While many people haven't yet discovered "RuPaul's Drag Race," or even know where the Logo network is located on their TV guide, the 2016 Emmy Awards are about to change that.
Earning their first nominations ever, RuPaul and his groundbreaking reality competition series, now entering its 9th season, is finally getting mainstream recognition. Since 2009, "Drag Race" has developed a large cult following that has spawned two spin-offs and the ever popular yearly fan convention, DragCon. And RuPaul, the creator of this universe, is its true star.
Whether dressed in a fabulous suit while mentoring contestants in the work room, or dresed to the nines while strutting down the catwalk, Ru is the heart of the series. When the Emmys air live on Sept. 18, Mama Ru, as she's referred to by the show's contestants, will be up for Outstanding Reality TV Host and the series nominated for Outstanding Costumes. And if Zap2it were to vote, both trophies would go to RuPaul and "Drag Race."
Heck, if it were up to us, we'd write RuPaul on the ballot for president come Nov. 2. But when we mentioned this idea to Ru while visiting the Season 9 set of "Drage Race" in Los Angeles, he was quick to shut it down. "I wouldn't want to be in that kind of public service," he says. "I feel like I serve the public better here. There are more changes we can do up here on this stage than I could do in Washington."
And that's exactly where "Drag Race" excels. It opens up the entire world's mind to what drag culture is and how it has evolved over the years. Even more importantly, it has become a savior for young men around the world who feel they may be a bit different from other boys. By watching, they realize they are not alone in the world.
Emmy shmemmy -- it is this aspect of the show of which Ru is most proud. "There's a whole section of our population resisting the forward motion of mankind," Ru explains. "People that don't want see change, or move forward into the the 21st century. So there's a fight -- of course, they won't win. Time moves on."
While visiting a remote ranch in Wyoming, "the least populated state in the United States," he says, "the show comes on there. Young people who are looking for their tribe, they can find it! On Netflix, Amazon, and even iTunes. And I'm proud of that. When I was kid, I found my tribe through 'Monty Python,' and I thought:, 'There they are! There are my people!' The irreverent, the hilarity, the drag. Thumbing its nose up and mocking identity and what people take seriously. 'That's where I belong.'"
So where was Ru when the Emmy nominations were announced? "I was doing my Twitter feed and my agents called me and told me that I had been nominated for an Emmy," he says. "I knew they were coming up that morning. But we've been not nominated so many times, that I figured whatever, someone will tell me if it happens."
"Honestly, the fans and the people who love this show , that's the real Emmy award," Ru says. "The fact that people that are still discovering the show around the world -- that's what it's about. It's for the outsiders who find their tribe through our show and that's who comes out on the stage every week."
"Drag Race: All Stars 2" airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m .ET/PT on Logo & VH1.