RuPaul's Drag Race Contestants Reveal Why Ariana Grande Was “Starstruck” on Season 15

Season 15 of RuPaul's Drag Race kicks off Jan. 6 with Ariana Grande as a guest judge. In exclusive interviews with E! News, the cast reveals what it was like having her on set.

By Daniel Trainor Jan 06, 2023 3:00 PMTags
Watch: RuPaul's Drag Race Stars on Working With Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has bang banged her way into the Werk Room.

Season 15 of RuPaul's Drag Race kicks off Jan. 6 with the 7 Rings singer as a guest judge—and she wasted no time introducing herself to the latest crop of queens, as they exclusively revealed to E! News. 

"On the first day, we're meeting all the queens, we're trying to understand how a TV show works and we're trying not to be a fool in front of RuPaul," Sasha Colby said. "And then they throw one of the hugest recording artists in the world. She was actually our safety net. She was actually the most comforting thing that day."

Princess Poppy agreed, saying, "To walk in and your very first experience with Drag Race is meeting Ariana Grande, it was like living in a dream. It was so surreal."

The experience was extra special for Marcia Marcia Marcia, who disclosed "Ariana Grande has been like my favorite person on the planet since I was a child."

So, how did the fateful meeting go?

"She is truly one of the sweetest people I've ever met," Marcia said. "They say, ‘Don't meet your heroes,' but when we met her, she was like, ‘Oh my god, I can't believe I'm here right now.' We were like, ‘Shut up! You're yourself! What are you talking about?'"

Meet the Cast of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 15

Once the queens were able to (mostly) keep their excitement in check, almost all of them remarked at how honored Ariana said she was to be around them

"The funniest thing about meeting Ariana Grande is that she was just as starstruck to meet us as we were to meet her," Irene Dubois revealed. "It was a sort of a Spider-Man meme situation where we were just all pointing. It was like, ‘You're a famous person!' and she was like, ‘You're a clown!' It was fantastic."

As the competition got rolling, the queens said it became immediately evident that Ariana—who also appeared as a guest judge during Drag Race season seven in 2015—took her job very seriously.

"It was so cool to realize that her actual love for drag is genuine. It's not some fake PR stunt," Sugar, one-half of first-ever identical twin duo in Drag Race history said. "You always hear the stories of the pop girlies who are going to throw some drag queens in the back for maybe .5 seconds. It's like me kissing someone in middle school. If you blink, you're gonna miss it."


Sugar's twin Spice (get it?) expressed a similar sentiment, saying, "You can fully tell she's very invested and a true fan. Not even just Drag Race, of drag. You can tell she really appreciates the art form. Every great pop star has a little bit of a drag queen in them and every great drag queen has a little bit of a pop star in them."

Salina EsTitties, who calls Ariana "a personal friend" of hers, explained that the singer's connection to drag makes perfect sense.

"She is a product of the industry," Salina explained. "She knows what it's like to be thrown into stardom and fame. She was really able to walk us through this journey having been there herself and was taking care of us from that perspective."

Watch Ariana return to RuPaul's Drag Race when the two-part season 15 premiere airs Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. on MTV.

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