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Every Drag Race RuMix, Ranked

Photo-Illustration: Vulture and RuPaul’s Drag Race/YouTube

Being a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race is living in a state of perpetual anticipation: anticipation for the next season, since the show refuses to let any of us breathe before hitting us with another installment; anticipation for the lewks and fashuns in the upcoming season; anticipation for how the show’s staple challenges will be integrated into the season to come. Every season, we know we’re going to get a Snatch Game, the Rusical, and the Opening of the Library, among many, many others — and sometimes we’ll even get puppets. (Why? Because everybody loves puppets.)

But the gifts that keeps giving season after season is the RuPaul’s Drag Race RuMix challenge — usually the finale challenge where the queens have to prove they’re worthy of the crown by recording and performing a verse on one of RuPaul’s own tracks. Of course, this differs from other song challenges where they’re given custom tracks to sing on. It’s important we define what a RuMix actually means here, lest there be any confusion: For the parameters of this piece, a RuMix is when queens add verses to already-existing RuPaul songs — so unfortunately “I’m That Bitch,” “Not Sorry Aboot It,” and “Sitting on a Secret” are ineligible for the running, as much as #JusticeForAja needs its own recognition. Trust me, I want to talk about “UK Hun” and “Break Up Bye Bye” as much as you do, but they just don’t fit the brief. Maybe next time.

As we all (hopefully) know, getting a guest verse on a RuPaul track is the modern-day equivalent of Ol’ Dirty Bastard popping in to give Mariah a verse on “Fantasy” — it is a crossover event for a generation. The RuMix challenge first appeared on All-Stars 2 and became instantly iconic for giving the fans three incredible verses, and for Roxxxy Andrews giving us self-aware realness. The RuMix has gone on to become a highly anticipated episode in every single season. Across four editions of the series (the flagship series, All-Stars, Canada, and UK), there have been 11 tracks over 10 seasons — sorry, season 12 — and some are vastly better than others.

Here’s your official ranking of all of the RuMixes. And let’s just get this out of the way now: The No. 1 pick is a controversial choice, but not a wrong one.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is streaming on CBS All Access.

11. “Super Queen” - RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, Season 4

A mid-tempo song? In my finale? No. When this aired, it truly felt like the biggest *whomp whomp*. “Super Queen” is fine, but it is the “Happy Birthday” of RuPaul tracks: serviceable, but not a celebration, “I just won bitch” song. (This writer thinks “Happy Birthday” sounds like a funeral march and requests only the Stevie Wonder edition at all celebrations.) It truly is just … very there, to the point where if you actually know the lyrics of the verses, I commend you. When you think about everything else that went down in the AS4 finale, well, this is the lightest controversy of them all. Even the key change isn’t enough to get it hype — if Trixie Mattel is the hypest person in your performance, it might be a snoozeville.

Queen With the Best Verse: Monique Heart, far and away, no question.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: “When they don’t know what’s up / Prepare to soak it up / It’s clear she’s here and she’s a savage” —Monet X Change

10. “American” - RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 10

“American” was always an odd choice for a finale song — other than to promote Ru’s album of the same name — and particularly an odd choice in 2018, which was a midterm election year. I love that Drag Race is all about voting, but this song didn’t suit the season-ten finalists whatsoever. Missing the opportunity to have Asia O’Hara say “My name may be Asia but / I am American, American, American” is just … maybe I should go into songwriting, right? “American” is much like a microwave dinner — it gets the job done, but you’re probably going to be wanting more in a bit.

Queen With the Best Verse: Aquaria + Asia in an even tie.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: “Turning looks, stunting pretty / I’m the bitch from New York City / Playing at the parties and I know that I am carrying / I might be an Aquarian but / I am American, American, American” —Aquaria

9. “(Rock It) to the Moon” - RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Season 1

I honestly completely forgot this song happened. Nothing after “Break Up Bye Bye” mattered to me on Drag Race UK, and I apologize only to Cheryl Hole for that. It’s a combination of an older RuPaul song we’ve heard for generations being used for a remix no one asked for and the fact that DRUK has given us better songs before and since. “(Rock It) to the Moon” is one of my favorite RuPaul songs, but you can skip this one. Our U.K. queens have given us plenty.

Queen With the Best Verse: Davina di Campo.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: Oh God, none of them. Sorry, DDC!

8. “Condragulations”- RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 13

Condragulations, you’re not a winner baby — RuPaul sang another signature line on repeat for a chorus and recorded it. Truly, there isn’t much to “Condragulations” aside from Gottmik’s opening line and “My name’s Seymone and I’m here for the throOoOoOne,” and it’s a bummer considering it was meant to be the season’s opening song. Season 12’s two-part premiere had the queens recording a rap for banger “I’m That Bitch,” and in comparison, “Condragulations” really feels like a Kidz Bop song. It’s saccharine, and considering this is the song from the “winners” of their individual lip sync in the premiere, it’s not a great initial showing. From the TikTok quality dance to the “meh” verses, just skip to the runway, really.

Queen With the Best Verse: Seymone, Tina Burner.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: “The truth hurts, but I’ll tell it to your face / And I’ll smile real big waving from first place” —Tina Burner; Kandy Muse’s verse referring to “sitting alone in the VIP”; “LaLa Ri, the saint of drag / Flеw from the A to snatch the bag” (notable because LaLa Ri most certainly did not snatch the Bag Ball, ironically).

7. “Kitty Girl” - RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, Season 3

The thing about “Kitty Girl” is that AS3 had better songs, and the most interesting part of the song is how much of a fucking earworm it is. Fully prepare to have “you’re the boogie-body-rockin’ queen” stuck in your head until the ice caps melt. When the song is good, it’s very good — but really, the most interesting part of the song is the single-take performance they did for the finale.

Queen With the Best Verse: Trixie Mattel.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: “I got bleach in the blonde like Pamela / And I’m steppin’ out the box like Shangela / I got long thick legs, a tarantula / And if you call me kitty girl, I can handle ya” — Trixie Mattel; Bebe Zahara Bonet’s entire-ass verse.

6. “Phenomenon” - RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 13

Compared to “Condragulations,” “Phenomenon” is, well, a phenomenon. This is the way you want a preview song to go — even the “meh” verses are killer. If you’re looking to reframe Kahmora Hall’s verse, I suggest listening to Bob The Drag Queen’s rendition, which is high art that should be put in the Louvre, just as much as Utica Queen’s embodiment of arm-flailing inflatable-tube-man realness with “wiggle to the top, w-wiggle to the top.” It has all the things their counterparts’ song lacks — originality, humor, and a lot of fun. Is the choreography any better? It’s very much the Charli D’Amelio version of Tik Tok choreography, and that is a high compliment. Plus, is there anything better than the season’s vocalist queen coming to show off in their first chance like Rosé did here? Asking for Jan.

Queen With the Best Verse: Rosé and Utica.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: “Tamisha. Iman. Is. Coming. For You.”

5. “Clap Back” - RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, Season 5

The reason this song reaches the midway point isn’t that it’s bad — in fact, it likely is placed as high as it is because of my love for all three of the queens involved. Jujubee is single-handedly the reason I fell in love with Drag Race. There was a time last summer when my mental health was so tenuous, just the mere thought of Shea Coulée was enough to bring me to hysterical, adoring sobs, as if she was my personal Rudolph Valentino, that’s how much I love her. (And Cracker just reminds me how much I love pickles.) There’s nothing wrong with “Clap Back,” other than there are better RuPaul songs to choose from, and the verses here feel a little generic, more relating to the songs’ content than the queens themselves — what we love about the RuMixes is that the verses are very personal, give callbacks to other moments in the show, and can serve as a branding moment for some queens (we’ll get there.)

Queen With the Best Verse: Shea Coulée.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: Shea Coulée’s entire verse; “Makin’ haters eat it like ‘time for dinner’ / Mad ‘cause your man wants an All Stars winner” from Miz Cracker; “Girl, it’s me, Jujubee / Your best friend until you act whack.”

4. “Queens Everywhere” - RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 11

“Queens Everywhere” isn’t made genius in the verses; no, it’s in the ad-libs the queens do between their verses. From “Where is the body? / Bitch, she’s the body,” Vanjie’s robot-glitchy “Vanjie” repetition, or Silky Nutmeg Ganache’s joyful shrieking of “Twirl!” late in the song, it all feels very campy in the best way possible. Having five drag queens on one song is absolutely overkill, which is why it’s in the position it is. None of the lyrics are particularly interesting or representative of one queen — well, Yvie Oddly aside, and frankly, “Queens Everywhere” is likely where she won the show — but the queens get a lot of credit for trying. However, A’keria C. Davenport calling herself “the Diahann Carroll of RuPaul’s dynasty” spoke to my inner Black-auntie heart hard.

Queen With the Best Verse: Yvie Oddly.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: Yvie Oddly ended the game with her verse.

3. “U Wear It Well” - Canada’s Drag Race, Season 1

Let’s finally say it: “U Wear It Well” is one of RuPaul’s best songs. And unlike on DRUK, picking from a little deeper in the RuArchive paid off well here. CDR wasn’t perfect — I’m still reeling from losing Anastarzia Anaquway so early in the season and some of the judging was yikes — but when it did deliver, it delivered hard. Again, you have three queens with well-established brands giving us verses so completely related to their identities and giving us lines designed to get stuck in your head. Scarlett Bobo references her bottom-free run to the top three: Pri points out her lowest and highest moments; and Rita Baga reminds us she’s a hot-dog-loving alien actress taking over (who isn’t?). The choice to let Rita Baga eat up the bridge is a smart one — “Who will wear the crown / Baga, first time around” will stay with you for days — if “I had a vision, Miss Priyanka read your mind (Call me now!) / I know you’re thinking that call declined” isn’t already.

Queen With the Best Verse: … All of them, to be honest.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: No.

Notable Lyrics: “Kitty cat, kitty cat, meow meow meow / What kinda kitty are you wearing right now? / Now we wear it, wear it well” —Scarlett Bobo; “So bow down to your queen, let’s make it clear / I came here to unite and con-queer” —Rita Baga

2. “Read U Wrote U” - RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, Season 2

“RUWU” was a gamechanger for Drag Race — you are either BRUWU or ARUWU and there are only those two planes of existence. It’s been memefied to death, and the most iconic verse became “so bad it’s good.” The song is so beloved we got a rather bizarre 2020 version performed by the original queens, and it’s the definition of how a decent hit can be made better in the right hands. It’s a sick beat, designed to grind to at a club, but also does what other RuMixes have struggled to do — each queen has a developed verse that shows them at their best (well, Roxxxy looked beautiful) and nothing feels out of place. When even RuPaul is laughing and singing along, you’ve done a good job. It lands in the No. 2 place simply because the other track has four-for-four great verses, and this song has three great verses and one absolutely mind-blowing, creative, stellar, amazing, eye-opening final verse, and it’s just not fair.

Queen With the Best Verse: Roxxxy Andrews. Detox. Alaska. Katya. All of them.

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: YOU KNOW SHE IS!!!!!!!!!!


1. “Category Is” - RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 9

Am I biased because the Pride after this song came out, I was walking — nay, strutting — down the street listening to it and some young gentleman yelled “YO BETTA WALK” at me, greatly improving my evening and the following week? Yes. Am I also biased because, for some reason, my alarm set this as my wake-up song without me realizing, and thus I woke up every day as if my life itself was a ball? Very that. But let’s be truthful: If “Category Is” came on in the club, you would be throwing it back with the very best of them. And it does serve everything we want in a RuMix: The song — which features three of the show’s winners — is good, the verses are great, each queen gets her own individualized time to shine, and they all show their best work. And when Shea, in that orange wig, says, “I’m Shea Coulée and I always,” and the song transitions seamlessly back into “bring it to the runway”? That’s art. Everyone will spend the rest of their time trying to re-create that level of brilliance for the rest of time. Your fave truly, truly could never.
Queen With the Best Verse: Shea Coulée, again. (But really, Sasha Velour also deserves some credit.)

Is Roxxxy Andrews Here to Make It Clear?: She already done had herses.

Notable Lyrics: All of them. Every single word in this song.

Honorable Mention

Season six’s “Oh No She Betta Don’t” was a tricky one — it’s not technically a RuPaul song before the show, but the queens write verses on a song RuPaul does the chorus for. Given it’s not a finale or a premiere challenge, it’s hard to determine where this falls in the lexicon, but we would be remiss not to mention it. Sickening, no?

Every Drag Race RuMix, Ranked