Skip to content

When MTV announced that new episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race would have their runtime reduced from 60 to 40 minutes (without ads) to make room for The Real Friends of WeHo, a critical and commercial flop, the internet descended into anarchy. The daft decision resulted in seven-second runways, reduced screentime for the queens and complete eradication of deliberations, disrupting the entire flow of the season in the process.

Following mass fracas online and, of course, a change.org petition, World of Wonder released the episodes in their intended 60-minute form on WOW Presents Plus to overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans and critics, who were unanimous in their decision that the new scenes improve on the season’s narrative and watchability. After watching the extended episodes, we agree; season 15 was already fierce as hell, but now it deserves to be regarded as one of the franchise’s best instalments.

Here, we break down the most memorable new moments, from the rather uncomfortable scenes with RuPaul to the extended lip-syncs you need to watch out for.

Longer lip-syncs:

This is, undeniably, one of the most titillating – titillating! – aspects from the extended episodes: longer lip-syncs (amen!). Nearly all the lip-sync smackdowns between episodes 3-10 are longer, most notably: Sasha Colby vs Anetra to ‘I’m in Love with a Monster’; Jax vs Mistress Isabelle Brooks to ‘Tell It To My Heart’; Salina EsTitties vs Amethyst to ‘Q.U.E.E.N’; and Anetra vs Jax vs Luxx Noir London to ‘The Right Stuff’. For example, Sasha and Anetra’s iconic showdown showcases more of the former’s sickening floor work and Jax’s loss to Mistress becomes even more… questionable. (No shade to Mistress, her booby-pops are legendary.)

Robin Fierce’s homage to Pearl

This scene’s omission from the original edit is quite… wild? Ahead of the Snatch Game, RuPaul embarked on her classic run through, which, again, largely consisted of: ‘I have no reference of this celebrity, change it – just make me laugh!’ Robin Fierce revealed that she planned on impersonating Karen Huger from The Real Housewives of Potomac, which elicited the following brutal response from Ru: “I’m bored already.” After a back-and-forth, where RuPaul expressed interest in seeing Robin’s “twisted side”, the two engaged in an awkward (and rather unnecessary) stare-off (it was camp, though). Remember the infamous battle of 2017 between RuPaul and Pearl? It felt like a spiritual sequel, albeit a sequel that doesn’t live up the expectations of the original.

More snatch!

The franchise’s staple challenge, the Snatch Game, was split into two groups for the first time in herstory to accommodate the large cast. With 20 more minutes added to the episode, the challenge was significantly longer and the queens – as their celebrity counterparts – had more time to shine with their answers and banterous interactions with one another (particularly Sasha Colby, Anetra and Mistress Isabelle Brooks). The most notable scene that was excluded from the final cut is a frosty encounter between RuPaul and Sugar (as Trisha Paytas), where the latter asks the host about her “body count”. Honestly, we can’t remember the last time RuPaul, out of drag, look this visibly irritated. Her aforementioned encounter with Robin Fierce was awkward, but this was an “AND I OOP” moment. Spice even theorised that RuPaul sent home her sister because of this, tweeting: “We both knew Sugar was going home regardless bc Ru hated her after she asked him what his body count was.”

The Old Gays

Episode six featured a guest appearance from Robert Reeves, Michael “Mick” Peterson and Jessay Martin, members of The Old Gays, gay social media personalities and LGBTQ+ rights activists who are known for their presence on TikTok. To coincide with the cast’s challenge, in which they wrote and performed lyrics as old lady girl groups, the trio discussed their experiences during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, chosen families and the progress of LGBTQ+ rights. In the original edit, the wholesome scene was completely removed and aired in Untucked instead, which was met with a scathing response from fans who noted how crucial it is to hear stories from the older LGBTQ+ generation.

Deliberations are back, back, back again

Deliberations have always been a Drag Race staple. Hearing the panel talk smack about the queens’ performances and runways have resulted in some of the franchise’s most witty and knee-slapping moments. The complete erasure of deliberations was farcical, especially when the season boasted guest stars of such a high calibre, from Janelle Monâe to Megan Stalter and Ali Wong. (We can’t imagine they were too happy with the reduced screentime, either?) Additionally, the episodes felt extremely rushed. With their re-inclusion, the season has more time to breathe, we see how invested (or bored) the guest stars are and how RuPaul actually perceives the contestants. Take episodes three and four for example, which features moments such as: the panel raving about Sasha Colby and her legendary history in the pageant scene; RuPaul expressing her love for Amethyst, which felt… new; her ‘disappointment’ in Sugar and Spice; and their reverence for Salina EsTitties’ brilliant and hilarious drag name. An episode of Drag Race that solely features challenge, runway and lip-sync, without any of the human moments, feels a bit soulless.

Extended 90 minute episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 are available exclusively in the UK via the streamer of all things drag, WOW Presents Plus. Subscribe now via https://uk.wowpresentsplus.com/