One of the unique shows on television that is dripping with talent, nerve, and charisma is back for its tenth season! RuPaul's Drag Race is one of the most successful reality shows on TV. It is all about drag, obviously. Drag Queens audition to make it onto the show and then they are pitted against each other in various drag challenges till the winner comes out on top and is crowned America's Next Drag Superstar. Forget America's next top model, this is all about royalty. And you have to be able to do a lot more than take a pretty picture. And the success of the show is undeniable, it has been on TV since 2009, so in one more year we will have been graced by it for a whole decade. One look at IMDB will show you how many awards that not only the show has been nominated for and won, but that the magical and iconic host RuPaul has as well. The show has won 2 Emmys, and so has Ru for hosting it.
And even though the show has been on TV for just under ten years, it has produced not only 10 seasons of Drag Race, but also three seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars. This is separate from the main competition show because it is based on returning Queens coming back for another chance. Drag Race is all new Queens. The people just cannot get enough of this show, so we are lucky that RuPaul is obviously a werk-aholic.
When the Queens get through the audition process and find out that they got on drag race, they cannot share their happy news with anyone. And we quite literally mean anyone. Even the people closest to them are not allowed to know where they go when they take off to go film drag race so every contestant has to come up with a lie to tell. During the season 4 finale reunion, EW was there for the taping and we found out the reason why Willam was really eliminated. Willam said during the taping 'When you go away to film Drag Race, you can't tell anyone - it's top secret.' And Willam not being able to adhere to this rule is what led to her to being eliminated, but more on that later. RuPaul does not want anyone to know who the next batch of Queens are while filming the season, not even the Queens family members.
In the same taping for the season 4 finale Reunited where he explained that contestants are not allowed to tell anyone they are off to film Drag Race, he explained what got him eliminated. You see, Willam is married and like many married people he could not keep a secret from his spouse, and door this transgression he lost the competition. His husband was coming to visit him at the hotel and production found out. Needless to say, when it got back to RuPaul, she was not happy. “And I told my husband I was doing a non-union horror movie in Europe, which I’ve done before and they suck, so don’t watch them. And he didn’t believe me. He was like, ‘Why you gotta take all this drag?’ So I lied, and he followed me to the hotel. The first night, he walked on my door, and it was a delivery!” And then Willam let him keep coming over sealing her fate in the competition.
Thanks to Willam, the producers started to take extra measures to make sure that the Queens are following the rules when they are in their hotel rooms. Which is no contact with the outside world! None at all! Adore Delano who was a final four queen on season 6 opened up about this when she was a guest on the Feast of Fun podcast. Should a queen try and sneak out of her room which she is not supposed to do under any circumstances, everything she needs is in her room, the little tape will break. So when the producers show up to get the queen for filming they will know whether she left her room or not. You would think Willam's story would be enough of a cautionary tale for any queen to never try and break this cardinal rule of Drag Race.
It should be pretty obvious that since they are not allowed to have contact with the outside world including their loved ones, they have no access to their phones. They also don't want the queens to have any access to the internet while they are filming. When the queens are filming Drag Race, it is all about the competition. In RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2: Secrets RuVealed on the YouTube channel World of Wonder, that seasons Queens opened up about what it is like for them while competing and Ginger Minj told us that they have no phones. In Ginger's words during the segment 'I don't have a phone, I don't have internet, I have a television with Golden Girls on a loop which is fabulous.' A true queen with discerning tastes.
In the RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2: Secrets RuVealed segment we also find out from Alaska that the Queens must keep their blinds drawn at all times. 'They told I can't open the blinds, because I might see other contestants like across the way.' This is to prevent them from finding out who they are going to be competing with this season. In the All Stars seasons, it is returning Queens so they all already know each other. In this segment, a couple of the queens try to guess who is going to be there, but they don't find out until the first day of filming. RuPaul takes the confidentiality part of filming very seriously. We have to assume after the first day of filming though, they can open their blinds and let some sunshine in.
Alyssa Edwards was also one of the queens competing on All Stars Season 2 and she was part of the RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2: Secrets RuVealed segment as well. The Queens open the segment by letting us know that they have no idea where they are. Alyssa Edwards said 'They took us off the plane and blindfolded us and got us here to the hotel so no one would know where the girls are.' We don't blame production for being so protective of their very precious cargo. It takes a lot of dedication on the queens part to be a part of a competition that really isolates you from not only the world at large but the people closest to you. Even in shows like Big Brother they get some communication from loved ones.
Not only are the Queens duct taped into their hotel rooms at night, but there is also a production assistant always on watch at the hotel whenever the Queens are in their rooms. Winner of season 6 Bianca Del Rio went on the popbuzz podcast and revealed just how seriously production takes this rule. The production assistants take shifts keeping watch on the queens and making sure that no one is leaving their rooms. If you have ever actually watched the show, you know how much work it takes to be in the competition so it is safe to say that the queens are probably too busy stoning their dresses and being exhausted the rest of the time from filming for long hours to ever bother trying to leave their rooms. And all those girls came to play hardball, after seeing what happened to Willam we are sure they are not willing to be kicked out over something so silly.
If you watch the show, you know the girls all have to stand on the stage in their crazy costumes and heels while getting their critiques from the judges. This is after they have walked down the runway, so they have already put their feet to work in some crazy heels. What you probably did not realize is that the queens actually end up standing in their heels for hours, and it is safe to say that most of their outfits are not comfortable. Drag Queens don't wear their outfits because they are comfortable with them, they wear them because they look fabulous. This information comes courtesy of Bianca Del Rio on the popbuzz podcast, and all fans know she is known for her blunt honesty.
The season 4 finale where the winning Queen that would get the title of America's Next Drag Superstar was the first to be filmed in front of a live audience. But how does RuPaul prevent anyone from that live audience running out and telling the world who the winning Queen is before it aires on TV? Well, he crowns all the finalist! Yup, each of the finale Queens is crowned with the crowd going wild. That means that usually three versions of the finale are filmed, or however many final Queens there are. Tanner Stransky is a reporter for EW who go to be a part of the studio audience for the finale and saw this happen. Tanner even says in their article that the audience did not realize this is what would happen, until after crowning the first Queen RuPaul told everyone to stay in their seats.
And just like the live audience is duped by RuPaul, so are the final Queens. If you thought that they were partial to the information of who actually won before the finale aires you would be mistaken. Everyone except for RuPaul and a select few knows who the true winning Queen is, and the finale Queens have to wait for the episode to air on TV just like the rest of us peasants. newnownext reported this fact and they have a video of season 9 finalists Peppermint and Sasha Velour watching the real finale to find out the true winner for the first time. This is done to prevent any information getting out and spoiling the finale. If you could not tell by now, RuPaul really takes the secrecy of Drag Race seriously, he does not play around.
If you have ever wondered how the girls know the words to the song when they are in the bottom two, well here it is. It is not because every Drag Queen just knows off by heart all the possible songs that could be picked. It is because the contestants, all of them, are given the song that will be used in the eliminating lip sync the next day. This is why it is expected for the Queen's to know the words perfectly and be able to perform, they are given an opportunity to prepare. Even if they don't think they will be in the bottom two, it is best to be safe rather than sorry and just be prepared. Jaiden Diore Fierce revealed on the red carpet for the season 7 premiere that they are given a list of songs, and then told which song will be used a couple nights before elimination.
Willam Belli, the infamous Queen eliminated in season 4 for having her husband visit her during filming, took to her own Tumblr to reveal some crazy things about Drag Race. One thing, in particular, has to do with Sharon Needles and the special treatment that production gave her. As you know, a Queen's entrance is everything. Willam says that when Sharon did her entrance, it did not go perfectly and she was allowed by production to film it again. Something that was no extended to Willam, which of course made her salty. This tidbit from Willam fits the narrative that the producers of the show already know who the winner is before the season even begins, and they need to film the right stuff to work with that storyline.
This really shows that Drag Queens are in fact superhumans. They have to bring everything they are going to use throughout the season, their make-up and their intricate and crazy outfits. And they have to make it all fit in just 5 suitcases! When you think back to the outfits that these Queens wear, and how much make-up alone they use for their drag you can see how it seems almost impossible to put all that into 5 suitcases alone. Make-up has to be like two suitcases alone. And then there are the shoes, accessories, clothes! This fun fact about the show comes courtesy of Bianca Del Rio on the popbuzz podcast. We have to imagine if the Queen's had no limit on how much stuff they would bring, production would be paying an exorbitant amount of money for the overweight and extra baggage fee airlines have.
Bianca Del Rio also gave this Tea when she was on the popbuzz podcast. Should the Queen's need anything while they are in their room, well they can't just call up room service. As we mentioned, there are no forms of communication in their hotel rooms. Even the hotel room phone. So when they need to let the hotel staff or even the PA standing outside there something, they have to do it old school. Yup, write it on a piece of paper and slide it under the door. And probably really hope that someone actually notices the note. We wonder if they just end up banging on their hotel doors till someone notices them. A cooped up Queen is not something to mess with!
The lip sync for your life portion of the show is a fan favorite, and produced many iconic moments. Each week the Queen's compete, and the two bottom Queens whose performance was the most lackluster during the challenge must compete in a 'lip sync for their life' in order to stay in the competition. Well, the Queen who performs better is the one who is able to stay in the competition. The songs are used all iconic, especially in the drag scene. You may think that Madonna might the number 1 artist used for the lip syncs, after all, how often have we seen the Queens do the Madonna runway look challenge? But it's not! That title belongs to pop princess Britney Spears as reported by the NY Post. Madonna did come in second though, tied with Paula Abdul!
There have been a lot of Queens on the show that has been around for a long, long time. They have been performing for decades in their home cities, and for a long time, it really seemed like the show catered to the older Queens. This is could be because they are seen as having 'worked' for it more and putting their time in over the younger ones. Well, especially with the advent of social media RuPaul's Queens have been getting younger and younger. A lot of girls are making it on to the show because of their social media followings, and that is primarily a young person game. According to the NY Post, the current season has the youngest average age of contestants, 28. Charlie Hides is feeling personally victimized by this fact probably.