[MAJOR SPOILERS ALERT] There has been a huge uproar this week since BenDeLaCreme got eliminated instead Darienne Lake, so the staff here at Dragaholic has come up with this huge list of the 16 most shocking and controversial moments in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory! The moments are listed in no particular order, but you can vote for which ones you feel were the most shocking/controversial in the poll at the end of this article. And, if you feel that we’ve missed a shocking or controversial moment, let us know in the comments or tweet it to us at @DragaholicNews.
BenDeLaCreme’s Elimination From Season 6, Episode 11
In the 11th episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6, entitled “Glitter Ball”, BenDeLaCreme was eliminated after lip-syncing against Darienne Lake. This may be THE most controversial elimination in the show’s history and it has caused a massive uproar on social media. People have tweeted very degrading things to Miss Darienne, and even queens from pervious seasons have tweeted and Facebook’d about the loss—season 2 and All Stars season 1 runner-up, Raven, showed love for DeLa on Facebook by posting “Long live BenDeLaCreme!!!!” In response to the hate she received, Darienne tweeted: “Show how much you hate me by buying one of @bendelacreme’s tshirts! http://Shop.bendelacreme.com”. DeLa also tweeted: “Please don’t throw shade in my name. I feel completely fulfilled by my time on RPDR- I don’t need anyone else cut down for me to feel high.”
Pandora Boxx’s Elimination From Season 2, Episode 8
Pandora Boxx was eliminated from Episode 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2 during the “Golden Gals” episode. After Pandora’s elimination, fans took to social media to express their anger. Even celebrity news website Entertainment Weekly voiced their opinion on her elimination, saying “Pandora Boxx, in our hearts you are America’s Next Drag Superstar… even if RuPaul doesn’t think so.”
Tyra Sanchez Winning Season 2 over Raven
Tyra Sanchez was only 21 when she was crowed “America’s Next Drag Superstar” at the end of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2. Fans were enraged that RuPaul chose Tyra as the winner over fan favorite Raven. To this day, fans still tell Raven that it should have been her who won season 2. We know she wouldn’t have complained to have that extra $25,000 in her bank account! Although she didn’t win, she has continued to become one of the most successful queens to come from the show.
Kelly Mantle Being Eliminated First on Season 6
Kelly Mantle was well known before her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race, so many of her pre-RPDR fans were enraged when she was sent home in the very first episode of season 6. Having had small roles on numerous television shows (check her IMDB profile), and being closely related to baseball legend Mickey Mantle, even Kelly herself was shocked by her elimination. On the same night of her elimination she released a music video entitled ‘Eliminated’, which includes the extremely catchy lyric: “Don’t you know who I think I am!”
April Carrion Being Eliminated from Season 6, Episode 4
Although April Carrion’s elimination from Season 6, Episode 4 didn’t cause an immediate recation, her continued social posts of photos of her ‘would-have-been’ runway looks have kept Drag Race fans talking about her. She may be one of the fishiest Puerto Rican queens to every grace the main stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and fans seem to think she would be a great addition to the second season of All Stars.
Willam Belli’s Disqualification in Season 4, Episode 8
Willam Belli was a front runner to win RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4, so when he was told to sashay away for “breaking the rules” jaws literally dropped… especially because he and Latrice Royale had just won the main stage challenge. If you re-watch this episode, you can tell that something is bothering him because he is exceptionally quiet and unresponsive to questions and remarks from other queens. He even threw up on the main stage (which may have been because his corset was too tight). During the finale/reunion episode, Willam revealed that his elimination was due to “conjugal visits” he was receiving from his husband. Since this was against the rules of the contract he signed to be on the show, he was consequently eliminated. Willam’s elimination, however, added another catchphrase to the many that have come from the show: “Rupologize”. He even turned the success of this catchphrase into a music video of the same name, which features the winning queen of the season, Sharon Needles. The video, which now has more than 1 million views, blatantly throws shade at the shows producers for inviting him to be a part of the first season of All Stars and then taking back their invitation shortly after.
Raven Losing All Stars Season 1 to Chad Michaels
Both Raven and Chad Michaels are fierce queens in and of themselves, but, when Chad Michaels was crowned the winner of the first season of All Stars, Raven’s fans threw a bitch fit. Although both queens were equally deserving of the crown, it was hard to watch Raven take second place… again.
Bebe Zahara Benet Winning Season 1 Over Nina Flowers
Although Bebe Zahara Benet was a fierce queen during season 1, and in every way deserving of the crown, Nina Flowers was the fan favorite. Her looks screamed originality and it was hard not to find oneself saying her incredibly addicting catchphrase, “LOCA!” When Bebe was crowned the winner, fans openly expressed their outrage on the RuPaul’s Drag Race Facebook page.
Ongina and Trinity K. Bonet Revealing Their HIV+ Statuses
Discussing one’s HIV+ status is not easy to do, so revealing it on television for the entire world to know takes a lot of guts. When Ongina revealed her HIV status in season 1 she broke down and cried. It was the first time she had opened up about it to any one and at that time even her family didn’t know. However, during the show’s reunion episode, she shared that she had decided to tell her family about it before the episode aired. Trinity K. Bonet also revealed her HIV status during season 6 in an episode of Untucked. Her reveal was received with positive feedback from her fellow competitors. From here, Trinity continued to blossom as a character on the show; by the time she was eliminated in episode 9, fans had fallen in love with her bravery and sickening runway looks.
Mimi Imfurst Lifting India Ferrah Onto Her Shoulders
When Mimi Imfurst lifted India Ferrah during the season 3, episode 3 lip-sync performance jaws dropped. Although Mimi later claimed that she was known for pulling such a stunt in her own shows, the decision to do it on RuPaul’s Drag Race led to her immediate elimination. It’s hard not to picture India kicking and punching whenever we think about this shocking moment.
Sonique and Monica Coming Out as Transgender
Being gay requires coming out once (although on many separate occasions) to one’s friends and family. For most gay men, this is one of the hardest moment of their lives and then it’s (mostly) over. Sonique and Monica Beverly Hillz chose to come out again during their time on the show, this time as transgender. Sonique came out as transgender in a tearful moment during the season 2 reunion episode. However, since then she has relocated from Atlanta to Los Angeles and seems to be living her life to the fullest and loving every minute of it. During the recent ‘she-mail’ controversy, Sonique stood with the show and shared her disappointment about the loss of “You’ve got she-mail!” Monica Beverly Hillz came out as transgender shortly before she was eliminated from season 5, episode 3. Like Sonique, she seems to have made a smooth transition and is enjoying her new life.
Shangela Returning to Season 3 After Being Eliminated First in Season 2
Having been in drag for only a few months when she was cast on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 2, it was no surprise that Shangela got eliminated so quickly from the show. After her elimination, she worked hard to improve her performance and look, and she even went on to win the California Entertainer of the Year pageant that year. When Shangela popped out of a box in the second episode of season 3 (the first episode was a casting special), the new contestants were less than thrilled. Although she didn’t win the season, she made it into the top five and wasn’t eliminated until episode 11. Her time on season 3 propelled her popularity among Drag Race fans and she continues to death drop all around the world!
The Judges Choices to Bring Back Eliminated Queens Carmen Carrera and Kenya Michaels
After Carmen Carrera was eliminated in season 3, and Kenya Michaels from season 4, viewers expected that to be the last they would see of these queens (until the reunion episodes). However, in a shocking decision, RuPaul asked Michelle Visage and Santino Rice to pick an eliminated queen and ask them to come back. This decision frustrated many of the queens who still remained in the competition. In the following episodes, Carmen and Kenya returned to their respective seasons only to be asked to once again sashay away. We assume this quick re-elimination is the reason that the directors decided to not bring back queens in season 5 and 6.
Mimi Imfurst Being Cast on All Stars Season 1
After Mimi’s early elimination from season 3, and the major backlash she received from picking up India Ferrah (read more about this above), there wasn’t much reason to assume that she would be cast on All Stars Season 1. She walked into the workroom in a sickening outfit that showed off her slim new body, however, her partnership with Pandora Boxx proved to be her downfall and ultimately led to their team’s elimination in the first episode. Drama ensued backstage during the corresponding Untucked episode and Mimi received numerous attacks on her social media channels.
The Double-Elimination of Honey Mahogany and Vivian Pinay
Only once, in all of RuPaul’s Drag Race history, have both of the bottom two queens been eliminated. This jaw dropping moment, following a less than enthusiastic lip-sync, saw Honey Mahogany and Vivian Pinay both eliminated from season 5.
Michelle Visage Flashing Her Boobs
Need we say more? This was definitely a shocking and memorable moment of season 3 that fans will never forget… “Those aren’t breasts, THESE are breasts!”