When RuPaul’s Drag Race first premiered on Logo a decade ago, it was a niche reality competition series in a market flooded with them. To say it didn’t make a splash much beyond its core audience would be an understatement.
Since then, however, the show has moved to a bigger network, gained a bigger audience, and become a cultural phenomenon in a way no one could have expected. Watching Drag Race win the Emmy for Best Reality Competition Series felt like the last step in a growth arc more impressive than even Adore Delano’s.
But with that growth comes change, specifically in what demographics Drag Race primarily serves — and how the winners of the show have changed to accommodate those new demographics. Simply put: Who wins Drag Race is at least partially inspired by who watches Drag Race.
In this episode of The Kiki, hosts Kevin O’Keeffe and Mathew Rodriguez break down the ways the audience has morphed over time, and how both the show and fandom can make sure the core audience that watched way back in season one doesn’t get drowned out by new voices.
Watch the full episode below.