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RuPaul's Drag Race
Logo of the show including a lipstick case with Logo inscribed
Format Reality television
Country of origin USA
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 21
Executive producer(s) Fenton Bailey
Randy Barbato
Tom Campbell
RuPaul Charles
Running time approx. 43 minutes per episode (1 hour including commercials)
Original channel Logo
Original run February 2, 2009 – present
External links
Official website

RuPaul's Drag Race is an American reality television series produced by World of Wonder for Logo. RuPaul plays host, mentor and inspiration for this series, which details RuPaul's search for "America's next drag superstar."[1]

The show was greenlit in May 2008, according to a press release by MTV Networks. It premiered in the U.S. on February 2, 2009 on Logo. It premiered in Canada on the MuchMore network on Sunday, February 15, 2009.[2] The show also airs at 9:00PM Eastern Time on the VH1 network, but due to contractual obligations with Logo, this is not being promoted.[3]

During Summer 2009, TIMM - a gay television channel from Germany - aired the first season every Friday night.[4]

The show was also first aired on E4, a UK entertainment channel, in September 2009, with the first episode airing on Wednesday 9 September 2009 at 11:00pm.[5]

The first season was marked as the most successful launch for the three-year-old Logo network. Traffic to the show's web site broke records. A second season was filmed in late 2009. Casting began May 1, 2009.[6] It started airing in February of 2010; promotional videos featuring each of the new contestants were released on the LOGO website.

The title of the show is play on drag queen and drag racing, with the title sequence and music video for RuPaul's song "Covergirl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)" both having a drag racing theme.



RuPaul plays dual roles in the show. USA Today's Lifeline describes as follows: "RuPaul the drag queen will be the final word in judging and eliminations, while RuPaul the man will offer guidance to contestants for each challenge."[7] In an episode of The Insider, RuPaul describes the series: "you have to remember... we're queens. So, there's gonna be drama. Lots of it!"

RuPaul also describes what qualities the contestants must have to be crowned winner of the show. "We're really looking for charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent... These are people who have taken adversity and turned it into something that is beautiful and something powerful."[8] The phrase "charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent" is used repeatedly on the show, the running gag being that the first letters of each word spell out the word "cunt". RuPaul adds:

"Tell Tyra [Banks] that the Queen has returned, and while you’re at it have Heidi [Klum] clear the runway. I’m going to pump some ‘realness’ into reality. To be a winner on this show the contestants need to be a fashion designer, an American Idol, and a top model all rolled up into one. And they definitely have to be smarter than a fifth grader.”[9]

Merle Ginsberg and Santino Rice are the staple judges alongside RuPaul. The two are joined by a celebrity guest judge and an extra-special guest judge each week.

One of the contestants of each season to compete on RuPaul's Drag Race was determined by an audience vote via the show's official website.


Season Premiere Finale Winner Runner-up Number of contestants Number of episodes
Season One February 2, 2009 March 23, 2009 Bebe Zahara Benet (Né Marshall Kudinar) Nina Flowers (Jorge Flores) 9 9
Season Two February 1, 2010 April 26, 2010 12 12

After the queens have completed a challenge (often in groups) they must then present their own unique costumes in a beauty-contest-style runway strut. Though the judges help RuPaul decide who fared the best and worst each week, ultimately the final decision is RuPaul's. She allots the queens one final opportunity to prove their worth to her as she announces that "The time has come for you to lip-sync for their life!" The two bottom contestants face off head-to-head by dancing and lip-syncing the same song. Whomever delivers the best performance may "Shante" and stay, and the loser must "Sashay away."


The Drag Race theme, as well as the song "Cover Girl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)" both appear on RuPaul's 2009 album Champion. In addition, a new mix of "Cover Girl" featuring a rap by contestant BeBe (which was the focus of an episode of the show) was included on the RuPaul single "Jealous of My Boogie".


In 2010, RuPaul's Drag Race was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Reality Program" during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.[10]


  1. ^ "The Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  2. ^ RuPaul Leads Hopefuls in 'Drag Race.'USA Today. Lifeline. Sec. D. 1 December 2008
  3. ^ "rupauls drag race Vh1 Blog". Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  4. ^ Ru Paul's Drag Race on TIMM
  5. ^
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ RuPaul Leads Hopefuls in 'Drag Race.'USA Today. Lifeline. Sec. D. 1 December 2008
  8. ^ RuPaul's Drag Race Insider Clip (2008-10-08). "WOW TV". Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  9. ^ "The Search For America's Next Tranny". Perez Hilton. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  10. ^ "21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards - English Language Nominees". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 

External links

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