Can you believe it's been a whole decade since RuPaul's Drag Race sashayed its way onto television and became a global phenomenon? In honor of the big anniversary, we're looking back, waaay back, at queens from that humble first season.
The show's inaugural run was relatively stripped-down compared to later seasons, featuring only nine queens who competed for a cash prize of $20,000; future seasons would offer a $100,000 grand prize. Before Michelle Visage became a staple in the franchise, the judge's panel consisted of RuPaul, Project Runway's Santino Rice and fashion writer Merle Ginsberg. Plus, it's the only season to not feature a "Snatch Game" main challenge.
You'll be hard-pressed to find Season 1 streaming anywhere online, though, which is why it's considered the "lost" season. But we've done our due diligence and uncovered the whereabouts of these lost queens. Here's what the Season 1 contestants are up to today.
BeBe Zahara Benet
The humble diva from Cameroon served jaw-dropping runway looks and excelled in the challenges, so she quickly became a fan favorite. She cat-walked all the way to the finale and made history as the first Drag Race winner ever. After taking home the grand prize, she brought her expertise to the first season of RuPaul's Drag U as a professor. While she's been a consistent performer in the years since winning Drag Race, her career didn't quite take off the way we'd hoped. More recently, BeBe returned to the Drag Race family for Season 3 of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars in 2018 and made it all the way to the top four. Today, she's still touring clubs around the world and serving up stunning looks on Instagram.
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I had a fantastic time at Drag Nation last night. Thank you Erik Arredondo for the invitation, and thanks to all the fans who came out and gave so much love. I know it's been a while since I haven't done my Full Drag Escapades...and to tell you the truth I don't know when I will get her out of the closet again🤣🤣🤣. I sure know I had a fabulous time, specially with all my DN sisters. Dressing room kiki's are the best🤣🤣🤣KEEP ROCKING BITCHES!!! A shout out to my dear friend and fierce designer, Abraham David LevyAbraham, for this amazing masterpiece🔥🔥🔥 #dragnation #dramadrag #rupaulsdragrace #ninaflowers #djninaflowers #abrahamdavidlevy
Season 1's runner-up and the first Miss Congeniality, Nina stood out with her trademark mohawk ponytail and visible tattoos. Her other Drag Race appearances include serving as a professor in Season 1 of Drag U and competing in the first season of All Stars. These days, she still tours the country as both a drag performer and a DJ.
Rebecca made it all the way to the top three before losing out to Nina and BeBe. After the show, she tried her hand at acting, landing a small cameo in Men in Black 3 and an appearance in the 2013 film Snow. She then took a long break and stopped doing drag altogether. Rebecca came out of retirement for the Season 10 finale, in which she performed alongside Dusty Ray Bottoms, but she hasn't returned to drag since. Today, she's working as a Clinique specialist at Bloomingdales.
She was first queen in Drag Race history to pull off a wig reveal during a lip sync before being eliminated. Since then, she's made several other Drag Race appearances, including on All Stars 1, where she was paired with Chad Michaels and made it all the way to the top four. She also served as a professor for the first three seasons of Drag U, returned as a guest for season 8 of Drag Race and, in Drag Race's Season 10 live finale, lip-synced alongside Mayhem Miller. Today, you can find her performing in clubs or complaining about Budget Rental on Twitter.
Even if you don't remember Season 1, there's a good chance you've heard of Ongina. In one of the season's most emotional moments, she came out as HIV-positive and has become a fierce activist since. Boasting one of the most successful post-Drag Race careers of all the contests, she's appeared in the Black Eyed Peas video for "I Gotta Feeling," inspired RuPaul's "Ladyboy" single, and serves as host of the Logo series HIV and Me. Today, she remains booked and busy and is gearing up for a "two whoaMAN" show called "Tammie Brown Walking Ongina in Nature in March" alongside her Season 1 sister Tammie Brown. Tickets are on sale now.
The original fishy queen, she's probably best known for her relentless feud with fellow contestant Rebecca Glasscock. Her legacy is marked by her immortal final words on the show, in which she called Rebecca "the fakest bitch I have ever known in my life." She hasn't been up to much since leaving the show, but she is currently available for bookings. Oh, and she still hates Rebecca, in case you were wondering.
A stunning queen who wasn't afraid to show off her body, she's probably best known for being the shadiest of them all during her season. Post Drag Race, she returned to lip-sync alongside Vixen in the Season 10 finale. The appearance prompted her to finally join Instagram, where she now shows off her stunning cosplay looks as Storm and Poison Ivy.
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La Tejanita Photos courtesy of @daveyjones36 .. I head down to Puerto Vallarta tomorrow for my month long residency at the Blue Chairs Resort awesome benefit book your @cameo never forget #standingrock yes I well be at LA @rupaulsdragcon #queenwithtacause #freeorcas #freelolita #savetheorangutans #boycottpalmoil
Eliminated in the second episode, this quirky queen marched to the beat of her own drum. She brought her special brand of drag to All Stars 1 and was again eliminated in the second episode. Since Drag Race, Tammy has maintained a steady career, regularly appearing in projects like Alaska and Willam's podcast "Race Chaser" on which she has her own segment, "Tammie Tidbits." Her other cameos include Hot in Cleveland and a 2015 episode of Skin Wars. In March, she's teaming up with Ongina for the "two whoaMAN" show "Tammie Brown Walking Ongina in Nature." Tickets are on sale now. For $30, you can get her to record a personalized video via Cameo.
Victoria "Porckchop" Brown
Being the first person ever eliminated in Drag Race history hasn't slowed Porkchop down. The legendary queen has kept busy performing in clubs around the world and winning pageants like the Miss'd America 2013. After Drag Race, she dabbled in acting and appeared in a 2015 episode of 2 Broke Girls alongside Chad Michaels. She returned to Drag Race in Season 10 as a guest judge and then appeared in the live finale to lip-sync alongside Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Monét X Change. These days, you can find her still performing in drag and tweeting about politics. She's a proud member of the "Blocked by Trump" club.