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RuPaul says Drag Race is the antidote ‘to the virus of populism’

Nick Duffy September 24, 2019
RuPaul spoke about the show's long-anticipated UK spin-off

RuPaul spoke about the show's long-anticipated UK spin-off

RuPaul has suggested that Drag Race caught on because it serves as an antidote to populism.

Ahead of the launch of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which will see ten queens compete for the title of UK’s first drag superstar, RuPaul opened up about what had made the show endure for so long.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is a counter to populism.

He said: “I think this day and age, where we’re being overrun by this sort of virus of populism, we need a release; we need a place where people understand what this life is about.

“I learned early on in high school, my teacher told me, he said RuPaul, ‘Don’t take life too effing seriously.’

“I didn’t understand then but boy do I understand it now. It’s the most important lesson I learned in school, it’s probably the most important lesson you can learn in life – is to not take it too seriously.

“And I think our show Drag Race, which is filled with these incredible, courageous, beautiful drag queens, these beautiful like little boys who were put down, have found a place, have found a way to navigate this life.

“A little paint, a little powder, a twist of a phrase, a shake of a hip, and that’s really what it’s all about because the truth is, we’re all in drag.”

The cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK
The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK

He added: “Drag Race is very political in a very easy way, in a way that is not political.

“It’s political on an emotional level. I feel that the changes that need to be made in this world are going to be made on a human emotional, personal level.

“It’s not through legislation, it’s through the individual. And I think this individual revolution is taking place on the runway.”

International Drag Race fans might struggle with British slang.

RuPaul teased of the show’s British cast: “British queens, they do a lot of tongue and cheek. And they can be very very cutting but in an intellectual way.

“It’s going to be interesting for audiences around the world to try to decipher some of the lingo. That’s been hard for me too. The other day one of the girls said that she had the ‘mouth of a navvy’ – I didn’t know what that was. I asked her, she said a ‘navvy’ is someone who works on the roads.

“Still makes no sense to me but you know, I’m married to an Australian so I’m used to a twist of a phrase and word abbreviations.”

Those hoping for British pop culture send-ups may also be in for a treat.

He said: “This Snatch Game on Drag Race UK was actually was one of the best Snatch Games we’ve ever had.

“I don’t know what to attribute that to! Maybe because the UK queens are really woke! Or they’re more talented, I don’t know. So funny, so political, so uncompromising – I thought it was
fantastic!”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK begins on Thursday October 3 on BBC Three.

More: Drag Race, rupaul, RuPaul's Drag Race

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