Return of the Queen: RuPaul

RuPaul talks the new season of drag race | Nicki Minaj vs. Lil' Kim and hetero rumors (huh?!).

Posted: 02/01/2011 08:48 PM EST

It’s been over two years since we spoke to the most famous drag queen in the world, RuPaul.  It was right before the premiere of Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and no one knew if the show would be a hit.  Was the climate ready for a show about drag queens trying to be the next superstarl?  Fortunately, they were.

“Drag Race” set records for Logo. The dragalicious series was the most successful launch for Logo and by the season two finale in April 2010, it was the network’s most watched telecast ever.

Season three, which premieres tonight on the Logo Network, seems guaranteed to be another hit.  Twelve new “dolls” are ready to battle, all under the glamorous mentorship of Ru, who just turned 50 in November. Plus, this season is packed with unforgettable judges like Jody Watley, Fantasia, Amber Rose, LaToya Jackson and the legendary Vanessa Williams.  So, BET.com had to have another chat with Ru, and the diva sounded off on the new season, Lil’ Kim vs. Nicki Minaj, and hetero rumors (huh?!).  

The success of 'RuPaul's Drag Race':
"I knew there was a need for this show, especially after so many years of fear and hysteria that our country was involved in after 9/11. We just needed to laugh and have fun again, to see beauty and not take ourselves too seriously.  But, listen, those windows where beauty and light shine through are very few and far between.  We're enjoying the sunlight of the spirit now but the window can close up just as quickly.  Our culture loves fear-based energy, it just does."

Being a 6’4”, Black drag queen from Georgia who became a household name:  
“I'm in awe of it.  Forever grateful and I understand how fortunate I am. But, I'm 50 and I've lived a long time. This is the thing: I understand that I conjured this whole thing up.  Time and experiences taught me that I have to be very mindful of what I think and what I focus on because I can make it happen.  Pro and con, positive and negative, we can conduct exactly what our experience is.  Surprised at my success?  On some level I am, but on another level, no, because I understand how this energy works. I understand how like attracts like. It's pretty fabulous. I am very grateful.” 
 
On which celebrity judge has the best understanding of drag:
"I think Vanessa Williams does.  She comes from the modeling world, the pageant world, as an actress, as a singer, she understands what it is to run a business." 
 
LaToya Jackson:
"LaToya is another one who has been around; grew up in show business and understands what it takes to be a drag queen, and, is really a lovely, sweet person.  She's always been my favorite Jackson because she has made her mistakes and worn them on the outside. I think people who have made mistakes, who have bumped their head, are the most interesting.  Someone like Madonna, every move has been calculated and really never made a mistake, but it makes her un-human. It makes her like a robot to me.  I like people who are flawed.  LaToya is flawed and she'd be the first to acknowledge it."   
 
The longstanding rumor that he said he was heterosexual at the beginning of his career:
"Of course it's not true, but what's interesting about that is how rumors prevail.  What keeps that in place?  That's where the real story is. What are we doing as a culture to make that prevail?  People have said so many things about me that it doesn't matter; I'm always interested in looking under the hood of something.  I've never been in the closet in my life.  I've heard the rumor before but certain stories prevail like that because people want it to be true.  The question becomes, 'Why would people want that to be true?'" 
 
Lil' Kim vs. Nicki Minaj:
"The rivalry isn’t between themselves.  The beef and what no one is saying is that time moves people out of the way. If you accept that, you will have a much more enriched life.  The truth is, in the music business you are marketing yourself to 11-year-olds to 25-year-olds.  At some point in your marketing group, the people that bought you the first time, they stop buying records.  So the next demographic of consumers want to buy someone new. The beef isn’t between each other, the beef is, on Kim's point, someone else has moved into her job. And, someone else will move into Nicki's position. And, someone else will move into their position.  That is what the beef is.  Again, looking under the hood of something, and this is what drag is about; things are never what they are on the surface. They are not at odds with each other. They are at odds with the natural evolution of the consumer.” 
 
What to expect on the third season of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’:
"The big news here is because we have $75,000 at stake, the kids have brought their A-game in a way I've never seen before.  The bar has been raised to where the skill level is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  I’m really blown away!  I was in the grocery store and Johnny Mathis comes over to me and says, 'Are the contestants helped by the producers with these challenges?' I said, 'No.’ He couldn't believe it. Sometimes I can't believe it!  But, I know how crafty queens are. Also, watching them overcome or not overcome the self-saboteur.  A lot of the kids come and they think, ‘I can do it!’ Their biggest competition, and this is back to Nicki Minaj and Lil' Kim, is to overcome your own saboteur.  To watch this happen on our show with our contestants is really amazing.  Some do it and some don't.  The ones who don't, find themselves in the bottom two and they have to lip-sync ... for their life!" 

Season Three of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” debuts tonight on Logo.  Click here for more information. 

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