|RuPaul's Drag Race|
This article contains spoilers and/or upcoming content, and therefore may be incorrect and will change from time to time. Continue reading at your own discretion.
The third season of RuPaul's Drag Race began airing on January 24, 2011. Thirteen drag queens competed for the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar", a headlining spot on the Absolut Tour, a lifetime supply of Kryolan makeup, and a cash prize of $75,000.
This season saw Michelle Visage replacing Merle Ginsberg at the judge's table and Billy B., Mike Ruiz, and Jeffrey Moran filling in for Santino Rice's absence during several episodes. (Billy B. filled in for four episodes, Mike Ruiz for two, and Jeffrey Moran for one) Other changes made were the introduction of a wildcard contestant from the past season, an episode with no elimination, and a contestant was brought back into the competition after having been eliminated a few episodes prior. A new pit crew was also introduced.
As with the previous season, each week's episode was followed by a behind-the-scenes show, RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked.
At the end of the fifteenth episode, Raja was crowned as the winner, with Manila Luzon placing as Runner Up and Yara Sofia being crowned Ms Congeniality.
On December 6, 2011, Amazon.com released this season on DVD via their CreateSpace program.
Manila Luzon, Alexis Mateo, Mimi Imfurst and Yara Sofia returned to compete on All Stars 1. Competing in pairs, Manila placed 7th/8th alongside Latrice Royale as Team Latrila and Mimi placed 12th/11th alongside Pandora Boxx as Team Mandora . Alexis and Yara placed 5th/6th as Team Yarlexis.
(Ages and names stated are during time of contest)
|Rank||Contestant||Photo||Real Name||Age||Hometown|| Ep.1 (Casting|
|Ep. 2||Ep. 3||Ep. 4||Ep. 5|| Ep. 6 (Snatch|
|Ep. 7||Ep. 8||Ep. 9||Ep.10||Ep.11 (Ball)|| Ep.12 (Make-|
|Ep.13 (Ball)||Ep.14 (Recap)||Ep. 15 (Finale)||Ep. 16 (Reunion)|
|Raja||Sutan Amrull||36||Los Angeles, CA||IN||WIN|
|Manila Luzon||Karl Westerberg||28||New York, NY||IN||HIGH||SAFE|| SAFE|
|3rd||Alexis Mateo||Alexis Mateo Pacheco||30||St. Petersburg, FL||IN||SAFE||WIN||WIN||SAFE||HIGH||BTM2||SAFE||WIN||LOW||BTM2|| HIGH|
|Yara Sofia||Gabriel Burgos Ortiz||26||Manati, PR||IN||SAFE|| HIGH|
|Carmen Carrera||Carmen Roman||25||Elmwood Park, NJ||IN||LOW||LOW|| SAFE|
|6th||Shangela||D.J. Pierce||29||Los Angeles, CA||BTM2||WIN||SAFE||HIGH||SAFE||LOW||WIN|
|7th||Delta Work||Gabriel Villarreal||34||Norwalk, CA||OPEN CALL||SAFE||BTM2||SAFE||SAFE|| BTM2|
|8th||Stacy Layne Matthews||Stacy Jones||25||Back Swamp, NC||IN||SAFE||HIGH|
|9th||Mariah||Elijah Kelly||29||Atlanta, GA||IN||SAFE||HIGH|
|10th||India Ferrah||Shane Richardson||23||Dayton, OH||IN||SAFE||SAFE||BTM2||ELIM||RTRN|
|11th||Mimi Imfurst||Braden Chapman||27||New York, NY||IN||HIGH|| HIGH|
|12th||Phoenix||Brian Trapp||29||Atlanta, GA||IN||SAFE|| ELIM|
|13th||Venus D-Lite||Adam Guerra||26||Los Angeles, CA||OPEN CALL||ELIM||RTRN|
- █ The contestant won RuPaul's Drag Race.
- █ The contestant was the 1st runner-up.
- █ The contestant was eliminated in 3rd place & did not compete in the final lip sync.
- █ The contestant was one of two winners of the maxi challenge.
- █ The contestant won the maxi challenge. Winners in Episodes 2, 4, and 5 received immunity in the next challenge.
- █ The contestant had immunity in this episode.
- █ The contestant was one of the best but did not win the maxi challenge.
- █ The contestant was a member of a winning team, & was safe from elimination, but did not win the maxi challenge.
- █ The contestant was one of the worst but did not place in the bottom two.
- █ The contestant placed in the bottom two but neither was eliminated.
- █ The contestant placed in the bottom two & was up for elimination, but was not eliminated.
- █ The contestant placed in the bottom two & was eliminated.
- █ The contestant was eliminated for the second time.
- █ The contestant was voted Ms. Congeniality by viewers.
- █ The contestant did not participate in this episode.
- █ The contestant was cast on the show through an open call audition.
|Series #||Episode #||Title #||Airdate|
|22||1||Casting Extravaganza||January 24, 2011|
|23||2||The Queen Who Mopped Xmas||January 24, 2011|
|24||3||Queens in Space||January 31, 2011|
|25||4||Totally Leotarded||February 7, 2011|
|26||5||QNN News||February 14, 2011|
|27||6||The Snatch Game||February 21, 2011|
|28||7||Face, Face, Face of Cakes||February 28, 2011|
|29||8||Ru Ha Ha||March 7, 2011|
|30||9||Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Style||March 14, 2011|
|31||10||RuPaul-a-Palooza||March 21, 2011|
|32||11||RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza||March 28, 2011|
|33||12||Jocks in Frocks||April 4, 2011|
|34||13||Make Dat Money||April 11, 2011|
|35||14||Superstar Edition||April 18, 2011|
|36||15||Grand Finale||April 25, 2011|
|37||16||Reunited!||May 2, 2011|
Episode 1, "Casting Extravaganza"
The first episode shows behind the scenes of the casting process for the 2011 edition of "RuPaul's Drag Race." Featured are entrants that were not cast in the series. All the contestants are profiled. Manila's audition tape includes an endorsement from her boyfriend, season 2's Sahara Davenport. Raja reveals she has done make up for some pretty big names in Hollywood and her audition tape includes an endorsement from Adam Lambert. India Ferrah shows us through video and old photos his early drag career which started at 14. Mimi and Stacy were premiered as the Big Girls of the Season. Phoenix talks about her start in drag. Venus D-Lite and Delta Work are profiled, and it is revealed that they were chosen as a result of auditioning in front of RuPaul and Santino Rice at an open casting call in Hollywood, California.
This special also features several queens who appear on future seasons: Madame LaQueer and Chad Michaels, who would go on to appear on Season 4, Alaska, Detox, and Penny Tration who would go on to appear on Season 5, Joslyn Fox of Season 6, Sasha Belle, Mrs. Kasha Davis, Jasmine Masters and Katya of Season 7 and Dax ExclamationPoint and Thorgy Thor who would go on to appear on Season 8. Nina West of Season 11 also appeared multiple times.
Episode 2, "The Queen Who Mopped Xmas"
Season 3 begins with the introductions of 12 new queens vying to be "the next drag superstar". After the surprise revelation that the first eliminated second-season competitor Shangela has returned to be the thirteenth competitor in season three, the dolls receive their first challenge: a Christmas-card photo shoot on a trampoline (with Mike Ruiz taking the pictures). Then it's off to a thrift store to stock up for their holiday-themed runway outfits. Ruiz, Vanessa Williams and Bruce Vilanch are the guest judges, joining regular judges Santino Rice and Michelle Visage (making her debut). India, Alexis, Phoenix, Mariah, Yara, Delta, and Stacy are declared safe. Mimi is criticized for her outfit's execution, but praised for the concept and is declared safe. Manila and Carmen are also safe, and Raja is declared the winner of the week. Venus and Shangela land in the bottom for their forgetful outfits and poor execution (this marks the second time Shangela has landed in the bottom two on week one). During the lipsync, Venus becomes unnecessarily rough. She throws her wig at the girls in the back and pushes Shangela numerous times. Shangela also removes her hairpiece and during the battle they are close to being half naked. RuPaul scolds the girls for the awkward performance before announcing that Shangela is safe and sending Venus D-lite home.
- Guest Judges: Bruce Vilanch, Mike Ruiz, and Vanessa Williams
- Mini Challenge: Christmas Card Photo Shoot
- Mini Challenge Winner: Raja
- Mini Challenge Prize: An extra $25 to spend at the thrift store.
- Maxi Challenge: Holiday Thrift Store Drag
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Raja
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A $2,000 gift card to Sequin Queen and immunity from next week's elimination
- Bottom Two: Shangela & Venus D-Lite
- Lip-Sync Song: "The Right Stuff" by Vanessa Williams
- Eliminated: Venus D-Lite
- Farewell Message: "Don't Be Shady!! Be A Lady! Love Ya, Venus DLite"
The premiere episode drew 449,000 total viewers, 33% higher than Season 2's premiere.
Episode 3, "Queens in Space"
After the contestants learn that the theme for the week is sci-fi, RuPaul arrives in the workroom to issue the mini-challenge. The girls are asked to pair up with the person they feel they have the strongest psychic connection to (Raja & Delta, Mariah & Phoenix, Carmen & Manila, Alexis & Stacy, Shangela & India and Mimi]& Yara) and are then separated by a screen. One team member must "use ESP" to guess the other person's fashion accessories; what color boa, what kind of jewelry, what color cat, etc. The winning pair is Mariah and Phoenix, with their reward being competing team captains for the maxi challenge.
For the maxi challenge this week, the girls split into two teams to shoot a trailer for the Drag Queens in Outer Space movie saga; the original film, From Earth to Uranus (Team Phoenix) and the sequel Return to Uranus (Team Mariah). Each team had to shoot a different scene, but with the same characters. The characters assigned were as follows:
|Character||Team Phoenix||Team Mariah|
|Tweaker||Manila Luzon||Yara Sofia|
|Lady TaTa||Phoenix||Stacy Layne Matthews|
|Twinbots||Carmen Carrera & India Ferrah||Alexis Mateo & Shangela|
Guest judges include Lily Tomlin and Caprica alumna Alessandra Torresani. Mariah's team won, with Alexis and Shangela sharing the title of the challenge winner and Mimi also receiving praise. As a result of two winners that week, no immunity was given. On the losing team, Manila and Raja both receive positive critiques and are declared safe, along with India. Carmen is criticized for the poor execution of her outfit, but is also safe, leaving Phoenix and Delta in the bottom two; Phoenix for her weak performance in the trailer, and Delta for her runway outfit, which the judges felt held little to no resemblance of anything futuristic or space-like. During the lip sync to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" Delta personality radiated through while Phoenix fell back on trying to impersonate Gaga. Delta was declared safe and Phoenix sashayed away.
- Guest Judges: Lily Tomlin and Alessandra Torresani
- Mini-Challenge: Psychic Challenge
- Mini-Challenge Winners: Mariah & Phoenix
- Maxi Challenge: Sci-Fi movie spoofs
- Maxi Challenge Winners: Alexis Mateo & Shangela
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A hand sculpted silicone breast plate by Boobs For Queens
- Bottom Two: Delta Work & Phoenix
- Lip-Sync Song: "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
- Eliminated: Phoenix
- Farewell Message: "Be You Bitches (Boots) Loves, Phoenix"
Episode 4, "Totally Leotarded"
For their mini-challenge, the queens were asked to create a fashion style using duct tape. In groups of two (and one group of three) the contestants had to glamorize their black leotards using duct tape of various colors. The teams assembled were Carmen & Manila; Yara & Raja; Alexis & Mariah; Delta, Mimi & Stacy; and Shangela & India. Carmen and Manila form the best look, complete with duct tape iPods, and win the challenge. The reward given was competing as team captains for the maxi challenge.
|Team Manila||Work Out||Team Carmen||Work Out|
|Manila Luzon||Step & Strap||Carmen Carrera||Work It Out!|
|Raja||FabuLOSSity||Delta Work||Shake N' Bake|
|Shangela||Halleloola Hoop||Mariah||How to Keep a Tight Snatch|
|Mimi Imfurst||'You Gotta Love Me' Jump Rope||Yara Sofia||Echar Pa'lante|
|Alexis Mateo||Stretch the Upper Body||India Ferrah||Rubber Tug|
|Stacy Layne Matthews||Sit N' Shake|
Note: Although they worked as team, each member was judged individually.
The girls are informed that the maxi challenge will be two inspirational work-out videos. Carmen and Manila are team captains (due to winning the duct tape leotard challenge). Carmen chooses Delta, India, Yara, and Mariah, while Manila chooses Raja, Stacy, Mimi, Shangela, and Alexis. Guest judges include fitness guru Susan Powter, celebrity make-up artist Billy B (filling in for an absent Santino Rice), and singer La Toya Jackson. After the runway presentation, Delta, Raja, Manila, Carmen, and Shangela are declared safe. Alexis wins the challenge and is given immunity for this win, with Stacy and Yara also receiving positive feedback. Mariah is criticised for relying too much on beauty, but is declared safe. India and Mimi land at the bottom; India for her boring work-out segment and over-done look on the runway, and Mimi for putting in too much slapstick comedy, causing it to come off sloppy. During the lip-sync, Mimi picks up India from in front of the judges table and carries her up to the stage against her will. RuPaul scolds Mimi, stating "Drag is not a contact sport!" before eliminating her and declaring India safe.
- Guest Judges: Billy B, La Toya Jackson, and Susan Powter
- Mini-Challenge: Making Leotards from Duct Tapes
- Mini-Challenge Winner(s): Carmen Carrera & Manila Luzon
- Maxi Challenge: Produce a fitness video with workout expert Susan Powter
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Alexis Mateo
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A $2,500 gift card to Gilt Groupe and immunity from next week's elimination
- Bottom Two: India Ferrah & Mimi Imfurst
- Lip-Sync Song: "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston
- Eliminated: Mimi Imfurst
- Farewell Message: "mimiimfurst.com 'life is too short to live someone else's' "
Episode 5,' "QNN News"
For the mini-challenges, the girls were given the task of creating a scandalous red carpet photo. Being a news-related episode, the winning photos were shown on WOW Report (Carmen's revealing crotch shot) and NewNowNext (Stacy's wardrobe malfunction). The winners became the team leaders as news anchors for "The Morning After News" on fictionalized QNN. To mentor the girls, anchor Debbie Matenopoulos provided tips on personality and delivery. Kristin Cavallari was on hand to be interviewed by the girls as well. Guest judges include Chloë Sevigny, Debbie Matenopoulos and celebrity make-up artist Billy B. (filling in for regular judge Santino Rice, who was notably absent for a second consecutive week.)
|Character||Team Stacy||Team Carmen|
|Anchor 1||Stacy Layne Matthews||Raja|
|Anchor 2||Alexis Mateo||Delta Work|
|Weather Girl||Yara Sofia||India Ferrah|
|Gossip Reporter||Shangela||Carmen Carrera|
|Roving Reporter||Mariah||Manila Luzon|
Note: Although they worked as team, each member was judged individually.
Carmen, Alexis, Yara, Raja, and Delta were declared safe. Although the judges loved Manila's gown, they were afraid her stereotypical Asian reporter came across as offensive,they all thought it was hysterical and complimented her ability to stay in character. Matenopoulos congratulated Shangela, stating she could easily get a job as an entertainment reporter. India's performance was deemed bland and painful to watch. Stacy, once again, was scolded for holding back. RuPaul commented that Mariah was not fully delivering on challenges and was "resting in pretty". Manila won the challenge, leaving India and Stacy to lip sync for their lives. Stacy's lip sync was seen as on point and she remained in the competition, while India sashayed away.
- Guest Judges: Billy B, Chloë Sevigny, and Debbie Matenopoulos
- Mini-Challenge: Scandalous Red Carpet Photo
- Mini-Challenge Winner(s): Carmen Carrera & Stacy Layne Matthews
- Maxi Challenge: Produce a morning news show
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Manila Luzon
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A $2,000 gift card to Wig USA and immunity from next week's elimination
- Bottom Two: India Ferrah & Stacy Layne Matthews
- Lip-Sync Song: "Meeting in the Ladies Room" by Klymaxx
- Eliminated: India Ferrah
- Farewell Message: "Never Give Up! You're All Stars!!! xoxo India"
Episode 6, "The Snatch Game"
For this week's mini challenge, the girls were asked to play "S**t RuPaul Says" to win the opportunity to call a family member. Delta won the challenge but gave the prize to Shangela who wanted to speak to her grandmother. The group was then asked to impersonate celebrities on "Snatch Game". Initially, Stacy Layne Matthews intended to impersonate Anna Nicole Smith but after receiving criticism from RuPaul, she chose to do Mo'Nique instead. The panel was judged by model Amber Rose and comedienne Aisha Tyler.
Snatch Game Characters
|Alexis Mateo||Alicia Keys|
|Carmen Carrera||Jennifer Lopez|
|Manila Luzon||Imelda Marcos|
|Stacy Layne Matthews||Mo'Nique|
|Yara Sofia||Amy Winehouse|
For the runway portion, the girls were asked to wear their favorite drag look. Raja, Alexis and Stacy made the Top 3 while Delta, Mariah and Yara finished in the bottom. This caused much controversy backstage because most of the queens disagreed with the judges' decisions. Backstage, tension heated up between Shangela and Raja. Shangela criticized Raja's impression of Tyra Banks, and Shangela complained that she and Raja used to be friends until the competition. Raja complained that in the past, Shangela had returned borrowed items damaged and had used her, and many of the others agreed that Shangela continues to get other queens to help her in the competition because her own skills are poor. Mariah became defensive during the critique, stating Carrera's version of Lopez was a bitchy version of herself and Luzon's Imelda Marcos was an "offensive Filipino". Stacy won the challenge, impressing the judges and restoring their faith in her. Delta and Mariah "lip-synched for their lives" to remain in the competition. Mariah missed many of the lyrics causing her to sashay away, leaving Delta to remain in the competition.
Off the set, the elimination created controversy in the media. For her farewell message, Mariah was shown writing "Condragulations Raja", causing gossip sites to believe Raja was the winner of the competition. During the related Untucked episode, it was shown the message further stated "Mug4Dayz". The message was related to her comments towards Raja, referring to her as a "washed-up runway model" and implying more personal criticism. In the following episode, only the latter part of the message was displayed on the mirror.
- Guest Judges: Aisha Tyler and Amber Rose
- Mini-Challenge: S**t RuPaul Says
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Delta Work
- Mini-Challenge Prize: A phone call home
- Maxi Challenge: Snatch Game
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Stacy Layne Matthews
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A cruise for 2 to the Bahamas courtesy of Al and Chuck Travel
- Bottom Two: Delta Work & Mariah
- Lip-Sync Song: "Looking for a New Love" by Jody Watley
- Eliminated: Mariah
- Farewell Message: "Condragulations Raja. Mug4Dayz! Mariah"
Episode 7, "Face, Face, Face of Cakes"
At the beginning of the episode, the contestants are asked to do a tasteful nude photo shoot with photographer Deborah Anderson. Carmen won the challenge and was given the task to assign each contestant a cake. The maxi challenge called for a couture fashion ensemble modeled after the assigned cake. Furthermore, each cake had to be decorated to reflect the contestant's personality.
|Carmen Carrera||Princess Cake|
|Delta Work||Angel Food Cake|
|Manila Luzon||Carrot Cake|
|Raja||Chocolate Lava Cake|
|Shangela||Pineapple Upside Down Cake|
|Stacy Layne Matthews||Red Velvet Cake|
|Yara Sofia||Strawberry Shortcake|
For the runway portion of the show, actresses Sara Rue, Eliza Dushku and make-up artist Billy B (filling in for absent Santino Rice) are the guest judges this week. During the critiques Raja, Manila and Yara received high marks from the judges, who also liked Deltas look, while Stacy, Shangela and Alexis were admonished; Stacy for not looking couture, Shangela for her poor make-up skills, and Alexis for her awful design. Ru asked most of the queens who they thought should go home. Shangela replied Carmen, while Carmen and Delta both thought Stacy should leave. Stacy thought Carmen's look was not couture and she should be the one to go, while Raja wanted both Shangela and Stacy to go. After the judges' deliberation, Yara and Delta are safe, while Stacy is up for elimination. Manila is safe, and Raja is declared the winner this week. Shangela is also safe, along with Carmen, landing Alexis in the bottom 2 with Stacy. They perform to Amii Stewart's "Knock on Wood", Stacy being somewhat low-key while Alexis delivers high energy. RuPaul decides to keep Alexis Mateo, while Stacy sashayed away.
Off stage, a clique begins to form with Raja, Delta, Carmen and Manila referring to themselves as "Heathers", while Alexis, Yara, Stacy and Shangela were called "boogers".
- Guest Judges: Billy B., Eliza Dushku, and Sara Rue
- Mini-Challenge: Nude photo shoot with Deborah Anderson
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Carmen Carrera
- Maxi Challenge: Create a cake inspired couture garment & decorate a doll cake
that expresses their true drag persona
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Raja
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A shopping spree at l.a. Eyeworks
- Bottom Two: Alexis Mateo & Stacy Layne Matthews
- Lip-Sync Song: "Knock on Wood" by Amii Stewart
- Eliminated: Stacy Layne Matthews
- Farewell Message: "Be a lady! You're All Amazing. Stacy Layne 'Bryant' Matthews Jig..."
"Who Deserves to go Home Tonight?"
|Delta Work||Stacy Layne Matthews|
|Raja||Stacy & Shangela|
|Stacy Layne Matthews||Carmen Carrera|
Episode 8, "Ru Ha Ha"
In this week's mini-challenge, the cast were asked to "read" each other (popularized by the film Paris is Burning). Shangela wins the challenge, with her prize being to choose the order of the contestants for the maxi challenge. RuPaul announces that for the maxi challenge, the queens have to develop a stand-up comedy routine to perform in front of a live audience. In order to help them put an act together, they each get a one-on-one workshop with legendary comedienne Rita Rudner. Shangela later gives the girls the line-up for the show; starting with Raja, followed by Carmen, Alexis, Shangela, Manila, Yara and Delta. During the session with Rita, most of the contestants receive valuable advice from Rita on how to improve their stand-up routine, with the exception of Carmen, who had a hard time finding a basis for her routine and didn't receive any tips.
On the main stage, the contestants debut their comedy routines for the judges and the audience. Raja's set was based upon and inspired by the film Carrie. Carmen wore a soft sculpture fat suit and talked about secretly wanting to be a big girl, while Alexis came out as an energetic stripper version of herself, donning extremely large fake breasts. Shangela followed with her "post modern pimp-ho" character, and Manila's act focused mainly on a running gag of Sesame Street and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood allusions to homosexuality. Yara's character was a sassy midget from Spain, while Delta's routine portrayed herself as a self-deprecating fat girl.
The judges unanimously loved Raja, Yara, Shangela and Carmen's routines. Alexis was called out for rushing through the routine and relying too much on her visual gag. Manila's look was lauded, but her act was called unoriginal, while Delta was criticized for being too nervous. After deliberating, Raja and Alexis are declared safe, while Manila is up for elimination. Shangela is deemed the best and wins the challenge. Yara and Carmen are also safe, which places Delta in the bottom two against Manila. Both queens were asked to lip sync to Donna Summer's disco hit "MacArthur Park".The lip-sync is considered one of the best lip syncs ever to be on the show, and is a legendary lip-sync for your life. Manila's hilariously dramatic interpretation of the song ultimately meant Manila won the lip-sync and Delta left the competition.
Tanner Stransky of Entertainment Weekly called the lip-synch battle the "most cohesive lipsynch-for-your-life session [ever] in Drag Race history"
- Guest Judges: Billy B., Rita Rudner, and Arden Myrin
- Mini-Challenge: Reading is Fundamental
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Shangela
- Mini-Challenge Prize: An extra 10 minutes with Rita Rudner & choose the line up for the maxi challenge.
- Maxi Challenge: Perform a stand-up routine in front of a live audience
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Shangela
- Maxi Challenge Prize: An original, custom designed gown from Miami Elite Designs
- Bottom Two: Delta Work & Manila Luzon
- Lip-Sync Song: "MacArthur Park" by Donna Summer
- Eliminated: Delta Work
- Farewell Message: "WORK HEATHERS xoxo Delta"
Episode 9, "Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Style"
In the mini-challenge the contestants are asked to bedazzle black bras into something spectacular, and Manila and her sparkly torpedos wins. The contestants are then told they will be making 30-second promos themed around their love of America that will be shown to U.S. military members serving overseas. Each contestant will get ten minutes to film, with Manila getting an extra five minutes for winning the mini-challenge.
RuPaul tells the contestants to make it personal, but entertaining. Each contestant comes up with their own strategy. Carmen wants to speak seriously but entertain with her visual performance, Raja is unsure but wants to be humorous, Manila chooses to focus on the diversity of food in the U.S., and Shangela plans to be as funny as possible. Yara's father is part of the Army Reserves, but she does not want to focus on that in her performance, and Alexis is initially reluctant to discuss her former boyfriend because they broke up when he was sent overseas. RuPaul encourages her to use that experience, which she does to great effect in her video. During their preparations, Yara was also chagrined that after helping Shangela in previous challenges, Shangela was unwilling to help Yara when she asked during this challenge.
In their runway presentation, the contestants are told to dress in their most patriotic drag. Alexis wins the competition for her enthusiastic performance, and the judges note that her dress is fashioned from the U.S. Marine Corps dress uniform jacket her boyfriend left behind for her. Manila's money-themed dress was a hit on the runway, though video failed to meet some of the judges' expectations. Michelle however highly praised Manila. She is deemed safe. The judges felt Raja's video performance was lackluster, but pronounced her safe as well. The judges praised Shangela's video performance as energetic and entertaining, but noted her runway dress was poorly tailored and did not reflect a very patriotic feel. She was also deemed safe.
The judges criticized Carmen for her wooden and dull video performance. Although they loved her look on the runway, her facial expression and body language made them feel like she was bored so she was up for elimination. Yara's performance was high energy, but the judges questioned whether her "crazy Latina" persona would carry her through to the title, and she was also put up for elimination. Both contestants had to lip sync for their lives, but, after telling Carmen to stay, RuPaul also told Yara she could stay as well, becoming the first non-elimination challenge in the series.
- Guest Judges: Cheryl Tiegs and Johnny Weir
- Mini-Challenge: Decorate regular bras using rhinestones
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Manila Luzon
- Mini-Challenge Prize: An extra 5 minutes to film
- Maxi Challenge: Film a patriotic message addressed to US military personnel overseas
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Alexis Mateo
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A three-piece luxury luggage set from Antler Luggage
- Bottom Two: Carmen Carrera & Yara Sofia
- Lip-Sync Song: "Mickey (Spanish Version)" by Toni Basil
- Eliminated: None
- Stay Message: "I kiss Johnny Weir! Carmen Carrera"; "I'm still here! Echa Pa Lante xoxo Y.S."
Episode 10, "RuPaul-a-Palooza"
This week's mini-challenge is a game of "Ru-sical chairs". It is exactly like musical chairs except when the music stops, the chair-less queen must sing the next line in the song (All the songs being from RuPaul's album Champion). If she gets it, she gets to eliminate one of her competitors; if she doesn’t, she’s out. When it comes down to 2 queens (Manila and Raja) and one chair, Manila is the last queen standing, winning her second mini challenge in a row.
Ru announces that the maxi challenge this week has the queens performing a song for “RuPaul-a-Palooza”, and brings out Absolut Vodka spokesman Jeffrey Moran. Each queen is going to record their own version of Ru’s new song, "Superstar", in one of six distinct musical styles, and since Manila won the mini-challenge, she gets to pick first and determine the order of the rest of the selections. The queens choose as follows:
|Alexis Mateo||Hip Hop|
The queens arrive at the recording studio where they meet Ru's music producer Lucian Piane. All of the girls deal with some difficulty while recording, from Shangela's overconfidence to Yara's inability to "sound" good. The following day the queens find mp3 players with their recorded songs, and all are pleased with the final products except Carmen, who thinks she sounds horrible. After lip syncing to their songs on the main stage, it is time for the judges' critiques. Only Raja received unanimous praise from the judges, while the other queens each got their share of criticisms, though Manila is very highly praised for her gorgeous look and performance. After some deliberation, Yara is safe and Raja is declared the winner of the challenge. Carmen's performance lands her in the bottom two again, while Manila and Alexis, who took some heat for her outfit, are declared safe. This leaves Shangela to lip synch against Carmen to Cher's "Believe". Shangela out battled Carmen and was chosen to stay, while Carmen was sent home, leaving Michelle Visage in tears.
In the next episode, the queens say that Carmen wrote messages to each of them. One message visible to viewers is "Shangela, shablam across the board." Also visible is the message "Heathers better win."
Note: Santino Rice is noticeably absent in this episode yet again.
- Guest Judges: Jeffrey Moran, Jody Watley, and Carmen Electra
- Mini-Challenge: "Ru"sical Chairs
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Manila Luzon
- Mini-Challenge Prize: First choice at genre and order of queens for their choice
- Maxi Challenge: Record an interpretation of "Superstar" by RuPaul and perform it before a live audience
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Raja
- Maxi Challenge Prize: An original, custom gown by Marco Marco
- Bottom Two: Carmen Carrera & Shangela
- Lip-Sync Song: "Believe" by Cher
- Eliminated: Carmen Carrera
- Farewell Message: "Heathers better win."
Episode 11, "RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza"
For this week's mini challenge, the remaining contestants were asked to create a fashion-forward, beach themed headpiece, with Raja being declared the winner. After this, RuPaul reveals the maxi challenge: Participate in a hair-themed fashion show with three distinct looks:
1) A classic look from another era 2) A modern red carpet look 3) A fantasy hair outfit, which must be made entirely out of ….wigs!
During the episode, all of the contestants agreed that this was the hardest challenge so far. In the workroom, the contestants complained that Yara's rowdy behavior was distracting, but they all agreed that she would do well in the challenge because hair is her specialty as a drag performer. On the runway, Raja, Yara, and Manila receive mostly
positive critiques , while Alexis and Shangela's outfits are considered subpar. Michelle said that Alexis's 1940's inspired look had no resemblance to the actual '40's, and her red carpet look seemed like she "was wearing the red carpet." However, her hair outfit receives mostly positive reviews. Shangela's flamenco-inspired look was deemed ill-fitting by Fantasia, and Michelle pointed out that the look was more a look from another region than another era. Meanwhile, her modern red-carpet look was deemed neither modern or worthy of a red carpet.
Yara wins the challenge for her three daring and inspired looks, while Raja and Manila are praised and declared safe, leaving Alexis and Shangela in the bottom two. During the lip sync, Shangela attempts to recreate the energy of her past lip syncs, but she is outshone by Alexis, who's soulful rendition of the song is described by Manila as "timeless and beautiful." Shangela sashays away, and the remaining queens believe that they have made it to the top four, but RuPaul reveals that one of the queens eliminated during this season will be brought back in the next episode.
- Guest Judges: Wayne Brady and Fantasia
- Mini-Challenge: Create a beach-themed headpiece
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Raja
- Maxi Challenge: Design three outfits for a hair show, featuring one outfit made entirely from wigs
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Yara Sofia
- Maxi Challenge Prize: An Alaskan cruise for 2 from Al and Chuck Travel
- Bottom Two: Alexis Mateo & Shangela
- Lip-Sync Song: "Even Angels" by Fantasia Barrino
- Eliminated: Shangela
- Farewell Message: "Always live your dreams and believe in second chances. Halleloo! Love Shangela"
Episode 12, "Jocks in Frocks"
As the episode begins, RuPaul reveals that Carmen Carrera is returning to the competition after being unanimously voted back by the other judges. The queens move on to the mini-challenge in which they play RuPaul's version of the dunk tank, the Badonkadonk Dunking Machine. Alexis Mateo wins the challenge after managing to dunk Yara Sofia fourteen times.
RuPaul next announces the maxi challenge: The queens must make over five masculine, heterosexual jocks as their drag sisters. Alexis Mateo gets to choose which queen gets which jock for winning the mini-challenge. As a twist, RuPaul reveals the queens must also dress their jocks as cheerleaders and perform cheers about safe sex. The jocks soon discover the challenges of drag as the queens teach them to walk, paint, and tuck their way to the top. Carmen decides to show off her jock's body as an expression of her own drag persona, Raja tries to bring out the fierceness in her quiet jock by using a classic movie look, Alexis is hit on by her jock as she transforms him in her own image, Yara works on getting her unwilling jock to match her spicy, sexy runway style and Manila is frustrated by her jock's antics but is helped by his eagerness to learn.
The queens and their new drag sisters first perform their safe-sex cheers for the judges (including guest judges Margaret Cho, Sharon Osbourne and Mike Ruiz [filling in for absent Santino Rice]) with Alexis,Yara and Manila deemed the best and conclude with their runway performances. Alexis Mateo and her drag sister are critiqued for their cheer being too busy but are praised for their mirror-image appearance. Manila is declared the winner of the challenge after she and her sister Fuchsia Luzon dazzle the judges with their Chinese doll look and hilarious cheer routine. Raja is critiqued for her drag sister Enigma's poor runway walk and for losing the judges during their cheer. Yara Sofia and her sister are praised for their runway look despite not having as dynamic performance as the other queens. The judges fawn over Carmen's personal look but critique her choice in wardrobe for her drag sister's muscular build. Alexis and Yara are declared safe while Raja and Carmen must lip-sync Paula Abdul's "Straight Up". After a particularly sexy performance (with the heterosexual jocks cheering them on backstage, as seen in Untucked) Raja is asked to stay and Carmen is once again sent home.
|Alexis Mateo||Avals Mateo|
|Carmen Carrera||Lolita Cruz Carrera|
|Manila Luzon||Fuchsia Luzon|
|Yara Sofia||Drewlita Sofia|
- Guest Judges: Mike Ruiz, Margaret Cho, and Sharon Osbourne
- Returned: Carmen Carrera
- Mini-Challenge: Dunk-A-Queen
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Alexis Mateo
- Maxi Challenge: Turn a straight jock into your glamorous drag sister & perform a cheer supporting safe-sex
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Manila Luzon
- Maxi Challenge Prize: Manila & Fuchsia each received a cruise for 2 to the Bahamas from Al & Chuck Travel
- Bottom Two: Carmen Carrera & Raja
- Lip-Sync Song: "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul
- Eliminated: Carmen Carrera
- Farewell Message: "Good bye AGAIN!! Best of luck to everyone. Turn it out & don't be a sprepper! xoxo Carmen"
Episode 13, "Make Dat Money"
The final four begin this episode with a mini-challenge of creating a marketable drag product from their own wardrobe and then deliver a sales pitch on RuVC. (A parody of the real life QVC.) Raja chooses her gaff (also known as a Cache-sexe), Manila her MANila hairspray, Yara Sofia selects her "Pop-It-On" hairpiece and Alexis Mateo picks her hip and butt pads. Yara wins the mini-challenge-to the suprisee of viewers, as Ru announces the maxi challenge — to create three looks for three distinct categories: Swimsuit Body Beautiful, Cocktail Attire After 5 and Evening Gown Eleganza, which must be made out of 1 million Ru Dollars. The girls must also perform a choreographed lip-sync to "Just Wanna Dance" by guest judge LaToya Jackson. During the prep, Alexis begins to doubt why she is still in the competition, packs and leaves the workroom briefly, but returns later.
The choreography rehearsal for the number is rough for Manila and Raja, who feel Yara's choreography is too difficult for them. On the main stage, the number goes off without a hitch in front of LaToya, Mike Ruiz (filling in for absent Santino Rice) and Gigi Levangie Grazer. During the judges critiques, each girl has a small problem with at least one look. Yara's "Evening Gown Eleganza" look is critiqued for having a bit too much, and her cocktail dress presentation lacked punch. Alexis Mateo's swimwear and cocktail dress were noted for being too simple, but the judges loved her gown. Manila's three fierce looks are all critiqued positively (with her only negative from LaToya, with her hair ) and Raja's cocktail outfit was too plain for the panel.
Before dismissing the girls, Ru asks each of them why they deserve to be America's Next Drag Superstar. Yara levels with the judges and tells them she is broke and needs the money to move to America. Alexis makes her case for her imperfections but her desire to continue. Manila wants to carry her message of love to everyone if she wins. Raja makes the case for the LGBT youth and wanting to share her story, and leave her legacy. Manila is rightfully declared the winner of the challenge and wins twice in a row, Raja is safe. Alexis and Yara fall into the bottom two, having to lip-sync to Patti LaBelle's "I Think About You."
During the lip-sync, the pressures of the competition get to Yara (who in the "Untucked" felt unfairly negatively critiqued, as compared to Raja) who completely gives up, shredding her Eleganza look, and breaking down, crying on stage. Alexis is told to Shantay you stay, crying at the thought of sending her drag sister home, while Yara sashays away, leaving LaToya, Michelle, and Mike in tears.
- Guest Judges: Mike Ruiz, LaToya Jackson and Gigi Levangie Grazer
- Mini-Challenge: Create a marketable drag product and deliver a sales pitch for it on fictitious home shopping network "RuVC"
- Mini-Challenge Winner: Yara Sofia
- Maxi Challenge: Showcase three distinct looks on the runway &
do a performance to La Toya Jackson's "Just Wanna Dance"
- Maxi Challenge Winner: Manila Luzon
- Maxi Challenge Prize: A collection of fine jewelry from Kathy Ireland Jewelry
- Bottom Two: Alexis Mateo & Yara Sofia
- Lip-Sync Song: "I Think About You" by Patti LaBelle
- Eliminated: Yara Sofia
- Farewell Message:"Echa pa' lante, no mires pa' atras pa' coger impulso, and you know what f&%k you haha" (English: Move forward, don't look back (not even to) gain implulse) From a popular saying and also included in the lyrics to songs by singers Thalia's "Echa 'Pa Lante" ("Move Forward") and Hector Lavoe's "Todo tiene su final" ("Everything Comes To An End")
Top Three of Season 3
|Queens||Challenge Wins||Up for Elimination|
(Eps. 3, 4, 9)
(Eps. 7, 11, 13)
(Eps. 5, 12, 13)
(Eps. 2, 7, 10)
Episode 14, "Superstar Edition"
A look back at the highlights, low-lights and previously unseen footage from the first 13 episodes. Chaz Bono made a cameo appearance during the episode's opening scene as a cameraman. Season two winner Tyra Sanchez as well as runner-up Raven and Jujubee returned to the provide their opinions on the season's highlights.
Episode 15, "Grand Finale"
The final three return to the workroom where Michelle Visage greets them and delivers the final challenge — costarring in the music video for Ru's song "Champion." During rehearsals, each of the girls also has a 'lunch' of tic-tacs with RuPaul and reflects on what got them to the finale. Raja and Manila have some issues with the choreography, but both manage to pull it together for the shoot directed by Mathu Andersen. The music video shoot proves difficult as Raja continues to forget parts of her choreography, Manila has small issues at first with intimacy with members of the pit crew (though she later performs beautifully) and Alexis has no profile during a silhouetted portion due to her constant movement.
The final maxi stage presentation has the queens in their favorite looks. After walking the runway for Ru, Michelle and Santino Rice, and being critiqued on their performance in the "Champion" video, RuPaul asks each of the finalists to give positive and negative critiques of themselves and the other two finalists. Alexis compliments Raja for her runway walk, but feels she is hard to read. For Manila, Alexis says she wanted to punch her, before she got to know her. And for herself, Alexis wishes she could be less hard on herself, even though she is a fighter. Manila's critiques start with Alexis, saying she is a fantastic performer but her drag doesn't excite. Raja is fashion but too editorial, and Manila says she, herself, can be stubborn at times, although she feels is a versatile performer. Last up is Raja who feels that while Alexis is talented, she doesn't think outside the box. To her, Manila is entertaining, but she needs to grow. And for herself, Raja feels she can recognize she is beautiful.
After deliberating, Alexis is sadly eliminated from the race, leaving Manila and Raja to lip-sync for the crown to RuPaul's "Champion." Ru makes her decision, declaring Raja the winner. Manila breaks down backstage, having been so close to the prize and having it snatched from her. However, she does make a playful joke about getting the crown if Raja dies of old age, which is in keeping with her and Raja's close friendship throughout the competition. Raja is very controversially crowned and walks the runway as America's Next Drag Superstar as Ru, Michelle and Santino cheer her on.
- Maxi Challenge: Participate in the filming of the music video for RuPaul's song "Champion"
- Eliminated: Alexis Mateo
- Farewell Message: "Always Know Your Place, The Jig is up!!! Siempre Alexis"
- Top Two: Manila Luzon & Raja
- Lip-Sync Song: "Champion (DJ BunJoe's Olympic Mix)" by RuPaul
- Runner-Up: Manila Luzon
- Farewell Message: "Positive Always! I Love You Mommy & Daddy! Manila Luzon :)"
- Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3: Raja
Episode 16, "Reunited!"
The queens of RuPaul's Drag Race reunite for the first time since the shooting of the series. In this reunion special, all thirteen contestants return to give their take on what happened during the show. Plus, the girls confront the judges and each other. RuPaul introduces Santino Rice and Billy B to reveal that Yara Sofia is the winner of the title of Miss Congeniality. One issue brought up was the "Heathers" issue. The four "Heathers" stated they branded themselves this way in fun and did not take it seriously, while many of the other contestants felt that what they did ranged from "stupid" to downright hurtful and took offense to the whole issue. As part of this, Shangela confronted the "Heathers" while Stacy Layne Matthews remained hurt and offended and said that she felt like the "Heathers" (In particular Delta and Raja.) bullied her. As a peace offering for offending her, Raja gave her the "Heathers" necklace (which all the "Heathers" had on) from around her own neck and helped put it on Stacy. Another issue brought up was Mimi Imfurst's action of picking up and carrying India Ferrah during episode four's "Lip sync for Your Life." Mimi stated that as part of her drag show, she regularly picks up and carries an audience member during the performance and therefore felt that she did not do anything wrong. RuPaul again told Mimi that what she did was not in keeping with the spirit of the show, to which all the other queens unanimously agreed.
- Miss Congeniality Winner: Yara Sofia
- Miss Congeniality Prize: A trip for 2 to Grand Lucayan Resort in Grand Bahama Island
- Episode 1 was the casting special where the contestants were announced. Delta Work & Venus D-Lite were not initially cast, but were picked through an open call audition.
- Many queens from this special in the list of hopefuls who didn't make it have appeared in future seasons. Including Alaska, Dax ExclamationPoint, Katya, Sasha Belle, Nina West, Thorgy Thor, Mrs. Kasha Davis, Vivienne Pinay, and Joslyn Fox.
- Detox can also be seen in the lineup for the casting call in Hollywood.
- Episode 2 features the return of Shangela, who competed in Season 2, but was eliminated in the first episode of that season, making her the first contestant in Drag Race history to have competed in more than one season.
- In Episode 9, Carmen Carrera and Yara Sofia ended up in the bottom two, but both got a second chance to stay as there was no elimination that week, making episode 9 the first non-elimination episode in the series' history.
- Episode 12 features the return of Carmen Carrera, who was eliminated in the same episode, making her the first contestant in the show's history to be eliminated twice in the same season.
- Episode 14 is the recap episode, and features highlights and unseen footage from the last 13 episodes.
- Episode 16 is the reunion episode, where Yara Sofia is announced as Ms. Congeniality.
- Season 3, Season 4, and Season 11 are the only non All-Stars seasons so far in which every contestant placed in the bottom two at least once.
- The lip-sync assassin for Season 3 is Alexis Mateo. Alexis sent home Stacy Layne Matthews, Shangela and Yara Sofia.
- This is currently the longest season to date, with 16 episodes.
- Season 3 is the first, and currently only, season in which all of the Top 3 queens had each won at least three challenges during their run before the finale episode.
- Season 3 has the most mini challenges, with 12.
- None of the queens in the top 9 were caucasian.
- Manila Luzon revealed in Out of the Closet that the original promo theme was Yellow but the producers changed it to black and gray.
4th: Yara Sofia (Miss Congeniality) • 5th: Carmen Carrera • 6th: Shangela • 7th: Delta Work • 8th: Stacy Layne Matthews • 9th: Mariah • 10th: India Ferrah • 11th Mimi Imfurst • 12th: Phoenix • 13th: Venus D-Lite
Jason Carter • Shawn Morales