Ru Paul's Drag Race is a reality competition show hosted by fierce drag queen Ru Paul. The show starts with a number of contestants who have to compete in weekly challenges. At the end of a challenge, a panel of judges, among them Ru Paul, assess the contestants’ performance. They eliminate contestants one by one until the one remaining person receives the title of the winner of the competition.
For the show to be able to control the contestants, they must put some rules in place. Those who break them heighten their chances of elimination although at times the producers let mistakes slide for the sake of drama and good TV. However, the reason why things appear all glamorous and rosy on the sets of RU Paul’s Drag Race is some of the rules imposed on the contestants participating in the show.
20 Each Contestant Must Submit An Audition Tape
All aspiring drag queens who want to participate in RU Paul’s Drag Race must submit an audition tape. The list of requirements appears online so the tape must be very elaborate. Some of the requirements include doing an acting challenge, an impersonation and lip-syncing as revealed on screenrant.com.
19 Contestants Must Appear As Themselves
Realityblurred.com states that all the contestants who appear on the show must appear as themselves and not as performers. This rule is in place mainly to protect the show from any suits against it. Some of the working conditions like the long working hours the contestants have endure may not be in line with union purviews.
18 Contestants Cannot Have Contact With The Outside World
A former contestant on the show reveals on screenrant.com that the contestants who get the opportunity to participate in the show do not have the permission to have any contact with the outside world while filming is going on. This means that they cannot have phones or use the payphones in the hotel lobby.
17 They Are Not Allowed To Know Where The Show Is Filming
Once contestants are picked out for the show, they are normally taken to an unknown location where filming will take place. To make sure that they cannot absolutely tell where the producers are taking them, they have to wear blindfolds as disclosed on thetalko.com. Once they reach their hotel room, they are supposed to keep the blinds down so that they do not see one another.
16 They Cannot Leave Their Rooms At Night
According to a podcast on popbuzz, contestants cannot leave their rooms at night. The producers normally put tape on their door to ensure that they cannot leave. If a contestant needs something outside their door, they normally communicate by passing notes to the production assistants keeping watch at night.
15 A Contestant Can Only Carry A Maximum Of Five Suitcases
The drag queens have to look fierce during the entire season. This means packing a lot of makeup, outfits, and accessories. The challenge, however, is fitting all their items into five suitcases. Thetalko.com discloses that makeup alone can take up to two suitcases. Since the show is the one that caters for airfare, they must place this rule to avoid overweight charges.
14 Queens Should Help Each Other With Makeup
As much as the show is a competition, the queens must help each other at times. Thethings.com narrates that the producers can request a drag queen to help a fellow queen with her make up if they feel that she is not good at it. On one of the seasons by the name Jinx Monsoon, had her fellow contestant, Detox, help her with her makeup.
13 Contestants Must Agree To Crazy Working Hours
A season of RU Paul’s Drag Race can take about a month to film which means that the contestants have to put in crazy working hours. A former drag queen confessed to Phoenix News Times that is was normal for them to work from 7.30 am to 11.30 pm. To make matters worse they had to do this in uncomfortable costumes and high heels.
12 Contestants Should Agree To Redo Scenes
Realityblurred.com discloses a section of the contract contestants must sign before they join the show. It says that contestants must agree to redo scenes if the producers do not catch what they want, be it a good angle or just a few words. This is the reality of reality TV shows nowadays.
11 Contestants Cannot Wear The Same Clothes During Confessionals
Reality TV shows are known to cut and paste scenes in order to twist a narrative to their liking. According to screenrant.com, this is the reason that they request the contestants to put on the same outfit during confessionals so that they are able to edit episodes as they wish. Sometimes a contestant can appear with different makeup or hairstyle, which confirms that they do this.
10 They Should Be Open To Misrepresentation
Like most reality shows on TV, RU Paul’s Drag Race is also scripted and edited. Its producers can therefore change or assign characters to the contestants as noted on thethings.com. Unfortunately, most reality stars cannot do anything when portrayed as villains, yet in real life, they are the complete opposite.
9 Queens Should Be Ready To Let Cameras Into Their Homes
Although we have seen very little of the contestants’ homes, the Drag Race contract states that the show’s cameras do not have access to the queens’ homes and workplaces as revealed screenrant.com. We are not sure, why this clause is included since most of the filming takes place in unknown locations; however, we suspect it might come in handy in the future.
8 Each Queen Must Master The Lip Sync Song
Every week, the contestants must participate in a challenge. At the end of it, the bottom two contestants are supposed to engage in a lip sync battle in an effort to save themselves from elimination as explained on screenrant.com. Since the contestants do not know who will end up at the bottom two, they all have to memorize the song for that week.
7 They Have To Advertise For The Sponsors Of The Show
Realityblurred.com reveals another clause in the Drag Race contract that states that contestants must agree to highlight products and services offered by the show’s sponsors. More and more businesses are being reeled into using this marketing strategy of integrating products or services with successful shows. Reality shows on the other hand also have no problem capitalizing on this.
6 Contestants Feed Themselves
Contestants who think that the show will pay for their expenses including meals are highly mistaken. Thethings.com states that the contestants have to cater for their own meals as well as the clothing and makeup they adorn themselves in while participating in the show. The show does not even provide meals on set as other TV shows do.
5 Contestants Pay For Their Own Damages
It is normal for most competitions to have brawls. However, RU Paul’s Drag Race does not assume responsibilities for any damages or injuries that occur during the show. Realityblurred.com reveals that this rule appears clearly on the Drag Race contract. The contestants are the ones who assume all the risk.
4 They Can Be Replaced Anytime
Thethings.com reports that the show’s producers can eliminate a contestant whenever they want and immediately replace her with another one. This can happen to any contestant even the fiercest drag queen. It is a good way of keeping the queens in check especially if they are not too keen with following the rules.
3 Contestants Are Supposed To Wait Until The End Of The Show To Know The Winner
Entertainmentweekly.com explains that the show normally crowns the last three contestants as winners to avoid any spoilers leaking out to the public. Not even the live audience or the contestants on the last episode get to know who the winner is. The winner gets to find out when the final episode airs.
2 Contestants Cannot Sue The Show
Disgruntled queens do not have the right to sue the show’s producers as revealed on thethings.com. The moment they sign the contract they agree to this. Given that some the working conditions are sometimes not favorable, we bet some queens would rush to sue and ask for a lot of money as compensation.
1 Contestants Cannot Do Any Media For A Year After The Show
After the contestants leave the show, they cannot appear on any media for a year as revealed by realityblurred.com. If they have to do so, they do it with the express authority of the show’s producers. The contracts also state that the show owns rights to the contestants’ life stories so they have to be careful about what they say out there.
Sources: realityblurred.com, thethings.com, Entertainmentweekly.com, Thethings.com,
screenrant.com, Phoenix News Times, Thetalko.com.