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Eight times queens were robbed on RuPaul’s Drag Race

From disaster OG All Stars to Snatch Game slaying and killer lipsyncs, here are the contestants that should have taken the crown

As quickly as it came around – seriously didn’t All Stars 4 only just finish?! – another season of RuPaul’s Drag Race is about to come to an end. The top four’s race for the crown ( and the make-up supply, and the one hundred thousand dollahs) is on, and the arguments among the fandoms are already on fire.

While they’ve all got pros and cons, there’s only a one in four chance that your personal fave (Yvie) ends up snatching the crown, which will probably leave you screaming at the television that the one you were backing was robbed.

Looking back over the annals of Drag Race herstory, queens being robbed of their rightful titles (our rightful drag superstar) is a common talking point, inciting the hatred of superfans like myself in Instagram comments, Twitter replies, and obsessive Reddit threads.

So here, ahead of tonight’s finale, we look back on the queens from seasons past who had their wigs snatched before they had the chance to snatch the crown.

NB: This is my opinion, do not @ me.

RAVEN (SEASON TWO, ALL STARS ONE)

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, Raven is Drag Race’s ultimate runner-up. Just missing out on the crown on both of her appearances, the question is – why? She has comedy chops, she knows how to serve it on the runway, and let’s not even get started on that iconic lip sync between her and Jujubee to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”. Mama Ru has even hired Raven to beat her mug since season 9. With official season 2 winner Tyra Sanchez officially blacklisted for threatening violence towards other queens at DragCon, by the powers vested in me, by me, I declare Raven a drag superstar. You’re a winner baby!

SHEA COULEÉ (SEASON NINE)

This is almost too painful to write, reminding me that Shea Couleé is not a winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race; one of the show’s most heinous crimes. After picking up the most wins all season (equal to previous winner like Sharon Needles), the producers decided to flip the script and not select the winner on the basis of points accumulated, but instead introduce a lip sync battle for the crown. Admittedly, Shea was destroyed by Sasha Velour (who took home the crown) in the lip sync to end all lip syncs, but would Miss Velour have even made it to the top without assisted challenge wins from Shea? *sips tea* Undoubtedly, Shea had to fall so she can rise again victorious at an All Stars season. And I cannot wait to see it.

MIZ CRACKER (SEASON 10)

After being in the top four times (including the very first episode of S10), it took until episode 10 for Miz Cracker to win her first challenge. How she didn’t snatch the win for numerous design challenges, Cher: The Unauthorised Rusical, or that time she dressed up like a pickle for the Bossy Rossy show is honestly meme-worthy. We get it, the producers want to keep the iconic queens from winning so they can Ru-turn again, but Miz Cracker could have easily replaced Eureka or Kameron Michaels in the finale and potentially snatched the crown in the process.

MIMI IMFURST (SEASON THREE, ALL STARS ONE)

Unpopular opinion: I love Mimi Imfurst. I have loved Mimi Imfurst since she first entered the werkroom carrying a plate of cookies for everyone. I loved her even more when she walked the runway as a camp as fuck Mary, mother of Jesus. My love knew no bounds when she hoisted India Ferrah over her shoulder while lip syncing to Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way”; only to have it dashed when she was told to sashay away. Come on, it was great television. With that in mind, you can imagine how exciting it was to hear that she’d be returning for the debut All Stars series, only to have her bullied by the other contestants (still great TV) and hung out to dry by her partner Pandora Boxx. A robbery, especially after coming so far with her drag. Need evidence? Look no further than her hilarious set at the Michelle Visage Roast from the Drag Queens at Sea tour.

SHANGELA (ALL STARS THREE)

Like the gift that keeps on giving, Shangela has popped out of a box twice since first sashaying away on the first episode of S2, ready to join the winners table. She was still not fully realised in S3, but AS3 she came in as a true professional with her drag all the way together. Yet, with all that, she was robbed of her chance to lip sync for the crown (seriously what was underneath her get-up) by yet another unnecessary twist where her eliminated sisters chose the top two. Big mistake, huge. Even Michelle Visage could admit it. Shangela will always be a winner though. Without even needing to bring up the receipts (but still doing it anyway) she’s featured on an Ariana Grande album, starred alongside Gaga in A Star Is Born, and given us some of the greatest television moments ever in the form of #Tullegate and the Game of Thrones x Drag Race crossover we didn’t know we needed. Can I get a halleloo?

BENDELACREME (ALL STARS THREE)

This one probably doesn't count because BenDeLaCreme eliminated herself, but let’s just say she was a victim of circumstance thanks to the new All Stars rules in which the top two queens of the week lip sync for their legacy and then win the power to chop one of the bottom queens. It all became too much for BenDeLaChrist – who was on a clear course to win with five out of six wins under her belt – and she chose to bow out gracefully. Sure, this gave us an opportunity to have Shangie steal the crown, but read above to see how that turned out…

EVERYONE ON ALL STARS ONE

OK, in RPDR’s defence, this was the first All Stars season and the blueprint needed fine tuning - but let’s be real, all of the girls were done dirty by being paired up. Who wouldn't want to see more madness from Tammie Brown? In fact, even us as viewers were robbed, with this season only comprised of six episodes in comparison to the 10 on the latest season (AS4). RPDR is still paying reparations to its AS1 girls, with Raven and Jujubee making guest appearances on AS2 and Manila Luzon and Latrice Royale returning to compete on AS4, so don’t be surprised to see more OG all star queens coming back again, again

NINA WEST (SEASON 11)

Even as recent as the current season, there are queens who had their edges snatched before we had a chance to see their full potential. While there are lots of contenders for robbed queen this season – Shuga Cain, Plastique Tiara, Scarlet Envy – it’s Miss Nina West who takes the top spot. Listen, a lot of her looks were really bad, but she continued evolving over the course of the show and had two challenge wins under her belt, one just the week before she was eliminated! Now counting Rihanna and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez among her fans, we all want #Justice4Nina. All Stars 5 please.