When you think of drag queens, you would likely think of glam, glitz and everything in between. You wouldn’t be wrong, but the scene has witnessed quite an evolution over the past 10 years, thanks to a certain “it” LGBT figure and the “Mother of all queens” herself, RuPaul Andre Charles.
“We’re all born naked and the rest is drag” is one of the many phrases and life mantras coined by this fabulous 60-year-old. He has done it all – from hosting his own TV show to guest starring on Ellen, writing a few books and even gracing Time’s 2017 Most Influential People list.
In 2009, RuPaul upped his own ante by producing and hosting his own reality competition series, Drag Race, for which he has received six Primetime Emmy Awards (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019).
For those unfamiliar with the format of this award-winning show, it is essentially similar to America’s Next Top Model, but in this version, the crème de la crème of drag talents compete against each other to join 11 former winners (excluding All-Stars) in the Drag Race Hall of Fame.
The queen who is able to demonstrate charisma, uniqueness, nerve and most importantly, talent will walk away with the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar”, a one-year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics and a handsome cash prize of $100,000.
RuPaul’s Drag Race recently returned on VH1 for its 12th season, this time featuring a two-part premiere where the 13 queens are divided into groups of seven and six respectively. This comes as no surprise to fans of the show as it’s a repeat of Season 6’s rules.
The first part of the premiere introduced the viewers to seven new contestants: Brita, Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode, Heidi N Closet, Jackie Cox, Nicky Doll and Widow Von’Du. They were challenged to work as a collective to write, choreograph and lip-sync to original song I’m That B*tch.
Just like the previous five seasons, the show maintains the same panel of judges: RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews, with occasional guest judges dropping by.
However, the ultimate decision lies in the (beautifully manicured) hands of RuPaul and RuPaul alone.
This episode featured one of the most highly anticipated guest judges ever, Nicki Minaj. Clad in an all-red bodycon dress with matching mesh outer, the Queen of Rap proved to be quite the spectacle. Fans got to see a little more of her fun-loving personality in spite of the limited airtime.
There was no elimination and the top two contestants of the week, Gigi Goode and Widow Von’Du battled it out for a cash tip of $5,000. After lip syncing to Nicki Minaj’s Starships, the latter was chosen as the victor.
Meanwhile, the second part of the premiere saw six more queens: Aiden Zhane, Dahlia Sin, Jaida Essence Hall, Jan, Rock M. Sakura and Sherry Pie walking into the workroom, only to find some of the make-up stations were already occupied with other queens’ belongings.
The six queens were also asked to come up with their own lyrics and choreography for a track inspired by Ben Fosse called You Don’t Know Me.
In this episode, Jaida Essence Hall dominated the lip sync performance of Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend against Sherry Pie, claiming her place as the week’s winner and earning $5,000 in a cash tip. There was also no elimination.
All 13 contestants then finally meet each other in the workroom after part two of the premiere ends. The tension between them fills the air and rivalry sets in, creating some serious excitement for upcoming episodes. Well, what would RuPaul’s Drag Race without the drama?
And speaking of drama… as of March 6, production company World of Wonder and VH1 have disqualified Sherry Pie from the competition due to some catfishing allegations.
“In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Out of respect for the hard work of the other queens, VH1 will air the season as planned. Sherry will not appear in the grand finale scheduled to be filmed later this spring,” the official statement read.
To devour more delicious drag drama, stay tuned on VH1 or Netflix as new episodes come out every Friday at 9pm (local time). Will your favourite diva make it to the Hall of Fame?