“They Put Their Whole Selves Into Their Drag”: ‘THR Presents’ Q&A With the Talent Behind ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

“They Put Their Whole Selves Into Their Drag”: ‘THR Presents’ Q&A With the Talent Behind ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

After almost 200 episodes (and counting), the creative team behind RuPauls Drag Race say they have learned a lot about what makes a successful reality competition show. First and foremost: they keep things fresh, constantly pushing themselves to come up with new challenges for contestants (like the infamous chocolate bar challenge). “The producers here are out of their minds,” said RuPaul. “And they also need to be entertained, so they come up with all these brilliant schemes.”

RuPaul spoke during a special THR Presents panel, powered by Vision Media, in which television personality and star of the forthcoming Bros movie Ts Madison moderated a conversation between the host and Michelle Visage, Drag Race senior producer and judge. “The ideas for the challenges start with their own attention spans,” added RuPaul. “The creative team behind the show wants to keep things fresh, and as a result the show feels fresh to the viewers.”

Visage reflected on the way that the contestants themselves have evolved in the face of the drag industry’s changes. “It’s so amazing to watch them learn and grow and put so much effort into their craft, because drag is now such a huge viable art form,” she said. “They literally do nothing else. That’s their life. They put their whole selves into their drag.”

The creative team also discussed what surprises them most about making the show year after year, what it means to watch contestants find their “higher selves,” and how they find a work-life balance. “It’s been such a joy to come to work and be with my friends every day, because quite frankly I don’t have a life outside of this show,” RuPaul joked.

This edition of THR Presents is sponsored by VH1.