RuPaul’s Drag Race is a competition held by drag veteran RuPaul to find ‘America’s next drag superstar’. Past winners have gone on to build successful careers as solo drag performers, including Season 9 champion Sasha Velour who is the creator and host of new show Nightgowns. In general though, even the queens who don’t win the competition gain fame and a boost to their careers by being on the show.
The hit series has attracted stellar ratings and has been praised for raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues. Several famous guest judges including Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Alba have also featured.
Where to watch RuPaul's Drag Race?
What is RuPaul's Drag Race about?
RuPaul’s Drag Race couldn’t be further from the hyper-masculine tradition of drag racing - the name of the show is a play on words using the term 'drag queens'. In reality, the show follows the style of a traditional American beauty pageant, with a twist - all the competitors are drag queens. Bringing in a diverse array of contestants, the show teaches new audiences about the art of drag and questions what it means to be feminine.
How does RuPaul's Drag Race work?
Each episode consists of mini challenges, a maxi challenge, and a runway walk. The mini challenges typically include photoshoots with a twist, from having to jump on a trampoline to a themed photoshoot with a model. A popular mini challenge is ‘reading’, which sees RuPaul announce that ‘the library’ is open, prompting the contestants to insult each other in the most comedic way possible.
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The maxi challenges are more complex, often involving creating a look with limited materials and/or giving makeovers to other people - in the past, the drag queens have given older gay men a drag makeover, and were judged both on the look they produced and on how they treated their model.
Each episode concludes with a catwalk where the queens show their glamorous runway looks tailored to the theme of the episode. RuPaul and his guest judges rank the contestants by giving scoring each individual.
The show works via progressive elimination, where the drag queens who score the lowest in each episode are liable to be removed from the competition by RuPaul, who dresses in drag as a judge, but also appears as a man in a more supportive capacity as coach and host of the show. RuPaul’s decides who is to be removed each episode, and the drag queens who are vulnerable must ‘lip sync for their lives’.
How many seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race are there?
There have been 11 seasons so far.
Where is RuPaul's Drag Race filmed?
The series is filmed in The Hollywood Center Studios.
When is RuPaul's Drag Race back?
RuPaul’s Drag Race will return to our screens for its first ever UK series in Autumn 2019.