Each episode consists of a series of challenges presented to the contestants. The contestants consist only of biologically male drag queens. Their sexuality is not a consideration when they are chosen and contestants of all sexualities are welcome, but the show does have a historic predominance of gay contestants. RuPaul himself is allegedly bisexual and appears on the show both as a man and as a drag queen, while helping the contestants through challenges and judging them based on their performances.
The challenges on RuPaul's Drag Race pertain to drag queen culture. They involve personality builders, drag dress competitions, modeling competitions, impersonations and more. The judging occurs before a panel and the judges decide who the winners of the challenges were and who did not meet the challenges well enough. From there, RuPaul has the lowest ranking competitors lip-sync to a song by a female vocal artist. She then decides who did the best job of it. The contestant with the worst lip-sync performance goes home.