The first shortened episode of Drag Race season 15 has aired, and it’s fair to say the stars of the show aren’t happy.
Following last week’s two-hour premiere, this week’s episode of Drag Race flew by thanks to the show’s new shorter format. Unlike the 90-minute runtime of past seasons, episodes have now been cut down to 60 minutes, or 40 minutes excluding adverts, as the show moved over to MTV from VH1.
In the wake of the latest episode, social media has been awash with fans demanding that the show returns to its longer format, with many calling season 15 “rushed”, “extremely confusing”, and simply “bad”.
It’s not just fans of the show that have an issue with the new episode length, as current and former contestants are airing their disappointment too.
Sharing their thoughts as the episode aired over the weekend, Drag Race season 15 queen Salina EsTitties wrote: “We worked too hard and invested too much money for a 45 min edit… and I say this as a viewer and fan of the show. I just wanted to see more of the gals.”
In response to her season 15 sister, Aura Mayari said: “Yeah that was a fast one… so this is every Friday huh”. Replying to a fan who said they “don’t even remember what happened,” Aura added: “So many stories told unheard”.
Queens from all seasons aren’t best pleased, either. Season five and All Stars 2 queen Detox simply said “I hate it”, while season 14’s Maddy Morphosis wrote: “They (MTV) play 20 hours of Ridiculousness everyday, but they couldn’t squeeze an extra 30 min for drag race?!”
“Maybe drag race making the switch to @MTV wasn’t actually that fierce… ‘cause that 42 minute episode was not it ma’am,” added Drag Race Down Under alumni Molly Poppinz.
According to Deadline, the condensed episodes allow MTV the “opportunity to build a destination night by using the existing hit franchise” to launch new series The Real Friends of WeHo, which features Todrick Hall, Brad Goreski and friends living their affluent lives in West Hollywood.
The Real Friends of WeHo is already facing criticism before it has even aired, with actor Chris Salvatore alluding to the fact that he was “fired by production” of a “certain reality show” after cast members refused to work with him because he has an OnlyFans account.
Due to the timing of his tweet, many believe Salvatore is referring to the new reality show.
“Now more than ever we need to give the community support”
The new 60-minute Drag Race format eliminates several key elements of the show, including the mini challenges and judges’ deliberations.
Undeniably one of the best parts of every episode, the runway has now also been slashed to a mere minute or so, meaning fans don’t really get a chance to to see the incredible looks that the queens invested so much time, money and effort into producing.
Desperate fans have since set up a petition calling for MTV to give them the 90 minutes of Drag Race they deserve. The petition had amassed more than 18,000 signatures at the time of writing.
“These girls are investing thousands of dollars and hours upon hours of time to prepare for 20 seconds of air time while ridiculousness gets an all day run time,” one fan commented on the petition.
“Now more than ever we need to give the community the love, support, and exposure they more than deserve,” another added. “With people across this country threatening drag culture, it’s a shame to see such an influential network take away from these queens who spend so much time, money, and passion on their craft.”
Next week’s episode will see a super-sized Snatch Game featuring all 14 remaining queens squeezed into a mere 40 minutes. In the words of RuPaul, I can’t wait to see how this turns out.