These 19 crazy production secrets reveal exactly how RuPaul’s Drag Race is filmed
The whole season is filmed in just four weeks
Watching RuPaul’s Drag Race always sparks so many questions about all the behind-the-scene production tricks that go on to make this show work. Looking into Ru’s eyes, it’s obvious he has a bunch of secrets hidden under that perfectly-wigged head to ensure the show is as slick as possible.
You will be amazed by the extensive list of rules, regulations and protocol that are enforced for each season to make sure we get the incredible TV we deserve. After reading this, you should feel shocked, a bit scared, but mostly very impressed. Here are the production secrets behind RuPaul’s Drag Race:
The queens are blindfolded when they land and escorted to the hotel
In a behind-the-scenes video by WOWPresents, Alyssa Edwards explained that she was blindfolded coming off the plane so she had no idea where they landed or what hotel they were in. They literally have no idea where in America they are.
They first see their competition when they walk into the werkroom
The contestants have no idea who they’re up against until the moment they walk through the werkroom doors in their entrance – this means all the excited and awkward reactions are completely authentic.
They can’t have phones, internet or contact with the outside world
Often the queens get a bit emotional whenever they all talk about their families and partners. This is because they’re literally banned from speaking to them throughout the whole of filming. They’re not allowed any phones or internet – they have to be kept in complete isolation during filming.
Willam, a queen of season four, was famously disqualified because she was caught having her husband to her hotel room, Ru takes this rule very seriously. The producers even put tape across the doors so they can see if you’ve left your room without permission.
The clocks don’t work in the werkroom
They don’t have any idea of the time, they just get time checks from the production team.
Contestants are given iPods with all the lipsync songs on them
In Untucked you often see the queens practising the lipsync songs with an iPod. This is because each contestant gets an iPod at the beginning with all the possible songs they might need to lipsync, they find out the song of the night the day before.
They have a five-suitcase limit
Obviously a huge part of the competition is clothes, wigs and make-up. This takes up a lot of space but because their air travel is paid for, they can only take five suitcases max.
They get a vague list of possible outfit themes before the season
I often think when a rogue theme pops up and they don’t have the material or time to make it, how do they always have such good looks? This is because prior to the show, they get a list of themes. Apparently, they’re all quite vague and don’t necessarily come up, but it gives them a chance to plan.
Ru takes six hours to get ready for each show
In an interview, RuPaul admitted he takes up to six hours to get ready for each runway. He added: “I could do it in an hour, but we like to take six hours. Mathu Andersen and I, we get back there, we start at six in the morning, we have tea, we eat, we dance…we look at the outfits, we just get into it”. Just imagine being apart of these six hours.
They’re asked to wear the same outfits for every confessional
Another question a lot of people ask themselves is “how come every confessional is done in the same outfit”. This is a filming trick because often two bits of footage from different days are merged together – this would be impossible if each queen changed their look every day.
They always walk two runways – one with music, one without
For each look, the queens have to walk the runway twice, first with music, the second in silence. This is done so the producers can clearly record the judges’ commentary. If it ever looks like the contestants are reacting to one of the judges’ comments, it’s probably the second round of filming where they can actually hear them.
The Untucked cocktails are very watered-down cranberry vodkas
Watered-down cocktails supposedly got introduced after Jujubee had too much to drink and did her lipsync completely wrecked.
Ru wears an earpiece that feeds him his lines
Even though so much of what RuPaul says on the runway and in the werkroom seems incredibly spontaneous and off-the-cuff, apparently he gets a lot of those jokes fed to him through an earpiece.
Season one contestant Tammie Brown publicly slammed him for doing this, and Season four’s Willam Belli jumped in on this when she said, “I look forward to appearing on a game show again, maybe even for World of Wonder — but this time as a host who doesn’t wear an earpiece and gets told what to say”.
The show is filmed for around 11 to 12 hours a day
For runway days, the queens are in full drag, heels and tucked for nearly 12 hours. Yikes.
At the end of filming, they can’t talk about the show off-air
In a YouTube video by TheTalko, it explained that the queens are sent back to their separate hotel rooms after filming and banned from talking about the show in the bus back – this prevents any potentially juicy content being missed.
The queen’s Snatch Game character has to be non-fiction
This is to save the show any copyright issues.
Each finalist has to pretend to win during the filming of the finale
Another crazy fact is that the announcing of the winner in the finale is filmed three times, each with a different winner. Each finalist has to react as if they’ve won. This means every winning reaction you’ve watched is actually them pretending, which makes it even better tbh.
The winner finds out at the same time we do
The winner of each season doesn’t actually find out until the final episode is aired, so they find out the same time as us. This is meant to prevent any possible leaking of winners.
The whole season is filmed in four weeks
Even though it seems like it’s a new week for each challenge, it’s not. It’s actually four weeks of very intense filming, challenges, arguments and drama.
The show has won nine Emmy awards
No surprises because it’s the BESTFUCKINGSHOWINTHEWORLD. Nevertheless, it’s great to hear it’s appreciated by the masses. Since the beginning, the show has been nominated for 23 Emmy Awards and won nine.