Can social media actually predict the ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ winner?

World of Wonder Productions/Passion Distribution

With mere hours to go before this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars crowns a winner tonight, it’s truly anyone’s game. Well, except Roxxxy’s. Or Detox’s, probably. Realistically, only Katya and Alaska have a shot at joining Chad Michaels in the All Stars Hall of Fame, and I’m not just being an asshole. I have history on my side. And data! Beautiful, vaguely credible, slapped-together data. So in the name of Nate Silver, please.

Let me speak.

In the beginning, RuPaul created light. She bottled that light into an incandescent bulb, merchandised the shit out of that bulb, sold it as part of an exclusive artisanal bulb line (available at Costco), and shone it down upon BeBe Zahara Benet, the very first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. What I’m trying and failing to say is that RuPaul used to be the alpha and omega when it came to picking the winner of Logo’s drag queen competition series. But beginning with season four in 2012, she began to let the viewers at home have a say in the process. In the week leading up to a season’s crowning, fans are encouraged to plaster their social media feeds with a special #Team____ hashtag naming their queen of choice.

1-drag-katya-detoxWorld of Wonder Productions/Logo TV

These tweets and posts won’t necessarily play a role in deciding the winner; this is RuPaul’s show, after all, and the decision ultimately rests in her hands. A spokesperson for Logo and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars told me how fans react to this season’s top four—Roxxxy Andrews, Katya Zamolodchikova, Detox, and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000—is “just one factor among many that RuPaul is considering.” Still, for the past five seasons, the queen with the most support on Twitter et al tends to end up snatching the crown—and if not her, then the second-most supported queen on social media. It might just be a coincidence, but hey—it’s an accurate one.

A quick review of some tweets posted by the official @RuPaulsDragRace Twitter account during seasons five and six show that the ones featuring the hashtags designed for Jinkx Monsoon and Bianca Del Rio, those seasons’ respective winners, were the tweets with the highest number of retweets and likes. Tweets from seasons seven and eight don’t line up quite so nicely, but posts about winners Violet Chachki and Bob the Drag Queen did rack up the second-highest levels of engagement after their respective runners-up, Pearl and Kim Chi.

1-drag-alaska-roxxxyWorld of Wonder Productions/Logo TV

The queen currently competing among the All Stars 2 top four with the most support on official Drag Race social media accounts is Katya, across the board. She has racked up more than 67,000 likes on Instagram, 9,400 retweets and 8,900 faves on Twitter, 12,688 combined reblogs and likes on Tumblr, and 30,000 reactions (majority positive) on Facebook with over 8,830 shares. Alaska trails her with more than 20,100 Instagram likes, 1,000 retweets and 1,100 faves on Twitter, 861 Tumblr notes, and 7,200 Facebook reactions (some positive, some negative) with over 1,417 shares. For the sake of brevity, let’s just say that Detox’s stats are about a third to a half as impressive as Alaska’s across all platforms, and Roxxxy’s are, well, basically negligible in comparison to her competitors.

If RuPaul picks the queen with the most support on social media, she’ll crown Katya. If she picks the queen with the second most support on social media, she’ll crown Alaska—who, for the record, has the strongest performance of the season purely in terms of challenge wins. But who knows! My name is not RuPaul, so not me. I guess we’ll have to tune in to the finale on Thursday night to find out which queen will be named the winner of All Stars season two.