‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK:’ Why Don’t the Drag Queens Receive Cash Prizes?

Why take home a cash prize of $10,000 when you can take home a badge with RuPaul’s face on it? When RuPaul’s Drag Race UK premiered, fans poked fun at the prizes some contestants received. Why don’t the drag queens earn cash prizes on Drag Race UK? Here’s what we know about the reality competition series.

The article contains spoilers from the first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK!

Vinegar Strokes, Baga Chipz, The Vivienne, Cheryl Hole, Gothy Kendoll, Scaredy Kat, Divina De Campo, Sum Ting Wong, Blu Hydrangea and Crystal Drag Race UK
Vinegar Strokes, Baga Chipz, The Vivienne, Cheryl Hole, Gothy Kendoll, Scaredy Kat, Divina De Campo, Sum Ting Wong, Blu Hydrangea and Crystal | Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ is broadcasted on BBC

God save the queens. This season puts a twist on the classic RuPaul’s Drag Race, by featuring contestants from the United Kingdom. RuPaul’s Drag Race UK premiered on Oct. 3, 2019 and featured a few aspects that were different from the traditional seasons of the reality competition series. That includes the prizes won by contestants.

During some episodes of Drag Race, contestants win vacations and gowns. For All-Stars, lip-sync winners earn a cash prize of $10,000. For Drag Race UK, the winner of the first episode received a “Ru-Peter Badge.” Fans were pretty confused at this award, wondering why the queen did not receive a cash prize.

According to New Now Next, “the reason the U.K. queens are not being showered with British pounds is because the BBC — which airs the series in the U.K.— is publicly funded and therefore does not allow commercial sponsorships.”

What does the winner of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ receive?

The winner of the first episode received their grand prize of a badge. Almost instantly, fans on social media poked fun at this prize. One Twitter user joked, “the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK receives a one year’s supply of Yorkshire Tea, a cash prize of £1,000 (post-Brexit) and will be the next in line for the British throne.”

“I can’t wait for the grand prize of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK to be a year’s supply of Claire’s Accessories butterfly clips and £20,000 in Woolworths vouchers,” commented another Twitter user.

So, what does the “UK’s Next Drag Superstar” get for winning the competition? During the first episode of the series, RuPaul announced the winner will be “whisked off to Hollywood to star in her very own digital series, produced by the hit-making team that created RuPaul’s Drag Race.While this prize isn’t exactly as good as $100,000, some fans suggest that the exposure is a big help for local queens.

How to watch ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ in the United States

Even if you can’t watch this reality competition series on the BBC iPlayer, fans can stream episodes of this series in the United States. RuPaul’s series is available on WOW Presents Plus, a streaming platform similar to Netflix. Episodes are also broadcasted on the television network, Logo. The first episode of the series premiered on Oct. 11, 2019.

Episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK are available for streaming in the United States on WOW Presents Plus. The series airs on the television network, Logo, Friday nights.