RuPaul's Drag Race UK fans are fuming over the prizes
4 October 2019, 14:21 | Updated: 4 October 2019, 16:19
"So let me get this straight...the prize for the first challenge was A FUCKING BADGE."
The very first episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK kicked off on Thursday night (3 Oct) and it's all the internet has been talking about. After months of rumours and speculation, we were properly introduced to the 10 queens and the judging panel – veterans RuPaul and Michelle Visage, and newcomer Alan Carr alongside guest judge Andrew Garfield (!!).
READ MORE: American viewers were very confused by the British slang on Drag Race UK
However, amid the werkroom banter and hilarious Drag Race UK memes was something quite shocking. Unlike RuPaul's Drag Race UK's American counterpart, there are no cash prizes in the UK edition. Yep, the winner will literally walk away with £0 – not even a makeup tool, either!
RuPaul's Drag Race winners in the US can expect to win a cash prize of $100,000 (£81,000). The winning queen is also kitted out with a year's supply of Anastasia Beverley Hills makeup. The number has increased considerably from the $20,000 (£16,000) offered in the first season, however, there has always been something.
But what do we get across the pond? The winner will be taken to Hollywood to star in their own digital series, which will be available on World of Wonders' streaming platform WOW Presents Plus. Former Drag Race US queens Jasmine Masters, Shuga Cain and Yuhua Hamasaki already have shows on the platform, despite none of them being winners.
READ MORE: RuPaul's Drag Race UK: What time does it air and when is the next episode?
It's not just the final prize either, the weekly prizes have also taken a nosedive. Weekly winners on the US versions have won cruises, holidays and gift vouchers loaded up with thousands of dollars. However, week one winner The Vivienne was awarded with...a Ru Peter badge, a play on the iconic Blue Peter badge from the BBC kid's show.
As you can imagine, the internet had thoughts on the lack of prizes.
OBSESSED with the fact that there’s no cash prize for Drag Race UK, just the WOWPresents series that most US queens get just for showing up— Lex (@lexfirth) October 3, 2019
so let me get this straight..... the prize for the first challenge was A FUCKING BADGE #DragRaceUK— darcy (@facesinlockets) October 3, 2019
Hang on 😂😂 the prize on the first @dragraceukbbc was a ru (blue) Peter badge !!! No I can’t even deal 😂😂 the Americans get $5000 gift cards and cruises and we get a blue peter badge. I’d of threw a fiver in for a bottle of Moët if I new they were struggling. #dragraceuk— Charlotte Therese (@CasualBanana) October 3, 2019
I mean....— The Celestial Policeman 👮🏾♂️ (@celestialpolice) October 3, 2019
Where's the budget?
A Blue Peter badge
For winning (deffo production wrote that lol), and I just deeped that there's no cash prize 😶🙃
😭 Listen my girls better have at least got a fee for appearing #DragRaceUK pic.twitter.com/3nBJLsxIY5
American series: here have a thousand dollars spending money and a holiday— Rin Evans (@rin_evans) October 3, 2019
UK series: here have a badge and a web series
Like seriously what the heck
Drag Race UK star Sum Ting Wong didn't seem to mind one bit about the lacklustre prize packages, though.
For the American audience, there was a tv show called blue, and they gave out blue peter badges for being brave, kind, all good traits. So a Ru Peter badge is ICONIC for us because we grew up watching blue peter (that was your public service announcement from sum ting wong xx)— Sum Ting Wong (@IsSumTingWong) October 3, 2019
Of course, it's not all about the winning, but there actually a reason for the lack of prizes. Because the show is airing on the BBC (which is a public service broadcaster) they can't have any sponsorships, adverts or money towards the cash prize.