Lady Gaga is fierce guest judge on ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ premiere on March 24

“Rupauls Drag Race” returns on Friday (March 24) on a new network, VH1, but with the same fierce attitude that carried it along for eight frock-filled seasons on Logo. And the first guest judges is Lady Gaga. Dressed in a simple chemise (not) and with her hair and makeup overdone, she fits right in with the lucky 13 contestants who are all vying for the $100,000 grand prize. Rupaul looks tame next to Mother Monster in his canary yellow suit ss she says with a sly grin, “May the best woman win.”

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Last fall, RuPaul Charles surprised Emmy pundits by winning Best Reality Show Host on his first nomination. He took down two-time defending champ Jane Lynch (“Hollywood Game Night”), as well as past winners Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”), plus returning nominee Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”) and another first-timer, Steve Harvey (“Little Big Shots”).

He was cheered when he made his way to the press room. Ever sassy, he responded, “Don’t you mean, ‘Condragulations’?” As he readily admitted, “You know, it’s funny, I can’t not say it anymore. Even like at a wedding or something, I go, ‘Oh my God, did I just say condragulations?’ I think it’s applicable to any situation.”

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Reflecting on the surprising success of the show, he said, “I love the fact that our show is watched by groups of people. It’s event viewing.” As he explained, “In an era when the nightclub business, especially gay nightclubs, have suffered because of apps and people don’t have to go to a bar to meet someone, our show has been used as a tool to unite people and get them to watch together. And that’s really what this show is about. This is about the tenacity of the human spirit.”

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