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RuPauls Drag Race Season 12


RuPauls Drag Race Season 12 Discussion & Bracket

For the red, white, and Ru.

RuPauls Drag Race Season 12, hopefully the best season in the show’s herstory to date, is underway.

For Number 12, there are thirteen queens — go figure.

Let’s dispense with the preamble and get to this season in which we crown a new drag superstar and our first drag president (only half-kidding on the last one – the season’s winner automatically gets 500 convention superdelegates). You can also revisit our past RPDR season coverage: All Stars 3, Season 10, All Stars 4, and Season 11.

Meet The RuPauls Drag Race Season 12 Queens

Data on the queens’ ages and locations from the RuPaul’s Drag Race Fandom Page

Aiden Zhane 29 Acworth, GA
Brita 34 New York, NY
Crystal Methyd 28 Springfield, MO
Dahlia Sin 28 Los Angeles, CA
Gigi Goode 21 Los Angeles, CA
Heidi N Closet 24 Ramseur, NC
Jackie Cox 34 New York, NY
Jaida Essence Hall 32 Milwaukee, WI
Jan 26 New York, NY
Nicky Doll 28 New York, NY
Rock M. Sakura 28 San Francisco, CA
Queen disqualified
Widow Von’Du 30 Kansas City, MO

Status of RuPauls Drag Race Season 12

Last Updated May 29, 2020

Drag Race Season 12 - season over - Jaida wins

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 1

E1 Tale of the Tucking Tape

7 out of 13 queens competed – split premiere
Mini Challenge: Spring and Fall Runway Looks
Maxi Challenge: I’m That Bitch live performance
Runway: Sparkle theme
Maxi Challenge Winner: Widow Von’Du
Bottom Two: None – top two (Widow and Gigi) lip synced
Lip Sync Song: “Starships” by Nicki Minaj
Eliminated: None

General thought before getting into individual queens: I LOVE this half-cast; there are some real characters here. One would hope they did not waste all the good ones in the first premiere.

Queen First Impressions

Yes, we saw the preseason interviews just like the rest of you two-bit hussies, but those were five-minute interviews and this was a two-hour premiere episode. We have a little more information now to make broad, sweeping determinations.

Brita: Got Bianca vibes when she came into the Werk Room but was overshadowed in the challenge. There is a great personality in there, but she was her own worst enemy in the premiere. She could be a force if she overcomes it.

Crystal: Not entirely sure what to think about her yet as a queen, but very sure what to think of the mullet. She is the most blank to me out of these seven queens, except to say it is clear she is comfortable with the lane she is in.

Gigi: Boy Gigi kind of looks like Max Headroom, but girl Gigi is a clear fashionista and given the chance will turn some amazing looks this season.

Heidi: I do not know that we will get the most complete or polished looks from Heidi, but she is a talented and natural performer. Standing up to Nicki Minaj in Untucked about her critique took both of those testicles shoved up in her torso.

Jackie: Perhaps my favorite so far. I see a more fully realized Miz Cracker.

Nicky: Watching her and Gigi duel for high fashion supremacy will be very entertaining.

Widow: Possible lip sync assassin; for a big girl, she absolutely worked it. The mini challenge looks were my least favorite but she has a lane and she owns it. Widow slayed the main challenge.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 2

E2 Tale of the Tucking Tape

6 out of 13 queens competed – split premiere
Mini Challenge: Spring and Fall Runway Looks
Maxi Challenge: You Don’t Know Me live performance
Runway: Tulle theme
Maxi Challenge Winner: Jaida Essence Hall
Bottom Two: None – top two (Jaida and Sherry) lip synced
Lip Sync Song: “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn
Eliminated: None

Girl, we have a LOT to discuss this week.

Girl Bye

We rode a high coming from the first episode, which was legitimately one of the best season premieres in the show’s her-story. Before Friday’s episode even aired, the shinola hit the fan with one Sherry Pie. Because of numerous (at least seven) catfishing allegations, Sherry Pie aka Joey Gugliemelli was disqualified from Season 12. Sherry will, for now, appear prominently in the coming episodes, at least until World of Wonder pixelates her or puts a “censored” bar over her face.

The accusations, if true, are horrible; it’s the conduct of a reprehensible individual. World of Wonder and VH1 did the right thing in acting swiftly to disqualify her. Now, look, I’ve seen the T on the internet and I have watched the show a long time now. I am confident Sherry Pie went deep into the season. How deep, nobody knows, but while it’s comforting to know she will not win when her personal life is so sordid, it’s also clear she is going to be front and center this season and that is uncomfortable. Seeing her on the screen, I’m somewhere between not taking her seriously and hoping she goes away. There was little chance they could re-edit this week’s episode in any significant way other than the disclaimer message. I wish there were a way to peel her back from future episodes, but what if she wins some maxi challenges?

It’s also not fair to the other queens to have their big moments taken away by this person. I believe those who have said this turned out to be a strong season. Sherry Pie was part of that, but she’ll be blacklisted from the Ru Girl community and cannot win the prize. This was World of Wonder’s Dan moment (Survivor: Island of the Idols), faced with a contestant who put production in a bad position. WOW’s response was much more swift and decisive. Still, one wishes there were a practical way to undo her from the season, but this is likely to be an uncomfortable ride until the finale.

As For The Rest

I will have “I’m That Bitch” stuck in my head all season. I can’t remember how the tune to “You Don’t Know Me” went and I just heard it. This challenge was slower-paced and frankly not as entertaining. A very forgettable show, even though I’m not sure anyone did badly per se.

Queen First Impressions

Aiden: For certain ahead of Crystal in the “strange queen” competition. Strange works if it’s creative, as we saw with Yvie Oddly and, to a lesser extent, Sasha Velour. We also had a horror queen win in Sharon Needles. I would not disqualify her as a contender on those grounds alone, but she’s not as big a personality as some of the others.

Dahlia: Did anyone else see what they thought was a five o’clock shadow? No T no shade, but while I see “woman” in the others, I see “man in a wig” with this one. Destined to be the Kimora of Season 12.

Jaida: Got the “bitch edit” during rehearsal, but man she can turn a look. She’s one to watch.

Jan: The thirsty ones will be hoping for Jackie and Jan to hook up out of drag. Liked what I saw from Jan (Blank) in drag; she’s a talented performer.

Rock: I appreciate the fun personality and that she brings such positivity in the face of struggles earlier in life.

Sherry: Never heard of her.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 3

E3 Tale of the Tucking Tape

13 queens competed – 12 eligible
Mini Challenge: Top queens rate their competition
Maxi Challenge: World’s Worst improv
Runway: Buttons and bows
Maxi Challenge Winner: Queen has been disqualified
Bottom Two: Dahlia Sin and Nicky Doll
Lip Sync Song: “Problem” by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
Eliminated: Dahlia Sin

First, a note on how we are going to treat a certain queen on Season 12 that was disqualified:

  • She will still appear on our season graphic with a big ol’ “DQ” in the sidebar. We will NOT track her wins and losses as she is not a contender.
  • We will not give any individual critiques of this queen, nor will we refer to her by name any further.
  • We WILL review the performances of any teams she is on as a whole, with individual reviews of the others if necessary, but not her.

Now that we have that out of the way, what an underwhelming episode of Drag Race that could have been much better. Keep in mind that the episode in the United States was edited to remove a certain queen from getting confessionals, which may have affected the visuals to the audience. In any event, as far as we know, the wrong team and the wrong queen won the challenge. The best sketch was the Del Rio Trio, in which all three queens (Heidi, Gigi, and Jackie) were funny and did well. None of the other three were close. Hell, none of the other three were that funny. Gigi slayed the runway with her billion button march, which should have gotten her more close consideration, but Heidi killed it.

The worst team was Team Widow, who looked (very) confused during their Girl Scout act. Neither Crystal nor Nicky had any idea what they were doing. However, the worst performer was Dahlia. I think we knew this already, but she is at this stage in her career a one-trick pony. She had no idea how to improv, or how to be a part of the scene, but she knew to try to make the broccoli look “sexy.” You’re broccoli for god sakes. The queen that wins the season is going to be at least somewhat well-rounded: funny, confident, put-together, and glamorous. You don’t have to have all in the same supply but you have to know how to deliver those things when the time comes, although being confident and knowing who you are as a performer need to be consistent. Dahlia may go on to be a fine queen, but at this stage, she is one-dimensional.

And ladies, that lip sync was terrible. It should have been a double-sashay.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 4

E4 Tale of the Tucking Tape

12 queens competed – 11 eligible
Mini Challenge: Beehive Jive
Maxi Challenge: The Ball Ball
Maxi Challenge Winner: Gigi Goode
Bottom Two: Brita and Rock M. Sakura
Lip Sync Song: “S&M” by Rihanna
Eliminated: Rock M. Sakura

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 5

E5 Tale of the Tucking Tape

11 queens competed – 10 eligible
Maxi Challenge: Gay’s Anatomy
Runway: Planet of the Capes
Maxi Challenge Winner: Queen has been disqualified
Bottom Two: Nicky Doll and Heidi N. Closet
Lip Sync Song: “Heart to Break” by Kim Petras
Eliminated: Nicky Doll

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 6

E6 Tale of the Tucking Tape

10 queens competed – 9 eligible
Maxi Challenge: Snatch Game
Runway: Frozen Eleganza
Maxi Challenge Winner: Gigi Goode
Bottom Two: Aiden Zhane and Brita
Lip Sync Song: “Let It Go” by Cassie Levy
Eliminated: Aiden Zhane

Evaluations of the Snatch Game Performances

Aiden Zhane as Patricia Quinn: Did not work at all. It’s one thing to pick an obscure person, but you have to have more than one joke, or in this case, at least one joke. Having met someone is not a great reason to do someone in Snatch Game, but Aiden probably knows that now. Update: And now we know that Patricia Quinn was NOT happy with her portrayal. (Source: The Independent)

Brita as Jennifer Holliday: She had one more joke in the holster than Aiden did, since Brita likes to compare herself to Aiden. There was nothing interesting or exciting about it.

Crystal Methyd as Poppy: Perhaps a literal performance as Poppy, but think back: Yvie Oddly looked a lot like Whoopi Goldberg and even kind of sounded like her, but landed no jokes. Crystal tried with the cult thing, but her portrayal overall was underdeveloped.

Gigi Goode as Maria the Robot: RuPaul was worried about this one; I was not. I had a feeling Gigi was going to go the “programmed with naughty subroutines” route and she did. She is too smart of a performer to not have thought about how to make this character funny. Not only that, but she hit every ball that Ru teed up for her. Gigi is proving to be one of the breakout queens of the season.

Heidi N. Closet as Leslie Jones: Not a bad impersonation of Leslie, whom we all had the opportunity to see a few weeks ago, but she needed to go bigger. One of Leslie Jones’ signatures is that she is basically yelling at you in the course of normal conversation. Heidi could have gone further with it and been bolder. Leslie Jones exudes personality and there was some, but probably not as much as there could have been.

Jackie Cox as Lisa Rinna: One of the stronger performances in the Snatch Game and a solid impersonation. Deserving of her spot in the top for responding to all of Ru’s volleys, and they were funny most of the time. She was Lisa inside and out and knew her character well, but it’s more than that in Snatch Game: you have to BECOME the celebrity you are impersonating, and Jackie did that.

Jaida Essence Hall as Cardi B: Maybe not worthy of being in the bottom but a forgettable performance. Jaida had a good line or two but it was passable. She missed a few opportunities (at least as far as we know from the edit) to go bigger.

Jan as Bernadette Peters: Seemed like an average job by Jan. Bernadette Peters may not have the funniest personality to try to build up but it was adequate. One or two memorable lines in Snatch Game is probably enough to at least be safe, and Jan earned that, but she was outshined for sure.

We don’t discuss disqualified queens

Widow Von’Du as Tina Turner and Ike Turner: There was a risk here for Widow doing Tina and Ike, as with any queen doing the switcheroo, but not a bad job. Like Jan, she was another one hugging close to the mean. The Tina look was there and I enjoyed the transition to Ike, but not a standout performance.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 7

E7 Tale of the Tucking Tape

9 queens competed – 8 eligible
Maxi Challenge: Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical
Runway: Night of a Thousand Michelle Visages
Maxi Challenge Winner: Gigi Goode
Bottom Two: Heidi N Closet and Brita
Lip Sync Song: “Burning Up” by Madonna
Eliminated: Brita

We have some assorted notes on this episode, but let’s start with the obvious, as told by RuPaul’s Drag Race Hall-of-Famer Trinity:

This is very close to what we were going to say. Gigi was a strong second for us and it was another solid performance, but Jan had a nearly flawless episode. She got no criticism whatsoever and nailed every part of the challenge and runway. What’s a girl gotta do? This is the sort of thing that makes it hard to defend against accusations of certain queens getting preferential treatment. Just a huge disappointment for Jan and I felt for her. I would not be surprised if this sends her confidence into a tailspin and she’s gone in an episode or two.

As for the rest of the commentary:

  • I thought Jackie was lip syncing until the runway, which was so detail-perfect that it evidently saved her. She may have been the weakest in the challenge.
  • With that said, nobody was terrible in the Rusical. It was one of the best Rusicals done on the show.
  • Heidi may or may not have deserved to lip sync but she did deserve to win it. Outside of the lip sync, you know Heidi has shown something, but Brita was a one-note Johnny, or at least, got the edit of one. Always keep that in mind about queens: we see what the editors choose for us to see. Probably very good at what she does in her club in New York, but this was not her competition.
  • I am not all about the simmering rivalry between Widow and Jackie as I like them both. With Aiden vs. Brita not a thing anymore, maybe they figure we needed this, but it’s so unnecessary.
  • No, Heidi: Jan is the trade of the season.
  • We are getting to the point where some good ones and/or fan favorites may start getting cut next week. It’s going to suck but probably not more than being sealed inside your home.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 8

E8 Tale of the Tucking Tape

8 queens competed – 7 eligible
Mini Challenge: Bosom Buddies kiki
Mini Challenge Winners: Jackie Cox & Gigi Goode
Maxi Challenge: Droop – Lifestyle Products for Drag Queens
Runway: Black Wedding
Maxi Challenge Winner: Heidi N Closet
Bottom Two: Jan and Widow Von’Du
Lip Sync Song: “This Is My Night” by Chaka Khan
Eliminated: Jan

Well, we called it last week. What we witnessed in the past two episodes was the fall and demise of Jan, and it didn’t have to be this way. Had she won the challenge last week as was her due, maybe her course would have been different. That gal got railroaded something fierce, going from a contender to win a challenge, to defeated, to gone in two episodes.

As for the lip sync, Ru would have been justified in making it a double-shantay. That was, by far, the best lip sync of the season. There were girls who stayed for far less than Jan gave in her losing effort.

Rating the Queens’ Commercials

Jackie Cox: 8/10. Jackie’s performance was campy, amusing, and cohesive. She had a clear plan and her confidence in front of a camera is obvious. This seemed like the sort of challenge made for her, but like the Snatch Game, she didn’t win. In the first episode review, we called Jackie a possible more realized version of Miz Cracker. Well, Cracker did just fine but was not a challenge beast. Jackie could be on a similar trajectory.

Gigi Goode: 4/10. We saw this performer win the Snatch Game a few weeks ago; we know she can be funny. Instead, this was boring and a disappointment.

Jan: 4/10. I think Jan had a concept in mind, maybe too much of a concept, but it was hard to keep up with it in any event. A little more focus with her schtick could have saved her but it was a bit all over the place.

Jaida Essence Hall: 8/10. If the producers evidently hadn’t already decided that Gigi will win the season (come on, it’s becoming obvious), I’d say Jaida is a real contender. An entertaining performance to be sure, and she can be quite funny when she wants to be.

Crystal Methyd: 7.5/10. This was perhaps the surprise performance of the episode, and combined with a standout runway, Crystal had a real chance to win. While it was not my favorite commercial it was well done and a far cry from her other attempts at comedy. She also stayed in her lane by using the El DeBarge hair as a prop, which I’m sure Ru loved.

Widow Von’Du: 3/10. This hurt to watch; as in, I hurt for Widow watching it. Her commercial was so flat and it made little sense. If it’s a throat spray, why are you spraying it all over your body?

Heidi N Closet: 9/10. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Heidi’s crying bits for the ad were excellent, and every joke she made landed. Good on ya, Miss Heidi.

She Who Must Not Be Named is not getting a review.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 9

E9 Tale of the Tucking Tape

7 queens competed – 6 eligible
Mini Challenge: Kitty Girl 2020
Mini Challenge Winners: Jackie Cox
Maxi Challenge: Choices 2020 Presidential Debate
Runway: Stars and Stripes Forever
Maxi Challenge Winner: Jaida Essence Hall
Bottom Two: Jackie Cox and Widow Von’Du
Lip Sync Song: “Firework” by Katy Perry
Eliminated: Widow Von’Du

Now here was a challenge for which I had higher hopes. I wanted to see a knock-down, drag-out (pun intended) political rumble. We didn’t really get that, but the winner, Jaida Essence Hall, was the rightful victor. She was on point – and this is important – and she had more than one joke. That’s what took Jackie down. I never would have believed that Jackie would bottom in an improv-style challenge but there we have it. She needed more than Canada jokes and she knows that now. On the other end, she took a risk with her runway in that I suspected it could be accused of being basic, but when you consider what the message was, there was nothing basic about it.

Crystal had another solid week. There was no queen I recognize on the other side of Crystal; Terry Fie maybe? Telly Lie? Moving on, Gigi was just kind of there but her runway was fun. Heidi is a naturally funny performer and even if she doesn’t win Drag Race, her energy will serve her well. And then there’s Widow, who borrowed Amy Klobuchar’s outfit but enhanced Elizabeth Warren’s fire too much, coming off as angry. Her portrayal was almost too real when it should be more like parody.

Jackie did deserve to win the lip sync. Widow put a lot of passion into it, but Jackie put on a show. It was sad to see Widow’s meltdown in Untucked, but had we seen it in chronological order, it would have explained a lot. She was already defeated, thinking she is not good enough or funny enough. That is a dangerous mentality to take when you go into a lip sync, in that you have accepted defeat. I hope some of you all out there are showing her some love because she added a lot to this competition.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 10

E10 Tale of the Tucking Tape

6 queens competed – 5 eligible
Maxi Challenge: Superfan Makeover Challenge
Maxi Challenge Winner: Jaida Essence Hall
Bottom Two: Jackie Cox and Heidi N Closet
Lip Sync Song: “Kill the Lights” by Alex Newell
Eliminated: None – Double Shantay

Two maxi challenges you know are going to happen: the Snatch Game and the makeover challenge. What they might not have counted on preseason was Jaida Essence Hall pairing up the queens with female fans of the show. In all fairness to Jaida, she did a very fair job pairing the queens. Had I been there doing the pairing based solely off of looks and similarities, I probably would have come up with the same matches.

Rating the Family Resemblances, Sans Disquali Fie

Jackie Cox: While Jackie lip synced, this was not a bad look per se. It was maybe a little lacking in terms of the complete package, but there was a clear family resemblance and the red and black was cute.

Jaida Essence Hall: Another deserved win. Jaida’s outfits are so elegant and she did as well as anyone in this episode at making her partner the same but different. She had a plan and there were enough commonalities that it worked well.

Crystal Methyd: Give Crystal credit for wanting to stand out every week. Her looks are often unique, maybe not everyone’s taste, but definitely her own. Crystal has a lane and she owns it; she’s not trying to be anything she’s not. She went in a very different direction than everyone else with her Bert and Ernie inspiration, but the resemblance was there and it worked.

Heidi N Closet: Perhaps the only queen that did not do particularly well in the challenge. There was no family resemblance at all in terms of the outfits, which were almost polar opposites. Something could have tied them together, maybe a color scheme or a costume element, but there was nothing there. Disco turned out not to be a winning theme tonight.

Gigi Goode: The critiques of Gigi were spot on this week. It was a very chic look and the symmetry was the best of any of the queens up there, but it was, as Michelle said, simple. There were three notable elements of their outfits and that’s about it, but they had a good rapport on the runway. Neither a winner nor a loser.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 11

E11 Tale of the Tucking Tape

6 queens competed again – 5 eligible
Mini Challenge: Fun With Puppets
Mini Challenge Winners: Jackie Cox
Maxi Challenge: One-Queen Show
Runway: The Color Purple
Maxi Challenge Winner: Crystal Methyd
Bottom Two: Heidi N Closet and Jaida Essence Hall
Lip Sync Song: “1999” by Prince
Eliminated: Heidi N Closet

We’ve made it to our final four, because there’s a queen who ain’t going to the finale still in the mix. This is how the second “top six” episode went:

Jackie Cox: Nice concept in the challenge; Jackie was the best at telling a story and the glasses element was creative. The runway was campy but you have to respect someone who does something different.

Crystal Methyd: This was her week. The challenge was a completely different direction than everyone else went in, and the runway was fun, on brand, and on point.

Gigi Goode: Her challenge wasn’t bad, but a middle of the pack performance. Gigi got in her head after a few weeks of skating near the bottom and doubted her improv abilities. It wasn’t that bad, but underdeveloped. I was less taken by the runway than others were; the look was nice but again simple, and the bright green elements overwhelmed the purple.

Heidi N Closet: She tried with the caricatures of people in her family, but she didn’t tell a story. It was not very interesting. Her runway look, however, was fantastic and was arguably her best of the season.

Jaida Essence Hall: Jaida bombed despite having a story to tell. No jokes were landing and she seemed uncomfortable. That runway, though, wow: sexy Guinan.

Despite our burning desire to read a certain disqualified queen to filth this week, for many reasons, but we’re keeping to our policy to not review anything she does. But she knows what she did.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 12

E12 Tale of the Tucking Tape

5 queens competed – 4 eligible
Mini Challenge: Showgirls
Mini Challenge Winner: Gigi Goode
Maxi Challenge: RuPaul’s Drag Race Live
Runway: Eleganza Extravaganza
Maxi Challenge Winner: Gigi Goode
Bottom Two: Jackie Cox and Crystal Methyd
Lip Sync Song: “On The Floor” by Jennifer Lopez
Eliminated: Jackie Cox

It’s time to play a game of Popular and Unpopular Opinions about the endgame of this season.

Popular Opinion: Jaida was absolutely stunning in her runway look. She’s not that great of a singer but she ain’t getting paid to belt it.

Unpopular Opinion: Crystal Methyd did not win that lip sync. Well, according to RuPaul she did, but I disagree.

Popular Opinion: This will be popular with some of you, but I think Gigi was okay, maybe not the best, though nobody did badly.

Unpopular Opinion: This may also be unpopular with a few of you, but given the circumstances I think this should have been a double shantay by default. I’m still not convinced 100 percent Jackie’s not getting invited to the grand finale, but I’ve made my peace with a final three.

How would a final three lipsync battle work? Two potential ways:

  • The top three lip sync against each other in one showdown for the whole enchilada.
  • The top queen as voted by the fans gets a first-round bye into the championship lip sync, and the other two have to face off in the semifinals.

Drag Race 12 Spoilers: Episode 13: Finale

Jaida Essence Hall is America’s next drag superstar, and we bow to our new reigning queen.

Gigi Goode had the best resume of the finalists, if you believe she deserved all of the wins she got (I will go to my grave believing Jan won the Madonna challenge; Ross’s dog was right). Jaida was right behind Gigi on report card, while Crystal was a late bloomer.

Speaking of Crystal, her free-choice lip sync was…interesting. Her drag is not for everyone but she’s one of the best queens we’ve seen when it comes to completely owning her lane. Gigi’s first lip sync was great; “Take on Me” is an amazing choice. And, let’s be honest, Jaida just plain old slayed the whole thing.

I didn’t judge based on the opening lip sync, which was just a plug for RuPaul’s new song. Finally, on Mama Ru: Crystal wore like seven different outfits during the course of the episode, and you didn’t get in drag once in the last two weeks. At least throw a wig on or something, but I guess when it’s your show, it’s good to be the queen.

Congratulations again to Jaida, a very satisfying and elegant wwnner.

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