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A comprehensive history of ‘villain of the season’ queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race

The show would be nothing without them

Just because a queen is a villain, doesn’t mean she’s not an icon. In fact, it means she’s more of an icon, if anything. In the early days of Drag Race, when we were not grown and wise to the tricks of the editing and the narrative storytelling Drag Race producers peddle, the villains got a really tough time. It literally could lead to them not getting bookings because people thought those queens were that unpleasant. Nowadays, getting branded as the villain of the season is a badge of honour – and with the iconic Mistress Isabelle Brooks vying for the title it got me thinking and reminiscing of all the iconic Drag Race villains of yore.

Season one – the villain’s origin era

Honestly, when it comes to Drag Race villains it doesn’t get much better than Shannel – a seasoned icon whose narrative on the show is that she’s pissed off she’s not getting enough compliments, especially when she’s wearing her “thousand dollar pants”. I remember watching season one when I was younger thinking Shannel was outrageous, but watching it back now… she was right!

She didn’t get enough praise for how sickening she was – it’s like the show was out to constantly make her feel humbled even though they should have just let her slay. Rebecca Glasscock was the real villain of the season and everyone knows it!

Season two – carnage

Season two’s villains are hard to pin down because the whole cast are just brutal to each other. Tyra, Raven and Tatianna are all bitchy, argumentative and angry with each other in numerous heated spats. A villainous season to its core – the least sisterly season I’d go as far to say.

Season three – HEATHERS

Season three abandoned villain narratives for Heather VS Boogers – which saw the group of Raja, Manila, Delta and Carmen against the queens who they deemed not as glamorous, polished and fierce. Cliquey chaos.

Season four? You already know

Season three abandoned villain narratives for Heather VS Boogers – which saw the group of Raja, Manila, Delta and Carmen against the queens who they deemed not as glamorous, polished and fierce. Cliquey chaos.

Season four? You already know

Since season four, and in the year’s

Season five was here to make it CLEAR 

The villain of season five was Roxxxy Andrews’ passionate fury over Jinkx Monsoon excelling at literally anything – she luckily got her redemption arc on All Stars 2 and all was well in the world.


Gia Gunn doesn’t jump the gun, she IS the boom boom gun, honey! The fact Gia Gunn is such an unabashed villain of the franchise on and off screen is something we should all thank her for, even if she talks nonsense about so many things. A drama starter, a chaos causer but some of the best telly you could ever hope for. Zero beauty at Drag Con!

Was Violet the villain?

Some say yes, some say no. Violet Chachki, the eventual winner, was in many ways set up to be one of the classic Drag Race villains – but I never think she really was. Obnoxious yes, villainous no. The real villains were the close minded and old school vibes of Kennedy, Jasmine and Ginger. Violet and Pearl may have been young but they never invalidated other styles of drag. That’s my two pence.

Acid Barry

Derrick Barry and Acid Betty both had rather villainous arcs on their season, but I think season eight was genuinely quite amicable. I love that episode when Bob shouts “If you want to do MEMORABLE drag, I could give you a few tips”. Lmao.

And Acid Betty was just SAVAGE. The Trixie awkwardness at the finale, I can’t.

‘Hello, it’s me!’

I will die on the hill that the season nine reunion of RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the singular greatest hours of reality TV I’ve ever witnessed. The drama is perfect, and as someone who’s written a lot of dialogue and scripts in my time it is the kind of back and forth exchanges that you could only dream of penning yourself.

Valentina’s arc as the sweetest queen who ever lived contrasting with the girls calling her out is like a hero’s tragic demise and fall from grace in Shakespeare. I love Valentina but it’s SOOOO juicy.

‘I just came to fight’

I feel like the show wants us to think it was The Vixen, but it was Eureka. Period.

I’m not gagging

Season 11’s biggest villains are the producers for giving us a Drag Race season that is so bad. Besides this iconic bitchy Rajah moment that makes me laugh a LOT.

Bitter Brita

I know there’s a lot of blame it on the edit chat regarding Brita, and it may be the case – but there’s no mistaking the fact she was definitely season 12’s villain for her random hatred and treatment of Aiden Zhane.

Kandy is no villain

Kandy Muse was not the villain. Tamisha Iman was too iconic to be a villain. This video reveals the villain.

Daya Betty supremacy!!!

Not for years has a villain had such a euphoric rise as Daya Betty does on season 14, she truly is one of the Drag Race villains for the ages. Mostly because she rises above her bad attitude and becomes a force to be reckoned with, but her arguments with the queens and bitterness are so iconic and she definitely deserves the title for the season.

The future villains

This year Mistress is after it and with her wit and speed she’s gonna get it. Thank the gay gods for the iconic TV we get from Drag Race villains!

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Before edits, featured image by Maxim Tajer on Unsplash