Eight years before the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul appeared in a special celebrity edition of Weakest Link, NBC’s big money trivia game show led by Anne Robinson, a somewhat severe hostess whose trademarks were her delightfully joyless expression and her elimination catchphrase, “You are the weakest link. Goodbye.”
In a recently unearthed 2001 episode, RuPaul — wearing a neon green top, bell bottom jeans, orange shades and straight blonde hair — played against former pro-basketball player John Salley, wildlife series hostess Brooke Burke, Temptation Island host Mark Wahlberg, TV host Martha Quinn, then-game show host Ben Stein, talk show host Jerry Springer and actor Mario Lopez.
If you’ve never seen the show, it involves a team of people who earn money answering trivia questions as a group. At the end of every round, the team votes on which player did the worst (that is, who was the “weakest link”). The player with the most votes gets eliminated, even if someone else statistically performed worse than they did.
Each celeb in this special edition of Weakest Link played on behalf of a charity. RuPaul played for the Adult Industry Medical Foundation (or AIM Health), a sexual healthcare organization that tested pornographic actors for HIV and other STIs. It went bankrupt in 2011 after a massive data breach leaked the sexual health profiles of over 12,000 porn performers.
Here’s the video of RuPaul on Weakest Link:
RuPaul on Weakest Link: “You want to get kicked off…”
You’ll be happy to know that RuPaul does very well in the opening round, accurately answering all of her questions. However, in the second and third round she doesn’t fare as well, answering some questions with comic nonsense rather than actual guesses.
Whenever the host asks her why she voted against a certain person, she cops out by saying that she had to vote for someone. This is the same sort of non-answer she doesn’t accept from her own contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Spoiler alert! (Well, if you can really spoil something broadcast nearly two decades ago?) Around the fourth round, Ru doesn’t do so well and she gets eliminated in a nail-biting tie-breaker vote.
But worry not, she sashays away with true style and tells the camera afterwards, “I don’t think there is a ‘worst part’ about being kicked off the show. You want to get kicked off the show. It’s so intense. It’s on par with being in the dentist’s office.”
If you care, Mark Wahlberg ends up beating Mario Lopez in the final round, winning $47,500 for Goodwill Industries of Southern California, an organization that provides job training, placement and other community-based programs for disadvantaged people.
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