On February 2, 2009 television herstory changed forever when RuPaul’s Drag Race sashayed into living rooms—and gay bars—for the very first time.
There are so many memorable moments from Season 1, including Shannel’s “Greatest Love of All” lip sync, Tammie Brown’s quirkiness, and let’s not forget that filter.
To celebrate the anniversary, on February 2, Logo is airing a marathon of the first season, so let’s look back at 10 things you might have forgotten about from the Drag Race series premiere.
The queens introduced themselves by their real names
A quick google search will RuVeal the Drag Race queens’ real names, but back in the day they told everyone their names onscreen. Shannel’s real name is Bryan?!
“Hello, hello, hello!”
RuPaul’s homage to Valerie Cherish was there from his very first workroom entrance.
There were no New York queens!
Eleven seasons later there have been many legendary New York queens—including winners like Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, and Sasha Velour—but the first season didn’t include a single girl from the Big Apple.
Now the queens win $100,000 and are launched into super stardom, but for the first season they won a spread in Paper magazine, a photo by Greg Gorman for an L.A. Eyeworks campaign, a headline spot on the Absolut Vodka Pride Tour, and $20,000!
First runway challenge
There have been countless legendary lewks on the Drag Race runway, but the very first runway challenge was “Drag on a Dime,” where the queens had to create couture costumes from thrift store “crap.” A pool noodle never looked so fierce!
The judges panel
Before Michelle, Carson, and Ross sat next to Mama Ru, the judges panel looked very different. The first episode had Santino Rice, Merle Ginsburg, and Mike Ruiz judging the girls. Along with the extra special guest judge, legendary costume designer Bob Mackie!
An important date in drag herstory
Porkchop is in the herstory books as the first Drag Race contestant to sashay away, but in the premiere episode she RuVeals the exact date she started doing drag: January 16, 1987!
“Wet your lips, and make love to the camera”
Tracks from RuPaul’s music catalog are used on every Drag Race episode, but the very first lip sync for your life was to her classic song, “Supermodel (You Better Work).”
At the end of the episode Ru says “congratulations” not “conDRAGulations!” We are shook.
M.I.A: The Pit Crew
A lot of Drag Race staples were absent on the first episode, but the lack of Pit Crew was definitely sorely missed (don’t worry they eventually show up on the third episode).