QUEER VOICES
03/07/2016 12:52 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2016

Catching Up With The Winners Of 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

Who will be the next to join this illustrious group?
Courtesy of World of Wonder

In 1993, RuPaul gained international fame when the club kid and drag queen launched his hit single "Supermodel of The World."

Almost a quarter of a century later, the queer icon and entertainment powerhouse is not slowing down.

Tonight, March 7, will mark the premiere of the eighth season of Ru's beloved reality television show "RuPaul's Drag Race." The show has not only changed the way that the queer community experiences drag as both an aesthetic and performative art form, but it has also ushered drag, as a whole, into mainstream culture in ways it had never been present -- or seen -- before.

Along with this new and greater visibility, the show has also served as an inspiration for the queer community and moved people across the country to come together on Monday nights to watch the show. It has also allowed drag to seep into places it never has before and without requiring viewers to even leave their own living rooms.

The resulting undeniable popularity of "RuPaul's Drag Race" has provided launching points for the massively successful careers of many drag artists -- with tonight's episode featuring the 100th queen to walk through the doors of the "Drag Race" work room.

The Huffington Post recently caught up with each winner of the previous seven seasons of "Drag Race" and chatted with them about how their lives, careers, and relationships with drag have changed and evolved since they took home the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar."

You can catch Violet Chachki, Sharon Needles, Jinxk Monsoon and many other fan favorites when they perform in the “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons Tour” which kicks off on March 17 in Belgium.

The eighth season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" will premire tonight, March 7, 2016, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Logo.

Check out a video below courtesy of Logo of 100 "Drag Race" entrances in 100 seconds.

You can catch Violet Chachki, Sharon Needles, Jinxk Monsoon and many other fan favorites when they perform in the “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons Tour” which kicks off on March 17 in Belgium.

The eighth season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" will premire tonight, March 7, 2016, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Logo.

Check out a video below courtesy of Logo of 100 "Drag Race" entrances in 100 seconds.

  • Bebe Zahara Benet, Season One
    <strong>How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?</strong><br>The art form of drag is ever-evo
    Courtesy of World of Wonder
    How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?
    The art form of drag is ever-evolving and to stay relevant, current and exciting you have to constantly challenge yourself, excite your imagination, be business savvy and embrace the spirit to learn and experience. I try to practice all of it.

    How do you think "Drag Race" has shaped and changed drag culture?
    Drag has always been part of our community as well as pop culture. I believe "Drag Race" is creating opportunities where the art form is finally being acknowledged in pop culture, really celebrated in the community and being seen as legit. Artists can create a brand and a business from it. Above all it has put the "human" in the art by introducing it into the privacy of  many homes. 

    Do you have any regrets?
    The only regret I have is I wish that the different talents of the artists on season one were even more showcased -- because trust me there was a lot that was not showcased. But with that said, it was a great experience.

    What do you want people to know about who you are today?
    I am just Bebe Zahara Benet. Forever changing.
  • Tyra Sanchez, Season Two
    <strong>How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?</strong><br>It&rsquo;s a love/hate relations
    Courtesy of World of Wonder
    How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?
    It’s a love/hate relationship. I love to do drag but I hate the negativity that I receive from some people. I’ve seen hate, gotten racial slurs thrown at me, but I’ve been empowered to stand up.

    How do you think "Drag Race" has shaped and changed drag culture?
    It’s allowed everyone to feel more comfortable doing drag, but now almost everyone does feel they can be a drag queen. It’s about a lot more than buying an outfit and throwing it on. It’s about the craft -- knowing how to sew, do hair and make-up. It’s an actual job.  

    Do you have any regrets?
    I wish that I had said that my Twitter account was hacked when it was reported that I made the suicide comments.

    What do you want people to know about who you are today?
    Fun, outgoing and energetic, but I’m down to earth and humble. I love all people.
  • Raja, Season Three
    <strong>How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race&rdquo;?</strong><br>Life has been a lot more colorfu
    Courtesy of World of Wonder
    How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race”?
    Life has been a lot more colorful than I knew it before. It involves a lot of travel and meeting hundreds -- if not thousands -- of new friends around the world. It has enlightened me, to say the least!

    How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?
    I’ve been bringing back fun and spirituality in drag. With the emergence of all of these young queens, it is my responsibility to bring back that side of it. Drag is ancient and has a position of reverence in many indigenous cultures. It has a different meaning for me than eyebrows and an overdrawn lip.

    How do you think "Drag Race" has shaped and changed drag culture?
    "Drag Race" has absolutely changed drag culture -- it has made it more global. Through "Drag Race," there is now a perception of what drag should be like -- there are templates that new queens can follow. "Drag Race" has also moved drag from a subculture to an industry. There are people involved in drag that are now benefiting from it -- wigmakers, costume designers, managers. None of this existed when I first started.

    What do you want people to know about who you are today?
    I am an artist who is always at a fork in the road in my journey. Five years later I find myself at that spot again. I’m always rediscovering and reinventing -- I just want to continue to inspire.

    Raja’s new album #NoKulture drops this summer.
  • Sharon Needles, Season Four
    <strong>How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?<br></strong>Drag has&nbsp;gone from my passi
    Courtesy of World of Wonder
    How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?
    Drag has gone from my passion, my therapy, my necessary hobby, to my livelihood, my career and my source of income. 

    How do you think "Drag Race" has shaped and changed drag culture?
    "Drag Race" has put a positive light on drag by showing the man behind the mask, and bringing the art form out of the nightclub and into the living room of millions. Though I think "RuPaul's Drag Race" has negatively impacted drag by making every little twink from Santa Monica to Syracuse think they have what it takes to be the next show stopper.

    What's one thing that happened during your season that didn't make the air but you think is funny or juicy or worth mentioning?
    Phi Phi O’Hara was constantly guilty of forgetting to dust off her cooking powder. I always sat back silent hoping she would walk the runway looking like a dust pan, but Chad, in true professional form, always reminded her right before showtime, that bitch!

    What do you want people to know about who you are today?
    I’m an open book, shit, I’m a coloring book, if anything, I think I would prefer people knew less about me. I would love for my art to continue to inspire.

    Sharon Needles’ second album “Taxidermy” is now available on iTunes.
  • Jinkx Monsoon, Season Five
    <strong>How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race"?&nbsp;</strong><br>In some ways it hasn&rsquo;t. I
    Courtesy of World of Wonder
    How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race"? 
    In some ways it hasn’t. I still get to show my art to people, but now the scale is much larger and my audiences are around the globe. 

    Would you do it all again?
    In a heartbeat. I can’t imagine my life without that pivotal moment.

    Do you have any regrets? 
    I don’t have any. I have many. I can’t complain about the outcome. The Virgo in me always wants to fix every blemish. 

    What do you want people to know about who you are today? 
    I am still an open-minded and spiritual person. I am also a fully grown adult who sometimes plays video games.
  • Bianca Del Rio, Season Six
    <strong>How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race"?<br></strong>It&rsquo;s been amazing that I have to
    Amanda Edwards via Getty Images
    How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race"?
    It’s been amazing that I have to find time in my day to talk to useless people like Huffington Post -- before, I was only in the press when I was arrested.

    Would you do it all again?
    NO. It’s like life -- it’s a time capsule. I’m grateful for what I experienced and I came off looking like a saint. I’m going after Mother Theresa’s gig after this. I want to be Saint Bianca -- outside of Mexico where they’re already selling little statutes of me. And pencils.

    What's one thing that happened during your season that didn't make the air but you think is funny or juicy or worth mentioning?
    Courtney thought she was going to win… #comedy 

    What do you want people to know about who you are today?
    That I’m grateful for this amazing experience and that I haven’t forgotten the true clown that I am. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m a lucky circus member.

    Bianca del Rio’s “Rolodex of Hate" comedy special is now available for streaming on Vimeo.
  • Violet Chachki, Season Seven
    <strong>How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race"? <br></strong>I've had some amazing opportunities t
    Courtesy of World of Wonder
    How has your life changed since your time on "RuPaul's Drag Race"?
    I've had some amazing opportunities to work with people that I've respected and looked up to for so long. I've been validated by some of the most creative people in the world. It feels great, it feels like I'm a part of something bigger than myself. I love my job and sometimes I look around and think I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. And I'm so so thankful for this part of my life and the chance to immerse myself in something I love. But that's exactly it- it's just one part of my life. You're just famous enough where it can get annoying. Dating. Relating to people my own age. There's also a conversation about gender that happens regularly.

    How has your relationship with drag changed since your time on the show?

    Drag went from being a form of gender and creative expression to a hobby to a lifestyle to a job and now, after the show, a career. I started doing drag because I didn't see a queen out there that I really gagged over. I'm just trying to be her, but now on the scale I had always hoped for. 

    How do you think "Drag Race" has shaped and changed drag culture?
    The show has done amazing things for drag culture and has helped tons of people! The pros of having LGBT representation on television and this accessible are obvious! That being said, it seems like every day there are new queens looking for a stage. It makes you think about intention and shelf life. The show continues to make drag more competitive than it already was, constant comparisons are made which can be toxic for any artist. People that have never done your job now feel the need to tell you what they feel you are doing wrong because they have a TV. Everyone has an opinion on what drag is or isn't. 

    What do you want people to know about who you are today?
    I've learned a lot this past year. I'm a bit more focused and I also care less at the same time.

The eighth season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" will premire tonight, March 7, 2016, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Logo.

Check out a video below courtesy of Logo of 100 "Drag Race" entrances in 100 seconds.

You can catch Violet Chachki, Sharon Needles, Jinxk Monsoon and many other fan favorites when they perform in the “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons Tour” which kicks off on March 17 in Belgium.

The eighth season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" will premire tonight, March 7, 2016, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Logo.

Check out a video below courtesy of Logo of 100 "Drag Race" entrances in 100 seconds.

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