RuPaul’s Drag Race is the TV show on everyone’s lips. Never heard of it? RuPaul Charles is the host and queen of the show where drag queens compete for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar via a series of tasks that include designing their own clothes, impersonating celebrities and in the end lip-synching for their life in their bid to win.
And the best bit? The show lands in the UK on Monday 1 June, so you’ll be able to experience ‘Mama Ru’ dishing out more glitter, shade and truth than you’ll ever have experienced before.
While In London to crown the UK’s RuPaul Drag Ambassador – in a glitter-filled bash at Café De Paris nightclub, with Katie Price as a guest judge – we sat down with the incredible RuPaul, to discuss the show, celebs in drag and of course to share beauty tips. After we lost our cool and went all fan girl for a bit, obvs…
How excited are you for Brits to see RuPaul’s Drag Race in all its glory?
I am so happy that TruTV has brought the show over to the UK, where it belongs, of course!
How would you describe it to someone who’s never seen it before?
It’s really a reality competition show where we get the contestants to act, sing, do Shakespeare, make clothes. But it’s more than that, It really has heart. It’s about helping these kids accept who they really are.
The tasks are as you said, very unique, but which are your favourites?
I couldn’t choose. Actually I take that back. It’s Snatch Game, which is very similar to the British show, Blankety Blank. The contestants have to impersonate the star and then answer in the style of that celebrity. It’s really a measure of how smart the contestant is because they have to be quick-witted and aware of everything going on around them.
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The finale results in a lipsynching contest, why is that?
Every reality show needs a showdown and these kids are club queens, so this is just what they know. Most of all it’s just fun. Everyone takes themselves so seriously these days and we just don’t need to.
You’re known for your incredible catchphrases like, “don’t f**k it up” and,“sashay away” but if we limited you to just one, which would you keep?
I’d say, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Amen! Do people shout that when they see you in the street?
They do. It’s usually, “You better werk!” or “sissy that walk” [Laughs]
In America, the show’s been going for seven seasons, do you stay in touch with the contestants?
I mean, we don’t go on vacation or anything, but I keep a close eye on their social media and if they’re being nice I might invite them back to do some work. The reality is that we’re only together when a camera’s rolling…
And then you don’t talk?
[Laughs] Yeah, camera off and we’re done!
You have so many fans worldwide, did you have any idea of how successful the show would be when you started it in 2009?
Actually I did. I tend to approach anything I do like it will be the best thing since sliced bread. If you’re not going to give it everything, what’s the point?!
You must have had so many drag queens coming to you for advice. Is it tough being ‘Mama Ru’ and a role model all the time?
No, I just do me. If people get joy from what I’m doing, then that’s great but I just focus on me. I always say “know thyself’ because once you do that, once you love yourself, then everything else will be fine.
We love your incredible gowns, do you ever get inspiration for your extravagant outfits from other celebs?
Darling, I’ve been doing drag since stars like Beyonce were in diapers. If they’re wearing it, I’ve already worn it years before.
Well tell us about your beauty routine then, because the show has taught us a lot about ‘beating your face’ [doing your make-up correctly] so give us your top tips…
Most women are afraid of the strip lash, but the secret is to cut it into three and then dip the end in glue and arrange it on your top lash. It gives a more organic look.
Are there any celebs you would love to see in drag?
I think all men, not just celebrities , should do drag because it’s really interesting to see what it reveals about a person. It really reveals a different personality, so I think everyone needs to try it.
RuPaul’s Drag Race will air every and at from 1st June on truTV, Freeview channel 68, Sky channel 198 and FreeSat channel 154. It’s followed by RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, that contains never-seen-before behind the scenes content.
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