RuPaul’s Drag Race Week: The Top Six Meltdowns!

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RuPaul's Drag Race

Sure, RuPaul’s Drag Race may be a show where gays put on pretty dresses and entertain people for money, but it’s still a high-stakes competition; The queens are competing for a huge title, a big cash prize, and the promise of fame. When something that big is weighing on your mind, and you’re enclosed in a workroom with a dozen other equally eager people, eventually, it wears on your psyche. When it gets too much, sometimes you just need to have yourself a good meltdown so that you can reset and move forward. Presented below are the six biggest meltdowns in Drag Race herstory!

#6: Shannel asks the judges to be sent home

Back in season one, Shannel was the perennial Susan Lucci of the competition. She had talent, she had some amazing looks, but she could never quite pull off a win. (Seriously, how did she not win the make-over challenge?) Unfortunately, accepting criticism wasn’t exactly Shannel’s strong suit, and the consistent lack of a win eventually drove her to the point where, during season one’s Absolut Ball, she asked to leave the competition. The only reason this wasn’t higher up on the list was because, even when she’s having a total meltdown, Shannel is still poised, calculated, and cool as a cucumber. Bitch knows how to hold it together.

#5: Mystique Summers’ Untucked adventures

Despite only making it through three episodes, Mystique Summers is still the unquestioned Queen of the Untucked Feud. No queen on the show has ever been able to match Mystique’s very special brand of backstage bonkers, and her now legendary scream fight with Morgan McMichaels still ranks as one of the show’s most iconic moments. But it’s Mystique’s meltdown during the Country Queens Untucked that puts her here, when she did something that no queen has ever really done again: She broke the fourth wall. Mystique demanding that the show’s film crew stop filming her when she started crying is perhaps the first and last time any queen has ever addressed the production staff directly, and adds a layer of meta-ness over an already devastating meltdown.

#4: Yara Sofia collapses during a Lipsync For Your Life

Oh Yara Sofia … you were *this* close to clinching your spot in the final three. Alexis Mateo‘s initial momentum from the start of the show was starting to wane, and all Yara had to do was make it through the lipsync without any major missteps and she would have sealed her deal. But then it happened: Yara just imploded. The lipsync was called off before the song even ended, and Yara was sent home. So wha ha-happened? Here’s my theory: Yara has a lot of manic energy and has a tendency to micromanage everything she does. When she has an outlet to channel this through, she absolutely shines. Unfortunately, when the pressure got too much for her, all that energy ended up falling back on her, and it got the better of her. Seeing Yara collapse on the mainstage was just absolutely heartbreaking.

#3: Mimi Imfurst nearly walks out on Drag Race All-Stars

Some queens just handle better on stage than they do on camera. Mimi Imfurst is one of those queens. Mimi’s a queen that, if you give her a stage to work, she’ll work it. Unfortunately, there’s just something about a camera that brings out the crazy in Mimi, whether it be her day one meltdown during The Queen Who Mopped Christmas, or her now infamous lipsync faux-pas. But it was when Mimi returned for All-Stars that sh!t really hit the fan. After facing criticism from the judges and fellow contestants during Untucked, Mimi actually packed her bags and left the studios, prompting her long-suffering partner, Pandora Boxx, to run out after her and convince her to see the competition through. Granted, both Mimi and Pandora ended up leaving shortly after, but still, at least they followed through.

#2: Latrice Royale’s farewell speech

Not every meltdown leaves a queen eating total sh!t; if anything, the sign of a great queen is how dignified she can remain even when her emotions are getting the best of her. When Latrice Royale was told to sashay away during season four’s Bitch Ball, she bade farewell to the competition with one of the most earnest, emotional, and beautiful speeches ever given on the show. Only Latrice can allow herself to go to such an vulnerable place and pull it off with such grace and class.

#1: RuPaul schools the queens of season one during the reunion

Yes, once again, RuPaul is number one. Why? Because RuPaul will always be number one. Always. Ru may be the voice of reason, and the person on the show who must remain cool, calm, and collected when everyone else is certifiably crazypants, but even she’s not immune to going nuclear on a bitch when the moment requires it. And that moment was season one’s reunion special.

What can be said about the season one reunion special that hasn’t already been said? That whole thing just got ugly really fast, the big problem being that the queens vehemently disagreed with the amount of criticism they received. When things got to their boiling point, Ru finally snapped, launching headlong into a stern lecture about how it was no one else’s job to remind the queens how great they were, or to hold their hands and reassure them that they were special unique little snowflakes; if they didn’t know that, that was their own fault. Just when it all seemed over, Tammie Brown took a jab at the Queen Mama over her cussing, and I swear to God, you could see murder in Ru’s eyes. If it was possible to literally look someone to death, Ru’s eye-lasers would have turned Tammie into a quirky puddle of fleshy, bloody goop. It was a stone-cold reminder to every queen that had or would ever appear on the show: Remember who you are, and don’t you even dare try and f*ck with The Supermodel of the World.


About JEREMY FEIST 5002 Articles
Jeremy Feist is an (ahem) entertainer from Toronto, Canada. He writes, acts, and performs on stage, and has been a writer for Popbytes for almost three years now. He lives in Toronto with his boyfriend, his incredibly dumb but cute puppy, and his immortal cat.