The hit global drag phenomenon is now in the Philippines! Twelve twelve fierce drag queens will be competing in the first-ever season of the much-anticipated Drag Race Philippines!
The brand-new international spin-off of the hit global phenomenon, will feature some of the fiercest and most fabulous Filipino drag artists. Who has what it takes to reach new heights, impress the show’s host Paolo Ballesteros and judges – including Drag Race royalty, S4 alum Jiggly Caliente and Filipino TV personality Kaladkaren – and race to the very top?
Start your engines, Drag Race Philippines premieres today, August 17th on WOW Presents Plus worldwide (except Canada)! Also, for the first time in Drag Race herstory, the official after-show, Drag Race Philippines: Untucked, will premiere on 19th August at 12pm BST with a new episode dropping on WOW Presents Plus every Friday following.
The one and only Jiggly Caliente spoke to YASS just before the premiere and revealed everything to us you need to know!
Hello Jiggly, how was the experience as a judge in Drag Race Philippines for you?
Absolutely terrible! Haha, just joking. Very enlightening and very eye-opening, because I didn’t realise how difficult it is the job to be to be judging and to sit in the position that the judges are, it’s no easy task. But also, I think it’s a lot harder when you are a former contestant. You know exactly what the girls are going through and what exactly they’ re feeling and how much stress that they’re under. I feel like it’s a lot more difficult. And it’s a different situation to to be in.
Is it more difficult when you have been a contestant of the show?
Yes, because, you know what it’s like so, you wouldn’t want to hear a shitty critique when it could have been said differently. You know, sometimes there are things that are said on television for the sake of television, and I feel like with my judging style, I didn’t want to lead with that. I wanted to lead with more of “Let me be your big sister and let me tell you why”.
Were you strict as a judge?
I don’t think I was a strict judge. I know the level of expectations of the fan base is a lot higher now., so I wanted the queens to live up to their expectations. Because, I know, as soon as they’re done with Drag Race, they’re going to shoot from the stars
Do you prefer to be the contestant or do you prefer to be the judge?
I am happier being a judge. I do not ever want to see a fucking sewing challenge or a Snatch Game. I am happier watching the girls do their job rather than be in that position and in that stress. No, thank you. Absolutely.
Are the Philippine Queens different compared to the American ones?
They are prettier than the American ones. That’s for sure. Even the ugliest girl is better than Tina Burner on a good day. The girls are actually very, very talented, as well, and have a whole lot of personality.
How was the chemistry with with the other judges and the host?
I got along very well with the other judges and and the host, it was really fun and everything just worked, and it was organic and not forced, at all. We were able to get to know each other and feel the vibe of each one, we worked in tandem.
Are there any surprises that you can reveal for that season?
Oh, the girls are very dramatic. From episode one. They don’t skip a beat and they start it right away. You know, just spit raw, no lube. Usually the girls wait a couple of episodes before the big fight happens, but this did not happen with this format, they start straight away.
Have the expectations of the viewers increased?
They are now thirsty for more. And then, before you know they don’t even think twice. Well, at least, I understand this with the American franchise, but even with the new franchise, people are expecting to see amazing like shit right away. I also want to give the Philippine cast a lot of credit because we filmed Drag Race Philippines during the lockdown of the pandemic and some of these queens couldn’t even go outside of their neighbourhoods to go do fittings.
How has your life changed after participating in Drag Race?
This has definitely opened so many doors and I will never ever be the ungrateful to this. I was the first queen to be on and have a recurring role on a scripted series, and I’ve been given the opportunity to tour the world, too.
And so what are your future plans?
Apart from Drag Race, I would love to do more acting and I would love to be able to focus more on that instead of just performing in the nightclubs. I’m saying goodbye to Jiggly all the way or completely, but I would love to step more into acting roles is what I would love to find the future.
In the UK, Drag Race Philippines will premiere with two episodes on 17th August at 12pm BST and continue weekly every Wednesday, with Drag Race Philippines: Untucked airing two days later from Friday 19th August, exclusively on the streamer of all things drag, WOW Presents Plus. Subscribe via https://uk.wowpresentsplus.com/. For fans wishing to meet Drag Race alum and host Jiggly Caliente, in the flesh, tickets are now on sale for RuPaul’s DragCon UK 2023 at https://uk.rupaulsdragcon.com/