RuPaul's Drag Race is an American reality television series that details RuPaul's search for America's Next Drag Superstar. The show premiered on February 2, 2009, and currently has seven numbered seasons, one season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars and a spinoff, RuPaul's Drag U, now cancelled.
Every regular episode of RuPaul's Drag Race follows a format of mini-challenge, main challenge, runway presentation, judging and elimination.
In each episode's mini-challenge, contestants complete a short task that tests aptitude in an aspect of drag, be it making over a RuPaul doll, conducting a photo-shoot, or reading their fellow contestants. Contestants are judged on their performance; the winner is rewarded with an advantage, such as more time with mentors, or privileges, such as a phone-call home.
Main Challenge Edit
The requirements of the main challenge, as with the mini-challenge, vary from episode to episode. Main challenges may require contestants to compete individually, or as a group, in tasks such as creating garments, performing stand-up comedy, singing, or acting. The winner of each main challenge is rewarded with a material prize, such as cosmetics or garments, while the two worst challenge performers are required to compete against one another to remain in the competition.
Runway Presentation Edit
Following the main challenge, contestants are required to present an outfit on the runway matching the episode's runway theme, and are judged on the execution of said outfit.
Contestants are critiqued on both their performance in the main challenge and their runway presentation by a panel of celebrity judges: RuPaul, two permanent co-judges, and one or more guests. In their adjudication, the panel deliberates which contestant won the challenge, which contestants are safe from elimination, and which two will have to compete to retain their place in the competition (the "bottom two"), though ultimately the decision is RuPaul's to make. During the panel's deliberations, contestants leave the runway and are held backstage in the Untucked Lounge to film RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked!.
In elimination, two contestants must compete against one another in a lip-sync performance, dubbed Lip-Sync for Your Life. Contestants know before their runway presentation which song, from a list given at the season's beginning, will be the basis for their performance. Contestants are judged on their raw lip-sync skill, as well as their enthusiasm, and ability to dance and perform in keeping with the tone of the song. Following their performance, RuPaul will ask both contestants in turn to either remain, "Shanté, you stay", or leave the competition: "Sashay away".
Spoiler Warning: Information below this line may be considered a spoiler by some.
|Season||Premiere||Finale||Number of episodes||Number of contestants||Winner||Runner-up||Miss Congeniality|
|1||February 2, 2009||March 23, 2009||9||9||BeBe Zahara Benet||Nina Flowers||Nina Flowers|
|2||February 1, 2010||April 25, 2010||12||12||Tyra Sanchez||Raven||Pandora Boxx|
|3||January 24, 2011||May 2, 2011||16||13||Raja||Manila Luzon||Yara Sofia|
|4||January 30, 2012||April 30, 2012||14||13||Sharon Needles||Chad Michaels|
Phi Phi O'Hara
|All-Stars||October 22, 2012||November 26, 2012||6||12||Chad Michaels||Raven||N/A|
|5||January 28, 2013||May 6, 2013||14||14||Jinkx Monsoon||Alaska|
|6||February 24, 2014||May 19, 2014||14||14||Bianca Del Rio||Adore Delano|
|7||March 2, 2015||TBA||TBA||TBA||Violet Chachki||Pearl|
Spoilers end here.