Is ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Real or Fake?

With about a dozen seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, four seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars, and a handful of iconic moments from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, it seems like RuPaul has the formula down for this television show. Still, some fans are wonder just how real this reality competition series is. Here’s a look into the Emmy-award winning television show.

RuPaul's Drag Race UK
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ attends RuPaul’s DragCon 2019 | Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

What do the contestants of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ know before jumping into the competition?

We’ve all heard the rumors that RuPaul’s Drag Race is fixed. Some fans say that contestants are “robbed,” specifically throughout the seasons of All-Stars. The tea is that there are a few things contestants know before they even enter the pink-drenched walls of the Werk Room. One aspect the contestants know before entering the competition is the runway themes.

While the contestants know what the themes of the runway are, they don’t know the order that the categories will appear. As one of the main determinants of who will be in the “top” and who will be in the “bottom” each week, queens are encouraged to bring their best drag to the runway each week. For a contestant who is eliminated early, the cost of unused runway looks can, unfortunately, add up quickly.

The queens of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ get the lip-sync songs before they have to lip-sync for their lives

There are a few more aspects of this show that help to move the competition along. Although, they might not be directly known by the viewers. While the lip-sync song of the night is often a shock to Drag Race fans at home, the queens are given the song choice before receiving their critiques on the runaway. That means when someone doesn’t know the words, they really didn’t take the time to learn them. (We’re looking at you, Valentina.)

Additionally, some contestants state that the “editing” of the show is not always fair, in that it doesn’t show the entirety of the competition. Some contestants can get more confessionals just because they’re funnier, while others claim that the queens who will do the best on the season get the most screentime.

RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul’s Drag Race | Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for VH1

There’s already a behind-the-scenes look into the competition, thanks to ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked’

Sure, there’s plenty of drama and secrets during RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars. However, there are even a few more secrets hidden backstage. RuPaul even allows fans a closer look into the competition, thanks to the series RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked. This unscripted spin-off shows what happens while the queens “Untucked backstage.”

There, contestants hash out their beef, receive messages from their family and friends, and practice their lip-syncs. Throughout the years, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked earned multiple Emmy award nominations, including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.

Episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race are available for streaming on VH1.com and on the VH1 app. RuPaul’s Drag Race UK premieres on WOW Presents Plus on Oct. 3, 2019.