Sorry, contestants, but RuPaul's Drag Race is all about RuPaul for me. I mean, his name is in the title of the show, after all. However, there is one person who comes close to stealing the show from the legendary drag queen: Michelle Visage. But if for some reason you're still a little hazy on this RuPaul's Drag Race judge while you're watching the Season 9 premiere on Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m. ET on VH1, here's what you need to know about who Michelle Visage is.
Though Visage is a fixture of RuPaul's Drag Race these days, she wasn't always a part of the show. Visage joined the judges' panel in Season 3, replacing Merle Ginsberg, who served as a judge during Season 1 and Season 2. But Visage has definitely made a name for herself on RuPaul's Drag Race over the course of soon-to-be seven seasons and two seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. Her brutal honesty yet fair assessment on top of an overall air of just wanting the queens to be the best they can be has made her one of the most respected and fabulous judges in RuPaul's Drag Race herstory.
Considering Visage's professionalism and the way she lights up the screen, it should come as no surprise that RuPaul's Drag Race is not her first show biz rodeo. In fact, Visage has found and continues to find success in the entertainment industry with her many talents.
Music Is Her First Love
Visage (as a blonde!) burst onto the scene as a member of the girl group Seduction in the early 1990s. I'm not going to lie. I'm kind of obsessed with the above music video for the group's single "Two to Make It Right." Those power suits! That Thelma & Louise moment! Those hats! Don't even get me started on how much of an earworm the actual single is.
She then went on to do some rapping as part of the group S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. on the song "It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day," which sampled Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" and was featured on The Bodyguard soundtrack, according to her bio on her official website. And Visage is still singing. She has been featured on several recent RuPaul albums, including Born Naked, Realness, Slay Belles, and Christmas Queens 2.
'RuPaul's Drag Race' Isn't Her First Time On TV
Long before Visage and RuPaul were searching for America's Next Drag Superstar, these two were yukking it up on The RuPaul Show, his late '90s sketch show. Visage also hosted live coverage of red carpets for VH1 in the late '90s and early 2000s, according to her bio. You can see a red-headed Visage chat with Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, and Jada Pinkett-Smith at the Grammys circa 1998 in this clip. She has also done more reality TV as a contestant on the U.K.'s Celebrity Big Brother in 2015. Unfortunately, Visage didn't win, but she provided many entertaining moments for the audience, and that's all that really matters.
She's Always Spilling The Tea With RuPaul
Not only does Visage have the face and personality for TV, but she also has a voice for podcasts. She co-hosts RuPaul: What's The Tee? with Michelle Visage. In each weekly episode, the two discuss all things RuPaul's Drag Race, pop culture, and beauty, as well as dish with celebs like Anna Faris, Lisa Kudrow, and, most recently, Lady Gaga.
She Gives Advice
As you can see, Visage has lived quite the life, and now she's sharing all of the experience she's picked up over the years in her book The Diva Rules. In the book, Visage gives tips on how to live life to the fullest with lessons titled "Keep Your S*** Together," "Give Good Face," and "Be Thankful You're a Misfit." Visage is always dispensing amazing and true words of wisdom to the RuPaul's Drag Race contestants, so heck yes, we could all learn a thing or two from her.
Her Family Supports Her Diva Attitude
Visage is married to author and screenwriter David Case, who lovingly refers to her as a "diva" on his Twitter profile. He also seems super-supportive, constantly promoting Visage's podcast and RuPaul's Drag Race. The couple also have two daughters, according to Visage's bio on her website. Visage doesn't talk too much about her family on RuPaul's Drag Race, but I can still tell it's pretty special.
You Can See Her Live
Visage hosted the RuPaul's Drag Race Battle of the Seasons tour last year, so if that happens again, you might get to see her live and in person with your favorite queens. But in the meantime, Visage can be found at clubs all over the U.S., which she announces on her Instagram profile.
She Got Swept Into Some 'All Stars' Controversy
Visage never holds back in her critiques on RuPaul's Drag Race, so let's just say she's not everyone's favorite judge. However, Visage really caused a stir during Season 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars when Adore Delano walked away from the competition after receiving some harsh critiques from Visage. "I took a lot of heat. Death wishes… all that s***. It comes with the territory, so it didn’t really affect me," Visage told HuffPost Entertainment U.K. of the backlash last October. "But what made me sad about the whole thing was a) this is a TV show, this isn’t real life, b) Adore and I are actually friends, for those that don’t know, c) Kids that I fight for every day when given a platform, every minute of every hour of every day that I can, I fight for these kids. I fight for them not to be bullied, I fight for their rights. And these are the first kids to attack me."
Visage said in that same interview that she still stands behind what she said to Adore. "I 100 per cent stand by what I said," she explained. "I prefaced it by saying, “this is ‘All Stars 2’, so I’m absolutely taking no prisoners. This is the best of the best in the game”, and I felt that she came on a little... less than what I had hoped for. I feel like, at least, for the first runway, show me everything you got."
So don't expect Visage to hold anything back this season of RuPaul's Drag Race, either.