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RuPaul Drag Race Dolly Parton judge

Dolly Parton has been turning down Drag Race for a decade

Michelle Visage revealed the musician has been approached several times to appear as a guest judge, as well as some other iconic stars

Some of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s most stellar, laugh-out-loud, and poignant moments come from its illustrious roster of guest judges and panellists across the last decade. Leslie Jones basically stole the show on season 12 and became an immediate meme, with fans calling to make her a permanent judge. We’ve had the iconic Chaka Khan – who may or may not have known exactly where she was – and then there was Lady Gaga (‘Ronnie’) in disguise and an incognito Miley Cyrus, who both shared tender and hilarious moments with the cast, a wisdom-filled Whoopi Goldberg, and the tea-stirring, brutally honest queen Nicki Minaj.

However, one much-asked for icon has been apparently dodging RuPaul’s request for years: namely, Dolly Parton. In a new interview, show stalwart Michelle Visage revealed that the country music legend and idol of Ru has turned down a guest slot multiple times. “Just to let everybody know we have asked Dolly Parton for eleven, twelve, thirteen years,” she told the Huffington Post. “At the end of the day it’s scheduling, and it’s a very long day for these people.”

Visage added that several other industry legends haven’t been returned the Ru calls. “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.”

“It took years to get Gaga, but we got her,” she added.

In the interview preceding next week’s Drag Race UK premiere, Visage said her dream guest judge line-up included French & Saunders, Madonna, Adele, and Victoria Beckham.

Dolly did pull through in one gorgeous moment in Drag Race gone by: she sent a recorded video message on last year’s Celebrity Drag Race special when contestants competed in a 9 to 5-inspired challenge.

RuPaul also recently interviewed Parton for the cover of Marie Claire

While it doesn’t look we’ll have the country legend on any time soon, the show continues to hit significant milestones after celebrating a decade on our screens last year. This year’s US edition sees the cast welcome its first transmasculine contestant, Gottmik. World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato also recently confirmed that forthcoming series would include a more diverse range of performers, which could meaning featuring drag kings and more trans performers. The show has come under fire in recent years for its majority cisgender gay male cast.

The show has found new life across the world, and as well as the US and UK, we have seen iterations in Thailand,  South America, and Canada, with another installment currently in the works for Australia. Barbato and Bailey previously told Entertainment Weekly that “three or four” more worldwide markets were in the running to receive their own versions of the show. Drag Race Holland kicked off at the end of last year.

The 13th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race is currently airing in the US and available to watch week-to-week on Netflix, while the second season of Drag Race UK drops January 14 on BBC3. Guest judges include model Jourdan, MNEK, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, and Dawn French.