‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Willow Pill Made Herstory For Several Reasons With Her Win
RuPaul’s Drag Race has given a platform to countless talented artists around the globe over the past decade. In 2022, RuPaul crowned Denver-bred drag queen Willow Pill as America’s Next Drag Superstar. And with her taking of the crown, Willow Pill made a bit of Drag Race herstory in the process.
Willow Pill is Yvie Oddly’s drag daughter and won the crown
Willow Pill came up in the Denver drag scene under the tutelage of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 winner Yvie Oddly. In her Meet the Queens video, Willow confessed that Yvie helped show her how to get started in drag.
“Yvie Oddly is my drag mother, sister, daughter, uncle, dentist,” she smiled. “She’s kind of shown me the ropes of what it takes to be a deadly, fun drag queen.”
Willow Pill’s victory was a first in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory, as no two members of the same drag family have won Drag Race crowns in the US before. However, Yvie and Willow are the second mother/daughter duo to win Drag Race overall, after Envy Peru and Vanessa Van Cartier won consecutive seasons of Drag Race Holland.
Interestingly enough, Yvie and Willow had nearly identical paths on Drag Race. They both won with only one challenge win, were both in the bottom for Snatch Game, and ultimately beat out a non-American ballet dancer with three challenge wins in the final lip sync.
Willow Pill is the first trans winner of a regular US season of ‘Drag Race’
Willow Pill is the first Drag Race winner to be the drag daughter of a previous winner, and she also holds a prestigious “first” thanks to her win. She’s the first-ever transgender winner of a non-All Stars Drag Race season in the US, and the second American trans winner overall.
In 2019, Angele Anang became the first trans winner of a Drag Race franchise after she clinched the Drag Race Thailand crown with an unmatched six challenge wins. In 2021, Drag Race alum Kylie Sonique Love returned to RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and became the first trans winner of an American Drag Race series. Just a few weeks later, Miss Continental winner Vanessa Van Cartier became the third trans winner of a Drag Race franchise after emerging victorious on the second season of Drag Race Holland. With her win, Willow is the fourth trans queen in the world to take home a Drag Race crown.
Willow Pill’s career post-win
When discussing what lies ahead for her in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Willow admitted that she was toying with the idea of taking a step back from drag.
“I would love to phase a little bit out of drag. I’d love to get more into acting and into absurd sketches and music,” she said honestly. “I kind of want my art to get more disgusting and dirty and more fun. For this year right now, I want to travel all over the world and meet people that have made me have the career that I have now.”
Despite being at the top of the world after her win, she didn’t want her head to get too big. “It’s amazing to hear from people how much my drag means to them, but also, I think I need a big ego check,” she said. “I’d love to be humbled; I’d love to escape to the woods for a while and reconnect with myself, because you can kind of lose yourself in all the conflama of fame and celebrity. It feels great to have a huge notification from the world that I’m going in the right direction in my life.”