One of the most constant mantras in the RuPaul’s Drag Race mythos has been that the franchise “brings families together.” And RuPaul was not kidding. Oh, not at all!
After more than a decade on the air, Drag Race has seen over one hundred queens come and go, but what many fans do not know is that a lot of those contestants were actually ‘related.’ As explained in the legendary Paris Is Burning documentary and recently displayed on FX’s Pose, many up-and-coming queens are adopted by ‘drag mothers,’ which makes them belong to ‘drag families’ or ‘drag houses.’ Oftentimes, those queens adopt the last name of their families, but that is not always the case.
Over time, many legendary drag families have been seen competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Below are ten of the most powerful drag families to have ever competed for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.
Given that Pearl is currently on bad terms with RuPaul, it comes as no surprise that Scarlet Envy forgot to mention (or Drag Race edited out) that she happens to be Pearl’s drag daughter. In hindsight, however, it is hard to deny the strong resemblance between the two queens. Serving 23-and-she realness!
Pearl competed on season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and she was quite a controversial contestant due to her on-screen drama with RuPaul and general ‘loopy’ attitude on the show. What’s more, she won the lip sync against Trixie Mattel, sending the latter (who was a fan-favorite) home early on.
Years later, Scarlet Envy was cast on season 11 of Drag Race. Unlike Pearl, however, Scarlet seemed engaged and eager to play ball with RuPaul and his beloved franchise. This family might not have its own last name, but these queens are certainly fierce, to say the least.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 5 contestant Coco Montrese is one of the most beloved and iconic queens in the history of the franchise. As such, when her drag daughter Kahanna Montrese was cast on season 11, expectations were understandably high. However, Kahanna was unfortunately the second queen to be eliminated on her season.
Coco Montrese may have been the first contestant to go home on All Stars 2, but the queen went on to place 5th on her original season, outlasting even fan-favorite Alyssa Edwards (with whom she had a feud with). All in all, the Montrese family is a very important part of the Drag Race canon!
Dax ExclamationPoint had a weird run on season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, being sent home on a double elimination (along with Laila McQueen) on the second episode. However, it is important to note that Dax is the drag mother of none other than Violet Chachki, the winner of Drag Race season 7.
Despite the fact that fans typically expect drag mothers to be fiercer queens than their drag daughters, things panned out differently for Dax ExclamationPoint during her time on Drag Race. In any case, it is still a major achievement for her to have a drag daughter who was crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar in 2015.
Alexis Mateo came in with a “bam!” on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, making it all the way to the Top 3 alongside Raja and Manila Luzon. As one of the most iconic queens in the history of the franchise, Alexis was brought back for the first season of All Stars, where she was paired up with Yara Sofia as Team Yarlexis.
Many years later, her drag daughter Vanessa ‘Vanjie’ Mateo would go on to international superstardom after being the first eliminated queen on season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Her iconic “Miss Vanjie” chant while exiting the runway became a viral sensation and an instant meme.
Without a doubt, the Mateo family has brought a lot to the Drag Race franchise, and both Alexis and Vanessa are expected to return for future All Stars seasons.
6 Bob The Drag Queen
If you watched season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you know that Bob The Drag Queen steamrolled all over the competition, despite competing with incredibly talented queens such as Naomi Smalls and Kim Chi. What’s more, Bob and his season 8 peers had the responsibility of following up the seventh season in this series, which was largely considered one of the least entertaining seasons of the entire franchise.
Two years later, Miz Cracker was cast on season 10 of Drag Race, and revealed herself to be Bob The Drag Queen’s drag daughter. Despite not winning the crown, Cracker made it all the way to the Top 5, which is often a placement that many fans hold to a high regard. After all, queens like Ongina, Pandora Boxx, BenDeLaCreme, and Katya all placed fifth on their original seasons.
Many fans may not realize this, but Drag Race season 2 contestant Morgan McMichaels is the drag daughter of Chad Michaels, who was cast in the show on season 4. There are certainly numerous Michaels out there (hey Kameron!), but these two happen to actually be related.
The Michaels family has brought a lot to the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise. As the runner-up on season 4, Chad Michaels was cast on the first season of All Stars and snatched the crown, becoming the first-ever queen to enter the elusive Drag Race Hall of Fame. After her fierce performance on season 2, Morgan McMichaels was brought back for All Stars 3, where she gained a brand-new following of fans who hadn’t watched her original season.
The O’Hara last name has been attached to different drag families across the U.S., but one particular O’Hara branch has had a more significant impact on the RuPaul’s Drag Race family. That lineage consists of season 10 contestant Asia O’Hara, who is the drag mother of Phi Phi O’Hara (season 4 and All Stars 2).
Combined, Asia and Phi Phi O’Hara have done a lot for Drag Race. Among their most notable achievements, both of them made it to the finale on their original seasons and competed for the crown. During season 10, Asia O’Hara showcased a motherly attitude toward several of the other queens – most notably toward The Vixen, who struggled with how other contestants perceived her.
It is important to establish that Eureka O’Hara (seasons 9 and 10) is part of a different drag family. What’s more, despite her last name, season 11 contestant Ra’Jah O’Hara is actually a Davenport (more on that later).
3 House Of Edwards
Alyssa Edwards may be the only queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race to have donned the last name, but make no mistake: the Edwards roots run deep in the franchise.
All in all, the following Drag Race queens are all part of the House of Edwards: Shangela (seasons 2, 3, and All Stars 3), Vivienne Pinay (season 5), Gia Gunn (season 6 and All Stars 4), Laganja Estranja (season 6), and Plastique Tiara (season 11).
As the story goes, Alyssa Edwards was the first person to ever put Shangela in drag. What’s more, it was after Shangela’s time on RuPaul’s Drag Race that Alyssa convinced herself that auditioning for the show was a good idea. Some of these drag connections were also seen on Netflix’s Dancing Queen docu-series, which followed Alyssa Edwards in and out of drag.
Hang tight, kitty girl, because the Davenport lineage gets a little complicated.
It all starts with Sahara Davenport (season 2), who is the drag sister of Kennedy Davenport (season 7 and All Stars 3). Sahara and Kennedy are the drag daughters of Kelexis Davenport, a very famous queen in Dallas, Texas who has not yet been cast on Drag Race.
Besides Kennedy and Sahara, Kelexis Davenport had several other drag daughters. Among them, there are Lady Deja Davenport and Armani Nicole Davenport. Lady Deja’s famous drag daughter is none other than Honey Davenport (season 11), who, in turn, is the drag mother of Monet X Change (season 10 and All Stars 4). Then, there is Armani Nicole’s famous drag daughter, A’keria Chanel Davenport (season 11).
If you thought the Davenport lineage on Drag Race was over, you’re wrong! Despite her name, Ra’Jah O’Hara (season 11) is also part of this illustrious family. As the story goes, Ra’Jah is the great-granddaughter of Kelexis Davenport.
That’s a total of six Davenport family members on RuPaul’s Drag Race, if you lost count.
1 Sharon Needles
If there was ever any debate regarding which drag family has had the largest impact on the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, it would be hard to argue against the lineage established by season 4 contestant Sharon Needles, who was crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar against all odds. Sharon was part of the drag house Haus of Haunt, and after its dissolution, started her own drag family.
A year after season 4, Sharon’s then-boyfriend and Haus of Haunt member Alaska 5000 was cast on season 5, making it all the way to the Top 3. Alaska then returned for All Stars 2 and won that season, entering the Drag Race Hall of Fame and finally snatching her crown. When it came time for season 10, Sharon Needles’ drag daughter Aquaria was cast, and the young queen ended up winning the crown.
Despite the fact that Aquaria is not a member of Haus of Haunt, it is still a significant feat that Sharon Needles, Alaska 5000 and Aquaria are all connected in a very direct way (through a drag house or drag family) and have all won Drag Race. Sharon seems to have a magic touch, after all!
NEXT: RuPaul’s Drag Race: Queens With The Most Maxi Challenge Wins, Ranked