I watched the first season online right after the second season had finished airing and I had become officially sucked in by RuPaul’s Drag Race. By the time I went back to rewatch the first season, the entire thing had been taken off of the Logo website and I couldn’t find it anywhere online.
I heard various reasons as to why the season had been taken down, but none of it made up for the fact that I wanted to watch the entire season again and couldn’t. When Logo announced that they would be reairing season 1 as the Lost Season, I was super excited. But now after watching it, I realize just how far the show has come since the first season.
The most obvious difference is, of course, the lighting. The lighting for season 1 is so strange that it created the entire season’s look, just based around how shiny everyone was. But the competition itself is totally different too and the stakes are much higher.
The original cash prize started off at 20K and worked it way up to 100K in season 5. The first season featured 9 queens, while the number went up to 14 in season 5. The first season is the only one where a queen has fallen on the runway, a queen has been completely untucked on the runway, and queen has not even bothered trying to lip sync during the lip sync for your life.
I can see why, only a tiny bit. The show was just getting started. No one realized how important their time on the program would ultimately be and no one knew how the series would explode to become what it is today and bring drag from the main stage to the mainstream. So competing on this piddly show probably didn’t seem like a very big deal. Only to come to find out that they were the first in a long line of amazing queens who blazed a trail from the back of dingy nightclubs to the red carpet of major shows.
Looking back over the roots of Drag Race, it’s amazing to see how far the show and the queens selected for the show have come. Granted, there are flukes, like Serena Chacha, but so far, the standards on the show have just gone up and up. With the show being as popular and far-reaching as it is, I can only see more progress in store for the future. Speaking of the future, who else is looking forward to season 6 of Drag Race?