The 10 most gag-worthy Drag Race moments in 2020 - ranked!
30 December 2020, 16:04 | Updated: 31 December 2020, 11:42
Why y'all gagging? She bring it to you every ball!
RuPaul's Drag Race has never failed to provide jaw-dropping moments. Despite so many seasons and spin-offs, it has a unique ability to make us gag unlike any other show.
Whilst we won't be looking back on 2020 with rose-tinted glasses, it was at the very least a golden year for Drag Race, with four English language versions - season 12 in the US, All Stars 5, Celebrity Drag Race and the very first Canada's Drag Race - as well as the inaugural Drag Race Holland. Some might moan about Drag Race overkill but given how we were stuck inside all year, missing our local drag bars and performers like hell, it was the perfect antidote to our drag withdrawals.
With season 13 about to kick off tomorrow (Jan 1) and the second season of Drag Race UK returning on Jan 14, the timing felt right to look back on some the most gag-worthy moments from the 2020 seasons.
There was only one criteria to make it on the list: each moment needed to have produced a sizeable gay gasp or left us dry heaving like an asthmatic hog. Of course, there were way more than 10 highlights to choose from and we want to make a special shout out to Heidi N Closet, who didn’t make the list but kept us thoroughly entertained throughout her season.
However, to paraphrase Trixie and Katya, this is our list, not yours...but if you think we missed something then feel free to go awfff in the comments on our socials
Start your engines, and may the best drag queen, win!
10) Ilona Verley refusing to lip sync against Tynomi Banks
The girls are fighting! Any of Ilona Verley's dramatic outbursts could have made this list, as could have Tynomi Banks' lip syncs, so think of this as a joint award to both queens. For a moment, it really looked like Ilona would become the first queen to refuse to lip sync (although several other queens have come close - hello Valentina!)
Ilona revealed in an interview with PopBuzz that what we didn't see on camera was Tynomi whispering in her ear: "If you don't do this lip sync, you're disrespecting me." It seemed to do the trick, perhaps a little too well, as Ilona delivered a stunning performance and sent Tynomi packing. The dramatics didn't stop there though, as Tynomi had to ask Ilona to stop sobbing so loudly as she was giving her goodbye speech. Give these girls a joint Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actresses in a Drama Series right now.
9) Jan’s epic face crack
Oh Jan! While she undoubtedly did a brilliant job in the "Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical" episode, it was not enough to stop Gigi clinching the win. A die-hard Rusical fan and in desperate need of a win, Jan could not help but show her disappointment as she waited at the back of the stage. Initially, she claimed she was just sad about seeing Brita leave the competition but later admitted the truth and laughed it off with the other queens in the finale. A face crack to end all face cracks, and the perfect reaction image to boot.
8) Maria the Robot enters Snatch Game
Gigi Goode defied all expectations when she walked into the werkroom. Each week Gigi proved she was much more than a look queen, whether it was giving her best Meryl Streep in the acting challenges or killing it during the lip syncs (more on that in a moment). And then, of course, there was her Snatch Game. Maria the Robot was a surprisingly left field choice, and potentially dull too, but Gigi's smutty mouthed, razor sharp bitch version of Maria had everyone in stitches.
7) Priyanka vs Kiara
This was one hell of an episode. Jimbo and Rita had just delivered two iconic performances in Snatch Game and then the queens turned it out on the runway in A Thousand Nights of Celine couture. That, and Mary Walsh was on the panel, and she was by far our favourite guest host of the season. And then the Priyanka and Kiara lip sync? This was one for the herstory books.
The lip sync had two of the most essential ingredients to make it truly God tier. Number 1: two athletic and charismatic performers and, number two: a high energy, euphoric pop song by a gay icon ('I Drove All Night' - Celine Dion). Complete with high kicks, shablams, splits and some awkward-looking roly polys - this lip sync had it all.
6) Phenomenal Phil: the Exotic Dance Instructor
After a slow start in the competition, Crystal Methyd starting coming up like some sort of wonderful hallucinogenic trip midway through the season, aided by some gentle encouragement from Mama Ru.
By the time the "One Woman Show" challenge came in episode 11, Crystal was an unstoppable force of nature and mullet. Phenomenal Phil the "exotic dance instructor" was fun, dumb and full of completely off the wall ideas, pulled together in a way only Crystal can. Her only win in the competition but a very memorable one.
5) India Ferrah "exposes" plot to get rid of Shea Couleé
It might have been a thinly veiled attempt to save her own neck after a disastrous performance in Snatch Game, but when India accused Alexis of campaigning with Mayhem to send Shea home, we did a gay gasp that could be heard in outer space.
But what's done in the dark will come to light, and in the reunion before the final challenge Mayhem revealed there was no plot, to which India sheepishly retorted that she was only relaying what she had overheard side of stage. The most admirable thing to come out of the whole messy affair was Shea's ability to rise above it and keep her eyes on the prize. A true professional, we have to stan.
4) Look over there!
Of the bitches, for the bitches might have been her political slogan for the election challenge but Jaida Essence Hall's unofficial motto of 'look over there!' truly captured the moment in a way few political commentators have done in their entire careers.
Jaida's increasingly flirtatious back and forth with guest and panel moderator Jeff Goldblum, and her calls for more 'confusion' ramped up the ridiculous factor to 11 and handed her a well-deserved win despite stiff opposition from almost all of the queens. For us, this was the moment that Jaida went from queen of the confessionals to queen of season 12.
3) Jujubee and Shea Couleé in Snatch Game
Ok we're cheating here because honestly we can't choose between these two. Jujubee's take on 1950's singer, actor and comedian Eartha Kitt was nothing short of sensational and Shea Coulee's Flava Flav demonstrated the risks that only she could pull off to earn that crown.
Shea won the challenge, but Jujubee's hand delicately miming the action of turning up a thermostat to a sensible 74 will live on in drag herstory too. World of Wonder - you need to do a Flava Flav and Eartha Kitt spin off show, like, yesterday.
2) Widow Von'Du vs Gigi Goode
Arguably one of the best opening lip syncs in Drag Race herstory? Not only did the show up the stakes by making the top two of the episode go head-to-head, but they also threw in a surprise $5,000 tip to the winner AND they had to lip sync to 'Starships' while actual Nicki Minaj was sitting right there! The pressure was on. But Widow and Gigi turned it out, in completely different but equally captivating styles. Gigi's malfunctioning robot moves got the laughs, but Widow's acrobatic and contortionist skills just edged her out. Nicki said it best: EPICNESS.
1) Jimbo screaming at the top of the mountain
There were several Jimbo moments that could have made this list. She was truly the gift that kept on giving. Her face crack at the back of the stage when Ilona beat Tynomi? The Canadian Tux-Shedo denim facekini? Her Joan Rivers impression on Snatch Game? All iconic. And how can we forget when Jimbo started spitting insults at Rita Baga like she was trying to write the gayest diss track of all time, following Rita's comments that Jimbo looked older than she was. "Crusty ass Golden Girls bullshit on your head", "your lace line looks like barf" and "your wig looks fried" are just a few of the standout lines.
That said, we were truly howling until our insides fell out when Jimbo gave us deranged sex doll screaming into the wind realness during the first mini challenge on CDR. If we were to single out a moment that made us sit up and take notice during the first episode of Canada's Drag Race, this would have to be it. And there's just something about watching Jimbo atop the mountain screaming into a blizzard that evokes the sheer chaos and emotional turmoil that 2020 threw at us, so it feels like a deserving winner here. In the words of Priyanka, C'mon Jimbo!