The Emmys went big on RuPaul’s Drag Race this year, giving it eight nominations and three wins during last week’s Creative Arts Emmys. But the reality show couldn’t quite get across the finish line during Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards, losing the ultimate crown.
RuPaul’s Drag Race lost the best reality competition series Emmy, getting beaten out by previous winner The Voice. Other previous winners Top Chef and The Amazing Race were also nominated, as well as perennial nominees Project Runway and American Ninja Warrior. The loss keeps the series’ total number of Emmys to four, with two prizes for RuPaul as host (for seasons eight and nine) and awards for editing and costumes this year.
Watching the show lose is a bummer; its eight nominations gave the illusion that the show had momentum toward a win. And it’s fair to say Drag Race would’ve been beating the odds with a win; only three reality shows have ever won this prize. Winning this Emmy would have been the culmination of a breakout year that started with fall 2016’s All Stars 2 and wrapped in an eruption of rose petals as Sasha Velour became the season nine winner.
While The Voice is a stalwart, in truth, no show has entertained us this television season quite as thoroughly as Drag Race has. At its best think Tatianna and Alyssa Edwards fighting to return to the competition during All Stars 2, or Valentina refusing to take off her mask in season nine the show is more dramatic than the best dramas and funnier than the best comedies. It losing the crown is disappointing, but in truth, it just proves that drag has a bit further to go before it fully hits the mainstream.
RuPaul’s Drag Race won’t rest, though; season 10 and All Stars 3 are both set to air in 2018. If the show continues its hot streak, it may be back on the Emmys stage in just a year.