RuPaul’s Drag Race will “always be radical”, regardless of its huge popularity, one of the show’s judges has said.

The series – now approaching the end of its 11th season – features host RuPaul’s search for America’s “next drag superstar”.

Drag Race had a difficult birth, with all but one US TV network turning it down when it was first pitched more than a decade ago.

It has since flourished into a massively popular, Emmy-winning pop culture juggernaut and a UK version featuring Graham Norton and Alan Carr as celebrity judges will hit screens later this year.

RuPaul’s Drag Race has defied the odds to become a hugely popular and successful TV show (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Michelle Visage has been a judge on Drag Race since its third season and said the show remains a “big eff you to society”.

Speaking at the taping of the season 11 finale in Los Angeles, she told the Press Association: “We will never be fully mainstream because it’s still a big eff you to society. For doing what we do, saying what we say and believing the way we believe.

RuPaul's Drag Race
Ross Mathews, from left, Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley are judges for RuPaul’s Drag Race (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

“So it’ll always be radical.”

Visage’s fellow judge, Ross Mathews, agreed Drag Race was still presenting a challenge to the status quo, adding: “Except now our moms watch it.”

Carson Kressley, who completes the judging line-up, added: “I feel like the culture has just caught up with the show and we can really have fun with it.”

After another season of high drama, five queens are left vying for the crown of America’s next drag super star.

A’Keria C Davenport, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Yvie Oddly have all made it to the final phase, impressing celebrity guest judges including Miley Cyrus, Troye Sivan and Cara Delevingne.

Brooke Lynn Hytes
Brooke Lynn Hytes is one of the finalists in RuPaul’s Drag Race (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

The finalists arrived at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles on Monday and Brook Lynn described her time on the show as “incredible”.

She said: “The experience of being on the show was incredible, it’s life-changing, it truly, truly is. Everything you know just goes away and nothing ever feels normal again.

“It’s gone by so quickly. It feels like yesterday we just started the episodes and now we’re on the last one, it’s insane. It’s been amazing.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race airs on Netflix in the UK.