RuPaul and Michelle Visages friendship – soulmates to Drag Race co-stars

RuPaul's Drag Race UK is returning for it's fourth series tonight (September 22).

The British version of the hit American reality competition first hit screens in 2019 and has seen huge success since.

The 2022 series is set to see a host of new queens competing to become the UK's next Drag Race superstar as well as some well-known guest judges including Alison Hammond, Joanna Lumley and Mel B.

But the series will also see the return of some familiar faces, including head judge Mama Ru as well as Michelle Visage.

Michelle has been a long-running judge on the series, but her relationship with RuPaul actually goes way back beyond Drag Race.

As the legendary duo return to screens, here's everything you need to know about their long-running friendship.

How did Michelle Visage meet RuPaul?

Michelle Visage and RuPaul's friendship goes all the way back to the late 1980s.

The pair first met in the iconic New York City nightclub scene, where they were both part of the famous vogueing movement.

Revealing when they first met, Michelle told Vulture: "1987, ’88. We can’t really pin it down. I was voguing with my kids. I was the first biological female to vogue in the ballroom scene and compete."

Nightlife event producer Susanne Bartsch went on to ask Michelle to vogue at her parties, which RuPaul would also work at, and the pair regularly crossed paths, eventually starting an iconic friendship that would go on to see them become one of the most lucrative best friend duos in showbiz.

Ru Paul and Michelle Visage's joint career ventures

RuPaul's Drag Race wasn't RuPaul and Michelle's first venture together, the pair actually first began working with each other in 1996 on The RuPaul Show, a VH1 talk show that ran for 100 episodes.

Michelle co-hosted the show with RuPaul and it was one of the first shows to be hosted by an openly gay person.

When season one of RuPaul's drag race aired in 2009, it came as no surprise that RuPaul wanted to do the show alongside his best friend and former colleague Michelle.

However, Michelle didn't join the show as a regular judge until the third series in 2011.

The TV star had signed a five-year contract with CBS Radio at the time and her boss wouldn't let her do the show.

Opening up about her disappointment at not being able to take part in the series from the start, Michelle told Vulture: "This show was conceptualised with me next to him, and he’ll be the first one to tell you that.

"So then I sat there and watched the first two episodes, and I was like, “I can’t watch.” It was painful".
However, Michelle has now sat alongside RuPaul on the judging panel of Drag Race for over a decade.

Are Michelle Visage and RuPaul actually friends?

Michelle and RuPaul have now been friends for over 30 years and continue to be close.

Their friendship is so strong that Michelle has even described RuPaul as her "soulmate", in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment she explained: “There's soulmates on different levels, just because you're not lovers doesn't mean you can't be soulmates.

"Ru's my soulmate as a best friend, we complete each other in many ways.”

RuPaul has also been open about his long-running friendship with Michelle, telling Cosmopolitan: "Over the years she popped up in different situations and I thought, “My goodness, this is someone who I really need to get to know.” I like her a lot."

"She makes me laugh. I feel bad sometimes on the [Drag Race] panel because we cut up like girlfriends and I don’t want the others to feel left out but we have a natural chemistry together."


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