Since sashaying onto our television screens back in 2009, RuPaul’s Drag Race has become a cultural phenomenon. It gave reality TV a glamorous shot in the arm and is still going strong after more than 200 episodes. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? Well, thanks to some former contestants and other members of the production team, the tea has very much been spilled! So gather round: it’s time for a kiki. We’ve got 40 secrets to share right here.
1. The auditions are almost impossible
If you thought earning a place on the show was a walk in the park, this could come as a shock. Speaking to Cosmopolitan magazine, the 2019 runner-up Brooke Lynn Heights revealed, “I auditioned three times to get on. You have to make a video that’s no longer than 20 minutes.
“But in that 20 minutes you have to do two lip-sync performances, acting challenges, three snatch games, 14 runway looks, as well as a boy interview, as well as a costume you made out of paper. You had to get them all in there.”
2. The producers take “short notice” to a whole other level
While answering queries about her spell on the show via TikTok, season 12 star Jan Sport touched on how she was cast. As per the fans’ favorite, the producers had given her the big news a few weeks before the cameras started rolling.
Then, with just 18 days left, Jan discovered the theming of the outfits she needed to compile at home. Due to all that prep work, time was very much against her in a race to get everything ready.
3. Cut off from the outside world
While the process of shooting RuPaul’s Drag Race may look fun from the audience’s end, the down-time for our queens is actually quite brutal. Brooke explained, “We’re all put up in a hotel together. We don’t get to have visitors or phones.
“Filming took six weeks, and they were long, full-on days. The further you got, the more worn down you got, and wanted your home back and to talk to people. I missed my cats a lot, so that was hard.”
4. Post-Willam precautions
The long spells of isolation for the contestants are no doubt a bummer for all concerned, but breaking the rules can result in dire consequences. Cast your minds back to season four: remember Willam Belli? She was kicked off the show in mysterious circumstances, until coming clean during the reunion episode.
Willam revealed that she’d been seeing her hubby at the hotel in secret, resulting in her disqualification. Following that, more precautions have been taken to ensure the queens are alone.