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Drag Race 2010s Pop Quiz
Illustration by Callum Abbott

Your favourite Drag Race queens take our 2010s pop quiz

Drag Race 2010s Pop Quiz

Alaska, Kim Chi, Peppermint, Aquaria, and Bob The Drag Queen, on the icons, 'what the fuck!’ moments and questionable trends that defined the 2010s

Deep fakes, influencers, viral fashion – we live in a world unrecognisable from the one we stood in ten years ago. As a chaotic decade comes to a close, we're speaking to the people who helped shape the last ten years and analysing the cultural shifts that have defined them. Explore the decade on our interactive timeline here, or head here to check out all our features.

It was 2009 that RuPaul’s Drag Race first sashayed onto our TV screens. Produced by World of Wonder, the company that made Party Monster and Inside Deep Throat, Drag Race debuted on Logo TV – a niche US cable channel aimed at LGBTQ+ audiences. According to World of Wonder, they couldn’t get anyone else on board; a reality TV show about drag queens just seemed too out there, despite the fact that RuPaul was a celebrity in his own right, having already risen from the depths of the New York drag dive bar the Pyramid Club to having his own celebrity-packed VH1 talk show co-hosted with Michelle Visage. 

Watch the early series of Drag Race back now and you’ll be struck by how low fi, and, well, politically incorrect it is. Throwback to when Ru’s video message that opened each episode said: “Ooh girl, you got she-mail”. But over the 2010s, and over what is now 11 US seasons (not counting all the spin off shows, like All Stars, Drag U, and Drag Race UK), it has morphed into something much more palatable and polished. It is screened in over 70 countries worldwide, has won multiple Emmys, influenced the 2017 Whitney Biennial, lends its name to several giant drag conventions (in LA, London and New York) and has featured Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Debbie Harry, and Courtney Love as guest judges. The show has catapulted drag itself from an underground artform to a children’s hobby and turned many a queen from an unknown club performer into a national treasure.  

To celebrate the rise and rise of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the 2010s, we asked five of our favourite queens from the show – Alaska, Kim Chi, Peppermint, Aquaria, and Bob The Drag Queen – to take our 2010s pop quiz, on the moments that defined and disgraced the decade. 

ALASKA

Summarise the decade in drag in three words.

Alaska: Crazy. Coocoo. Cunt. 

How do you think the idea of a drag queen has changed over the last decade? 

Alaska: It has changed because when I first got into drag over ten years ago I did it because I felt compelled to do it. I thought it was cool and fierce and like it was my calling. But since then I’ve realised why it is important and why it is resonating right now. Drag is the celebration and elevation of divine feminine energy. It is empowering to people of all gender spectrums and for the planet as a whole. 

Who defined the 2010s to you in music?

Alaska: Beyoncé. Lady Gaga. Ariana Grande. 

In fashion? 

Alaska: Anna Wintour. 

In art? 

Alaska: I’m not sure. Banksy? Netflix? 

What was your most played song?

Alaska: Probably “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. I perform it pretty much every show. 

What was your biggest fashion mistake? 

Alaska: Wearing that red bikini on the Drag Race finale. What the fuck. 

“I’d like to see a resurgence of bad drag... I think there should be a mandatory period of a few years where you get to look horrible and be bad onstage and make mistakes” – Alaska

What social movement meant the most to you and why? 

Alaska: #MeToo and the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter are so important now and as we move forward. 

What was the best and worst holiday you took in the 2010s and why? 

Alaska: This one time we went to Vegas and the hotel was way smaller than we’d anticipated and we were all piled on top of each other and we all got in terrible fights with each other. That was pretty bad. 

Best fashion trend of the 2010s?

Alaska: Fashion that includes and celebrates different body types. 

Worst fashion trend of the 2010s?

Alaska: I just wish low rise jeans would come back for like a year. 

Favourite Drag Race season? 

Alaska: Season 4 changed my life. When I got to see my then boyfriend Sharon go through the experience and I also experienced the pain of not making it, it was the beginning of a life changing journey and I’m still on it. 

Favourite Drag Race contestant?

Alaska: Shangela. 

What do you want to see us leave behind as we enter the 2020s?

Alaska: Intolerance. Conflict-based news media. Mass incarceration. 

What do you want to see change about drag in the 2020s?

Alaska: Again, I’d like to see a return of low rise jeans. But I’d like to see a resurgence of bad drag. I think it’s unfortunate that young queens burst onto the scene fully formed with perfect make-up and stunning looks. I think there should be a mandatory period of a few years where you get to look horrible and be bad onstage and make mistakes. 

What is the biggest lesson you learned?

Alaska: Social media isn’t real. 

KIM CHI

Summarise the decade of drag in a sentence?

Kim Chi: Golden age, commercialisation, hitting mainstream and now possibly over-saturating.

Who from the 2010s would you cancel? 

Kim Chi: Keyboard warriors who like to cancel people without a second thought!

Which social media platform did you use the most in the 2010s?

Kim Chi: Instagram and Twitter.

What is the best invention of the 2010s? 

Kim Chi: Commercialisation of electric scooter services like Lime/Bird – what a fun way to travel! 

What film changed you the most? 

Kim Chi: Growing up, the film that changed me the most was probably Mulan. Not only was it about Asian representation in American media but it also taught me the importance about family and female empowerment. 

Not from the 2010s but again, OK! If you could put one politician from the last decade in a bunker and throw away the key who would it be?

Kim Chi: I think Donald Trump is THE answer. Mike Pence is a close second.

What was the most annoying word of the 2010s?

Kim Chi: “Bae” and “cancelled”

And the most annoying trend? 

Kim Chi: With make-up, excessive highlighter in a colour that doesn’t suit your skin tone. I love highlighters but some people are going out there looking like a rusted Tin Man in public.

Which pop star dominated the 2010s? 

Kim Chi: Ariana Grande. People really liven up when they hear her music come on, whether they’re at the club, department store or on the toilet. 

What is the biggest leap in LGBTQ+ rights and did it affect your life?

Kim Chi: Taiwan becoming the first Asian country to legalise gay marriage felt like a huge leap for me, along with India decriminalising homosexuality. It shows people on every side of the world that it is OK to be who you are. 

Best TV show and why? 

Kim Chi: RuPaul’s Drag Race is an obvious answer for bringing underground queer culture to the general public.

Your most influential style icon and why?

Kim Chi: This is such a hard question because there are way too many to name here. Personally for me, Guo Pei and every impeccable work she puts out should be applauded and commanded. 

And finally, what is the biggest lesson you learned?

Kim Chi: That you can never stop learning.

PEPPERMINT

What was the most life changing thing that happened to you in the 2010s?

Peppermint: The Affordable Care Act passing was the most life changing thing that happened to me.

What political moment stands out for you most?

Peppermint: The current challenging of Title VII in the Supreme Court.

Best fashion trend of the 2010s?  

Peppermint: The return of the Chignon!

Worst fashion trend of the 2010s? 

Peppermint: Crocs!

Most influential style icon? 

Peppermint: Kerry Washington. 

Best TV show of the 2010s? 

Peppermint: The Walking Dead.

Your personal hero of the 2010s? 

Peppermint: The return of Grace Jones.

What do you want to see us leave behind as we enter the 2020s? 

Peppermint: Sexism, racism and blue eyeliner. 

What will you be doing in 2020? 

Peppermint: Touring with a few new productions and releasing a new full-length album. 

AQUARIA

Who defined the 2010s for you in music?

Aquaria: Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Charli XCX

In fashion? 

Aquaria: Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Bella Hadid.

In art?

Aquaria: Lady Gaga, RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Instagram discover page...

What was your most played song?

Aquaria: “Venus” by Lady Gaga

What was your biggest fashion mistake? 

Aquaria: Track pants at the club. Whoops!

What social movement meant the most to you and why? 

Aquaria: I am really very inspired by the current movement to create a greener future for the next generations. None of the accomplishments of this world will matter if the world is dying so it’s becoming more obvious how desperate the earth is for a change. You don’t have to completely flip your world around but even the smallest change in our lifestyle can begin to help make the world a healthier place.

What is the biggest leap in LGBTQ+ rights and did it affect your life? 

Aquaria: It’s definitely hard to say what was the most important. Personally, I feel that every win is a massive one and because I would not consider myself as a super marginalised type of person, things don’t have as serious affect as they’d have on, say, a trans person, or else someone in the military and married people. I do remember what a massive accomplishment it was for marriage equality to finally be recognised federally though, and how excited and hopeful that made my LGBTQ+ community members.

What was the best and worst holiday you took in the 2010s and why? 

Aquaria: Honestly the only vacations I can remember of late are in Fire Island and I’m sure they have been some of the best and worst holidays I’ve had! Usually the best though.

What was the worst apartment or place you lived in and why? 

Aquaria: I wasn’t the hottest fan of the dorm situation in college but luckily I dropped out early enough to not let it bug me.

Best fashion trend of the 2010s?

Aquaria: Inclusivity. Let’s remember to bring this one bigger and even better in the 2020s.

“Everyone definitely can afford to lighten up on each other. I think people have lost a bit of patience, compassion, and understanding towards other humans” – Aquaria

Most influential style icon?

Aquaria: Lady Gaga and Rihanna were definitely two icons who pushed fashion and style forward and continue to hold everyone accountable for the way they present themselves.

Favourite Drag Race contestant NOT from your season? 

Aquaria: I definitely can’t choose one but I really do live for Shea Coulee, Detox, Sasha Velour, and Sharon Needles to name a few off the top of my head.

Most iconic Drag Race beauty look of the 2010s?

Aquaria: Honestly, Michelle and RuPaul have been looking so incredible in the beauty department these past few years especially but for me, I thought Violet’s stepdown look was really beautifully executed especially as far as the make-up goes. From the prosthetics to the detail of the struck-by-lightning veins running down her body, this look really hit the nail on the head for so many people. Personally, I loved creating different beauty looks on my season and my favourites have to be my almost lifeless mermaid tragedy, my crystalised crystal eyes from my glitterific runway, and my volcanic harpy look from the Season 11 finale. 

What do you want to see us leave behind as we enter the 2020s?

Aquaria: The nastiness! Get that outta my way! Everyone definitely can afford to lighten up on each other. I think people have lost a bit of patience, compassion, and understanding towards other humans and there are definitely a lot of better ways to handle situations and try to work towards peace than how people have in the past. I think at the end of the day we’re all stuck on this planet and it’s one’s job to respect both the ground we live on and the people that inhabit it.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN

How do you think the idea of a drag queen has changed over the last decade?

Bob The Drag Queen: It’s interesting, I feel like maybe at the beginning of the decade the larger portion of the world saw adrag queen just as a man dressing as a woman and I think that now people realise that drag is much more about playing with gender and creating art. 

Summarise the decade of drag in three words 

Bob The Drag Queen: “You better work”

Who defined the 2010s for you in music?

Bob The Drag Queen: Oh in music? You know who fucking pulled it up at the last minute? Lizzo. I mean, Lizzo is the future of live music. Mark my words, Lizzo is the future of live music. I’m also really into Shea Diamond, who I just discovered. The trans music scene is popping. Shea Diamond is pretty lit and I think Todrick Hall has done a lot for queer music. 

What was your most-played song from the 2010s?

Bob The Drag Queen: I went through a big Ke$ha phase. And a phase when I was only listening to music from queer artists. So that’s a hard one to answer. I’m probably gonna venture to say... I don’t even know, maybe… I did play “MANiCURE” by Lady Gaga a lot. 

What was your biggest fashion mistake in 2010s?

Bob The Drag Queen: I think my biggest fashion mistake was on the last final runway of the main stage RuPaul’s Drag Race, I wore a really terrible tuxedo that I sourced from a thrift store. And that was the one. I think about that all the time. 

What social movement meant the most to you and why?

Bob The Drag Queen: Marriage equality was really big for me, I was really into the marriage equality movement in America. I felt validated, I felt seen, but thed I also felt a little bit sad, because I was like: “there is still so much for us to do”. It feels like people who are L and G are getting their rights, but the rest of our queer alphabet is not quite there yet. Queer homeless youth is also important! 

What was the best and worst holiday you took in 2010s and why? 

Bob The Drag Queen: I’ve never taken a vacation. I mean, I’ve done vacations with gays but it’s still work, so I just don’t know that I’ve had that. 

What was the best, biggest lesson you learned?

Bob The Drag Queen: Whenever people give you advice consider the source. When people talk shit about you or they critique you, just consider the source, consider where it’s coming from and then let it affect you accordingly. 

“Make-up getting really small and diminutive and like daytime, it’s not really for me. I’m into that Trixie Mattel, Roxxxy Andrews, Kim Chi shit” – Bob The Drag Queen

Best fashion trend of the 2010s?

Bob The Drag Queen: I’m going to say… honestly it hurts me to say this, but there is like a long, flowy hair moment happening in drag, it’s kind of amazing.

What’s the worst fashion trend of the 2010s?

Bob The Drag Queen: I wanna say that, for drag, it’s minimising your make-up... like make-up getting really small and diminutive and like daytime, it’s not really for me. I’m into that Trixie Mattel, Roxxxy Andrews, Kim Chi shit.

Who’s your most influential style icon?

Bob The Drag Queen: For drag I’m gonna go with Janelle Monáe. I mean, out of drag, my aesthetic is very Whoopi Goldberg. But huge, long shirts in drag is very Janelle Monáe, strong colours like black and white with a pop of colour. 

What is your favourite Drag Race season and why?

Bob The Drag Queen: My favourite Drag Race season is Season 4. I feel like it was the first time that we saw a bullied kid getting their come up (regardless of how crazy Sharon Needles ended up being in real life afterwards). I thought it really showed that there is more valid drag than just being really pretty. My favourite Drag Race contestant is Monét X Change. I think she is the embodiment of beauty and hard work and talent and intelligence and personality. 

What do you want us to leave behind as we enter the 2020s?

Bob The Drag Queen: I would love to see the infighting in the community left behind: the gays fighting the lesbians fighting the trans people fighting the non-binary people. The queer on queer anger online. 

What do you want to see change in drag in the 2020s?

Bob The Drag Queen: A lot of people feel like Drag Race is the only representation of drag, but when you get out in the real world and you see real drag, you see that there is so much diversity in the drag community. We do have shows like The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula and Drag SOS that show a lot of different kinds of drag and I like that. So maybe I would like to see the mainstream media reflect some more subversive components of the drag world.