Raven (drag queen)

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Raven performing in 2014 at SV Pride
Born David Petruschin
(1979-04-08) April 8, 1979 (age 39)[citation needed]
Victorville, California, U.S.
Residence Riverside, California
Occupation Drag queen
Television personality
Make-up artist
Creative producer
Years active 2002–present

David Petruschin (Russian: Дэвид Петрущин, born April 8, 1979)[citation needed], better known by his stage name Raven, is an American drag queen and Emmy-nominated make-up artist from Riverside, California. He was a fixture in the Southern California nightclub scene before gaining international prominence for appearing in both the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race and the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. He placed as the runner-up on both seasons. After competing on the show, Petruschin served as a "professor" during all three seasons of RuPaul's Drag U.[1] He has been RuPaul's makeup artist since Drag Race's ninth season and has since become a creative producer of both installments, All Stars and Drag Race. He currently co-hosts the weekly webseries "Fashion Photo Ruview" (along with fellow Drag Race alumna Raja) and is widely regarded as one of modern drag's greatest stylistic influences.

Early life[edit]

Petruschin[2] was born in Victorville, California, U.S.[3] as the first of five children. Although being of Russian ancestry,[4] his mother, who separated with his father when Petruschin was seven years old, raised him a Mormon.[5]



At the beginning of his career, Petruschin worked as a cosmetics salesperson and a freelance make-up artist during the day, and at night performed in nightclubs as a go-go boy under the name Phoenix. He started performing in drag in 2002, changing his moniker to Raven. Unlike many other drag queens, Petruschin learned drag without a drag mother to act as a mentor. As Raven, Petruschin auditioned to compete on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and second seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race.

RuPaul's Drag Race[edit]

In 2010, it was announced that Raven would be a contestant on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race. In the first episode, he won the season's first mini-challenge, a photo shoot. In the second and third episode he landed in the bottom two, having to "lip-sync for his life" twice in order to stay in the competition. He won both lipsyncs. Raven won a second mini-challenge in the fourth episode by guessing the price of various objects, earning him a phone call home; and a third mini-challenge in the fifth episode by successfully decorating a box to reflect his personal style.[6] He won the seventh[7] and eighth[8] main challenges, which involved creating and promoting an autobiography, and giving an older gentleman a makeover, respectively.[9][8] At the end of the competition, he ultimately placed second behind Tyra Sanchez. However, many fans thought that crowning Raven would have been the better option, resulting in the within the Drag Race fandom infamous "Raven was robbed!" slogan.

RuPaul's Drag U[edit]

Raven was one of many Drag Race alumni who were invited to act as a drag professor in the spin-off series RuPaul's Drag U,[1] which has screened three seasons. Raven serves as a "drag professor" and mentor to female contestants who are given make-overs. In the series, his persona is not portrayed in a villainous fashion, but instead as a softer and nurturing mentor. Raven has so far made a total of twelve appearances and has collected the most wins during the series' run, being dubbed the "Makeover Queen".

RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars[edit]

On 6 August 2012, it was announced that Raven was one of twelve past Drag Race contestants selected to join the cast of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars that premiered on the Logo network on 22 October 2012.[10] Prior to the airing of the season finale, Raven (along with All Stars contestants Manila Luzon, Latrice Royale, and Tammie Brown) appeared in a television commercial for travel website Orbitz's new portal for LGBT leisure travel.[11] He was paired with contestant and best friend Jujubee to form Team Rujubee. They won the mini-challenges in the second and fifth episode by correctly answering questions about each other in the style of The Newlywed Game and by scoring more points in a game of basketball, which won them a call to their loved ones. The duo managed to make it to the finals, which aired on 26 November 2012, where Raven again landed as a runner-up to winner Chad Michaels.

This time even more controversies arose around his placement, with many fans feeling like RuPaul only created All Stars in order to crown Chad Michaels after he surprisingly lost out to Sharon Needles in the finale of the fourth season of Drag Race. Furthermore, this first installment of All Stars has been frequently critiqued for its elimination process and overall rules, especially the pairing. Raven often gets compared to Allison Harvard, a contestant on America's Next Top Model, who also placed as the runner-up on her respective season and on an All Stars season. Because of this, they are both known as "Queen of Runner-Ups".

Make-up artist[edit]

Petruschin returned to Drag Race as RuPaul's make-up artist for Season 9. He eventually received a nomination for the 2018 Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards in the category "Television and New Media Series: Best Contemporary Makeup". For his work on the tenth season, he received a nomination for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in the category "Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special".[12] Aside from doing RuPaul's make-up since 2017, he has served as a creative producer for All Stars since its third season and for Drag Race since its tenth.

Other appearances[edit]

Featured in a commercial promoting the syndication run of the cable television series Nip/Tuck on the Logo network, Raven lip synced to the theme song "A Perfect Lie" as he caresses a syringe close to his lips. The commercial is based on one of his past drag performances. He also has made a guest appearance in an episode of Logo's reality series, Pretty Hurts, which documents the life and career of celebrity medical aesthetician Rand Rusher. Raven was also featured on an episode of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8, in which he participated in a photo shoot with each of the show's contestants in male drag and paired with a drag queen. Raven made a cameo in the 2011 music video for "Diamond Crowned Queen" by RuPaul's Drag Race season three winner Raja. His cameo was praised by critics, who named him the "magnificent Raven". In 2012, along with other RuPaul's Drag Race contestants, he appeared in another music video, "Queen" by Mimi Imfurst's band Xelle.[13] He also starred in the music video "Feed Me Diamonds" by MNDR.[14]

Raven performing "Imagine It Was Us" by Jessie Ware

In spring 2014, Raven and Raja started a weekly YouTube fashion critique show on World of Wonder's channel called "RuPaul's Drag Race Fashion Photo RuView", where they "toot" or "boot" fashion from mostly Drag Race alumni. Every episode gets viewed between 400.000 and one million times. He has appeared on multiple other WOW shows as well. Besides international touring, Raven currently hosts several drag-related events at gay clubs throughout Southern California.

Impact on drag[edit]

Raven has been consistently credited as being the most influential make-up artist within the drag community. He originated several innovative contour techniques, including a dramatically pinched nose with a bright dot on the tip (an "exclamation point") and a particular style of severely carved cheekbones. He also popularized his signature overdrawn and nude-colored lips, his detailed eye make-up, the use of contact lenses, a false beauty mark and the use of natural makeup colors, the latter being a practice which had previously been eschewed by drag performers.

Raven's influence is so severe that many seasoned drag queens, such as RuPaul's Drag Race season six winner Bianca Del Rio, state that especially young drag queens all use Raven's style.[15] In 2016, Raven was included as an inspiration in Vanity Fair's "100 Years of Drag Fashion" video, alongside iconic drag performers Divine, David Bowie, and RuPaul. The video presented his style as the epitome of 2000s-era drag.[16]. He won the "Best Lips AKA The Pucker Up Award" at the first WOWie Awards in 2017.



Year Title Role Notes
2007 America's Next Top Model Raven Cameo
2010 RuPaul's Drag Race
(season 2)
Contestant Runner-Up
2010-2012 RuPaul's Drag U Himself/Professor
2011 RuPaul's Drag Race
(season 3)
Raven Guest
2012 RuPaul's Drag Race
(season 4)
Raven Cameo
2012 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars
(season 1)
Contestant Runner-Up
2016 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars
(season 2)
Raven Guest


Year Title Role Notes
2013 World of Wonder Game Show Himself Winner
2013-2015 James St. James' Transformations Himself Guest
2014-2017 Be$tie$/Couple$ for Ca$h Himself/Raven
2014–present RuPaul's Drag Race Fashion Photo RuView Raven Cohost with Raja


  1. ^ a b Polly, John. "Drag Race Daily: Start Studying! RuPaul's Drag U Will be in Session this Summer. Watch a Preview". NewNowNext on Logo. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  2. ^ LOGO On-line. "RuPaul's Drag Race 2: Cast Bios". LOGO On-line. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  3. ^ "Raven". RuPaul's Drag Race. Logo. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Backlot, The (2011-08-16). "Watch! "Drag U" Episode 208: "A Family That Drags Together!" - thebacklot.com". Afterelton.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  5. ^ "RuPaul's Drag U Ep. 8, Therapy Sessions - Meet Raven's Amazing Mom. Plus, Jujubee & Manila's Sassy Sisters!". LOGO News. Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  6. ^ O'Wisdom, Pearl (March 15, 2010). "RuPaul's Drag Race: Here Comes the Bride". Poptimal. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Stranksy, Tanner (March 23, 2010). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' recap: The queens throw shade and shill books". Popwatch. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Stransky, Tanner (March 30, 2010). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' recap: Drag mamas, Cloris Leachman, and the season's most controversial elimination!". Popwatch. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  9. ^ D, Jacob (March 30, 2010). "RuPaul's Drag Race: Mom's And Babies". Reality TV Calendar. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  10. ^ RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars cast includes Jujubee, Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon from chicago.gopride.com; 06 August 2012
  11. ^ The Queens Take Vacation Back: Orbitz Behind The Scenes from www.newnownext.com 12 November 2012
  12. ^ "David Petruschin". Emmys.com. Television Academy. Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  13. ^ Spargo, Chris (25 October 2012). "XELLE's 'Queen' Music Video Features Every 'Drag Race' Queen: Watch October 25, 2012 ● by Chris Spargo". New Now Next. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  14. ^ James, Diego (13 December 2012). "WATCH: Raven in New MNDR Video for 'Feed Me Diamonds'". Out. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  15. ^ https://youtube.com/UO7M7-Hd6I8?t=171
  16. ^ https://youtube.com/qk7ChII_Up0?t=203

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