Okay. Let's talk Tyra. In a lot of ways, Season 2 set the stage for every Drag Race season since. So much of the season's foundational structure and most beloved traditions (Snatch Game, The Reading mini-challenge) started there. Season 2 was so good, was filled with such amazing personalities and performances, that it should be held up as the gold standard of competitive drag queen reality programming.
Except that Tyra won. Or, at least, that's the complaint you'll hear from many, many Drag Race fans.
The first three seasons of the Drag Race were filmed in their entirety long before they started airing. The winner had been chosen and crowned, regardless what fans thought about it. The winners of Seasons 4 through 6 were only chosen after most of their episodes had already aired, and those selections certainly seem to have been based on which queen had the most vocal fans.
So the most recent season winners haven't necessarily been the best queens, but rather the best reality TV characters. They've been the queens whose talent, personality, and style appealed to the most fans. Which isn't meant to dismiss Sharon, Jinkx, or Bianca -- I was rooted for all three!
What I'm saying is: Tyra would never, ever have won on the Drag Race based on fan reactions. Obviously. But that's not what her season was about.
Ru picked her Season 2 winner based on her performance record in the challenges and on the runway. Tyra was alright in the performance challenges, but she was superb in that season's frequent fashion challenges. She reliably brought dramatic, versatile looks to the runway, often with clever little costume changes.
I think Ru picked Tyra based on her mastery of the craft, the art of drag performance. Ru and the other judges did express skepticism about whether Tyra had star quality, but they had similar concerns about Raven, who often brought a chilly demeanor to the runway.
What do so many people have against Tyra? It all comes down to one unforgettable episode, "Here Comes the Bride," wherein Tyra bizarrely sings and dances around the workroom until the other queens snap. Later, on the runway, several other contestants call her out on such frequently boorish behavior, and it's a whole thing. In terms of televised drag queen drama, it is... everything.
But honestly, after things settled down, it seemed like Tyra toned down her behavior. I don't remember anything objectionable that she did for the latter half of the season. She stepped up her game, approaching the challenges with a fierce competitiveness that won her the crown,... but not a whole lot of fans.