Yaas Queen! RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 just premiered and the mystery 10th Drag Race All Stars 3 queen revealed as BeBe. It's the first time on the series that a former winner is back again for more competition. The 10th queen is none other than the Drag Race Season 1 winner: BeBe Zahara Benet.
If you aren’t familiar with BeBe, don’t feel too bad because it has been… well, a while, since her win. She is originally from Cameroon and then bounced around in Paris before finding her way to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she got her start in drag. She competed nine years ago in the original season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Back then, it was a much different competition. The prize money was significantly less ($20,000 versus the $100,000 current grand prize), and the notoriety after competing/winning was less, too. Season 1’s camera quality was so bad it had even become a running joke among Drag Race fans to claim the first season was sponsored by a petroleum jelly brans and that it was smeared on the lens before filming.
RuPaul explained several of these reasons as being main reasons why he invited BeBe back to compete again. In March 2017, BeBe spoke to Vanity Fair about her Season 1 appearance. “There’s just something beautiful about how unique it was and how everybody was very authentic … There wasn’t any blueprints to follow, so you just had to make your own.”
Since appearing on the show, originally, BeBe has certainly been keeping busy. Along with her drag, she’s a musician and has put out a number of singles over the years. Those have included “I’m the Sh*t,” “Cameroon,” and “Face” that appeared in 2009, 2010, and 2014, respectively. Her newest EP, Kisses & Feathers, released in November of last year.
Of course, not everyone was surprised about BeBe’s addition into the competition. Prior to the debut of the series many predicted that BeBe would likely be involved in the competition this season. That prediction stemmed from several clues, but one in particular, being a mysterious Reddit comment that suggested BeBe was the 10th queen and that the first challenge was a talent show (which would prove to be true and accurate).
Despite being out of the competition for nearly a decade, BeBe seems to be a contestant worth watching this season. After all, she could be the first to be a two-time winner. However, that clearly puts her at risk for being a target from the other contestants. Having a previous winner within the ranks of the competition is undoubtedly intimidating. In her first week back, she seemed to stay a bit under the radar and not gain too much attention. Instead, it was BenDeLaCreme who was standing in the spotlight in Week 1. Originally placing fifth on Season 6, Ben blew up this week, winning not only the main runway challenge, but also the mini-challenge, as well. In total, she ended up winning a $10,000 tip as well as a $3,000 gift certificate for L.A. Eyeworks. Despite BenDeLaCreme saying she was intimidated by BeBe — at least after week one, it seems to be BeBe who needs to be wary of BenDeLaCreme as competition.
So, one mystery is solved. The 10th queen this season is BeBe. However, fans of Drag Race know that there will be many more twists and surprises left to discover as the season progresses. The series has already hinted at more to come, including the chance for a queen to return to the competition after being eliminated. But clearly, one of the most compelling surprises will be to see just how well BeBe can adapt to her second turn… and maybe even win.