Ru Paul to 'Drag Race PH' queens: 'Mabuhey!'

MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2022 11:48 AM

MANILA -- From her famous line in her reality show -- "Good luck and don’t f— it up," Emmy-award winning drag queen and host Ru Paul surprised the 12 participating queens in the pilot season of "Drag Race Philippines."

In a taped message, Ru Paul encouraged the queens to give it their best and show what Filipino drag queens are made of. 

And the show didn’t disappoint, as guests who attended the advanced screening party Tuesday night in Xylo Club in Uptown BGC raved about the entertainment value of the pilot episode -- from witty punchlines to tension-filled confrontation, lavish make-up and locks, and runway extravaganza. 

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ABS-CBN News spoke to producers of the show, Yanah Laurel and Alex Godinez, who revealed that it was difficult for them and for the team to keep everything under wraps for a year. The team taped everything a year ago under tighter health protocols.

“To finally make it happen after a year, despite of everything it’s a dream to see our queens shine,” said Laurel. 

Her best friend and co-producer Godinez added: "They (drag queens) really carried everything. This is reality TV so there’s no script. It’s really them, it was so easy ‘cause they were all so talented."

Actor-turned-film and TV director Fifth Solomon is the creative director of the show and he shared that there were no strict guidelines from the original franchise producers. Solomon’s goal was to make sure that the Filipino LGBTQIA+ community will enjoy every episode of this season. 

"We wanted na may flavor pa rin ng 'Ru Paul’s Drag Race' and ipakita 'yung kultura ng Pilipino. Ang bilin lang nila gawin itong pang-Pilipino 'yung 'Drag Race.' Every episode of the season, may Filipino touch talaga," said Solomon. 

Ice Seguerra and Arnel Natividad co-directed the challenges alongside Solomon.

As for the host, Paolo Ballesteros feels the pressure leading up to the pilot episode Wednesday, August 17. He’s aware of the high expectations from the Pinoy fans of the OG show.

“Super pressure but siyempre knowing 'yung mga Filipino queens natin they made the show very fun and nakakakilig lang. From his team nakakausap ko 'yung mga producers and they told me to have fun and be who you are.”

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The 12 queens of "Drag Race Philippines" are: Brigiding, Corazon, Eva Le Queen, Gigi Era, Lady Morgana, Marina Summers, Minty Fresh, Precious Paula Nicole, Prince, Turing, Vinas DeLuxe and Xilhouete. 

Spotted at the viewing party were Kylie Verzosa, MJ Lastimosa, Maine Mendoza, who was with fiance Arjo Atayde, Tessa Prieto, Tim Yap (who hosted the screening), Paolo Valenciano and Pops Fernandez, who was the celebrity guest judge for the pilot episode. 

"Drag Race Philippines" premieres tonight, August 17, 7 p.m. Manila Time via Discovery Plus and HBO Go.

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