Hello hello hello! It’s been months since we’ve talked, kitty girls, and so much has happened in the interim. In the time since The Vivienne was crowned the UK’s first “Drag Race” superstar back in November, “AJ and the Queen” (2020–) has premiered, made us scratch our heads and been renewed for a second season. RuPaul has read children’s book stalwarts to filth on “Saturday Night Live” and brought Jimmy Fallon closer than he’s ever been to his long-overdue date with cancel culture. Nina West’s pedal fixation has bewildered us. Tyra Sanchez has twanged the RPDR subreddit’s conspiracy theory alarms over a rumored retirement from drag, and Monique Heart has predictably continued to dazzle us all with her jaw-dropping Black icon-inspired looks in commemoration of Black History Month.
But time and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” wait for no woman, and we finally have a date, cast and guest judges lined up for season 12. On Feb. 28, the race will start again. Thirteen queens (mercifully reduced from last season’s record way-too-high of 15) will enter, but only one will be spared the chop, receive a sceptre from Yvie Oddly courtesy of Fierce Drag Jewels™ and walk away with $100,000. Who are these queens? Let us find out.
Two queens have already fallen victim to the identity-quashing of capitalism, Jan Sport and Brita Filter. These two New York-based queens will have to content themselves with their first names on “Drag Race,” but the Alexis Michelle-mothered Jan and effervescent, seasoned Brita both surely have the chops to power through it.
After season 11 provided a welcome relief from the show’s recent New York-dominated lineups, season 12 has doubled down on the Big Apple. Five of our 13 queens hail from New York. Nicky Doll, the first French-born “Drag Race” entrant, will be serving high fashion. Sherry Pie will be honoring the campy roots of drag, sure to excel in performance challenges. Jackie Cox has already won legions of fans (including me!) with both her affable demeanor and her Iranian heritage-inspired looks.
Two of our queens call the Show-Me state (Missouri for non-state quarter collectors) home. Widow Von’Du, from Kansas City, has already been predicted as a front-runner on Reddit, and her fiercely funny persona marks her as one to watch. Springfield queen Crystal Methyd’s drag aesthetic appears to be chiefly influenced by her Boy Scout training, Bjork, Pennywise and a Cabbage Patch Kid, which is just beautiful.
Real-life cartoon superhero Rock M. Sakura will provide the first San Francisco representation on “Drag Race” since Honey Mahogany tripped over her caftan and Vivienne Pinay’s unearned sense of superiority all the way back in season 5. Down the Pacific Coast Highway, two of our queens hail from Los Angeles. Dahlia Sin looks to do drag mother Aja proud and inject some sultry sex appeal into our gay veins, while 22-year-old Gigi Goode has turned heads both for her endearing relationship with her costume mother and hotly debated out-of-drag resemblance to a certain makeup YouTuber who shall remain nameless.
Season 12’s Southern contingent is made up of Georgia native Aiden Zhane, who could be described as a cross between Violet Chachki, Sharon Needles and that scene from “Contact” (1997) when Jodie Foster flies through a mushroom trip in space. Heidi N. Closet wins the Punny Drag Name Contest of the season (though the Daily believes that the wonderful potential of drag names is too often limited to puns), and she joins the company of legends Stacy Layne Matthews and Victoria Porkchop Parker as the show’s only queens to hail from Top Carolina (Bottom Carolina still has yet to make an appearance).
Last but most certainly not busted, Jaida Essence Hall has already established herself as the season’s glamour queen, and, in terms of Milwaukee’s herstory on “Drag Race,” will hope to land closer to Trixie Mattel than Jaymes Mansfield.
The lineup of guest judges slated for season 12 was breathed into life by an act of divine homosexual intervention and trying to encompass the implications in words is futile, so I’m just going to list them: Nicki Minaj, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chaka Khan, Daisy Ridley, Daniel Franzese, Jeff Goldblum, Jonathan Bennett, Leslie Jones, Normani, Olivia Munn, Rachel Bloom, Robyn, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg and Winnie Harlow.
Until next time, material gargoyles. I will be quite busy getting my life’s affairs and transactions in order for when I die during the “Honey” Lip Sync For Your Life. If you see me before then and you want me to bequeath you one of my posters of Gwyneth Paltrow, let me know!