A live finale for RuPaul’s Drag Race is a “real possibility”, according to Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey.
In the brand new issue of GAY TIMES, the World of Wonder co-founders teased the future of the Emmy Award-winning franchise, which includes the American original and various (we repeat, various) international spin-offs such as Drag Race Thailand and Drag Race UK.
Although they remained tight-lipped on the nature of future Drag Race-related projects – with Fenton joking/threatening our livelihoods, “If we told you, we’d have to kill you!” – Randy revealed that a “live finale is a very real possibility”, citing Drag Race Live in Las Vegas as an example.
“Everything has been discussed,” said Randy. “Drag Race on a desert island? Drag queens in outer space? Drag queens selling real estate? For real though, every year we workshop drag queens selling real estate… Maybe soon!”
Since its vaseline-filtered launch back in 2009, Drag Race has become one of the most popular competition series of all time.
According to stats from WOW, RuPaul’s empire has given a platform to 335 drag entertainers, resulting in 111 million Instagram followers, 28 million Twitter followers, 22 million Facebook followers, and 1.1 billion YouTube views.
Drag Race has also accrued 145 award nominations, with 52 wins. RuPaul has won 11 Emmy Awards – including six consecutive wins for Outstanding Host – making him the most-awarded person of colour in the show’s history.
“From the first time we met Ru, we knew he was a star and he knew too,” Fenton said of his and Randy’s relationship with the drag legend. “So, it was about waiting for the world to catch up. Working with him all this time has been a continual inspiration.”
According to Randy, RuPaul “came to us and asked us to manage him” despite their lack of managerial experience. “But that was okay, because Ru had a list of what he wanted to accomplish,” he added. “He was very clear, very focused and very hard working! It was a dream job for us both.”
With the 14th season of the US original currently airing and the cast announcement for Drag Race UK vs the World generating enormous buzz online, 2022 is set to be the most sickening year in Drag Race’s herstory.
The next few months will also see the ruturn of international spin-offs in the UK, Australasia, Canada, Thailand, Holland, Spain and Italy, as well as brand new versions in France and the Philippines.
Check out our official 2022 guide to the Drag Race franchise here.
You can read our full interview with Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey via the GAY TIMES app, Apple News+, Readly, and Flipster. The issue also includes interviews with Olympic athlete Gus Kenworthy, Cicada stars Matthew Fifer and Sheldon D. Brown and Queen of the Universe winner Grag Queen.