How To Win
Based on statistical facts, contestants wishing to win "RuPaul's Drag Race" should attempt to accomplish the following in order to increase their chances of winning:
- Win the very first Main Challenge of the season OR win a Main Challenge within the first 3 weeks of competition;
- Win two or more Main Challenges AND be the first contestant of the season to do so;
- Do well in the Snatch Game (but not necessarily win the challenge);
- Never place into the Bottom 2 (or if you do, not until at least the 5th week of competition AND not more than once);
- Win one mini-challenge, BUT never win the role of Team Captain.
|Contestant||Season Won||Main Challenges Won||Weeks Won||Bottom 2 Placings||Week in Bottom 2||Mini Challenges Won||Times as Team Captain||Snatch Game Placement|
|Bebe Zahara Benet||Season 1||2||Weeks 3 & 6||1||Week 5||0||0||N/A (this season had no snatch game)|
|Tyra Sanchez||Season 2||3||Weeks 3, 5, & 9||0||N/A||1||0||6th|
|Raja||Season 3||3||Weeks 1, 6, & 9||1||Week 11||2||0||3rd|
|Sharon Needles||Season 4||4||Weeks 1, 3, 9, & 11||1||Week 8||1||0||2nd|
|Jinkx Monsoon||Season 5||2||Weeks 5 & 9||1||Week 11||1||1||Winner|
|Bianca Del Rio||Season 6||3||Week 2, 8, & 10||0||N/A||1||0||3rd|
|Violet Chachki||Season 7||3||Week 1, 10, & 11||0||N/A||1||0||5th|
|Bob The Drag Queen||Season 8||3||Week 3, 5, & 7||1||Week 8||1||0||Winner|
|Sasha Velour||Season 9||2||Week 4 & 9||0||N/A||1||0||3rd|
- Every Season winner has won at least 2 main challenges.
- Every Season winner, except two, were the 1st of their season to win 2 or more main challenges.
- With the exception of Jinkx Monsoon and Sasha Velour, every season winner won their 1st main challenge within the 1st 3 weeks of competition.
- No season winner has placed in the bottom 2 more than once.
- No season winner who has placed in the bottom 2 did so until at least the 5th week of competition.
- With the exception of Bebe Zahara Benet, every season winner has won at least one mini challenge.
- With the exception of Jinkx Monsoon, no season winner has won the role of Team Captain.
|Contestant||Season||Placing||Main Challenges Won||1st Main Challenge Won||Bottom 2 Placings||1st Time in Bottom 2||Mini Challenges Won||Times as Team Captain|
|Nina Flowers||Season 1||2nd Place||1||Week 1||0||N/A||1||0|
|Rebecca Glasscock||Season 1||3rd Place||1||Week 3||2||Week 4||1||0|
|Raven||Season 2||2nd Place||2||Week 7||2||Week 2||3||0|
|Jujubee||Season 2||3rd Place||0||N/A||3||Week 6||0||0|
|Manila Luzon||Season 3||2nd Place||3||Week 5||1||Week 7||0||0|
|Alexis Mateo||Season 3||3rd Place||3||Week 3||3||Week 6||1||0|
|Chad Michaels||Season 4||2nd / 3rd Place||2||Week 2||1||Week 11||1||0|
|Phi Phi O'Hara||Season 4||2nd / 3rd Place||2||Week 7||1||Week 8||3||1|
|Alaska||Season 5||2nd / 3rd Place||2||Week 8||0||N/A||4||1|
|Roxxxy Andrews||Season 5||2nd / 3rd Place||2||Week 1||1||Week 7||1||0|
|Adore Delano||Season 6||2nd / 3rd Place||3||Week 6||2||Week 8||2||2|
|Courtney Act||Season 6||2nd / 3rd Place||2||Week 3||0||N/A||0||0|
|Ginger Minj||Season 7||2nd / 3rd Place||3||Week 2||2||Week 8||3||1|
|Pearl||Season 7||2nd / 3rd Place||2||Week 5||2||Week 4||0||0|
|Kim Chi||Season 8||2nd / 3rd Place||2||Week 1||0||N/A||0||0|
|Naomi Smalls||Season 8||2nd / 3rd Place||1||Week 6||1||Week 5||1||1|
|Peppermint||Season 9||2nd Place||1||Week 8||2||Week 6||0||0|
|Shea Couleé||Season 9||3rd / 4th Place||4||Week 4||1||Week 10||0||0|
|Trinity Taylor||Season 9||3rd / 4th Place||3||Week 3||1||Week 4||0||1|
- With the exception of Alaska, Jujubee, & Peppermint all runner-ups won their first main challenge within the 1st 7 weeks of competition.
- With the exception of Jujubee & Alexis Mateo, all runner-ups did not place in the Bottom 2 more than two times.
- With the exception of Raven, all runner-ups who placed in the Bottom 2 did not do so until at least the 4th week of competition.
- With the exception of Alaska and Ginger Minj, all runner-ups did not win more than 3 mini-challenges.
- With the exception of Phi Phi O'Hara, Alaska, Adore Delano, Ginger Minj, Naomi Smalls, & Trinity Taylor, all runner-ups were never team captains.
- With the exception of Shea Couleé and Trinity Taylor, all runner-ups have less (or equal) main challenge wins than the winner of the season.
|Accomplishment||Chance of Not Placing in Top 3||Chance of Placing in Top 3||Chance of Becoming a Runner-Up Overall||Chance of Placing as Runner-up Once in Top 3||Chance of Winning Once in Top 3||Chance of Winning the Entire Season Overall|
|Never Placing in Bottom 2||0/7 (0%)||7/7 (100%)||4/7 (57%)||4/7 (57%)||3/7 (43%)||3/7 (43%)|
|Placing Once in Bottom 2 & Not Being Eliminated||0/10 (0%)||10/10 (100%)||5/10 (50%)||5/10 (50%)||5/10 (50%)||5/10 (50%)|
|Placing Twice in Bottom 2 & Not Being Eliminated||0/5 (0%)||5/5 (100%)||5/5 (100%)||5/5 (100%)||0/5 (0%)||0/5 (0%)|
|Placing Three Times in Bottom 2 & Not Being Eliminated||0/2 (0%)||2/2 (100%)||2/2 (100%)||2/2 (100%)||0/2 (0%)||0/2 (0%)|
|Winning the 1st Main Challenge of the Season||2/9 (22%)||7/9 (78%)||3/9 (33%)||3/7 (43%)||4/7 (57%)||4/9 (44%)|
|Winning no Main Challenges||51/52 (98%)||1/52 (2%)||1/52 (2%)||1/1 (100%)||0/1 (0%)||0/52 (0%)|
|Winning only 1 Main Challenge||19/22 (86%)||3/22 (11%)||3/22 (11%)||3/3 (100%)||0/3 (0%)||0/22 (0%)|
|Winning 2 Main Challenges||7/17 (41%)||10/17 (59%)||8/17 (47%)||8/10 (80%)||2/10 (20%)||2/17 (12%)|
|Winning 3 Main Challenges||0/9 (0%)||9/9 (100%)||4/9 (44%)||4/9 (44%)||5/9 (56%)||5/9 (56%)|
|Winning 4 Main Challenges||0/2 (0%)||2/2 (100%)||1/2 (50%)||1/2 (50%)||1/2 (50%)||1/2 (50%)|
|Being The 1st To Win 2 Main Challenges||3/8 (38%)||5/8 (62%)||1/8 (12%)||1/5 (20%)||4/5 (80%)||4/8 (50%)|
|Winning The Snatch Game||4/8 (50%)||4/8 (50%)||2/8 (25%)||2/4 (50%)||2/4 (50%)||2/8 (25%)|
|Winning Team Captain||28/36 (78%)||8/36 (22%)||7/36 (19%)||7/8 (88%)||1/8 (12%)||1/36 (3%)|
Placing in the Bottom Two
Oddly, to place as a top 3 finalist, a contestant has a better chance if they have 0 to 1 bottom two placings, yet to win the competition, a contestant has a better chance if they have only one bottom 2 placing. No contestant has ever won the entire season with more than one bottom 2 placing.
Never Placing in the Bottom 2
Historically, every contestant to have never once placed in the bottom 2 on any episode has gone on to place as a top 3 finalist. Nina Flowers of Season 1, Tyra Sanchez of Season 2, Alaska of Season 5, Courtney Act & Bianca Del Rio of Season 6, Violet Chachki of Season 7, Kim Chi of Season 8, and Sasha Velour of Season 9 have all accomplished this feat, with Tyra Sanchez, Bianca Del Rio, Violet Chachki, and Sasha Velour to be the only Season Winners to have done so. Never placing in the bottom 2 guarantees a contestant a spot in the top 3. Based on this statistic alone, a contestant with zero Bottom 2 placings has a 3/7 chance of winning the crown, and a 4/7 chance of placing into the Top 3 without winning the title.
Placing Once in the Bottom 2
Aside from Tyra Sanchez, Bianca Del Rio, Violet Chachki, and Sasha Velour who won their seasons without ever once placing in the Bottom 2 during any episode, every other Season Winner has placed in the Bottom 2 at least once. Although it is possible to win the competition with one Bottom 2 placing, or even place as a Top 3 finalist with two Bottom 2 placings, no contestant has ever won the competition with 2 or more bottom 2 placings. Any contestant to have placed in the Bottom 2 two or more times has an a 0% chance of winning the season.
Placing Twice in the Bottom 2
Rebecca Glasscock of Season 1, Raven of Season 2, Adore Delano of Season 6, Ginger Minj & Pearl of Season 7, and Peppermint of Season 9 are the only contestants to place in the top 3 with two Bottom 2 placings each. Although it is possible to place as a top 3 finalist with two Bottom 2 placings, the chances of winning the competition are zero.
Placing 3 Times in the Bottom 2
Jujubee of Season 2, & Alexis Mateo of Season 3 are the only two contestants ever to place in the top 3 with a total of three bottom 2 placings each. Both contestants ranked 3rd in the competition. Having three bottom 2 placings puts the chances of winning the season at 0%.
Winning Main Challenges
Statistically, in order to win the entire season, a contestant must win at least 2 main challenges. However winning the most main challenges over every other contestant does not guarantee that a contestant will win the entire season.
Winning the 1st Main Challenge
With the exception of Morgan McMichaels of Season 2, BenDeLaCreme of Season 6, and Nina Bo'Nina Brown of Season 9, every contestant who's won the very first main challenge of their season has gone on to place in the top 3. Season winners Raja, Sharon Needles, Bianca Del Rio, and Violet Chachki all won the first main challenges of their season (Bianca being the first winner on the first episode she appeared on). Based on this statistic alone, a contestant who has won the first main challenge of their season has a strong chance of winning the season with a 4/9 chance of winning the competition and a 6/9 chance of at least placing in the top 3.
Winning No Main Challenges
So far, Jujubee of Season 2 is the only contestant in Drag Race history to place as a top 3 finalist without winning a single main challenge. This is a very rare achievement which so far has never been duplicated. No season winner whatsoever has ever won without winning at least 2 main challenges. Although not impossible, the chances of placing in the top 3 without winning a main challenge are very low, while the chances of winning the season are zero.
Winning 1 Main Challenge
With the exception of finalists Nina Flowers, & Rebecca Glasscock from Season 1, Jujubee from Season 2, Naomi Smalls from Season 8, and Peppermint of Season 9, every top 3 finalist has won at least 2 main challenges. Winning only one Main Challenge means a contestant has a 2/24 chance of placing as a finalist and a 0% chance of winning the crown.
Winning 2 Main Challenges
Every single Season winner in Drag Race history so far has won at least 2 Main Challenges, (Raja, Bianca Del Rio, Violet Chachki and Bob The Drag Queen have each won 3, while Sharon Needles and Alaska has won 4) meaning that in order to win the entire season, a contestant statistically needs to have won at least 2 main challenges.
With the exception of Shangela of Season 3, Latrice Royale of Season 4, BenDeLaCreme of Season 6, Max, Kennedy Davenport, and Katya of Season 7, most contestants who've won 2 main challenges have gone to place in the top 3. With the exception of Nina Flowers, Rebecca Glasscock, Naomi Smalls, and Peppermint who won only one Main Challenge, and Jujubee - who won no main challenges, every top 3 finalist afterwards has won at least 2 main challenges. Out of eight Season Winners, three have won with only two Main Challenge wins, making it a 3/8 chance that the winner will have had only 2 Main Challenge wins.
Winning 3 Main Challenges
So far, every single contestant who has won 3 main challenges has gone on to place as a top 3 finalist. Out of all eight Season Winners so far, five of them where crowned after winning three Main Challenges (Tyra Sanchez, Raja, Bianca Del Rio, Violet Chachki and Bob The Drag Queen). Sharon Needles is the only contestant and Season winner to have won more than three with four main challenge wins. Due to these statistics, any contestant who's won 3 main challenges is guaranteed a spot in the top 3, and has a 1/2 chance of being crowned "America's Next Drag Superstar".
Winning the "Snatch Game" Challenge
So far, only two season winners won the Snatch Game Challenge: Jinkx Monsoon of Season 5 and Bob The Drag Queen from Season 8, while Chad Michaels of Season 4 and Ginger Minj of Season 7 are the only Snatch Game winners to place in the top 3 without winning the crown. Other Snatch Game winners such as Tatianna, Stacy Layne Matthews, BenDeLaCreme, Kennedy Davenport, and Alexis Michelle did not even crack the top 3, making a 2/9 chance that a Snatch Game winner will take the crown. Oddly, with the exception of Pandora Boxx of Season 2, Willam of Season 4, Katya of Season 7, Derrick Barry and Thorgy Thor of Season 8, and Nina Bo'Nina Brown of Season 9, most contestants who did very well during the Snatch Game without actually winning the challenge have made it into the top 3. Winning the Snatch Game gives a queen a 1/2 chance of making the top 3. Based on these statistics, although winning the Snatch Game is not a good indication for winning the entire season, doing well in the Snatch Game without winning the challenge is a very good indication that a contestant will go far in the competition and may even place in the top 3.
Most Season winners have won at least one mini-challenge but no season winner has won more than two mini-challenges. Although winning a mini-challenge is meant to give a contestant an advantage during the main challenge, historically, it usually instead has an adverse effect, with many mini-challenge winners and team captains placing in the bottom 2 on the same episode where they won the mini-challenge.
Winning The Role of Team Captain
So far, Jinkx Monsoon is the only season winner to have been a Team Captain. In general, winning the role of Team Captain is not favorable for winning the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar".