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Shea Couleé is the stage name of Jaren Shea Merrell, a drag queen, performer, rapper and one of the Season 9 contestants of "RuPaul's Drag Race" (placed 3rd/4th alongside Trinity The Tuck).

Name Origin

Kyei (Shea) – Swahili for "beautiful boy" – comes from her real middle name. "Couleé" is a reference to Coulis the dessert and the world "culo", which is "ass" in Spanish and in Italian.


RuPaul's Drag Race

Shea Couleé
Season Competed: Season 9
Ranking: 3rd/4th
Mini-Challenges Won: 0
Times as Team Captain: 0
Main Challenges Won: 4 (ep. 4, 5, 9, 11)
Times in Bottom Two: 1 (ep. 10)
Episode Eliminated: Episode 14

On Season 9's 1st episode, the main challenge the contestants were tasked to compete in a pageant, serving up a hometown look and a Lady Gaga-inspired look. For the hometown look, Shea chose a red outfit with a hot dog headpiece, representing Chicago. While for her Gaga look, Couleé chose a dress from Lady Gaga's "Monster Ball Tour". She was praised but ended up safe.

On Episode 4, "Good Morning Bitches!", the contestants were split into teams and had to do a morning show with Naya Rivera. Aja chose Shea to be on her team and decided to do the "cooking segment" with Sasha Velour. They played on the idea that they were flirting together whilst the show was live, and with their great chemistry together, were declared the winners of the challenge.

On Episode 5, "Reality Stars: The Musical", the contestants were assigned roles on reality TV stars, particularly the Kardashians, Shea was assigned the role of Blac Chyna. Even though she had a smaller role throughout the play, she stood out both with her dancing and her runway look, ending up as the challenge's winner.

On Episode 9, "Your Pilot's on Fire", the challenge was to work in pairs (with one team of three) creating, writring and starring original TV pilots. Based on their previous success together, Shea paired herself with Sasha. They created "Teets & Asky", a crim- fighting duo that fights bad fashion. Their hilarious pilot made them both the winners of the challenge once again.

Couleé recived harder critics in the 10th episode, where she did a bad job in the makoever challenge and had to lip-sync against Nina Bo'nina Brown. Nina lost the lip-sync. Staying in the competition, Shea had her last win on Episode 11's fashion ball challenge and reached a spot on the Top 4, lip-syncing (for the crown) against her friend Sasha Velour. Unfortunately for her, during the lip-sync, Sasha stole all the attention by shaking rose petals from her wig, which prevented Shea to reach the Top 2.

Entrance Quote

"My name is Shea Couleé, and I didn't come to play, I came to slay!"

Memorable Quotes

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  • "Chicago drag is the motherfucking that's right, bitch, it's got it's own domain!"
  • "Nothing reminds me of home more than a big wiener sandwiched in between two buns."
  • "WHY Y'ALL ACTING BRAND NEW? We have to get out of here! Who's after Peppermint?... Damn!" (referring to the other Season 9 contestants durring Season 9's Episode 3 "Untucked ")
  • "Charlie, do something!"
  • "Mama, you look so good it's damn near sinful." (to RuPaul)
  • "I would fuck the shit out of all y'all."
  • "I would like hate fuck the shit out of Valentina. I feel like she can... I feel like that bitch can take a dick."
  • "And I don't taste a day over 15." (as Naomi Campbell in Snatch Game)
  • "Trinity, when's your birthday? I'ma mail you some edges."
  • "I will subpoena Nina."
  • "Messica Simpson." (referring to Nina Bo'nina Brown)
  • "I see the claws... comin' out, gurl."
  • "♪(Category is) Slay Couleé, look at the edges I snatched today. I see you watching how I sashay. All them other girls best get out of my way, 'cause I want it, I get it, and came up here and I did it, and girl, I'm ready to show 'em, how these bitches, I own 'em, and got that supermodel switch. Miss Couleé, she a real, real bad bitch, uh. Let me rock this mic, leave 'em in my dust like Tina did Ike. I'm sickening, no? And real fierce, too. Chicago in the house, girl, what'cha gonna do? About to shut it down, c'mon Mama Ru, bring the queen her crown. I approve this message, and all I'm gonna say is I'm Shea Couleé, and I always (bring it to the runway)♪" (Shea's verse on "Category Is..." remix)
  • "(...) I think we got a real lip-sync ASSASSIN on our hands!" (referring to Peppermint)
  • "Oh, SHE DOESN'T KNOW THE WORDS." (referring to Valentina during her lip-sync on Season 9)
  • "Do I look upset to you?" (to Valentina)
  • "Talk shit, get hit."


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  • Shea graduated with a degree in costume design on Columbia College in 2011;
  • She's bilingual (speaks English and French);
  • Her drag sister is The Vixen, from Season 10. She also has two drag daughters named Kenzie Couleé and Bambi Couleé.
  • Alongside Monet X Change, The Vixen and Dax ExclamationPoint, she inspired the Marvel Comics' drag queen superhero "Shade";
  • She portrayed Naomi Campbell on Season 9's "Snatch Game". After the show, Nina said she would portray the same person but gave up;
  • She slipped on Sasha Velour's rose petals during their lip-sync on Season 9's finale, however this was edited out of the televised cut;
  • Not including "All Stars" seasons, she and Sasha Velour are the first pair of queens to share two joint challenge wins;
  • She was the first contestants to win three challenges on Season 9, including consecutive ones;
  • She's the 3rd queen to win 4 main challenges during her season (after Sharon Needles in Season 4 and Alaska in "All Stars 2"), and also the first queen with 4 or more challenge wins not to be crowned the overall winner of her season, followed by BenDeLaCreme in "All Stars 3", who voluntarily eliminated herself after winning five challenges;


Season 9 Looks



  • "Couleé-D" (2017) (Tracklist: 1. Ride 2. Cocky ft. Lila Star & The Vixen 3. Feeling So)


  • "Crème Brûlée" (2018)
  • "Gasoline" (2018)


  • "Category Is... (Season 9 Remix)" (2017) by RuPaul ft. Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Trinity The Tuck & Shea Couleé
  • "R U Mad (John "J-C" Carr & Bill Colemax Mix)" (2018) by Michael Blume ft. Shea Couleé & Peppermint
  • "Symphony" (2018) by GESS ft. Shea Couleé
  • "Snooze" (2018) by Big Dipper ft. Shea Couleé
  • "Room, Pt. 2" (2018) by The Vixen ft. Shea Couleé
  • "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (2019) by Aja ft. Shea Couleé



  • "You're So Talented" (2015-2016) as herself on Seasons 1 and 2
  • "RuPaul's Drag Race (Season 9)" (2017) as herself/contestant

Music Videos

  • "Sally Walker" by Iggy Azalea (2019) as a traffic collision driver

Web Series

  • "James St. James' Transformations" (2015) as herself/guest
  • "PMB" (2017) as herself/special guest
  • "Untucked (Season 9)" (2017) as herself
  • "Shot with Soju (Season 1)" (2017) as herself/special guest
  • "Call Me Coulee" (2018) as herself/producer
  • "Spillin' the Tea" (2018) as herself

Social Media


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