It’s that time of year again! There’s Christmas, New Year’s, and now the Ruveal for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12! Can you believe it’s been a year since we were talking about how dry Adam Rippon was as a host? Can you also believe that since I started writing for this site, we have had FOUR DIFFERENT seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Five if you include Drag Race Thailand.
This time, VH1 learned from last year’s mistakes and chose to do a pre-produced cast announcement hosted by reigning queen, Yvie Oddly. It’s definitely a big improvement. The format is easy and simple, giving us a good look at each queen as they strut down the runway of what looks like an abandoned portion of the Dragon’s Den set. The runway walk is set to some grungy EDM (is it dubstep?) which honestly is just a strange choice for Drag Race, a bizarreness further emphasized by playing RuPaul’s song “American” right at the end.
This by the way is the promo photo:
This is the Ruveal photo:
I’m not sure who thought that 4th of July meets post-apocalyptica was a great aesthetic, but I’m guessing it was decided while Ru was overseas filming Drag Race UK. As some fans have pointed out, the Ruveal bears similarities to the Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, another drag competition gaining traction for its horror based challenges and appeal to more diverse styles of drag. Is Drag Race trying to flex on its competition? Or better yet, is one grungy looking promo enough?
At first glance, the Season 12 cast seems 50/50. Many of the queens bring incredible personality and energy to their “Meet the Queen” interviews. Others quickly fade into the background amongst the other queens. A few even come with some notoriety and fame. Remember that time Adele and JLaw were drunk at a bar? It was to see Brita perform in New York. According to an EW Exclusive on the queens, Adele even asked Brita to perform at her birthday party and at Jennifer Lawrence’s bachelorette party! But, she couldn’t because she was filming Season 12!!!!!
I often like to highlight the current popularity of drag in mainstream media, but nothing quite encapsulates it like the fact that appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race is more prestigious and career boosting than performing for Adele and JLaw. What a world!
I have high hopes for Season 12. My theory is that the best RPDR seasons are multiples of three. Season 3, 6, and 9 are, in my opinion, the top three seasons of the show. That bodes well for Season 12, and according to one queen, Jackie Cox, even the drama seems to be shaping up that way.
“In seasons past, there’s been a lot of, I won’t say frivolous drama, but it’s less about that for us. If and when drama may or may not arise, it’s coming out of the drag, it’s not just ‘I don’t like you.’”
Here’s the list of queens competing this season:
Heidi N Closet (Winner for best name)
Jaida Essence Hall
Jan (Sport) – She goes by Jan for what I assume are copyright reasons
Rock M. Sakura
You can also watch a playlist of the Meet the Queen interviews here.
As is tradition, I’m also going to make bold predictions about the season based on virtually no information other than a three minute interview and my first impressions (and sometimes how hot I find the queen out of drag).
Top 3 (In no particular order)
Rock M Sakura
Gigi has a strong fashion sense and an understated sense of humour that grows on you. I also think her retro look is trendy right now and will probably resonate with the judges. Jackie Cox is both Canadian and Iranian (so we already have to stan) but she is also hilarious and has great looks. On my notes, I have Rock M Sakura down as “funny, anime, and messy” which I think sums up exactly why I think she has a strong shot. Her aesthetic is bold, and I think she would do well in acting/skit challenges.
Jan had a great runway walk and an outfit very reminiscent of Gothy Kendoll. However, she had a lot of energy in her interview and seemed multitalented. Sherry Pie has a lot of experience and the right attitude for drag. She also was super funny, and I think that will carry her far as well.
Just watch her interview and you’ll see it too.
Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race will air on February 28th. You can watch the full promo below.