RuPaul's Drag Race (season 1)

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RuPaul's Drag Race
Season 1
Broadcast from February 2 (2009-02-02) – March 23, 2009 (2009-03-23)
Judges RuPaul
Santino Rice
Merle Ginsberg
Host(s) RuPaul
Broadcaster Logo
Competitors 9
BeBe Zahara Benet
BeBe Zahara Benet.jpg
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Nina Flowers

The first season of RuPaul's Drag Race, later referred to as RuPaul's Drag Race: The Lost Season Ru-Vealed, premiered in the United States on February 2, 2009, on Logo. Nine contestants were selected to compete in the running of becoming "America's Next Drag Superstar." The first season was filmed during the summer of 2008. The winner of the first season won $5,000 worth of MAC Cosmetics, was featured in an LA Eyeworks campaign, joined the Logo Drag Race tour, and won a cash prize of $20,000. One of the nine contestants to compete on RuPaul's Drag Race, Nina Flowers was determined by an audience vote via the show's official website. The results were announced in early September 2008. The theme song playing during the runway every episode was "Cover Girl" from RuPaul's album Champion. This season and season one of All-Stars are the only seasons to not feature the "Snatch Game."

The winner of the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race was BeBe Zahara Benet, with Nina Flowers being the runner-up.

In late 2013, Logo re-aired the first season, which was titled RuPaul's Drag Race: The Lost Season Ru-Vealed, and featured commentary from RuPaul.[1][2]

Nina Flowers, Shannel, and Tammie Brown competed on the first season of All Stars. Nina and Tammie placed 9/10th overall together, while Shannel placed 3rd/4th with season 2 contestant Jujubee.

In the premiere episode of the third season of All Stars, BeBe Zahara Benet was announced as the surprise tenth contestant. This made Benet the first winner of a regular Drag Race season to compete again. BeBe placed 3rd/4th overall along with season 2 and season 3 contestant Shangela.


(Ages and names stated are at time of contest)

Contestant Name Age Hometown Outcome
BeBe Zahara Benet Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa[3] 28 Minneapolis, Minnesota Winner
Nina Flowers Jorge Luis Flores Sanchez[4] 34 Bayamón, Puerto Rico Runner-up
Rebecca Glasscock Javier Rivera[5] 26 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 3rd Place
Shannel Bryan Watkins[6] 29 Las Vegas, Nevada 4th Place
Ongina Ryan Ong Palao[7] 26 Los Angeles, California 5th Place
Jade[a] David Sotomayor[8] 25 Chicago, Illinois 6th Place
Akashia Eric Flint[9] 24 Cleveland, Ohio 7th Place
Tammie Brown Keith Glen Schubert[10] 29 Long Beach, California 8th Place
Victoria "Porkchop" Parker Victor Bowling[11] 39 Raleigh, North Carolina 9th Place
  1. ^ Jade Sotomayor is simply known as Jade on the show.

Contestant progress

Contestant[a] 1[13] 2[14] 3[15] 4[16] 5[17] 6[18] 8[19] 9[20]
BeBe Zahara Benet SAFE SAFE WIN HIGH BTM2 WIN Winner Guest
Nina Flowers WIN HIGH HIGH HIGH LOW HIGH Runner-up Miss C
Rebecca Glasscock LOW HIGH SAFE BTM2 WIN BTM2 Eliminated Guest
Akashia BTM2 BTM2 ELIM Guest
Tammie Brown SAFE ELIM Guest
Victoria "Porkchop" Parker ELIM Guest
     The contestant won RuPaul's Drag Race.
     The contestant was the runner-up of RuPaul's Drag Race.
     The contestant was eliminated without qualifying to lip-sync in the finale.
     The contestant was voted Miss Congeniality by viewers.
     The contestant won a challenge.
     The contestant received positive judges' critiques but was ultimately declared safe.
     The contestant received judges' critiques but was ultimately declared safe.
     The contestant received negative judges' critiques but was ultimately declared safe.
     The contestant was in the bottom two.
     The contestant was eliminated.
     The contestant returned as a guest for the finale episode.


Episode Contestants Song Eliminated
1 Akashia vs. Victoria "Porkchop" Parker "Supermodel (You Better Work)"
Victoria "Porkchop" Parker
2 Akashia vs. Tammie Brown "We Break the Dawn"
(Michelle Williams)
Tammie Brown
3 Akashia vs. Shannel "Greatest Love of All"
(Whitney Houston)
4 Jade vs. Rebecca Glasscock "Would I Lie To You?"
5 BeBe Zahara Benet vs. Ongina "Stronger"
(Britney Spears)
6 Rebecca Glasscock vs. Shannel "Shackles (Praise You)"
(Mary Mary)
8 BeBe Zahara Benet vs. Nina Flowers "Cover Girl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)""
Nina Flowers
     The contestant was eliminated after their first time in the bottom two.
     The contestant was eliminated after their second time in the bottom two.
     The contestant was eliminated after their third time in the bottom two.
     The contestant was eliminated after the final lip-sync.

Guest judges

Listed in chronological order:


No. in
Title Original air date
1 1 "Drag on a Dime" February 2, 2009 (2009-02-02)

The nine contestants arrive in full drag and size up the competition. They are then immediately thrusted into a car wash photo shoot, portraying sex appeal while posing with two men, with Mike Ruiz as their photographer.

The first challenge involved them making an outfit out of thrift store clothes and accessories from a 99 cent store. At the judging session, which included Bob Mackie, Santino Rice, Mike Ruiz, Merle Ginsberg, and Ru herself as judges, the contestants are judged on their outfits and photos.

  • Guest Judges: Bob Mackie and Mike Ruiz
  • Mini-Challenge: Sexy car wash photo shoot
  • Main Challenge: Making an outfit out of thrift store clothes
  • Challenge Winner: Nina Flowers
  • Bottom Two: Akashia and Victoria "Porkchop" Parker
  • Lip-sync Song: "Supermodel (You Better Work)" by RuPaul
  • Eliminated: Victoria "Porkchop" Parker
2 2 "Girl Groups" February 9, 2009 (2009-02-09)

The eight remaining contestants were given a mini-challenge in which they acted out certain emotions and took pictures of themselves with a digital camera. RuPaul then deemed Akashia and Ongina the winners and made them the group leaders in the next challenge, a girl group battle. The groups were each responsible for their own hair, makeup, costumes, and choreography and they each had to perform to a Destiny's Child song.

  • Guest Judges: Frank Gatson and Michelle Williams
  • Mini-Challenge: Act out certain emotions
  • Mini-Challenge Winners: Akashia and Ongina
  • Main Challenge: Destiny's Child girl group battle
  • Challenge Winner: Ongina
  • Bottom Two: Akashia and Tammie Brown
  • Lip-sync Song: "We Break the Dawn" by Michelle Williams
  • Eliminated: Tammie Brown
3 3 "Queens of All Media" February 16, 2009 (2009-02-16)

This week's challenge was to channel Oprah Winfrey. Each contestant was allowed to pick a costume from a bin supplied for them, choose a costume they brought, or make their own on the spot. The challenge was in three parts, representing three stages of Oprah's career. The first task was a newscaster challenge where they had to read mock news stories from a teleprompter. The next task was to try to sell products, reminiscent of Oprah on her "My Favorite Things" specials. The third task was to interview Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott.

4 4 "Mac Viva-Glam Challenge" February 23, 2009 (2009-02-23)

For the mini-challenge, RuPaul paired everyone up and gave each person 30 minutes to do their partner's makeup, with Jade being declared the winner. The main challenge involved the girls putting together a commercial for Mac's Viva Glam makeup, a cosmetics line which Ru has once modeled for. The winner of the challenge would become the new face of Viva Glam. The girls are told they must use the commercial to explain who they are as queens, to explain why they are beautiful, and to inform people of Viva Glam's help for those living with HIV.

  • Guest judges: Gordon Espinet and Jenny Shimizu
  • Mini-Challenge: Give your partner a 30 minute makeover
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Jade
  • Main Challenge: Mac-Viva Glam commercial
  • Challenge Winner: Ongina
  • Bottom Two: Jade and Rebecca Glasscock
  • Lip-sync Song: "Would I Lie To You?" by The Eurythmics
  • Eliminated: Jade
5 5 "Drag School of Charm" March 2, 2009 (2009-03-02)

For the episode's mini-challenge, Ru brought in five female fighters to put them through an exercise and endurance challenge. The last person standing would win the challenge, which was Rebecca.

Ru then told the contestants that their main challenge would be for each of them to make over one of the fighters in their own image and teach them the secrets of drag. Rebecca, who won the mini-challenge, got to select her partner and whom the others had to work with. They must also coach the fighters on how to give a lip sync performance, which they would have to do to Beyoncé's, "Freakum Dress".

  • Guest judges: Lucy Lawless and Robin Antin
  • Mini-Challenge: Outlast your opponents in an endurance challenge
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Rebecca Glasscock
  • Main Challenge: Transforming a female fighter in their own image
  • Challenge Winner: Rebecca Glasscock
  • Bottom Two: BeBe Zahara Benet and Ongina
  • Lip-sync Song: "Stronger" by Britney Spears
  • Eliminated: Ongina
6 6 "Absolut Drag Ball" March 9, 2009 (2009-03-09) (March 9, 2009 (2009-03-09))

The contestants met Ru on the runway for a vogue battle mini-challenge, which Nina won. For their main challenge, each contestant has to come up with three looks: Swimsuit, Executive Realness, and Evening Wear. Ru also informed the girls that Absolut was sponsoring the event and thus, they had to each portray one of four pre-selected flavors: citron, mandarin, mango, and raspberry. As the winner of the mini-challenge, Nina selected her flavor and paired everyone else up. Ru later revealed that they must use their assigned fruits as part of their runway presentation.

  • Guest judges: Jeffrey Moran and María Conchita Alonso
  • Mini-Challenge: Vogue battle
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Nina Flowers
  • Main Challenge: Drag Ball featuring three different looks - swimsuit, executive realness, and evening wear
  • Challenge Winner: BeBe Zahara Benet
  • Bottom Two: Rebecca Glasscock and Shannel
  • Lip-sync Song: "Shackles (Praise You)" by Mary Mary
  • Eliminated: Shannel
7 7 "Extra Special Edition" March 16, 2009 (2009-03-16) (March 16, 2009 (2009-03-16))
In this episode, RuPaul took a look back through the first season. Clips included unaired audition videos from the contestants who made it and some who didn't, backstage antics, and an inside look at the final three. Among those who didn't make it, Raven, Pandora Boxx, Sahara Davenport, Nicole Paige Brooks, Detox, Naysha Lopez, and Alaska were featured. Merle Ginsberg and Santino Rice were also on hand to deliver their Top 10 picks for the most memorable fashions of the season.
8 8 "Grand Finale" March 23, 2009 (2009-03-23) (March 23, 2009 (2009-03-23))

Merle and Santino came in to inform the final three that their last challenge would be to appear in RuPaul's latest video for her song, "Cover Girl (Put The Bass In Your Walk)." They would do a group dance, record a verse with rapper Cazwell, and film a solo for Ru's video. To get them prepared, choreographer Ryan Heffington took the final three through the planned dance routine. None of them adapted easily, but Rebecca in particular, struggled with the dancing required. Afterward, each queen got an impromptu sit-down with Ru.

9 9 "Re-United!" March 23, 2009 (2009-03-23) (March 23, 2009 (2009-03-23))

The nine contestants gathered once again to chat about the season behind them and their current lives with RuPaul, Merle, and Santino with questions from the viewers.

  • Miss Congeniality: Nina Flowers


  1. ^ Contestant progress is referenced throughout the episodes from LogoTV, alongside the episodes published on iTunes Store.[12]
  1. ^ Shumaker, Jason; Jake Slane (August 18, 2013). "Gentlemen, Re-Start Your Engines...and May the Best Woman Win...Again!". Logo Press Room. Logo. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  2. ^ "&"set=a.156472877827.118955.31772462827&type=1&comment_id=9992661&reply_comment_id=9992723&total_comments=15 "Callie, dear..." RuPaul's Drag Race Facebook page. September 23, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013. Callie, dear...
  3. ^ Desta, Yohana. "Catching Up with BeBe Zahara Benet, the Very First Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race". HWD. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  4. ^ "About Me". Nina Flowers official site. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  5. ^ Queen for a season -SoFla man makes finals on drag-queen reality series.
  6. ^ "Q&A: Bryan Watkins - Las Vegas Magazine". Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  7. ^ "About". Ongina Facebook page. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  8. ^ Virtel, Louis (March 14, 2013). "The 10 Hottest "RuPaul's Drag Race" Contestants Out of Drag". (Logo TV / Viacom International. Archived from the original on March 28, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  9. ^ 30 Years of Pride (June 2011)
  10. ^ "About Tammie". Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "The Other White Meat". 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  12. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 1". iTunes Store (United States). February 2, 2002. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "Drag On a Dime". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 1. February 2, 2009.
  14. ^ "Girl Group Challenge". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 2. February 9, 2009.
  15. ^ "Queens of All Media". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 3. February 16, 2009.
  16. ^ "MAC/Viva Glam Challenge". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 4. February 23, 2009.
  17. ^ "Drag School of Charm". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 5. March 2, 2009.
  18. ^ "Absolut Drag Ball". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 6. March 9, 2009.
  19. ^ "Grand Finale". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 8. March 16, 2009.
  20. ^ "Reunited!". RuPaul's Drag Race. Season 1. Episode 9. March 23, 2009.

External links

  • Official website (U.S.)
  • RuPaul's Drag Race on IMDb
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