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Exclusive video: Behind the scenes of the third season of 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

January 20, 2011 | 10:08 am

Hallaloo! The most creative reality competition show on television is back Monday for its third season. (How is that even possible? Season 3 of "RuPaul's Drag Race" already?)

And there are some changes afoot on Logo's quest to find America's next drag superstar.  A new judge will be seated at the table with RuPaul and Santino Rice: RuPaul's longtime BFF, Michelle Visage, a morning radio host, among many other things.

Visage told the Los Angeles Times during a set visit in July that she had always wanted to be a part of her best friend's show, but her day job had kept her away. The guest-judges roster also includes an eclectic bunch: LaToya Jackson as well as Chloë Sevigny, Wayne Brady and Sharon Osbourne.

For the first time, host-judge-mentor extraordinaire RuPaul will let viewers behind the scenes of the casting process in a special that will air at 9 p.m. Monday, an hour before the third season kicks off with a 90-minute episode.  And, yes, "Untucked," is back too and will follow "RuPaul's Drag Race" each week.

The contestants hail from all over the United States and Puerto Rico. The L.A. Times visited the Culver City set in July and observed some of the drag queens getting ready in the workroom for a three-tier hair challenge sure to leave viewers breathless.  Seen preparing and rehearsing in the video below are: Raja, 36, of West Hollywood; Yara Sofia, 26, of Puerto Rico; Alexis Mateo, 30, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Manila Luzon, 25, of New York City.

The Times also interviewed judges Santino Rice, Michelle Visage and Wayne Brady.

Coming Friday: video chats with some of the contestants.


--Maria Elena Fernandez

Video: Maria Elena Fernandez


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