Cover Girl (Put the Bass In RuPaul’s Drag Race is an American reality competition television series produced by World of Wonder for Logo TV and, beginning with the ninth season, VH1. The show documents RuPaul in the search for “America’s next drag superstar.” RuPaul plays the role of host, mentor, and head judge for this series, as contestants are given different challenges each week.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has spanned nine seasons and inspired the spin-off shows RuPaul’s Drag U and RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars. The show has become the highest-rated television program on Logo TV, and airs internationally, including in Australia, Canada, UK, The Netherlands and Israel.
A Clean Industry
The show earned RuPaul a 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program, and the show itself was awarded as an Outstanding Reality Program at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards. Casting calls are announced online, where prospective contestants submit audition tapes in hopes of being cast. All contestants selected must be 21 years of age or older at the time of taping.😀
Applications of any sexual orientation or gender identity are accepted, although most contestants to date have been gay men. Transgender women are eligible to compete and have become more common as seasons have progressed.
RuPaul plays dual roles in the show. USA Today’s Lifeline explains: “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.” RuPaul’s Drag Race uses progressive elimination to reduce the number of drag queens in the competition from the initial field of fourteen contestants down to the final three or four.
In the mini challenge, each contestant is asked to perform a different task with varying requirements and time limitations. Certain mini challenges are repeated from season to season.
Location is Everything
For instance, the first mini challenge of the first six seasons is a photo shoot with the photographer Mike Ruiz that includes some kind of special twist (such as being doused with water while in full drag, having a high-powered fan turned on during the shoot, or being photographed while jumping on a trampoline).
The requirements of the main challenge vary across each episode, and can be individual or group challenges, and initially grant immunity to the winner in the next challenge (until RuPaul announces the discontinuation of that policy mid-season).
- However, as of season 6, immunity is no longer granted to challenge winners.
- The winner of the main challenge also receives a “special” prize for their win.
- The goal of each main challenge involves a new theme and outcome.
Contestants are often asked to design and construct a custom outfit, sometimes incorporating unconventional materials. Other challenges focus on the contestants’ ability to present themselves on camera, perform with music, or perform humorously. 👏
Some challenges become a tradition across seasons. Beginning with the seventh season, Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley are the staple judges alongside RuPaul.
Visage joined the show at the start of season 3, while Mathews and Kressley joined at the start of season 7, and each joins RuPaul and Visage on alternate episodes.
Prior to the grande finale, the three main judges are joined by two celebrity guest judges each week. Guest judges have included Paula Abdul, Pamela Anderson, Eve, Ariana Grande, Neil Patrick Harris, Kathy Griffin, Debbie Harry, Khloé Kardashian, La Toya Jackson, Adam Lambert, Demi Lovato, Bob Mackie, Rose McGowan, Olivia Newton-John, Rebecca Romijn, Gigi Hadid,
The judges each provide their opinion on the contestants’ performances in the main challenge and on the runway before RuPaul announces which queen is the episode’s winner and which two had the weakest performances. The day before judging, the contestants are all provided with a song by a female artist to which they must learn the lyrics.
The protagonist of the story is Elizabeth, a young woman who is taking time away from college to earn a bit of money and discover a sense of direction.
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