Eureka’s surprise departure from the competition has already set up a “returning queen” twist for Season 10. Like Shangela and Cynthia Lee Fontaine before her, she’ll be given a shot at Rudemption and a second chance at the crown. But if for any reason she couldn’t (or simply didn’t want to) return, you have to wonder: which hopefuls from the past would make the most of a second lap?
Here are our choices for eight queens who could slay the next season.
1. Victoria “Porkchop” Parker
This one is a no-brainer. As the first person ever to get the chop, she has the most to gain from a new beginning. Plus, she didn’t have the advantage of knowing what she was getting into; the queens in her year were setting precedents rather than following them. She already had plenty of experience behind her the first time she was cast. Imagine what she’d be capable of now that she understands the ins and outs of the race.
2. Lashauwn Beyond
Season 4’s second sashayer gave us the classic quote, “this is not RuPaul’s Best Friend Race,” and for that alone, we owe her. At the time, she didn’t have the confidence needed to excel in the challenges. But she’s a well-rounded queen who was known even at the time for constructing looks for other performers, so a little aging and ripening might have refined her to the point where she’d be ready to show up and show out.
3. Kelly Mantle
Another established performer that the show jettisoned early, Ms. Mantle has been a television mainstay for many years. Given the resume she has built, it’s possible that she simply doesn’t need the validation of a win at this point, but if she came back, it’d be a blast to see what this comedienne could deliver if she made it to Snatch Game.
4. Jasmine Masters
Her name is Jasmine Masters, and she has something to say. Is there a chance in Hell she’d snatch the crown? Absolutely not. But would she create excellent television every step of the way? You bet your padded ass. She’s the reason we had a message from Patti LaBelle at the reunion special, and her stream-of-consciousness YouTube uploads have churned out iconic memes like factories. Let her back into the workroom, and she’s guaranteed to entertain the masses.
5. Alisa Summers
Another Season 4 alum, she was sent home in the first challenge for lacking style and polish. But, like Shangela before her, she had potential for a newbie, and another few years might have done her well. She was pretty and witty, and contestants have gotten by on less than that before. I want to know what other tricks she has up her sleeve.
6. Nicole Paige Brooks
Admit it: when you see her name written, you hear it said out loud, he her voice, with the kind of emphasis usually reserved for shouting at crowds through a megaphone. This lanky luminary might have burned out early (and her recent run-ins with the law certainly don’t bode well), but the internet can’t decide if its love affair with her is ironic or not, and bringing her back would be a great way to figure that out.
7. Tempest DuJour
Poor Tempest. Ru really put her through the ringer. Beyond the indignity of being Season 7’s first kill, she was brought back from the dead only to lose a second lip sync. She’s got humor, heart, and an old-school style that too often gets overshadowed by the more modern girls. Give her the relief of being safe for just one challenge. She’s earned it.
8. Serena ChaCha
No, really, hear me out on this one. Season 6’s divisive diva was mouthy and immature during her time on the show, and rightly deserved to be sent packing almost immediately. But if anyone would gain from showing the audience that she’s turned over a new leaf, it’s Serena. Since sashaying, she’s been taken on by Lineysha Sparx as a drag daughter. If her personality has matured as much as her aesthetic, then she could win back America’s respect and maybe even the crown outright.
Comment below with your thoughts on these queens, or let us know who you’d rather see come back to the competition.