy Winterrrrsssss” that RuPaul would always introduce her with. Although she was eliminated in sixth place in season five, she managed to win the coveted Miss Congeniality title, voted for by fans of the show. One of the most talked-about aspects of the season was a potential blossoming romance between Ivy and eventual winner Jinkx Monsoon. Jinkx admitted during the show that she had a huge crush on Ivy, but sadly it was unrequited. Ivy wasn’t interested at all, given that she already had a boyfriend on “the outside”. Still, it made for some very memorable moments during the show, as viewers watched Jinkx trying to hide her affections towards the stunning queen. It’s easy to see why she fell for her, with a twinkling smile both in and out of drag that stole the show.
Pearl is best known for one of the most classic moments in the whole running of Drag Race. She actually stood up to RuPaul after feeling victimized by the judging panel, and when she made her feelings clear, RuPaul simply stared at her. Rather than breaking eye contact or caving in, Pearl coolly asked, “Is there something on my face?” After that exchange she was probably never going to be crowned the winner, but Pearl did manage to make a big impact on fans of the show. Her trademark look includes the nose ring that she wears no matter the outfit calls for. Pearl also has the distinction of being one of the better-looking contestants when out of drag, and some leaked photos suggest he’s pretty gifted in the bedroom department as well. Pearl’s look is somewhat unusual because she has quite muscular arms, though of course that’s nothing that would set her apart from other women – just look at Madonna.
Despite having a man’s name – because Max really is this performer’s birth name – Max made a big impact on the show for her quiet elegance. She came ninth in season seven, but had the potential to go a lot further. A lot of fans actually think that ninth place might just be cursed, as several other fan favourites have left the show in that position when many think they could have challenged for the win. Anyway, Max’s style is characterized hugely by the beauty spot that she always wears on one side of her face, giving her a distinctive look that you can’t miss. She also goes for the old Hollywood glamour theme which is so popular with the better-looking queens. She has what you would call a striking face, but that doesn’t make her any less hot – in fact, it really adds to it. The body doesn’t hurt matters either.