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RuPaul’s Drag Race is fixed, an alleged insider claims

The elimination order on Logo’s drag queen competition RuPaul’s Drag Race and other elements of the competition are fixed by the show’s producers, according to a person who correctly spoiled this season’s top three.

Three months ago, long before Monday’s episode, the person correctly identified Ginger Minj, Pearl, and Violet Chachki as the final three drag queens. Now, the person says that “CERTAIN things are fixed. not all” on the show and, for one example, said Kennedy knew she was exiting the show in fourth place and that Katya was previously eliminated “for a storyline.”

The person, whose Reddit username is “illnevertellu” and has been posting to Reddit for years, claims to be someone who works for the World of Wonder-produced series who posts spoilers with the production’s knowledge.

The Logo competition series, now in its seventh season, is somewhat like The Apprentice in that its eliminations are transparently subjective: RuPaul decides who goes home. Unlike Donald Trump and his irrational explanations, Ru rarely gives reasons for eliminations, such as giving feedback about who did a better job in the “lip sync for your life” competition.

Still, this season has had several eliminations that make little sense. There’s a reason for that, according to the Reddit poster:

“production did things to get a rise out of fans. They WANT you to be pissed off. They WANT you to feel something by watching the show and they succeeded. Everyone is talking about the elimination. Buzz is good, even if it’s bad. WoW had to play a nasty hand and they won out while pissing people off and scoring a major spike on social media. I keep saying it: RPDR is a giant story that unfolds one episode at a time and at the end you’re like ‘aha! I get it now!’ Fame was right: it’ll all make sense later.”

Why did this person spoil the top three? The answer:

“Because it gets spoiled anyway. Club promoters and bookers always leak the information or girls negotiate then re-negotiate contracts based on their placement on the show. People know. The difference is, we decided with Reddit to give the DIEHARD fans information not privy to many people (read through my old posts for random tidbits of information) and I decided I had stayed quiet long enough and wanted to give you guys something to talk about.

Be honest: you aren’t as much annoyed as you are intrigued, right?”

Claims that RuPaul’s Drag Race is fixed and staged

Among the person’s damning–yet also vague–claims are that “CERTAIN things are fixed. not all. but some” and that what happens on future seasons “depends on the storyline production wants to create.” There’s also the suggestion that Ginger “was pegged to win but I honestly don’t know at this point.”

Here’s what the person said about the editing and the producers’ focus on the “storyline”:

“portions of the song are usually cut in order for the eliminated queen to not get as much shine. remember: selling you a storyline. the lip sync matters but performance/runway/production wants have a big say as well.”

The person also said:

“Acting challenges are easier to manipulate for tv than sewing challenges. Sewing challenges are straightforward. Acting challenges allow for production to shape the story they want more easily.”

These aren’t exactly surprises; of course storylines are shaped by the editors, and it makes sense that some kinds of footage are easier to make work in a narrative. But the suggestion is that the narrative is pre-determined, not created after the competition’s results come in.

The most specific example of this: Kennedy was kept around and Katya sent home earlier because “you need a villain to ax just before the end.” The person also wrote:

“Katya exited when she did for a storyline.

Fifth place, historically, is what I refer to as the springboard slot. It creates a storyline or sets one up to get to the top three. We had a storyline for top four. Katya didn’t fit.”

In addition, Kennedy:

“…knew she placed fourth. She knew she wasn’t top three.”

However, elsewhere, the person suggested Kennedy’s elimination was because of her performance: “Kennedy didn’t quit, she just didn’t perform as well as the other girls to make top three.”

What about RuPaul’s role? The person wrote:

“Ru doesn’t have all of the control. He has a lot, but not all. RPDR is a reality show first and foremost and great television is the goal. The hardcore fanbase will fight me on that but I completely understand why. Do I think Trixie got really screwed? Yes. But I have a job to do. It isn’t up to a lot of people.”

Doubting the RuPaul’s Drag Race spoiler

Many are skeptical of the person’s insider status, and with good reasons, such as the apparent contradiction with Kennedy’s exit. The person also makes factual claims that are highly dubious, such as confidently stating that next season is “not the last season.” Sure, it’s likely to go on, but there’s no way this person knows that Logo will renew the show two years in advance.

Perhaps most significantly, though, the person admitted posting false information last season just to generate conversation during a season that had an otherwise predictable outcome:

“I really did throw things off last year for legitimate reasons and I succeeded: you might hate me but you were talking about the sow and waiting on pins and needles to see if I was right or wrong and it generated conversation.

As part of a social media team, we listen to the fans and I read a LOT of stuff on here along with my co-workers.”

The person has elaborated about the goals of their supposed job:

“I made up the stuff along the way to keep you tuned in to see how the storyline unfolded. If I gave away the full elimination order, that ruins a lot. Fun fact: I joined Reddit because of the full season five elimination order leaking on here to try and ensure something like that doesn’t happen again and to cause a little stir with the die-hard fans. This show is so many peoples’ baby and livelihood in production. My higher-ups gave the green light and here we are today!”

There’s more here:

“Social media is an aspect we wanted to fully dive into considering season five skyrocketed in terms of online presence for the show as a whole. I came up with an idea, my higher-ups liked it, I toyed with the formula to use, made some mistakes last year and perfected what to say and what not to say regarding the show. Certain things are going to be spoiled so I bring it back to what the show is about: the queens and their storylines, personal or manufactured.”

Yet there are still reasons to be skeptical. For one, there’s hypocrisy, like calling elimination spoilers “damaging”–a month after the person revealed the final three.

Also, despite all the confident claims (“we are listening, we’re going to be adjusting and we hear you on the flubs this season”), there are other times when they seem to be out of the loop and not all-knowing. For example, there’s opinion mixed with claims, such as this: “Kandy Ho was a filler queen but she didn’t deserve to go home to Jaidynn.”

Or this, which seems like educated analysis, not insider information:

“I am almost certain production lined up Ginger to win. Note: two pageant girls vs. two look queens. Now that the look girls are split, I automatically think Kennedy’s support with go to Ginger making her fan votes and overall online popularity surge for the finale. However, I think that Violet should be the winner. Violet is high fashion, she would be another young winner (which after Adore placing second and being so successful would be novel in my eyes) but production can’t sell her because of controversy. Ginger is a safe win for this kind of season but I hate that. Pearl got the redemption edit but I don’t think she will take the crown.”

Some comments even come off as juvenile and/or know-it-all, someone who wants to keep the attention on themselves and/or is really trying hard to believed. For example, the person is teasing that, after the finale, they will be asking fans on Reddit for some kind of advice. There’s also this comment:

“This is why myself and the staff laugh at things like this so hard. You literally don’t get it: we gave you your top three, valid information and I got to mess with you guys and watch you get all bent out of shape and watch you get antsy to see if things played out how I said lol. But with that said, this top 3 is legitimate. After last year I’m tweaking how I go about things.”

“illnevertellu” responded to claims they were just trolling Reddit RPDR fans:

“I’m going on two years in this subreddit and if anyone dedicates their life to trolling that long? They need their head examined. I have given you plenty of information and then some and explained my part.”

I’ve asked Logo for comment and will update if I receive one.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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