Any fan of RuPaul's Drag Race will tell you that it's the smartest, most creative, hilarious, and heartfelt reality show on television. But what about RuPaul's Drag Race behind the scenes? Is it as outrageous as one might expect? Are Ru and the gang as enchanting as they appear onscreen?
Well, yes. It should come as no surprise that the show that brought the art of drag to mainstream audiences is just as fascinating behind the camera. The secrets of the making of RuPaul's Drag Race not only highlight the stunning originality of this show, but the massive amounts of heart, talent, and humor that have gone into it making it a cultural icon. It has become the quintessential definition of must-see television, and viewers have been along for the wildest and most fun ride imaginable. Where else but on Drag Race could one learn the proper way to do a wig reveal, unlock the mysteries of breastplates and padding, and discover the joys of death-drops, tongue-pops, and reading your competing queens? Drag lingo is essential to understanding queens, and its found its way to the mainstream in all the best and most utilitarian ways.
Pop on your best wig and check your tuck: it's time to take a sequined deep-dive into RuPaul's Drag Race secrets.
The Queens Form Lasting FriendshipsVideo: YouTube
Making RuPaul's Drag Race can be intense, and for the queens involved, the stakes couldn't be any higher. Being thrust into such a rarefied environment really heightens the pressure, and because of this, the queens form enduring friendships. They are the only people in the world who have lived this unique experience, and it's created the basis of some lasting relationships. One of the most iconic is that of Season 2 queens Jujubee and Raven. When the two had to lip sync against one another during All Stars, it was arguably one of the most heart-wrenching moments in reality TV history.
Ru Has A Hard Time Remembering All The Queen's NamesPhoto: LOGO
Anyone who has ever listened to Ru and Michelle's podcast, What's the Tee, knows that he sometimes has a difficult time remembering (and pronouncing) names. The queens on his show are no exception to this rule. It's an open secret that he not only has trouble recalling their names, but he doesn't know who appeared on what season. In one particularly memorable moment, Ru was filmed at an event where he spotted Season 9 queen Nina Bo'nina Brown, but struggled to remember who she was. Astonishing, considering Nina was — for better or worse — one of the most memorable queens of her season.
The Queens Get A Heads-Up About ChallengesPhoto: LOGO
Watching Drag Race, it's easy to be blown away by some of the main stage runway looks. It's also a bit baffling; the queens clearly don't have the time to make some of the very specific, elaborate outfits they wear. So, where do these looks come from? Well, they're still the queens' original creations, but they've been brought from home. Before filming, producers send every contestant a vague list of main stage themes. This ensures each one brings along the clothing they'll need to compete.
They're also reportedly given an iPad ahead of the lip sync battles with the selected songs pre-loaded, but this only makes sense. It's more fun to watch a battle where the contestants at least have a semblance of knowledge about the lyrics they're singing.
The Queens Either Really Love Or Really Hate Michelle Visage
Ever since she blazed her way onto the judges' panel in Season 3, Michelle Visage has been known for her tough critiques. In some ways, she's the Simon Cowell of Drag Race, though Michelle arguably has a lot more heart and genuinely cares about the show's contestants. That doesn't mean she's easy on them, though. As a result, the queens are often publicly polarized in their feelings toward her. Violet Chachki, Alexis Mateo, and Laganja Estranja all expressed their hatred for Visage at one point or another. But many of the queens, like Season 9 winner Sasha Velour, adore her. Velour told Elite Daily:
Michelle always says exactly what she thinks, and that is really what we need; we're desperate for feedback when we're standing up there, and she really gives it. Sometimes it's a little confrontational, but it's always from a place of love and she has really good taste, she's usually right.