Mirror, mirror on the werkroom wall, who is the most followed RuPaul’s Drag Race queen of them all?
Social media isn’t essential in Hollywood — actors like Daniel Radcliffe are famously off it. But for contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race, having a mass following means “you own everything,” — and Instagram is arguably the most important platform of the bunch. It’s to RuPaul’s Drag Race what barnyard doors are to HGTV. Like it or not, the app is arguably how fans measure a queen’s post-show success (see: the meteoric Trixie Mattel) or… lack thereof (see: Darien Lake). Plus, notoriously, err, dedicated Drag Race fans track queens’ social media output to deduce who is being plucked for the next season of All Stars. It’s a lot, we know.
But Instagram is more than just a metric. It’s the weapon of choice for alums of the beloved wig and Emmy-snatching reality competition to not be defined by where they place on Drag Race. It’s where queens can display their runway lewks (for current ones, even as an episode is airing), post their latest creative projects “now available on iTunes,” as the venerable RuPaul would say, and continue their evolution long after their stint on the show. Instagram’s importance in drag is no “Alyssa’s Secret.” It may even seem stressful, but we are talking about performers who spend hours assembling one sick ensemble.
So, who are the most followed queens in Drag Race herstory? Sashay on down and find out!
Bianca Del Rio is the queen bee of Instagram
If you think any RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant has outshined the hilarious Bianca Del Rio on Instagram, well, that’s “baloney!” Though the polished comedy queen only appeared on one season — Season 6 — Del Rio is still the most followed contestant on Instagram. She has 2.4 million followers, as of this writing.
“The Joan Rivers of the Drag World,” as The New York Times wrote, Del Rio may be more known for being hilarious than being a look queen per se, but the fact she’s still the top dog clout-wise is only a testament to her fame. The queen has released a book, Blame It On Bianca Del Rio, and starred in the film Hurricane Bianca in 2016. She’s an all-around powerhouse, regularly posting content with other celebrities and other queens. In 2019, Vulture ranked Del Rio as the most powerful drag queen in the world. And with a net worth of $4 million, per Celebrity Net Worth, she is one of the most successful RuPaul’s Drag Race alums ever. She’s the one to beat.
Trixie Mattel has strummed her way to Instagram runner-up
Life-sized barbie doll Trixie Mattel is the second-most followed RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant on Instagram. She has a massive 2.3 million Instagram followers to date.
Nipping at the high heels of Bianca Del Rio, Mattel is, of course, living proof that you don’t need to do well on Drag Race to find superstardom. That’s perhaps the multi-talented queen’s biggest legacy of all. Though Mattel sashayed away pretty early on Season 7 (she fared much better on All Stars 3), the huge-haired, charismatic performer has become a massive star and done RuPaul quite proud. Mattel has put out multiple albums which have charted on Billboard’s Americana/folk chart (proving she can’t be put in a Barbie box categorically), a Netflix documentary, and her own successful cosmetics line. Not to mention her World of Wonder show UNHhhh with cohort Katya. Worth a staggering $10 million, per Celebrity Net Worth, Mattel has perhaps come closest to the level of success only reached by RuPaul herself.
Katya is the third most-followed RuPaul's Drag Race queen
Coming in third with a bullet is RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Katya Zamolodchikova, aka Katya. The hilarious Season 7 and All Stars 2 queen may be “Lenin in the streets, Dostoyevsky in the sheets,” as she once sang, but she’s also hugely popular online. To date, Katya has 2.2 million followers on Instagram.
Katya, who co-hosts the World of Wonder show, UNHhhh with partner-in-crime Trixie Mattel, is just one of those queens you can’t not love. The star’s Instagram captions are always on point, and her Twitter is pretty fantastic, too. While many Drag Race queens focus on giving fans endless looks and makeup tutorials, Katya just blasts off hilarious posts, showcasing her off-kilter (and Russian, but not actually Russian) brand of comedy. In 2020, Katya released the best-selling book Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood, her EP, Vampire Fitness, and a makeup line with Trixie Cosmetics called Red Scare. Katya is just a fan favorite, on-screen and off.
RuPaul's Drag Race fans adore… Adore Delano
“Party!” Adore Delano is the fourth most-followed RuPaul’s Drag Race queen. She has 2.1 million Instagram followers to date.
The charismatic punk-rock queen, who appeared in Season 6 of the series as well as (briefly) All Stars 2, is also known out-of-drag as Danny Noriega, also appearing on American Idol Season 7. Though Delano may not have won Idol, nor Drag Race, she’s won over a huge following. Aside from her bustling Instagram account, Delano has an impressive catalog of songs, with dozens earning more than 1 million plays on Spotify. “I don’t need to ‘use drag’ to further my career. It just so happens that I’m one pretty m*********** in eyelashes,” Delano told Alt Press in 2019.
With three albums to her name, Delano is marching to the beat of her own drum, and fans are marching along with her.
Kim Chi and Violet Chachki are tied for fifth most-followed
Kim Chi, who appeared on Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is the fifth most-followed contestant to date. She has 1.9 million Instagram followers, and is tied with Season 7’s Violet Chachki, who also has 1.9 million, as of this writing. With an array of beauty products and some of the most stunning lewks ever on Drag Race (which are all over the star’s Instagram page) it’s unsurprising that the one-of-a-kind “Fat, Femme, and Asian” performer made the cut. Violet Chachki was also a fashion queen on her season, and both have risen to even more prominence since appearing on the show.
Since only three of the top six most-followed RuPaul’s Drag Race queens went on to snatch a crown (and only two during a regular season), the statistics prove that the beloved show is more a launching pad than it is a competition in and of itself. Can we get an amen!
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