Who should be crowned winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16?

RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 finalists Sapphira Cristál, Plane Jane and Nymphia

And then there were three. RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 has named its top three queens, but who deserves to walk away with the crown? We’ve broken down the each of the queens’ challenge successes, track records, social media numbers and story arcs.

After 14 episodes, not including a still-to-come lip-sync for the gods, the top three queens – Sapphira Cristál, Plane Jane and Nymphia Wind – are just days away from discovering which one of them will be crowned America’s next drag superstar.

With 11 wins between them (technically 10, because one was shared), there hasn’t been a top three with at least three wins apiece since Drag Race season three in 2011 – meaning it’s anyone’s game.

Sapphira Cristál

Challenge wins and track record

Sapphira Cristál has won four challenges across the season. She beat Q in the top-two lip-sync after the talent show, before snatching victory again nine episodes later, beating Morphine Love Dion after performing a political remix of “Power”.

She won the subsequent “stand-up” challenge in which she had to present a drag seminar, then shared glory with Plane Jane for the design-centred “Bathroom Hunties.”

The queen has been safe three times and high four. It’s a tough record to bet against.

Social media numbers

Sapphira has 133,000 followers on her personal Instagram: not a number to be sniffed at.

On her official #TeamSapphira post on X, Sapphira has garnered 27k likes at time of reporting, sitting inbetween Nymphia and Plane.


Similar to Drag Race season 15 winner Sasha Colby, Sapphira has been considered the one to beat from the first day the queens entered the werk room. She’s never really faltered except maybe the makeover challenge, but her confidence in every other episode has meant she’s even been able to help other competitors.

She’s basically been the juggernaut of the season: good at everything, Ru loves her, and the other queens love her too.

Plane Jane

Challenge wins and track record

Plane Jane has also joined Drag Race‘s legendary four wins club. Similar to Sapphira, she won her split premiere episode, helped by the fact she put Nymphia at the bottom of her ranking in the rate-a-queen twist.

She also won the Snatch Game, the bathroom design challenge with Sapphira and the recent makeover challenge, proving that – despite some descriptions of her – she’s really good at drag.

Plane also had three high placements and four safe ones, although there is a dispute over whether or not she was low in the Rumix episode. She lip-synced in the season’s final competitive episode, to seal her chances of nabbing the crown.

Social media numbers

Plane’s got a cool 223,000 followers on her Instagram, the second highest out of the top three.

Aircraft Annie has the least amount of likes on her #TeamPlaneJane post, sitting at 17 thousand likes (at time of writing).


It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched more than five seconds of the season that she’s been the villain of season 16.

One of the most interesting characters to come out of Drag Race in recent years, Aviation Annie has played a blinder. She came in being openly bitchy to/about the other girls, all while being extremely good at her art.

She then had a few moments of vulnerability, and even gave Nymphia her immunity potion to show that she’s not a complete and total b*tch. Jane would make her a memorable winner in a franchise where the bad guys don’t tend to triumph.

Nymphia Wind

Challenge wins and track record

Despite Nymphia technically having the weakest track record of the top three queens, it’s still pretty stellar, and she would be an obvious frontrunner in any Drag Race season.

Nymphia has three wins: the ball challenge in episode two, a joint win for the girl groups challenge in episode four and in the same show where Plane bottomed for the first time.

She’s also the only one of the top three to have never lip-synced for her life. She was given Jane’s immunity potion during the Rumix episode, so we’ll never know where she would have been placed – but elsewhere, she has five safes, three highs and two low ones.

Social media numbers

Nymphia tops the trio in terms of social numbers, with 404,000 followers on Instagram.

She also (at time of writing) has the most likes on her #TeamNymphia post, with over 40 thousands likes; the most out of our top three.


All season long, Nymphia’s undeniable talent and charm have been underscored by a persistent “self-doubt” storyline, which has only served to endear her to most viewers.

Despite winning two episodes early on (which could have been three if Plane hadn’t deliberately sabotaged her), Nymphia had a few low placements, and was even saved by Jane after the Rumix challenge. She did, however, win the final competitive episode of the season.

Nymphia has also spoken about feeling insecure and not good enough, and worried about failing the challenges – a lot. While some castmates called this strategy, the queen herself assured them that she really did feel that way: a “lovable weirdo/underdog” storyline for a RuPaul’s Drag Race winner if ever there was one.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 continues on Fridays on MTV in the US and WOW Presents Plus internationally.