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Dolly Parton Has Turned Down 'Drag Race' for a Decade Now

RuPaul and Dolly Parton

Something else to set Twitter off!

A valued part of any RuPaul's Drag Race episode is inevitably the guest judge. Almost every episode some star — either a new young thing that clearly has smart booking agents, a friend of Ru's who is someway contributing to the episode, or a big buzzy name that Ru is a true fan of, — gets the Main Stage treatment, making punny jokes, and serving as one of a cadre of voices in Ru's judging process. Sometimes this turns out truly spectacularly as in the case of one Nicki Minaj, who clearly came to see and put on a show. Other times it can prove a real snore, as in the cases of ... actually, nevermind. But over the years, there have been some names many would have expected, that never have graced the judging table with their presence. Now, Michelle Visage is spilling on who has said no.

In a new interview, longtime judge Visage said that Dolly Parton, someone of whom Ru is a huge fan of, has said no for over a decade.

“Just to let everybody know we have asked Dolly Parton for eleven, twelve, thirteen years." Visage told Huffington Post U.K. “At the end of the day it’s scheduling, and it’s a very long day for these people.”

Ru is a longstanding and vocal fan of the "9 to 5" performer, and has called her the ultimate drag queen. In fact, late last year Marie Claire had Ru interview Parton for their cover. That story went viral as social media users took bits of their conversation as shade — particularly around Parton pointing out the differences in the fact that when she dresses up it's for her day-to-day life as a woman, whereas Ru can't wait to get out of the drag. 

In RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race from 2020, the series had stars like Loni Love and Vanessa Williams put on a Rusical based on Parton's career. For that endeavor, Nina West and Parton sent in video messages to be aired during the broadcast. Of course, Parton isn't the only person to say no. 

“To just calm everybody down we do ask Cher, we do ask Madonna, we do ask Liza, we do ask Dolly, we ask everybody, and scheduling is always the conflict," Visage said. Ru recently named Cher as being at the top of his wish list. “It took years to get Gaga, but we got her."

This year Ts Madison, Jamal Sims, Loni Love, and Cynthia Erivo will function as guest judges in quarantine. RuPaul's Drag Race UK series two is also set to debut this month and will host model Jourdan Dunn as well as singer MNEK as judges among others.

RELATED | Michelle Visage's 'Drag Race' Would Have Trans Women and Bio Queens

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