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From sickening looks to piping hot drama: A guide to 'Drag Race Philippines'

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 17, 2022 5:10 pm

The wait is over! Drag Race Philippines is finally premiering, and the world is about to witness the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent of Filipino queens on TV screens.

Those who are fans of RuPaul's Drag Race will know what to expect from this reality competition, but in case you're a newcomer to the world of Drag Race, here are some things you need to know and what to expect from the local version of the show.

First things first, the PH iteration of the series is hosted by Paolo Ballesteros, with Drag Race alumni Jiggly Caliente and comedienne KaladKaren as permanent judges.

Mini and maxi challenges

Each week, the queens will be competing in challenges, putting their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to the test.

There are usually two types of challenges in an episode: the fun mini challenge where queens can win an advantage in the next round, and the more difficult maxi challenge, the main competition determining who gets to stay and slay for another day.

These challenges usually come in the form of talent variety shows, sewing/design, acting, improv, photoshoot, singing, reading, stand-up, makeover, musicals, and more. Other Drag Race franchises also have a Snatch Game, where contestants show off their best celebrity impersonations in a game show setting.

In the US, the queens have impersonated icons like Cher, Judy Garland, and Adele—Fil-Am drag queen Manila Luzon even impersonated Imelda Marcos for her Snatch Game.

We're excited to see who our Pinay queens will be transforming into and how they'll showcase their wits in the other challenges. Make sure to take note of the hilarious titles and references in each episode, too.

The drama and the real moments

Reality competitions are no strangers to drama, and in the herstory of Drag Race, drama always adds flavor to the show. In the case of Drag Race PH where you have queens who know each other very well from working together at the same clubs, there's bound to be some piping hot tea to be spilled. 

And of course, there will also be tender moments with the queens as they open up about the hardships of being LGBTQ+ in the Philippines, their relationships and family, and more.

Welcome to the main stage

After the challenges, the queens will make their runway presentations on the main stage, walking in sickening outfits that follow a certain theme—think of it like the swimsuit/evening gown portion of a Miss Universe pageant. Themes could be inspired by a color, a TV show, or an aspect of LGBTQ+ life.

As the contenders strut their stuff, they'll describe their looks to the audience and serve all the face and glamour for all to enjoy. Past categories on other Drag Race series include mermaid fantasy, latex eleganza, 3-in-1 looks, drag excellence, and more.

Judging and Lip Sync For Your Life

Up next, the judges will decide who will be safe and will get to stay among the competitors, based on their main challenge performances. The best and worst performing queens (the tops and bottoms) will remain on the stage for feedback. 

Paolo and the rest of the judges will name a winner for the week as well as the two worst performing contestants who will then have to lip sync for their life.

Lip Sync For Your Life is pretty self-explanatory—the two bottom queens will be leaving everything on the stage as they perform to a chosen song. The one who performs better will "shantay" and stay, while the other will go home and "sashay away."

We don't want to give anything away about the first episode of Drag Race PH, but we will say that the first LSFYL is nothing short of iconic.


Similar to the US version, Drag Race PH gets its own Untucked, a show after the show with all the behind-the-scenes drama missed from the episode.

Drag Race Philippines premieres on Aug. 17, 7 PM on Discovery+, HBO Go, and WowPresentsPlus.