'Live Untucked' shows vulnerable, lighter side of 'Drag Race' queens

Bosco (L) and Kennedy Davenport get ready for "RuPaul's Drag Race Live" in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of World of Wonder
1 of 5 | Bosco (L) and Kennedy Davenport get ready for "RuPaul's Drag Race Live" in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of World of Wonder

LOS ANGELES, April 17 (UPI) -- The stars of RuPaul's Drag Race Live Untucked, premiering Wednesday on WOW Presents+, said the new show reveals more of their true selves than their Drag Race competition seasons.

That's because Live Untucked goes backstage with the stars of the Las Vegas revue show at the Flamingo.


"They'll see a vulnerable side of me," Season 5 and All Stars Season 2 contestant Coco Montrese told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "I'm nervous about that, but I'm proud of that, too, because a lot of times we put up those walls."

Season 14 contestant Bosco said that because the Vegas show is not a competition. It makes it easier for queens to let their guard down.

"Drag Race the TV show is kind of like the Stanford Prison Experiment of a drag gig," Bosco joked. "It is psychological torture designed to make and also break you for RuPaul's whim and pleasure."


As such, Season 8 contestant Derrick Barry said he is less confrontational on Live Untucked.

"I always say that we have three personalities and one of those is our real one, [plus] our TV personality and our online personality," Barry said. "I feel like this is our real personality that happens to be on TV."

Season 7 and All Stars Season 3 contestant Kennedy Davenport said the editing of Drag Race also intensifies personality clashes.

Live Untucked also is edited into half-hour episodes, but without weekly challenges and eliminations, it reflects the more natural backstage atmosphere, Davenport said.

"I think it will show a positive and a lighter side," Davenport said of the WOW show. "We gave them enough material of us just being organically ourselves."

Season 4, All Stars and Drag U cast member Latrice Royale said "good backstage energy" is important to putting on the Vegas show, adding that Live Untucked gives all the queens a common goal rather than a competition.

"You can't be beefing with somebody and go out on stage and have to perform with them," Royale said. "We all want each other to be the best, so we're cheering for each other backstage."

As Live Untucked shows, the queens still engage in backstage shenanigans. They talk trash about each other and play pranks, like leaving a buttery piece of bread on a dressing room mirror.


Davenport and Royale plead innocent to placing bread on the mirror. "That was so stupid," Davenport said.

Drag Race U.K. Season 2 contestant Lawrence Chaney said pranks on Drag Race can be intense.

"When a queen jokes with you on Drag Race, you don't think it's a joke," Chaney said. "You're like, 'What did you say about me, my mom and my family, you [expletive]?'"

Bosco added that "No one's going home crying" on Live Untucked.

Fans will see the queens getting ready backstage. In the series premiere, performers roll in at 5 p.m. for a 7 p.m. showtime, but some of the queens can go from street clothes to full drag in a half-hour.

"The veterans have the advantage of getting ready quicker, being ready faster," Davenport said.

Royale said she can get ready in 30 minutes, Davenport in 40. Chaney said he needs more time.

"I've done my makeup in 20 minutes before and it looks bad," Chaney said. "I normally like about 2 hours."

Montrese said he prefers to cut it close so he doesn't overthink his makeup.

"If I take 2 hours to do my makeup, I start to look like a clown," Montrese said. "I'm a cancer, so we either second guess ourselves or we definitely will overthink things."


Fans will only see short glimpses of the Vegas revue on Live Untucked.

"Come see the show live," Chaney said. "We're not spoiling anything about the show for you."

Bosco said Live Untucked reveals just enough to make fans interested in coming to Las Vegas, adding, "I think it acts as a little bit of a teaser for what we're doing on stage,"

Still, Barry said nothing substitutes for the live show. He shares clips of performances on his Instagram stories, but said it's not the same watching them on your phone or TV.

"When you see it live, it's completely different than seeing it on video, but I do think that people need to still have some sort of mystery or allure when watching [Live Untucked]."

New episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race Live Untucked stream Wednesdays.

'RuPaul's Drag Race' stars on the red carpet

Courtney Act arrives at the G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala in Los Angeles, on January 11, 2014. Courtney, a singer who appeared in the first season of "Australian Idol" in 2003, was a runner-up on Season 6 of "RuPaul's Drag Race." Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

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