‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Returns to 90-Minute Episodes After Fan Backlash
Short episodes, sashay away! On Thursday, MTV announced that RuPaul’s Drag Race will be returning to its original 90-minute episodes after fans complained that one hour was not enough to showcase each drag queen’s talent. Now, episodes will return to an hour and a half, starting March 10.
“Get ready, racers. #DragRace returns to 90-minutes starting Friday March 10 at 8/7c on @MTV,” read the statement from MTV on Thursday. With the change, the next four episodes will continue in its 60-minute format, before switching to 90 minutes, as was the case for the last five seasons.
Production sources told Deadline that the show had been cut shorter to make way for a six-episode reality series called The Real Friends of WeHo, a show that fans of Drag Race have shared their dislike for online. The announcement means that Drag Race will return to its longer episodes following WeHo‘s conclusion. To quote Shangela: “Halleloo!”
Because of the shorter episodes, the show had seen fewer mini-challenges, shortened the fan-favorite runway segment, reduced drag queen commentary, and completely removed judge deliberations, which allowed viewers to get a look at RuPaul and the panel of experts’ thoughts on each runway look and performance.
Without aired deliberations, one of RuPaul’s catchphrases — “Silence! Bring back my girls” — had been removed. (The catchphrase even has its own spinoff show and a song by RuPaul.)
Fans had expressed their discontent on social media for the shorter episodes with one petition garnering nearly 35,000 signatures calling for MTV to return to its original format, saying the episode felt more like a recap than an actual show.
After the decision was made, the petition declared victory on Change.org, writing, “Although the WeHo show will still get their airtime, I still declare this a win because the 90 minutes was the main reason I made this petition. I guess pettiness does work! What’s next?”
They added, “Let’s hope we get extended cuts of Episodes 3-10 in the near future.”
Some queens tweeted that parts of their performances were cut from the show altogether.
“The way they cut out our most iconic part of the lip sync when we whipped out fake teeth and trolled tf out of them,” wrote drag queen Spice, who lip-synced against her twin Sugar in an earlier episode.
Other queens used the hashtag #BlameItOnTheEdit, to refer to the fact that the best parts of their performances in the show’s marquee impersonation challenge Snatch GAme were cut out. “My snatch game was EXTREMELY thought out and finessed,” wrote Salina EsTitties. “Sorry y’all didn’t get to see it.”
After the announcement was made, Irene DuBois, one of the eliminated queens who previously felt they didn’t receive enough airtime, shared her reaction about the change.
“Can’t wait to see the top 6 for 90 minutes 😍😍😍,” joked DuBois, implying that the change comes too late in the season. “Btw, this is shade to MTV, not WOW. Wow has done their very best in circumstances beyond their control.” (WOW is the production company that makes Drag Race.)
For the next several episodes, WeHo will continue to air after Drag Race, followed by Untucked, a behind-the-scenes spinoff of Drag Race that showcases the queens’ reactions behind the scenes during the competition’s filming. Starting March 3, The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist will replace WeHo at 9 p.m., before moving to the 10 p.m. slot, after Untucked.
The next episode of Drag Race is set to air on Friday, featuring guest judge Harvey Guillén.