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RuPaul's Drag Race Wiki
RuPaul's Drag Race
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The first season of RuPaul's Drag Race, later referred to as The Lost Season, 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 winner of the first season won a lifetime supply 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 was determined by an audience vote via the show's official website. The results were announced in early September 2008. The contestant to win this honor was Nina Flowers from Bayamón, Puerto Rico (currently Denver, Colorado). The theme song playing during the runway every episode was "Cover Girl" from RuPaul's album Champion.

The winner of the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race was Bebe Zahara Benet, with Nina Flowers placing as runner-up as well as winning Miss Congeniality.

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.

In 2012, Nina Flowers, Shannel, and Tammie Brown returned to compete for a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame in the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. Nina and Tammie placed 9th/10th overall, while Shannel placed 3rd/4th overall alongside Season 2 contestant Jujubee.

In the third season of All Stars, it was revealed that BeBe Zahara Benet would be competing as the surprise tenth queen. She placed 3rd/4th overall, alongside Season 2 and 3 contestant, Shangela, due to a jury vote.

In 2020, Ongina returned to compete in the fifth season of All Stars for a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. She placed 9th overall.

Contestants

(Stage names, ages and locations stated from during time of contest)

Rank Contestant Photo Real Name Age Location Ep. 1 Ep. 2 Ep. 3 Ep. 4 Ep. 5 Ep. 6 Ep. 7 Ep. 8 Ep. 9
Design Dance Improv Advert Make
Over
Ball Recap Finale Reunion
1st
(Winner)
Bebe Zahara Benet BeBeZaharaBenetS1CastMug.png Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa[1] 28 Minneapolis, MN SAFE SAFE WIN HIGH BTM2 WIN RUN WINNER GUEST
2nd
(Runner-Up
& Miss
Congeniality)
Nina Flowers NinaFlowersS1CastMug.png Jorge Luis Flores Sánchez[2] 34 Denver, CO WIN HIGH
TEAM
HIGH HIGH LOW HIGH
Mini
Chall.
Winner
RUN RUNNER
UP
MISS
CON
3rd Rebecca Glasscock RebeccaGlasscockS1CastMug.png Javier José Rivera Nieves[3] 26 Ft. Lauderdale, FL LOW HIGH
TEAM
HIGH BTM2 WIN
Mini
Chall.
Winner
BTM2 RUN ELIM GUEST
4th Shannel ShannelS1CastMug.png Bryan Watkins[4] 29 Las Vegas, NV SAFE HIGH
TEAM
BTM2 LOW HIGH ELIM GUEST
5th Ongina OnginaS1CastMug.png Ryan Ong Palao[5] 26 Los Angeles, CA HIGH WIN
Team
Captain
HIGH WIN ELIM GUEST
6th Jade JadeSotomayorS1CastMug.png David Sotomayor[6] 25 Chicago, IL SAFE SAFE LOW ELIM
Mini
Chall.
Winner
GUEST
7th Akashia AkashiaS1CastMug.png Eric Flint[7] 24 Cleveland, OH BTM2 BTM2
Team
Captain
ELIM GUEST
8th Tammie Brown TammieBrownS1CastMug.png Keith Glen Schubert[8] 29 Long Beach, CA SAFE ELIM GUEST
9th Victoria "Porkchop" Parker VictoriaParkerS1CastMug.png Victor Bowling[9] 39 Raleigh, NC ELIM GUEST
The contestant won RuPaul's Drag Race.
The contestant was the first runner-up.
The contestant was eliminated in 3rd place & did not compete in final lip sync.
The contestant won the maxi challenge.
The contestant was one of the best but did not win the maxi challenge.
The contestant was a member of a winning team but did not win the maxi challenge.
The contestant had immunity in this episode.
The contestant was one of the worst but did not place in the bottom two.
The contestant placed in the bottom two but was not eliminated.
The contestant placed in the bottom two & was eliminated.
The contestant was voted "Miss Congeniality" by viewers.
The contestant appeared as a guest on the "Reunion" episode, but was out of the running.

Episodes

Series # Episode # Episode Title Airdate
1 1 Drag on a Dime February 2, 2009
2 2 Girl Group Challenge February 9, 2009
3 3 Queens of All Media February 16, 2009
4 4 Mac Viva-Glam Challenge February 23, 2009
5 5 Drag School of Charm March 2, 2009
6 6 Absolut Drag Ball March 9, 2009
7 7 Extra Special Edition March 16, 2009
8 8 Grand Finale March 23, 2009
9 9 Re-United! March 23, 2009

Episode 1: "Drag On A Dime"

Airdate: February 2, 2009

Synopsis: Nine contestants must re-invent their glam drag looks using thrift store clothing and tschotchkes from the 99-cent store. Guest judge Bob Mackie stops by to help RuPaul weed out the drag queen with the least style.

Entrance Order

1 Shannel
2 Nina Flowers
3 Rebecca Glasscock
4 Ongina
5 Victoria "Porkchop" Parker
6 Akashia
7 Tammie Brown
8 Jade
9 Bebe Zahara Benet

Sexy Car Wash Photoshoot

Episode 2: "Girl Group Challenge"

Airdate: February 9, 2009

Synopsis: Wigs fly when the contestants split up into 2 rival girl groups, something guest judge Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child would know plenty about. Can the girls impress RuPaul with their lip-synching skills?

Role Serving Fish 3D
"Say My Name" "Independent Women"
Choreography Ongina Jade
Hair Nina Bebe
Makeup Shannel Akashia
Costume Rebecca Tammie

Reaction Selfies Photos
"You just found out your 10.000$ Louis Vuitton bag is a fake!"

"Sad news: Cher just announced that she's retiring, for real!"

"Somebody cut the cheese!"

Episode 3: "Queens of All Media"

Airdate: February 16, 2009

Synopsis: The queens are tested on their multi-media prowess as they show off their talents as newscaster, product spokesperson, and talk show host to RuPaul and guest judge Debra Wilson of MADtv.

Episode 4: "Mac Viva-Glam Challenge"

Airdate: February 23, 2009

Synopsis: Hoping to follow in the footsteps of MAC Cosmetics' first Viva Glam girl, RuPaul, the queens make their own Viva Glam screen test. Jenny Shimizu joins the panel to help judge the girls' drag queen status.

Episode 5: "Drag School of Charm"

Airdate: March 2, 2009

Synopsis: The contestants make over a group of female extreme fighters into their drag daughters. Xena herself, Lucy Lawless, makes a guest appearance to judge the girls' combat prowess.

  • Guest Judges: Lucy Lawless and Robin Antin
  • Mini Challenge: Exercise and endurance challenge.
  • Mini Challenge Winner: Rebecca Glasscock
  • Mini Challenge Prize: Assign the partners for the Maxi Challenge
  • Maxi Challenge: Makeover a female fighter using MAC Cosmetics, supplies from Michael Levine Fabrics and shoes from Kitson LA.
  • Maxi Challenge Winner: Rebecca Glasscock
  • Maxi Challenge Prize: Gift baskets from Carnisto worth $1,000
  • Bottom Two: Bebe Zahara Benet and Ongina
  • Lip Sync Song: "Stronger" by Britney Spears
  • Eliminated: Ongina

Episode 6: "Absolut Drag Ball"

Airdate: March 9, 2009

Synopsis: RuPaul makes the queens hit the floor in a good old fashioned drag ball inspired by Absolut's real fruit flavored vodka.

Absolut Ball

Queen Flavor "Who Should Go Home Tonight?" Choice
Rebecca Glasscock Citron Shannel
Nina Flowers Mango Rebecca Glasscock
Bebe Zahara Benet Raspberry
Shannel Mandarin Herself

Top Three of Season 1

Queens Challenge Wins Up for Elimination
BeBeZaharaBenetS1CastMug.png
Bebe Zahara Benet
2
(Eps. 3, 6)
1
(Ep. 5)
NinaFlowersS1CastMug.png
Nina Flowers
1
(Ep. 1)
0
RebeccaGlasscockS1CastMug.png
Rebecca Glasscock
1
(Ep. 5)
2
(Eps. 4, 6)

Episode 7: "Extra Special Edition"

Airdate: March 16, 2009

Synopsis: Look back on the highlights, lowlights, and previously unseen footage from the first six episodes as we race toward the climactic grand finale!

  • Santino and Merle's Picks for Top Ten Fashion Moments (judging panel fashions only except noted otherwise)
    • 10. Tammie Brown, Episode One
    • 9. Jade, Episode Three. Judges compared her look to young Elisabeth Taylor, Barbarella and the movie "Valley of the Dolls". She also was similar to the lady from pages of science fantasy from 70.
    • 8. Rebecca Glasscock, Episode Two
    • 7. Bebe Zahara Benet, Episode Four. Squirrel's friends compared her to Grace Jones.
    • 6. Nina Flowers' Makeup throughout the season. Merle noticed that she has kabuki style in her makeup, and that she knows how to powder her face to pop out her eyes.
    • 5. Ongina, Episode Four
    • 4. Shannel, Episode Three. It reminded judges the movie "Showgirls".
    • 3. Bebe Zahara Benet, Episode Three
    • 2. Nina Flowers, Episode One
    • 1. RuPaul’s various judging panel gowns designed by Zaldy.

Episode 8: "Grand Finale"

Airdate: March 23, 2009

Synopsis: The last 3 queens face their final challenge while shooting the music video for RuPaul's new single "Cover Girl (Put The Bass In Your Walk)." Out artist Cazwell stops by to help the judges cast their final vote.

  • Main Challenge: Recording a verse and filming a spot for RuPaul's latest video.
  • Eliminated: Rebecca Glasscock
  • Top Two: Bebe Zahara Benet and Nina Flowers
  • Lip Sync Song: "Cover Girl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)" by RuPaul
  • Runner-Up: Nina Flowers
  • Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 1: Bebe Zahara Benet

Episode 9: "Re-United!"

Airdate: March 29, 2009

Synopsis: In this reunion special, all nine contestants return to give their take on what happened during the show. Plus, the girls confront the judges...and each other!

  • Discussions: Ru asks Victoria if she enjoyed her short stay and if she felt she could've done well in the later challenges, Tammie discusses her quirkiness, Akashia's anger and tearful exit are touched on, and Jade voices her frustration with Rebecca and her joy in meeting the other girls. Ongina talks about her progression as a drag artist and her controversial outing as an HIV positive person in Episode Four. Shannel's overconfidence and her elimination against Rebecca are discussed. The girls talk about Rebecca's fakeness and attitude, causing arguments to ensue. Nina talks about finishing second and says the Oprah challenge was the toughest for her. Nina also says the audience reception for her has been favorable. Bebe talks about winning and the audience reaction in Cameroon. Ru asks Bebe if she was surprised that Rebecca made it to the final three and when asked for hands, most queens feel she shouldn't have. Nina is surprised that Jade was eliminated over Rebecca and Jade takes the chance for closure by extending an olive branch to Rebecca. Ru gives the girls some viewer questions. Akashia is asked about upgrading her hooker style, Rebecca is asked about the friend she mentioned in the Mac Viva-Glam challenge, and Shannel is asked if her wig falling off in the episode three lip sync battle was staged. Ongina is asked about going from winning a challenge to lip syncing for her life, Nina is asked about what lead her to choose an androgynous drag style, and all of the girls are asked about hiding razor bumps and stubble. Merle and Santino are then brought out to discuss their experiences on the show. Merle talks about everyone's ideas of femininity and Santino discusses the fashion and his judging style. The girls are then allowed to get into the judges' heads and Shannel says she left the show because Santino made her feel like crap every week. The two argue and Ru intervenes to tell Shannel not to let someone else's opinion get her down. Ru says negativity exists and Tammie argues that they don't need to feed into it, arguing with Ru on the subject. Ru gets upset and takes the girls to task for taking the negativity too hard, telling them they need to build themselves up and not rely on others holding their hands.
  • Miss Congeniality: Nina Flowers

Trivia

  • Season 1 is the first season...
    • ... to have a mini challenge (Episode 2).
    • ... to have a recap episode (Episode 7).
    • ... to have a reunion (Episode 9).
    • ... to have a contestant from Africa (Bebe Zahara Benet).
      • Bebe is also the only winner from Africa.
    • ... to have a contestant from Puerto Rico (Nina Flowers).
      • Nina is also the first contest to be voted onto the show by fans.
      • Nina is also the first Miss Congeniality to make it to the finale as a competitor in the same season.
    • ... to have no contestants from New York.
      • This season is also the only non-international regular season to achieve this feat.
    • ... to have five queens that have never placed 'Safe,' Akashia, Nina Flowers, Ongina, Rebecca Glasscock and Victoria "Porkchop" Parker.
  • Season 1 is...
    • ... the third shortest season in series' history, with a total of 9 episodes.
    • ... the season with the least contestants, with a total of 9 contestants.
    • ... the only season where a filter was used throughout the entire season.
  • Coincidentally, the contestants of this season have only returned to All Stars in odd number seasons.
  • The lip-sync assassins of Season 1 are Rebecca Glasscock, Akashia and BeBe Zahara Benet. Rebecca eliminated Jade and Shannel, Akashia eliminated Victoria Parker and Tammie Brown, and Bebe eliminated Ongina and won the Lip Sync For The Crown against Nina Flowers.
  • This season is tied with UK Season 1 and All Stars 5 for having the second smallest number of individual challenge winners, after Drag Race Holland (Season 1) which only had 3, with only 4 queens in the season (BeBe Zahara Benet, Nina Flowers, Rebecca Glasscock, Ongina) having won a main challenge.

Gallery

Gallery pic.png
Check out the lookbook gallery to see the queens' looks from each episode.

Videos

Meet the Queens

References

  1. Catching Up with BeBe Zahara Benet, the Very First Winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race | Vanity Fair — March 23, 2017
  2. Essay: Three Colorado reality TV contestants become unlikely community leaders | Colorado Public Radio — January 27, 2014
  3. (PTWho’s That Queen? Rebecca Glasscock | Draglicious — March 2, 2021
  4. O.C. drag queen is star of stage and screen | The Orange County Register — August 24, 2010
  5. Amazing HIV+ Gay Men: Ongina | HIVPlusMag.com — September 10, 2014
  6. Victims' names released in Orlando mass shooting | Florida Today — June 12, 2016
  7. 10 Best Pisces Contestants On RuPaul's Drag Race | TheTalko — March 4, 2020
  8. Q&A with Corpus Christi-born RuPaul's Drag Race alum Tammie Brown | Corpus Christi Caller-Times — September 11, 2018
  9. The Other White Meat | The Advocate — December 25, 2008

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