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Not Just a Cult Hit: More Viewers Embrace and React to ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

It could be argued that in the not-so-distant past, RuPaul’s Drag Race (currently broadcast on VH1, but previously shown on LogoTV) was a show with more of a cult, than mainstream audience. But Drag Race has gained steam recently and has been steadily breaking into the broader cultural consciousness, particularly with younger fans who look up to the show’s (feisty) icons of LGBTQ pride. To celebrate the conclusion of season nine, TVrev worked with Canvs, the emotion analytics company, to look at how fans really feel about the queens on the screen.

The most recent season, which began airing in March and concluded on June 23, accumulated 114,609 Emotional Reactions (ERs), compared to 80,782 ERs last season (which was broadcast on LogoTV). As you’d expect, viewers most frequently sent messages of love (32.6%), while excitement and expressions of craziness were nearly tied at 9.5% and 9.4%, respectively. Fans discussed everything from the fashions seen on the show, to the specific queens, to the challenges and battles before the judges.

Obviously a drag show is all about the looks, and in regards to beauty (comprising 4.4% of all ERs), Valentina was the most-mentioned by far — but Nina came out on top when it came to laughs.

Nearly a quarter (24.5%) of this season’s ERs were prompted by the finale, which included a sudden death lip sync battle between fan favorites Sasha Velour and Shea Couleé, with Sasha emerging victorious. Unsurprisingly, Sasha was the most-mentioned queen of the evening, with viewers furiously tapping out messages of congratulations and admiration.

With season nine over, fans are already looking forward to next year. In April it was announced that RuPaul’s Drag Race has been renewed for a tenth season, and will begin airing next spring.