BenDeLaCreme is the stage name of Benjamin Putnam, an American drag performer from Seattle, Washington. Putnam is well known for being a contestant on Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race.
RuPaul's Drag Race
DeLa is based in Seattle, Washington, where she often works with Season 5 winner Jinkx Monsoon and Season 8 alumn Robbie Turner. DeLa is the first on Season 6 to win two main challenges. She won the main challenge on the very first episode, Episode 1 "RuPaul's Big Opening" Part 1, as well as episode 5, "Snatch Game". DeLa is also the winner of the Snatch Game for her season, after making an odd choice to portray actress Maggie Smith, a choice she was at first nervous about, but ultimately won her the challenge.
On Episode 7, "Glamazon by Colorevolution" Michelle Visage accused DeLa of hiding behind a costume, and that she didn't not know who the real "DeLa" was. DeLa felt hurt by this comment, for she felt that the character of BenDeLaCreme was the embodiment of everything she was.
Dela received continuously high marks until Episode 7, "Glamazon by Colorevolution" in which she and Darienne Lake were paired in a group together for the main challenge, where they had to film and star in a commercial for RuPaul's cosmetics line. Their commercial was considered the worst and they were put in the bottom two together, lip syncing for their lives. RuPaul saved both queens in a non-elimination, stating that he wanted to see more from BenDeLaCreme.
In Episode 8, "Comedy Queens", DeLa did poorly in her stand-up routine. Afterwards, the judges praised her material, yet said the poor response was due to her misjudged comedic timing. One audience member even heckled during her performance by yelling ,"Tell us a joke!?" She faltered again and landed in the bottom three, narrowly missing the bottom two for the second consecutive week.
DeLa continued to do well and receive positive critiques until Episode 11, "Glitter Ball" where her looks were criticized for not fitting the challenge specifications, and for looking too similar to her past looks. After a second lip-sync against Darienne Lake, she was eliminated from the competition, giving her a 5th place ranking. This sparked a large amount of controversy amongst viewers.
DeLa would go on to win the title of "Miss Congeniality" during the Season 6 Reunion special.
On the show, Ben revealed that he was bullied as a child for being overweight, 'weird' and gay. His mother, who had been the positive voice to counteract this, sadly died of cancer when he was age 13. He was also open about his struggles with depression, revealing that his 'terminally delightful' drag persona helped him overcome this.
|Season Competed:||Season 6|
|Ranking:||5th (Ms. Congeniality Winner)|
|Mini-Challenges Won:||3 (ep. 4, 9, 11)|
|Times as Team Captain:||1|
|Main Challenges Won:||2|
|Times in Bottom Two:||2 (ep. 7, 11)|
Elimination & Controversy
After being the first contestant on Season 6 to win the very first main challenge, winning the popular "Snatch Game" challenge, being the first of the season to win two main challenges, and receiving mostly positive critiques from the judges, BenDeLaCreme was considered to be a front runner by many fans and a candidate to become a Top 3 finalist. After DeLa's elimination on Episode 11, following a second lip-sync against Darienne Lake, a firestorm was sparked on social media outlets by viewers. Outraged and confused, many fans accused the show of putting ratings and drama ahead of the competition, believing that Darienne Lake should have been eliminated over DeLa. Some viewers went as far as boycotting the show and creating an online petition asking RuPaul to bring BenDeLaCreme back into the competition.
When the subject of her controversial elimination was brought up during the Season 6 Reunion, DeLa stated that she was shocked by the amount of love and support she received from viewers, but did not commend the hate, negativity, and bullying Darienne Lake had received.
DeLa's elimination is considered to be, by many fans of the show, the worst decision in Drag Race "herstory." Parallels were later drawn between DeLa's elimination and the elimination of both Katya and Trixie Mattel in season 7, as well as the elimination of Valentina in season 9
After the airing of BenDeLaCreme's elimination, online polls were opened allowing viewers to vote for the Miss Congeniality winner of Season 6, before the top 3 finalists were announced. This lead to speculation that producers of the show may have anticipated outrage from fans after DeLa's elimination, allowing fans to vote in favor of DeLa as a consolation for not reaching the top three as a finalist. Due to this, DeLa was expected to become the Miss Congeniality winner of Season 6, and was consequentially awarded the title during Episode 14, "Reunited", the reunion special.
- HI EVERYBODY! IT'S ME, BENDELACREME!
- Dela for short, De for shorter, Ms Creme if you're nasty.
- (As Maggie Smith) Can you imagine such a thing? ha!
- (As Maggie Smith) (To Trinity, as Nicki Minaj) Excuse me, we originated the language!
- ...Bianca's hard to imitate because I don't listen to her.
- Don't fear the drag queen, fear the devil inside the drag queen.
- (As Bianca puppet) ADORE'S AN IDIOT, DELA HAS A STUPID VOICE, SANTINO'S ASSHOLE IS LOOSE!
- She and Darienne Lake are one of two pairs of queens to lip sync against each other twice, the other pair being Alaska and Katya on All Stars 2.
- She was offered a spot on All Stars 2, but declined due to her dislike of how the producers were willing to manipulate the girls and their friendships with each other for drama.
- She used to work at a cabaret in Seattle with a different drag name. She did so many things in that cabaret so she changed to BenDeLaCreme. Ben is her real name and is a play on “Crème De La Crème” or “The best of the best”. BenDeLaCreme is the best of Ben. She used to perform in Chicago as Teena Angst.
- She is the second queen to win the first challenge and not make it to the top three. She is preceeded by Morgan McMichaels of Season 2 and succeeded by Roxxxy Andrews of All Stars 2 and Nina Bo'nina Brown of Season 9.
4th: Darienne Lake, 5th: BenDeLaCreme (Ms. Congeniality), 6th Joslyn Fox, 7th: Trinity K. Bonet, 8th: Laganja Estranja, 9th: Milk, 10th: Gia Gunn, 11th: April Carrión, 12th: Vivacious, 13th & 14th: Magnolia Crawford & Kelly Mantle
Jason Carter • Shawn Morales • Miles Davis Moody • Simon Sherry-Wood