Some queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race have gone on to become huge social media influencers that are followed by millions of adoring fans. When Drag Race first premiered on Logo in 2009, it wasn’t exactly an instant mainstream hit. It took a few years for the judges and the contestants to figure out what the show would ultimately be like. But at this point, Drag Race is watched by millions of people from around the world and keeps breaking new records in the Emmy Awards. There’s no way around it: the queens are now given an immense platform from the moment that they’re cast on the show.
It can be hard for up-and-coming drag performers to conquer the social media game after getting so much Drag Race exposure. Some queens have struggled over the years with hateful messages, death threats, and overall pressure from the fans. Fortunately, however, there are also plenty of queens that only improve their reputation with the content that they share online. All things considered, going far on RuPaul’s Drag Race isn’t a perfect indicator for a queen’s post-season fame. While it helps to stick around and do well in the competition, there are many contestants who “failed” at Drag Race but got the most followers on Instagram as the years went by.
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There is a total of four queens in the RuPaul’s Drag Race universe that have more than 2 million followers on Instagram: Bianca Del Rio (2.4 million), Trixie Mattel (2.3 million), Katya (2.2 million), and Adore Delano (2.1 million). The ranking goes on to include Kim Chi (1.9 million), Violet Chachki (1.9 million), and Plastique Tiara (1.8 million). Rounding out the Top 10 are Alyssa Edwards (1.8 million), Sasha Velour (1.8 million), and Alaska (1.8 million). Going down the list, one finds Aquaria (1.7 million), Naomi Smalls (1.6 million), Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (1.5 million), and Valentina (1.5 million).
Other Drag Race queens who have over a million followers on Instagram are Manila Luzon (1.4 million), Shangela (1.4 million), Shea Coulee (1.4 million), Bob The Drag Queen (1.4 million), and Trinity The Tuck (1.3 million). The list then includes Courtney Act (1.2 million), Jinkx Monsoon (1.2 million), Brooke Lynn Hytes (1.2 million), and Gigi Goode (1.2 million). Within the 1.1 million followers bracket, one can find Miz Cracker, Detox, Sharon Needles, Miss Fame, and Yvie Oddly. Queens that recently joined the one-million club are Willam, Pearl, BenDeLaCreme, Jujubee, Monet X Change, and Latrice Royale.
Looking at the numbers, it is clear which queens are preferred by the Drag Race fans. Over time, however, anything can happen, and new queens can rise all the way to the top!
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 airs Fridays at 8pm EST on VH1.
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About The Author
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Bernardo Sim writes about TV shows, queer culture, & Brazilian media. Born and raised in the Amazon, he now lives in South Florida. he/him