The Library Is Open: Untucking Secrets From The First Decade Of RuPaul’s Drag Race

Gather round, hennys, because it’s about to be a celebration.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 10 fabulous years since RuPaul mothertucking Charles first put out the siren call for drag queens around the county to put their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to the test in the ultimate search for America’s Next Drag Superstar, taking an underground art form that Ru himself has famously said would never be mainstream out of the club and onto TV, broadcasting into the homes of millions.

And in the decade since RuPaul’s Drag Race debuted on February 2, 2009 on Logo, the show has gone from cult favorite to a veritable industry unto itself, launching not only the careers of 126 of the country’s most talented drag queens (with 14 more waiting in the wings until their season 11 debut this March), but two spin-offs—the defunct RuPaul’s Drag U and the currently airing RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars—and the bi-annual, bi-coastal DragCon event, earning nine groundbreaking Emmys, including the coveted Outstanding Reality Competition trophy in 2018; all the while, still remaining the undisputed best thing on TV in any given week that a new episode airs.

in honor of the show’s big birthday, E! News called up executive producers Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell, whose company World of Wonder have a long history with Ru that includes her mid-’90s VH1 talk show The RuPaul Show—the first one hosted by someone from the LGBTQ community—for a little kiki on the first 10 years of Drag Race. And it was the gag of the season, honey. 

Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines! And may the best tea win…

Can we get an amen?

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on VH1. And season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race debuts on the cable network in March.



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