Over the past ten years, the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise has been responsible for creating some of the best and most memorable moments in reality television history. However, many casual viewers that only follow this TV show vaguely are unaware that there is an entire catalogue of Drag Race-related fights, conversations, gossip, and information that happen on the franchise’s after-show, which is known as Untucked.
Because Drag Race grew in popularity during a time when Untucked was airing as a web-series on YouTube, many fans of the franchise remained unaware of the various storylines that took place outside of the main episodes. With season 10, Untucked made its way back to TV, airing after Drag Race and capturing a new audience of fans that would like to see a more unedited version of the queens while waiting backstage for the judges’ deliberations.
As RuPaul himself would put it, “If you’re not watching Untucked, you’re only getting half of the story.” After several seasons of Drag Race, fans can safely attest to the fact that it is on Untucked that the real drama and T are bound to happen.
This is RuPaul’s Drag Race: 16 Secrets Only Untucked Fans Know.
During every Untucked, the queens in the bottom two (or three) are given iPods that contain the song that they are about to lip sync for their lives on the main stage. Like most competition reality shows, Drag Race does not allow its contestants to have any exposure to technology, and confiscate all phones, tablets, radio devices or access to television while the queens are there filming.
The iPods seen on Untucked are given by producers and thus are the only exception to the no-technology rule, since the devices only contain the songs they are expected to lip sync.
The iPods give contestants one last chance to learn and/or remember the words of the song, practice the choreography they will perform on stage, and not mess it up in front of RuPaul and guest judges.
Because Untucked takes place before the bottom two is actually announced, the queens that listen to iPods do so just based on the critiques they receive on the runway, inferring that they will be the ones lip-synching for their lives. In certain cases, such as Valentina on season 9, queens have chosen to not listen to the iPods and ended up not remembering (or knowing) the words to a song, thus being sent home.
Unlike the typical RuPaul’s Drag Race episode, which is glossy, fast-paced, and tremendously edited, Untucked is mostly raw footage of the queens talking and hanging out backstage, which is very clear to any viewer watching. Untucked is known for broadcasting moments of silence, pointless conversations, smoke breaks, and other extremely candid moments that take place between the queens.
Many Drag Race fans considered Untucked a source of more trustworthy footage of the contestants, due to the display of a mostly unedited version of the conversations and interactions the queens have behind the scenes.
Overall, a different side to contestants is shown on Untucked, displaying all the nuance, versatility, and emotional range that these queens have as performers and individuals. Additionally, there is certainly something interesting and humorous about seeing glamorous drag queens taking their shoes off, eating appetizers, and trying to relax for a few minutes while in full drag.
While the actual Drag Race series does its best to keep the illusion going and does not let viewers peek behind the curtain too much, Untucked takes the opposite route, giving fans the chance to see these performers as exactly who they are, regardless of the makeup and clothes they have put on.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 2 is, for the most part, acknowledged as the first "true" season of the franchise. Season 2 had a higher production value, a bigger number of contestants, introduced many of the segments that became ongoing in the series, and also was the first time that Untucked aired.
With that said, as the queens “untucked in the interior illusions lounge,” Jujubee decided to have a little more to drink than she was supposed to, which was later confirmed by fellow contestant Pandora Boxx.
Episode 6 of Drag Race season 2 was Jujubee’s first time in the bottom two, meaning she had to lip sync for her life. To calm her nerves during Untucked, Jujubee proceeded to have her cocktail, Pandora Boxx’s cocktail, and then a few gulps of the vodka bottle itself, which resulted in her fabulous-but-visibly-inebriated “rocker” lip sync. She ultimately won that lip sync and sent Sahara Davenport home, but her behavior did not go unseen by the show’s producers.
From season 3 and on, Drag Race producers decided that the contestants could only have one cocktail during Untucked, avoiding another Jujubee moment during a lip sync. In the case of queens who are sober, they are provided a non-alcoholic drink, which may be water or juice.
The first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race was a blur – literally and figuratively. However, that season was the jumpstart to a beloved franchise that only evolved over time, and was also responsible for the creation of a companion show, then called Under the Hood, which would later become Untucked.
The proper Untucked (as we know it today) was introduced as a companion TV show to Drag Race season 2, which aired in 2010. It aired on Logo until the sixth season of Drag Race, but was reverted to a web-series by the time season 7 began. Untucked remained a web-series during the show’s eighth season on Logo and ninth season on VH1. However, by the time RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 and All-Stars 3 were announced, VH1 also decided to bring Untucked back to TV. After each episode of season 10, an episode of Untucked airs, showing exactly what happened between the queens while the judging panel decided who would be the top and bottom contestants of that week.
Despite being considered a companion show to Drag Race, Untucked has over time gained a life of its own, in many ways creating more memorable moments than even the main show itself.
Laganja Estranja was one of the biggest highlights of Drag Race season 6, constantly throwing around one-liners and engaging in drama with Adore Delano and Bianca Del Rio, who were clearly the competition’s leading queens.
All of Laganja’s self-producing in the series culminated in one of Untucked’s most memorable moments in the history of the franchise: the “I feel very attacked” quote.
After a bad week on the runway, Laganja Estranja opened up to the judges during the Drag Race episode, saying that she was trying very hard to impress them but felt like she was not getting the recognition she expected. “I feel like an amateur up here, and I feel like I can never do anything to please you,” Laganja said during the main episode. Then, during Untucked, Bianca Del Rio pointed out that Laganja was not presenting herself authentically to the judges, mentioning how she was a lovely person off-camera but presented herself differently when being filmed.
As Laganja Estranja’s emotions spun out of control on Untucked, Adore Delano got involved and told her that no one was attacking her in the room.
“I feel very attacked!” Laganja yelled out, instantly becoming a meme that would reverberate on the Internet for years to come.
When RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars first came along in 2012, the spin-off decided to not break Drag Race tradition and kept Untucked the way it had always been: a standalone series that is separate from the main episodes.
However, as All-Stars 2 and All-Stars 3 came along and changed certain rules, it became somewhat impossible for Untucked to be separated from those episodes. Ultimately, this fact solidified All-Stars 1 as the only season of the spin-off series to have had an Untucked season as a companion show.
On the second and third seasons of All-Stars, it was decided that the Top 2 queens would be tasked to “lip sync for their legacy” and then proceed to eliminate one of the Bottom 2 queens.
Thus, backstage interactions became an essential component of each main episode, as the contestants talked amongst themselves and deliberated in regards to who should be sent home. The entire timespan that took place during Untucked had to be filmed and shown on the actual show in order to provide viewers with a rationale regarding why each queen eliminated each other.
Otherwise, certain decisions would not make sense or would cause fans to be taken aback, which is precisely what happened when All-Stars 3 decided to not show the eliminated queens’ jury deliberations to choose which contestants should be in the finale’s Top 2.
By the time the ninth episode of Drag Race season 9 came out, there weren’t a lot of queens left to compete in the show.
During a “club kid” runway challenge, Sasha Velour and Shea Coulee were sent first to Untucked for doing well, and Shea was nearly unable to speak due to the mask-like structure that she was wearing around her head. She managed to bring up enough of the mask in order to breathe through her mouth and speak more clearly, but the rest stayed where it is. “Well, this is glued to my face, so…” Shea added.
Despite teasing on the main Drag Race episode that Shea Coulee was hot-gluing something to her face, it was only during Untucked that fans realized that yes, she really had glued that entire piece to her face and head.
“It looks great, actually,” Sasha Velour said as she heard Shea complain about how hot it felt on her face.
Ultimately, that became the same Untucked where Valentina did not bother to listen to the iPod provided by the producers and lip-synched for her life without knowing the words to Ariana Grande’s “Greedy”. Valentina was sent home, and Nina Bo’Nina Brown stayed in the competition.
On the very first season on Untucked, which accompanied Drag Race season 2, one of the franchise’s most memorable fights took place: Morgan McMichaels vs. Mystique.
In all of the franchise’s history, this is unquestionably the fight that came the closest to turning into a physical altercation.
It all started in the Untucked lounge, where Mystique said a couple of things that left Morgan sour. As they left the lounge and made their way back to the runway, Morgan McMichaels said to Mystique, “I don’t start drama, I end it,” which made things escalate even higher.
Next thing you know, Mystique had her finger up and pointed toward Morgan McMichaels’ face, who proceeded to do the same thing. Mystique said that she had no idea what Morgan was talking about. Morgan said that she was tired of dealing with Mystique’s alleged “rudeness” and “lack of manners.”
The two queens inched closer and closer, and then Mystique uttered the phrase that would become so iconic within the Drag Race canon: “I will whoop you... B----, I am from Chicago!”
During the reunion episode of season 2, Morgan McMichaels revealed that she and Mystique made up and were no longer on bad terms. Morgan returned to the franchise in 2018, as she was cast in RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 3.
It was season 3 of Drag Race, and thus the second time that Shangela was competing in the series. After a particular future-themed runway challenge where Mimi Imfurst was critiqued harshly, she appeared to be feeling upset during Untucked, and Shangela tried to rationalize why Mimi had received the critiques that she did.
Shangela and Mariah pointed out to Mimi that her look appeared to be too “camp” for what the challenge was, and Mimi defended her look by pointing out the references that had inspired it.
Mimi Imfurst and Shangela then got embroiled in a discussion about the types of drag that each of the did. Mimi pointed out that, unlike Shangela, she couldn’t step out on the runway and look like a supermodel, thus having to make creative choices in her looks in order to stand out. Shangela nagged her by agreeing, concluding that Mimi “could never be glamour.”
Mimi Imfurst got angry and suggested that Shangela was able to look the way she did because she had a “sugar daddy” who paid for everything she wore.
The Untucked episode then became about Shangela making it clear that she did not have anyone supporting her. “I don’t have a sugar daddy, I’ve never had a sugar daddy. If I wanted to have a sugar daddy, yes, I probably could go ahead and get one. Because I’m what? Sickening. You could never have a sugar daddy because you are not that kind of girl,” Shangela proclaimed.
During season 4 of Drag Race, it became clear that Jiggly Caliente was a great makeup artist with weak sewing skills, whereas Lashauwn Beyond was skilled at sewing but lacked makeup expertise.
After hearing Jiggly defending her look to the judges as the best she could do without having the ability to sew clothes, Lashauwn took the time during Untucked to express how she felt that Jiggly’s excuse was unacceptable, prompting an infamous fight among the two queens where they argued about how much they should know as drag queens in order to compete in the fourth season of Drag Race.
This Untucked fight resulted in Lashauwn Beyond’s most iconic quote in the history of the series, which was been quoted back time and time again during other seasons: “This isn’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race!”
Many fans believe that, as a matter of fact, season 9 of Drag Race ultimately turned the show into a Best Friend Race, but season 10 reverted the series back to its original form.
The Lashauwn vs. Jiggly situation took place on the very first episode of Untucked, which accompanied season 4’s first Drag Race episode. Lashauwn Beyond was the second contestant to be sent home during that season, whereas Jiggly Caliente made it to the seventh episode.
Season 5 of Drag Race also had a memorable Untucked moment that involved Alyssa Edwards and Jade Jolie. In that particular episode, Jade made clear that she did not appreciate the way Alyssa treated her. Alyssa, on the other hand, seemed confused, saying that she had never criticized Jade in any way.
The fight escalated to Alyssa calling Jade a “phony amateur” and a “joke.” Then, Jade said that Alyssa was a “mean girl” and had “rolls all over the place in the back,” deeming it “disgusting.”
“Back rolls?!” Alyssa Edwards replied in her talking head, with surprise and humor. That moment – and that phrase – became infamous within the Drag Race canon, joining the ranks of other iconic Untucked fights that yielded highly quotable phrases.
Alyssa, who prided herself in looking what she deemed to be perfect, was the last person to believe that she should’ve been criticized for her weight or overall appearance, which made the situation look even funnier and the attack to feel even harsher.
Ultimately, Alyssa Edwards placed sixth on season 5, came back for RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 2, and even served as an expert choreographer on season 10, becoming synonymous to the franchise and one of the most beloved queens in the history of the show.
Lady Gaga was the special guest judge on the first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9, titled “Oh. My. Gaga.” Besides walking into the workroom disguising herself as one of the contestants, there was a particular moment between Gaga and the queens that was left out of the main episode because it happened on Untucked.
On that episode of Untucked, which took place after the announcement that all queens would be safe on their first week on Drag Race season 9, Lady Gaga went backstage and provided each contestant with the notes that she deemed most important for them to hear from her. She praised the hometown feel that came from Eureka, asked Farrah Moan to trust her intuition, and told Sasha Velour that watching the queen was like watching herself. Later, in her talking head, Shea Coulee described the moment as “unbelievable.”
Lady Gaga’s Untucked moment was the very first time a special guest judge went backstage while the judges were supposed to be deliberating.
Giving that feedback was possible due to the fact that Drag Race decided to not eliminate any contestant that week. Gaga had previously judged other reality show competitions such as American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, but it was her first time on Drag Race.
The season 10 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race followed in the footsteps of season 9’s Lady Gaga appearance, bringing in another massive pop star to open the season and interact with the queens: Christina Aguilera.
This time, Christina Aguilera wore a pink wig and pretended to be one of the previous contestants of the show, season 9’s Farrah Moan, as if she was making a return to the series. However, besides that magical moment, which took place on the runway and was shown on the main Drag Race episode, there was yet another incredible instance that took place behind the scenes and aired as an Untucked scene.
Christina Aguilera actually met Farrah Moan, sitting down for a conversation in which the two of them got to know one another.
During the Untucked interaction, Aguilera revealed that she was aware of the news that a fashion blogger confused Farrah Moan with Xtina during Farrah’s appearance at the Met Gala in 2017. The queen told Christina that her very first performance in drag was to the tune of “Genie in a Bottle”, and acknowledged that they shared similar difficult pasts.
Later, Farrah Moan called the interaction a “full circle moment,” and Aguilera gave her a hug.
After The Vixen won the runway challenge on the second episode of Drag Race season 10, she was dissed by Aquaria for wearing someone else’s clothes in a challenge that was supposed to show a contestant’s very best drag. The two bickered on and off throughout the main episode, but it was during Untucked that things got more serious and real.
During the third episode of Untucked, The Vixen called out Aquaria for constantly making “jokes” that she did not deem funny whatsoever. Aquaria then proceeded to cry, and The Vixen pointed out that the optics of the situation would probably make her look like an “angry black woman,” despite that not being the case. Ultimately, The Vixen was attempting to make a good and fair point about Aquaria’s constant nagging.
Aquaria’s tears could have an effect on The Vixen’s image and turn her into a villain, despite the fact that she did not start the drama.
The Untucked fight between The Vixen and Aquaria sparked a widespread debate about the challenges of being a black contestant with a clear point of view on a competition reality series, as well as the optics of being a person of color and making a white person cry on TV.
During season 9’s Madonna runway challenge, most queens chose to wear memorable clothes that related to the pop star’s decades-long music and film career. However, Valentina made a more distinctive choice: she recreated Madonna’s adult photographs, in which the singer is au naturel in the middle of New York City streets. In the picture, two black horizontal bars cover Madonna’s body parts, which prompted Valentina to wear nothing on the runway but two bars covering those same areas.
During Untucked, it became clear that yes, Valentina was wearing only the two black bars she wore to cover herself on the runway. The editors had to constantly blur her areas out of the Untucked episode.
At one point, the show’s producers brought her a robe so that she could cover herself while sitting on the sofa.
The queen, however, did not take the cue, and used the robe just as a towel to lie on. During the entire episode, Valentina was clearly exposed if not for the edited blur, and she was not bothered by it, changing the way she crossed her legs and lying further down the sofa as if no one was watching.
After the fight with Aquaria, The Vixen found herself embroiled in another drama - this time with Eureka. It had been teased on occasion during the main episodes of Drag Race that The Vixen felt a slight annoyance toward Eureka, being bothered by her personality, ideas, and sense of humor. However, it was during the fourth Untucked episode that her annoyance really exploded, and a verbal fight between the two queens ensued.
Eureka admitted to “poking the bear,” saying that she was actively trying to test the waters and find out how The Vixen felt about her.
Conversely, The Vixen revealed that she did not like Eureka since watching her on Drag Race season 9, and that her opinion had not changed after interacting with Eureka during season 10. The two queens got very close to one another and said hurtful things, but ultimately broke off the argument. Eureka went for a break with Mayhem Miller, whereas The Vixen stayed in the Untucked lounge with Monique Heart.
Later, on the same episode of Untucked, the two were seen laughing along. In episode 5, Eureka reached out to The Vixen and apologized, and the two of them decided to give each other a chance to redeem themselves.
What's your favorite Untucked moment? Let us know in the comments!