August 17, Wednesday, marked a momentous event for the Philippine drag scene as the first episode of the world-renowned RuPaul’s Drag Race Philippines aired. The 12 contestants from across the country demonstrated their personality as drag queens and their potential as performers.
In the first episode, Corazon, Marina Summers, Brigiding, Eva La Queen, Gigi Era, Lady Morgana, Minty Fresh, Precious Paula Nicole, Prince, Turing, Viñas DeLuxe, and Xilhoutte came out in their best drag outfits.
Former RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Six contestant and RuPaul’s Drag Race Philippines judge Jiggly Caliente couldn’t help but feel emotional as the queens went center stage.
“I am so proud of each and every one of these girls and the fact that this franchise is also the first of many. These girls are so talented, so amazing, and they’re also beautiful human beings. It could have happened to another franchise, and I’m so glad that World of Wonder decided to put their eyes on the Philippines and showcase the amazing Philippine drag,” Jiggly said during the exclusive watch party for Drag Race Philippines last Tuesday, August 16.
She added that Drag Race Philippines is the first franchise to have two transwomen at the helm of the judges’ station, referring to herself and Kaladkaren, who sees the show as a platform that gives a voice to the potential of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Other judges include BJ Pascual, Rajo Laurel, and Jon Santos. Concert Queen Pops Fernandez graced the show’s pilot as the guest judge. Other celebrities who will make an appearance in the following episodes are Nadine Lustre, Pia Wurtzbach, Patrick Starrr, Regine Velasquez, and Boy Abunda.
The winner of Drag Race Philippines will receive a P1,000,000 cash prize along with the most coveted title of Drag Superstar, further highlighting the colorful drag scene in the country.
Adding to the show’s thrill is Filipino actor Paolo Ballesteros as the host, who not only serves jaw-dropping looks but also gives witty remarks to make the franchise just as hilarious and relatable as its original and foreign counterparts.
Like Mama Ru, RuPaul Charles, Paolo encourages the 12 queens as they vie for the crown and title of the first Filipino Drag Superstar. He will also provide sound advice to the contestants about personal relationships, among others.
In the pilot episode, the drama unfolds as Xilhoutte and Marina unveil a conflict, which Paolo hopes they can resolve since the show fosters a sense of family among the contestants. But with shady comments from the queens and tension from the competition, viewers can expect more excitement.
As Jiggly said, “We Filipinos love drama.” And to add to that interest, the spin-off series Drag Race Philippines: Untucked!, which dropped its first episode on Friday, showed the queens behind the scenes where they showed their raw and unfiltered selves, adding to the drama.
Drag Race Philippines is the first franchise to receive an Untucked segment, in which viewers from across the world tune in to receive the tea from their favorite queens and other contestants.
Catch RuPaul’s Drag Race Philippines and Drag Race Philippines: Untucked! on Discovery+ and HBO Go.