4. Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 (Season 5, 2nd runner-up)
HIIIEEEE! I’m already gearing up for second season of All Stars, and I’m bidding all my chips on this queen. Now, everything I said about Jinkx withstands: she was fierce competitor, and there is a sense of finality about how she took home the crown in season five. It’s just too bad that the Jinkx narrative has consumed everyone’s memory of season five, because throughout the whole competition there was Alaska taking as many risks, hitting as many highs, and making us piss ourselves just as much. Alaska is the Raven of season five. She’s the Manila. She’s the Tammie/Ongina/Nina. We can live with the final winner (well, actually, many of us are still trying to cope with Tyra’s win), but she wasn’t our favourite.
Alaska’s best moments in the competition are too many: the garbage bag couture; “Lil Pound Cake, a straight up motherfuckin’ dick pig”; her lipstick-stained teeth in the makeover mini-challenge; her impersonation of Lady Bunny (“All I wrote was ANUS!”); her roast of Rupaul (actually better than Coco Montrese, by the by); her “Scent of a Drag Queen” video (“Are you read-y for me?”); her puppet of Roxxxy Andrews (“Where my people at?!”); and of course, her win of the Sugar Ball. Alaska’s former partner Sharon Needles described perfectly why Alaska was the best of the top three in season five: to paraphrase, she had to her credit both the eleganza extravaganza of Roxxxy Andrews and the high camp of Jinkx Monsoon. This is what makes Alaska not only a legendary queen, but one of the MOST legendary queens on Rupaul’s Drag Race: she can do pretty, she can do goofy, and when appropriate she can do ugly. She is a jack of all trades, and a master of most of them.