RuPaul’s Drag Race is the gift that keeps on giving: Every season inundates us with more humor, fashion, and drama than any other show on TV. And anyone who can’t go bigger than big has to sashay on home.
In fact, the sheer volume of fabulousness makes it a fun challenge to keep track of our favorite glow-ups. Since it’s been a while, you probably need a refresher on last season’s highest highs and lowest lows to get the most out of Season 11, premiering Thursday, February 28, 9/8c on VH1.
Below are ten of the moments that made Season 10 the most.
1. The iconic end of the first episode
Things get off to a bold start when Ru reveals that “Farrah Moan” is returning to the competition. But y’all wanted a twist? The queen she brings to the stage is actually the iconic Christina Aguilera, who belts out a killer riff to prove it. Yet somehow, even that reveal gets overshadowed by Vanessa Mateo’s elimination. The shock of losing such a big personality so early set the fan base aflame, while the departing diva gave us 2018’s most enduring meme: “Miss… Vanjie.” Her superstar appeal even earned her another chance to compete, so now we’ll get to see her prove what she’s capable of when Season 11 premieres on February 28, 9/8c.
2. The design challenge delivers two branding opportunities
Season 8’s first sewing assignment gave Bob her “Purse First” tagline, which became a calling card and a hit single. Not to be outdone, Season 10 launched two indelible gimmicks. Though the story behind Monet X Change’s dress didn’t land with the judges, the sponges she built it out of are now forever part of her image. Similarly, Monique Heart’s giraffe print garment confused the panel, but her description of it as “brown cow… stunning!” inspired several of her looks both in and out of drag on All Stars 4.
3. Alyssa returns for “PharmaRusical”
Few queens have had the post-elimination impact of Alyssa Edwards. Her YouTube show Alyssa’s Secret, her compelling turn on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 2, and her reality show Dancing Queen on Netflix have all proven how infinitely watchable (and quotable) she is. The same holds true when she coaches the girls on how to turn their lip-syncing up a notch for their mainstage musical challenge. Her advice consists mostly of “more is more,” but there’s no denying that she invigorates the whole process simply by showing up. Plus, the queens who take her direction to go bigger actually do end up looking better because of it.
4. The lip syncs get SERIOUS
Mayhem Miller may have landed in the bottom during the fourth episode, but she used it as a chance to remind everyone what a legend looks like. Her “Celebrity Skin” performance showed that even if rock music was outside her comfort zone, talent is applicable in any genre. Future battles continued to up the ante: Monet’s jump split fake-out gave the judges a good laugh and built anticipation for when she landed the real thing later on, and Eureka did literal circles around the competition with her bouncing, spinning “New Attitude” splits.
5. The Vixen and Asia get real
The Vixen announced straight away that she was “just here to fight,” and she followed through on that promise. But when her clashes with the rest of the cast (Eureka in particular) began to dominate the workroom and Untucked, Asia O’Hara stepped in with a measured, compassionate response. Without invalidating or talking down to her sister, she imparted calm and clarity about the value of keeping one’s cool. The interaction showed what a strong mentor Asia could be and gave The Vixen a chance to explain herself in a less heated situation, making both of them more sympathetic.
6. Blair St. Clair makes a personal revelation
The competition’s breezy Broadway beauty dropped one of the season’s biggest bombshells when she explained the surprising source of her sunny façade. Opening up for the first time about a past sexual assault, she spoke emotionally about working past her trauma and using it as a reminder to treasure the positive aspects of her life. Her tearful story highlights how important Drag Race is: There are people underneath the makeup with stories that can uplift and inspire.
7. Aquaria proves she’s more than just a pretty face
While New York’s high-fashion prodigy consistently slayed the runway, she was dogged by accusations that she didn’t have much of a personality. However, she flipped the script during the eagerly awaited Snatch Game episode. Aquaria’s quick-witted send-up of Melania Trump catapulted her to an unexpected win. This maxi challenge has always been used to separate the queens from the princesses, and her victory cemented her as a force to be reckoned with in any arena.
8. Miz Cracker births Miz Cookie
The other challenge fans look forward to every year is the makeover, and Season 10 did not let us down. Pairing the queens with YouTube stars ensured that they had plenty of charm and flair to work with, even if their daughters were still diamonds in the rough. But no one polished up shinier than Chester See, who went from butch and bearded to beautiful and blended thanks to Cracker’s next-level paint job. The new look unleashed her inner diva, and the duo pranced down the runway to a comfortable win.
9. Kameron stops relying on that body
Though she left the other girls thirsting, this season’s muscle queen was perpetually underestimated. Quiet by nature, she preferred to fade into the background and let her work speak for itself. Despite consistently glamorous runways and high-octane lip syncs, it wasn’t until episode eight that she nailed down a win. With a secretly stellar singing voice and a Cher impression as rock-solid as her abs, she stopped flying under the radar and started asserting herself as real competition.
10. Everything the top four does
We could write a whole list just about the season’s endgame. It starts with a performance of RuPaul’s “American” so breathtaking that no one gets eliminated before the finale. This decision paves the way for a showstopping last-episode tournament with too many costume reveals to count. From Asia’s butterflies to Eureka’s confident corset, the final sprint to the crown truly takes your breath away.
In the end, Aquaria nabbed the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar, but we’re the true winners for getting to watch it all happen right in front of our eyes.
With only ten spots on this list, we had to make some tough cuts of great moments. Comment below with YOUR favorite moment from Season 10! And don’t forget to tune into VH1 Thursday, February 28, 9/8c to see a whole new cast of queens make herstory when Season 11 premieres.