'RuPaul's Drag Race' moves to VH1 featuring Riverdale's Nina Bo'Nina Brown

This was posted Saturday, March 18, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Last year, former Atlantan RuPaul received an Emmy for best reality show host, beating the likes Ryan Seacrest, Steve Harvey and Jane Lynch thanks to his work on Logo's long-running reality competition program "RuPaul's Drag Race."

As a reward, RuPaul is movin' on up to VH1, where he debuts on Friday night. (VH1 has been playing repeats of the show for quite awhile so it won't be overly jarring.) VH1 has significantly greater reach than Logo, which will continue to air repeats.

Plus, it was just announced that his life story is being turned into a dramedy through J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot productions. It will be pitched to networks. Although RuPaul grew up in Atlanta, the show will be fictionalized and based around the time he spent in New York City in the 1980s early in his drag career.

The ninth season of "Drag Race" features a 34-year-old Riverdale resident Nina Bo'Nina Brown.

On the show website, her style is called "pure fantasy, completely unique, and difficult to pin down - one day she'll transform herself into a zombie, the next an alien." On her Instagram, she has 52,000 followers. "I don't want to be a one-note queen," she said in an intro video below.

In an interview, Brown said she had tried out several times before. Making it on the show "validates that my drag does mean something."

She loves being in drag because "you can be a star for that moment. You can be a completely different person, a different creature even. And you get to inspire people to think outside the box."

Brown considers her strength in makeup more than creating costumes. She also can be dramatic and funny when need be.

She admits she has suffered from depression growing up. "When I was in school, it was the typical story of someone who is gay," she said. "I was picked on. I was isolated. The confidence I have now I wish I had then. I was a black sheep."

Brown said she was not one to instigate drama on the show set either. "I'm still a loner," she said. "I stick to myself. But overall, I think we got along. We still get along."

She was a little intimidated by RuPaul but they bonded over their Atlanta ties. "I thought she was going to be a little hard on me but she really wasn't," she said.

Brown said "Drag Race" has created a generation of people who get into drag in part to get on TV. She takes her craft seriously. "I do need to get myself out there more. I want to broaden and showcase my talents to a wdier audience. For me, drag has always been there. It didn't just magically pop up."


"RuPaul's Drag Race," 8 p.m. Fridays, VH1, debuting March 23

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.