Justine Santaniello: Now Marissa I’m sure that it has been the same for you. In our house there is still a lot of binge-watching going on, more than I’d like to admit, and if you haven’t been watching the Emmy award winning series RuPaul’s Drag Race, are you even living?

Marissa Brahney: Right? Now into its 13th season on VH1, this groundbreaking series hosted by RuPaul, features some of America’s most talented queens competing in fashion and performance challenges to crown the next drag superstar.

Justine: Joining us now are two of the show’s longtime judges: Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley. Welcome guys!

Michelle Visage: Hi Justine!

Carson Kressley: Hi Justine!

Justine: Now, you’ve both been judges for so long. What is it about the show that keeps you coming back?

Michelle: There was never anything else that I would rather do than be a judge on this show. I grew up with drag, um, drag is my favorite art form, uh, I’ve been a fan for a very long time so when the show was created and I was asked to do it there was absolutely-I-I-I would do anything I would jump through fiery ring of-of to get here, and um that’s why I’m here and to be able to sit there and watch these queens do what they do week to week and be entertained by the highest of the high caliber artistry, I mean who would-who would say no to that? It’s a gift.

Carson: Right. Yeah, and it-not to mention it’s super fun I mean we get to go to work every day and see amazing drag shows, and um most people have to pay for that, and I was just like they’re-they’re paying us! I was like this is the best job in the world and, uh you know the fringe benefit too is that we get to be part of a show where, uh, LGBTQ kids or marginalized kids all over the world can watch and see people maybe like them being celebrated and being successful, and that’s a wonderful thing that’s a great legacy, um, of the show, and it’s very gratifying to be a part of that.

Marissa: Besides of course that you filmed this season during a pandemic, what would you say is different or unique about the season?

Michelle: Well I say every season is different because of the dolls, because of the queens. Uh, you can’t compare-see it’s not like a scripted show where you can go, “well, season two was better than season one,” you really can’t because each season brings something new with these talented kids. You don’t know what you’re gonna get, uh Carson, Ross and I don’t know anything about these queens when they take to the stage. We don’t know their backstories we don’t know who’s loving who, who’s hating who in the work room, we don’t know anything, so we simply judge the talent and really that’s what makes each season it’s own entity and it’s own little gem and it’s own little hit is that these queens are so amazingly different than the ones before and the ones before them and so on and so forth. And I will say this, it’s getting more and more difficult every year to judge these queens because drag is becoming so prolific and there’s so much of it everywhere from our show, to YouTube, to touring, to this to that, that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to judge these queens.

Carson: Mhm.

Marissa: Okay, can you give us any insight into the new queens? Did either of you have any instant favorites in the bunch?

Michelle: I think for me when they all come out, you know, the first time we see them, and I’m speaking for myself, my eyes are always drawn to certain ones, but that doesn’t mean that it ends that way, and there is no other-like the biggest reward I get when I judge mistake someone. Believe it or not, contrary to popular belief, I like to be wrong because I like to think that I’m, you know, this person’s doing this and then they shut me completely up. That’s the best feeling when I’m shut up and I go, “oh my goodness, you just proved to me that you can do everything that you said that you were going to do,” when a lot of them talk a big game and they don’t deliver, so when it starts our eyes are always kind of drawn to certain ones and, “I think she’s going to be really good,” or, “I think that’s one to watch,” and then that can change. That can change episode two, so it’s-it’s really fun.

Carson: I’m always excited to see-to see some of the, um, you know New York queens. I live in New York City, um, so sometimes I’ve seen them maybe, you know, at a show or in a club and then I see them on the stage and we’re surprised because we don’t know who’s going to be there when we get there, and I’m very happy to see some of the queens that I kind of, um, I’ve seen kind of come along in the New York scene, and like Michelle said: you have expectations and then sometimes there’s so many twists and turns and they will surprise you and impress you and be like wow I have no idea that this person could do this, so I think-

Michelle: I think Carson muted-you muted yourself again I think.

Carson: There I’m back.


Carson: It was for the best. It’s like the gods were smiling on both of you guys you’re like shut her up.

Justine: So I want to know, in one word, what is it like working with RuPaul?

Michelle: Heaven.

Carson: Inspiring!

Justine: Thank you both so much for joining us. It was so much fun. Be sure to watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Fridays on VH1.

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