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Drag Race season two winner James Ross claims Michelle Visage ‘influenced’ hate from fans

‘On her press tour she made sure to say Tyra Sanchez didn’t deserve to win’

James Ross, the artist formerly known as Tyra Sanchez and who won season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is one of the most controversial figures in franchise history – a winner who previously quit drag all together and has been out of the limelight for some time after a major DragCon controversy a few years back. James Ross, now going by King Tyra after retiring Tyra Sanchez, has spoken out for the first time in years on his treatment on the show, going into some detail about where the online vitriol from the Drag Race fandom against him came from – the source, he claims, being none other than Michelle Visage.

Speaking to Joseph Shepherd on the Sissy That Talk Show podcast, James explains how the tides started to change following his win. Joseph asks James “You won, you had that moment of winning, and then something started to happen?”

James replies: “Michelle started to happen. Michelle Visage started to happen.

“Michelle got hired for season three, and on her press tour at every stop she made sure to say she didn’t think I deserved to win, and that’s where #RavenWasRobbed was created. If you go back and watch her old interviews on YouTube, every single interview she states that if she was a judge I’d have never won.”


James Ross (formerly Tyra Sanchez) chats what led to increased hate from the fandom online.

♬ original sound – @JosephAShepherd – JosephAShepherd

Joseph Shepherd then puts up an excerpt from one of these interviews, where Michelle Visage is quoted saying: “I wasn’t a judge in season one or two, but if I were there I’d have fought really hard for Raven to have been the winner. Still love Tyra, but I would have fought really hard for Raven to be the winner.”

Joseph asks James how what Michelle Visage said made him feel at the time of winning Drag Race as Tyra Sanchez, to which he replies in his opinion: “As for me as someone who didn’t know her, even if that’s her opinion, her being a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race is something that should have been kept behind closed doors and kept to herself. With her being a judge, her opinion carries weight and obviously influenced a whole generation of people.