For the last ten seasons RuPaul's Drag Race had brought some of the most iconic drag queens to the mainstream; at the 70th Emmy Awards RuPaul's Drag Race won for outstanding reality competition.
RuPaul's Drag Race beat American Ninja Warrior, The Amazing Race, The Voice and Project Runway to take home an Emmy. RuPaul also took home an award for best host, a first in Emmy's history! RuPaul’s Drag Race originated on Logo. The channel was its home for its first nine seasons. RuPaul's Drag Race has gathered a cult-like following and has switched over to VH1 for season ten.
Drag was a subculture of an underground for decades. The first version of drag was in Shakespearean theaters were women were not allowed to act so male actors dressed up as women. Voila! Drag was born. The form of drag that we know and love originated in the late 1930s. Drag queens were not just men who dressed and performed as females. They built a bridge between the LGBTQ community and the entertainment world. The movement contributed to the opening of gay bars in major cities like San Francisco and New York.
In the 1980s in the 1990s drag and its performers begin making a name for themselves, most notably RuPaul, the brainchild behind RuPaul's Drag Race, who has served as a voice of equal rights for the LGBTQ community. Iconic performer Divine from Baltimore was one of the first famous drag queens. She was the muse for the character Ursula in The Little Mermaid. Brenda Dale Knox, also known as Lady Chablis, was a drag star who starred in Midnight In the Garden Of Good and Evil. This platform made drag more visible and acceptable in the mainstream.
Now back to RuPaul's Drag Race. Each week the contestants have to compete in different challenges. Some challenges become fan favorites such as the "reading is fundamental" mini-challenge, where the contestants throw “shade” (insults) at each other. Or the "snatch game" challenge where contestants dress up like celebrities and answer questions as if they were them.
At the end of each episode, the two bottom contestants must lip sync for their lives to a song chosen by RuPaul. Each contestant lip sync their hearts out, and the end RuPaul asks the losing contestant to sashay away (a catchphrase from the show). Because of this show, we have a glimpse into a culture that is so rich and creative. Learning about drag balls and family/societal struggles has been eye-opening for all who watch. The lingo within the community has become a part of the pop culture lexicon thanks to RuPaul and his queens. We look forward to another ten seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race. Congratulations to RuPaul, Carson Kressley, Michelle Vassage, Ross Mathews and all of the contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race on your win!