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RuPaul's Drag Race (season 12)

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RuPaul's Drag Race
Season 12
Broadcast fromFebruary 28, 2020 (2020-02-28) –
 ()
JudgesRuPaul
Michelle Visage
Ross Mathews
Carson Kressley
Host(s)RuPaul
BroadcasterVH1
Competitors13
Runtime60 minutes
Chronology

The twelfth season of RuPaul's Drag Race premiered on VH1 on February 28, 2020.[1]

In August 2019, both RuPaul's Drag Race and the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars were renewed and announced by VH1. This was expected as the series, along with the behind-the-scenes RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked, were nominated for fourteen Emmy Awards, a record for the network.[2] The cast was officially revealed on January 23, 2020 by season 11 winner Yvie Oddly.[3]

The casting call was in January 2019.[4] The season premiered on February 28, 2020.[3][4] After confirming revelations of sexual misconduct made against her by several people, contestant Sherry Pie was disqualified from the show and largely edited out of the American broadcast (with overseas versions retaining the original edit).[5]

Contestants

Ages, names, and cities stated are at time of filming.

Contestant Age Hometown Outcome
Aiden Zhane 29 Acworth, Georgia TBA
Brita[a] 34 New York City, New York TBA
Crystal Methyd 28 Springfield, Missouri TBA
Gigi Goode 21 Los Angeles, California TBA
Heidi N Closet 24 Ramseur, North Carolina TBA
Jackie Cox 34 New York City, New York TBA
Jaida Essence Hall 32 Milwaukee, Wisconsin TBA
Jan[b] 26 New York City, New York TBA
Sherry Pie 27 New York City, New York TBA[c]
Widow Von'Du 30 Kansas City, Missouri TBA
Nicky Doll 28 New York City, New York 11th Place
Rock M. Sakura 28 San Francisco, California 12th Place
Dahlia Sin 28 Los Angeles, California 13th Place
  1. ^ Brita Filter is referred to as Brita on the show.
  2. ^ Jan Sport is referred to as Jan on the show.
  3. ^ As of March 6, 2020, World of Wonder and VH1 have disqualified Sherry Pie from the competition. The disqualification occurred after production wrapped, therefore she is still in the episodes of the show, but will not be at the Live Finale.

Contestant progress

Contestant 1 2 3 4 5 6
Aiden Zhane HIGH SAFE LOW HIGH
Brita HIGH SAFE BTM2 LOW
Crystal Methyd SAFE LOW SAFE SAFE
Gigi Goode TOP2 SAFE WIN HIGH
Heidi N Closet LOW HIGH SAFE BTM2
Jackie Cox HIGH HIGH SAFE HIGH
Jaida Essence Hall WIN SAFE HIGH SAFE
Jan HIGH SAFE SAFE HIGH
Sherry Pie TOP2 WIN SAFE WIN
Widow Von'Du WIN SAFE SAFE HIGH
Nicky Doll LOW BTM2 HIGH ELIM
Rock M. Sakura LOW SAFE ELIM
Dahlia Sin LOW ELIM Guest
     The contestant won the challenge
     The contestant was declared as one of the Top 2 in the first episode and won the lipsync
     The contestant was declared as one of the Top 2 in the first episode but lost the lipsync
     The contestant received positive critiques and was ultimately declared safe.
     The contestant received critiques but was ultimately declared safe.
     The contestant received negative critiques but was ultimately declared safe.
     The contestant was in the bottom two.
     The contestant was eliminated.
     The contestant was disqualified from the competition after production was completed.
     The contestant returned as a guest for that episode.

Lip syncs

Episode Contestants Song Winner
1[a] Gigi Goode vs. Widow Von'Du "Starships"
(Nicki Minaj)
Widow Von'Du
2 Jaida Essence Hall vs. Sherry Pie "Call Your Girlfriend"
(Robyn)
Jaida Essence Hall
Episode Contestants Song Eliminated
3[b] Dahlia Sin vs. Nicky Doll "Problem"
(Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea)
Dahlia Sin
4 Brita vs. Rock M. Sakura "S&M"
(Rihanna)
Rock M. Sakura
5 Heidi N Closet vs. Nicky Doll "Heart to Break"
(Kim Petras)
Nicky Doll
     The contestant was eliminated after their first time in the bottom two.
     The contestant was eliminated after their second time in the bottom two.
  1. ^ In episodes 1 and 2, RuPaul declared that no one would be eliminated and the top two would lip sync to determine the winner of the challenge.
  2. ^ From episode 3, RuPaul implemented the original format of elimination back into the show.

Guest judges

Listed in chronological order:[6]

Special guests

Guests who appeared in episodes, but did not judge on the main stage.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

  • Charo, actress, singer, classical guitarist, comedian
  • Vivacious, contestant on season six

Episode 5

  • Dahlia Sin, contestant on season twelve

Episode 6

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
1461"I'm That Bitch"February 28, 2020 (2020-02-28)

Seven queens enter the work room, composing of Brita, Nicky Doll, Widow Von'Du, Jackie Cox, Heidi N Closet, Gigi Goode, and Crystal Methyd. RuPaul announces the first mini-challenge is to present two sets of runway looks: one for spring and one for fall, akin to Season 7's first mini-challenge.

For the main challenge, the seven queens are tasked to write lyrics and provide choreography to the track, "I'm That Bitch". Tensions erupt between Brita, Heidi, Jackie, and Widow regarding choreography, resulting in Heidi taking charge of choreography. The queens are able to perform the routine in front of guest judge, Nicki Minaj. The runway category for the episode is "Sparkles".

On the main stage, four girls (Gigi Goode, Widow Von'Du, Brita, and Jackie Cox) are given high praises, despite critiques on Brita's verse not showing much of her personality and Jackie's makeup not being able to hide her beard. Crystal Methyd is given mixed reviews on her runways but praise for her verse. Heidi N Closet and Nicky Doll receive negative critiques, with the latter coming off as nervous during the performance despite the judges loving her runways and the former selling her performance but faltering on her looks. After the judges deliberate, Brita, Jackie Cox, Crystal Methyd, Nicky Doll, and Heidi N Closet are all declared safe, leaving Gigi Goode and Widow Von'Du to be declared as the top two of the episode. They lipsync to "Starships" by Nicki Minaj; Widow Von'Du wins the lipsync, earning the first win of the season and an additional cash tip of $5,000.

  • Guest Judge: Nicki Minaj
  • Alternating Judge: Carson Kressley
  • Mini-Challenge: Walk the runway showing off two looks; one from their spring collection, the other from their fall collection.
  • Main Challenge: Write and record an original rap verse to "I'm That Bitch" and choreograph a routine to be performed live on the main stage.
  • Runway Theme: Sparkles
  • Top Two: Gigi Goode and Widow Von'Du
  • Challenge Winner: Widow Von'Du
  • Lip Sync Prize: A $5,000 cash tip
  • Lip Sync Song: "Starships" by Nicki Minaj
  • Eliminated: None
1472"You Don't Know Me"March 6, 2020 (2020-03-06)

At the beginning of the episode, the remaining six contestants are introduced: Rock M. Sakura, Dahlia Sin, Sherry Pie, Jan, Jaida Essence Hall and Aiden Zhane. For the mini challenge, each queen needs to present two sets of runway looks: one for spring and one for fall.

For the maxi challenge, the queens are asked to perform in an introductory musical number inspired by Fosse. The theme for the runway is tulle.

During critiques, the queens receive mostly glowing critiques, especially Jaida Essence Hall and Sherry Pie, albeit Rock M. Sakura receiving a mild negative critique about using fart humor and mixed reviews regarding her runway. Dahlia Sin receives negative feedback and is called out for letting her nerves get to her and for not fully showing who she truly is. After deliberations, Jan, Aiden Zhane, Rock M. Sakura, and Dahlia Sin are all declared safe, leaving Jaida Essence Hall and Sherry Pie as the top two of the episode. After they lipsync to "Call Your Girlfriend" by Robyn; Jaida Essence Hall is declared the winner of the challenge.

After the episode, the six queens meet the first seven girls of the season.

  • Guest Judges: Robyn and Thandie Newton
  • Alternating Judge: Ross Mathews
  • Mini-Challenge: Walk the runway showing off two looks; one from their spring collection, the other from their fall collection.
  • Main Challenge: Write and record an original Fosse-inspired jazz number.
  • Runway Theme: Tulle
  • Top Two: Jaida Essence Hall and Sherry Pie
  • Challenge Winner: Jaida Essence Hall
  • Lip Sync Prize: A $5,000 cash tip
  • Lip Sync Song: "Call Your Girlfriend" by Robyn
  • Eliminated: None
1483"World's Worst"March 13, 2020 (2020-03-13)

The episode begins with the first seven queens meeting the last six queens in the werkroom. They kiki over what transpired during their respective weeks, resulting in the second group revealing that there have been spats between them, particularly between Jaida Essence Hall and Sherry Pie. The first group conceals the earlier argument between Jackie Cox, Brita, Widow Von'Du, and Heidi N Closet as a sort of unity tactic against the second group.

The mini-challenge is for the two past challenge winners, Widow and Jaida, to rank their competition from their opposite weeks between "TOPS" (their fiercest competition) to "BOTTOMS" (their least intimidating competition), resulting in Widow, Jaida, Heidi, and Aiden Zhane as the team captains of the week.

The main challenge of the week is an improv challenge where the queens are grouped into fours for a talent competition called "World's Worst". The queens are grouped as follows: (1) Aiden Zhane, Sherry Pie, and Brita; (2) Heidi N Closet, Gigi Goode, and Jackie Cox; (3) Widow Von'Du, Nicky Doll, and Crystal Methyd; and (4) Jaida Essence Hall, Rock M. Sakura, Dahlia Sin, and Jan. On the runway, the category is Buttons and Bows.

After the runway presentations are complete, Aiden Zhane, Brita, Gigi Goode, Jaida Essence Hall, Jan, Rock M. Sakura, and Widow Von'Du are all declared safe. Heidi N Closet, Jackie Cox, and Sherry Pie are given positive critiques for both their performances and runways, and Heidi is commended for stepping up her game as team captain. Meanwhile, Crystal Methyd, Dahlia Sin, and Nicky Doll receive negative critiques for their performances in the challenge, while Nicky receives high accolades for her runway with both Crystal and Dahlia garnering mixed reviews. Ultimately, Sherry Pie is declared the winner of the challenge, while Nicky Doll and Dahlia Sin are declared the bottom two and duel to a lipsync to Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea's "Problem"; Nicky wins the lip sync, eliminating Dahlia who hastily leaves the stage.

  • Guest Judge: Olivia Munn
  • Alternating Judges: Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley
  • Mini–Challenge: Queer-Peer Assessment
  • Main Challenge: Improv in a talent competition, called "World's Worst"
  • Runway Theme: Buttons and Bows
  • Challenge Winner: Sherry Pie
  • Main Challenge Prize: A $5,000 cash tip (VH1 and World of Wonder donated $5,000 to The Trevor Project as a result of Sherry Pie's disqualification from the competition.)[9]
  • Bottom Two: Dahlia Sin and Nicky Doll
  • Lip Sync Song: "Problem" by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea
  • Eliminated: Dahlia Sin
  • Farewell message: "Keep Ur Heads UP I♡U ALL! -Dahlia ♡"
1494"The Ball Ball"March 20, 2020 (2020-03-20)

For the mini-challenge, Ru asks all the queens to get into quick drag dressed up as bees and shake their stingers in a beehive jive dance-off to raise awareness about the decreasing global bee population. Gigi Goode is declared the winner and Ru announces that this weeks maxi challenge is a ball-themed ball (known as The Ball Ball) where the queens need to participate in three categories: Lady Baller, Basketball Wife Realness, and Balls to the Wall Eleganza. The queens must make the final look from scratch having already brought looks for the other two categories. As the queens are preparing, Nicky Doll expresses her bewilderment with not being able to bring her silly side to the runway and feeling so reserved in front of the judges, despite being freely goofy and comedic in the werkroom, and vows to change that, while Rock M. Sakura tells the others about how her makeup style, resemblant of Kim Chi and Trixie Mattel, originated from racist remarks against her supposed work-ethic as a drag queen. Tensions rise when Aiden Zhane proceeds to take a nap after she finishes her final runway look far ahead of everyone else, irritating the other queens as they feel she isn't working as hard as them to push and elevate their drag in order to win the competition.

On the main stage, the girls present all of their outfits and Crystal Methyd, Heidi N Closet, Jackie Cox, Jan, Sherry Pie, and Widow Von'Du are declared safe. Gigi Goode, Jaida Essence Hall, and Nicky Doll receive positive feedback from the judges on all their outfits, but Nicky is once again critiqued for presenting herself too stiff onstage and is encouraged to continue to let go and do weird things. Meanwhile, Aiden Zhane, Brita, and Rock M. Sakura are negatively critiqued by the judges. Aiden is told her Lady Baller runway is a "home run" but is heavily clocked by Michelle for doing nothing more than gluing balls to a corset for her Eleganza look and her last two looks being far too simple. Rock M. meanwhile is praised for her creativity but is critiqued for doing too much particularly on her Eleganza runway and not editing her aesthetic, and Brita receives overall mediocre feedback, particularly for her Balls to the Wall creation. After the judges deliberate, Gigi Goode is announced as the winner of the challenge, while Brita and Rock M. Sakura face off in a lip sync to "S&M" by Rihanna. Brita is the winner of the lip sync and Rock M. is eliminated from the competition.

  • Guest Judge: Leslie Jones
  • Alternating Judge: Ross Mathews
  • Mini–Challenge: "The Beehive Jive" dance competition
  • Mini–Challenge Winner: Gigi Goode
  • Mini–Challenge Prize: A $2,500 cash tip
  • Main Challenge: Create three looks based on Sports Balls; Lady Baller, Basketball Wife Realness, and Balls to the Wall Eleganza
  • Challenge Winner: Gigi Goode
  • Main Challenge Prize: A $5,000 cash tip
  • Bottom Two: Brita and Rock M. Sakura
  • Lip Sync Song: "S&M" by Rihanna
  • Eliminated: Rock M. Sakura
  • Farewell message: "To all of my special queens, make sure you do what I couldn't do. Love yourself, respect yourself, and remember to show the world that you care about what you believe in. I‘m devastated I couldn‘t stay longer. But choose forward to looks of for memories with you. Rock M. Sakura ♡ Love you all truly ♡"
1505"Gay's Anatomy"March 27, 2020 (2020-03-27)

The episode begins with the queens entering the workroom after Rock M. Sakura's elimination, with Jackie Cox and Brita emotional over Rock M.'s departure. The queens sit on the couch, discussing Gigi Goode's win, and Nicky Doll's constant criticism from the judges for being unable to show a lighthearted, comedic side of her. Aiden Zhane discusses her performance in last week's ball, defending her looks while Jaida Essence Hall admonishes Aiden for making excuses, saying that she should have been in the bottom two. The queens disperse, with Heidi N Closet and Widow Von'Du discussing Aiden's overall performance in the competition.

The next morning, the queens enter the workroom and RuPaul informs the queens that they will be acting in a Grey's Anatomy parody titled "Gay's Anatomy". The queens randomly select pills to decide which two queens will get to assign roles, and Gigi Goode and Nicky Doll choose the winning pills. The queens discuss which parts they want, and most of the queens end up getting the roles they requested. However, Aiden Zhane and Widow Von'Du receive different roles to their dismay. Carson Kressley directs the skit, and critiques Jaida Essence Hall for not being able to deliver her lines, Brita for inconsistent acting, and Nicky for being low energy. He gives praise to Gigi for her acting, Widow for incorporating improv into her performance, and to Aiden for following his direction.

On the main stage, with Normani as a guest judge, the queens walk the runway wearing capes. The queens see the final cut of Gay's Anatomy. Aiden Zhane, Gigi Goode, Jackie Cox, Jan, Sherry Pie, and Widow Von'Du are the best of the week, with Sherry Pie being the winner, while Brita, Crystal Methyd, Heidi N Closet, Jaida Essence Hall, and Nicky Doll were overshadowed. Crystal receives positive critiques for her runway and performance and is the first to be deemed safe. Jaida receives lukewarm reception for her performance, but is praised for her runway and is declared safe. Brita receives mixed reviews for her performance and is the last queen to be deemed safe. This leaves Nicky and Heidi in the bottom, as they both receive negative reviews on their runway looks and for their performance in Gay's Anatomy. The two queens lipsync to "Heart to Break" by Kim Petras, Heidi N Closet is the winner, and Nicky Doll sashays away.

  • Guest Judge: Normani
  • Alternating Judge: Carson Kressley
  • Mini–Challenge: Pink Pill or Silver Pill
  • Mini–Challenge Winners: Gigi Goode and Nicky Doll
  • Mini–Challenge Prize: Assigning the roles for the main challenge
  • Main Challenge: Overact in Gay's Anatomy, a parody of the popular TV show Grey's Anatomy, which focuses on a group of young doctors that work in a hospital.
  • Runway Theme: Planet of the Capes
  • Challenge Winner: Sherry Pie
  • Main Challenge Prize: A $5,000 cash tip (VH1 and World of Wonder donated $5,000 to The Trevor Project as a result of Sherry Pie's disqualification from the competition.)
  • Bottom Two: Heidi N Closet and Nicky Doll
  • Lip Sync Song: "Heart to Break" by Kim Petras
  • Eliminated: Nicky Doll
  • Farewell message: "I may not have gotten a crown. But I have gotten a sisterhood. I♡U. Your French sister! (I'm still the prettier) 💋"
1516"Snatch Game"April 3, 2020 (2020-04-03)

Sherry Pie misconduct allegations and disqualification

“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.”

Statement from VH1 and World of Wonder.[10]

Ben Shimkus, a 25-year old actor, posted an update on March 4, 2020 to the social media site Facebook detailing his experiences with Sherry Pie, real name Joey Gugliemelli.[11] Shimkus and Gugliemelli had attended the same music theater program at SUNY Cortland. Shimkus' post detailed how Gugliemelli deceived him under alias "Allison Mossey".[11] In an article with BuzzFeed News published on March 5, 2020 four other men came forward with similar allegations of Gugliemelli posing as Mossey. Another former classmate at SUNY Cortland alleged that Gugliemelli deceived him to film various scenes with revealing clothing and where he pretended to take steroids for a fake musical version of The Nightmare Before Christmas that he was told Tim Burton was affiliated with. Other victims were tricked in similar ways.[12]

Gugliemelli posted an apology on his Facebook page, where he states that he is sorry for "[causing] such trauma and pain" and that he has been "seeking help and receiving treatment since coming back to NYC".[12][13] On March 6, 2020, VH1 released a statement regarding the incident, and made the decision to disqualify Gugliemelli from the contest. The season will air as planned but Gugliemelli will not appear in the live finale. On the same day BuzzFeed News confirmed that two more men came forward to them with similar allegations, bringing the total of the victims to seven.[14]

After both episodes 3 and 5, wherein Sherry Pie won the challenge and received $5,000 cash tips, World of Wonder donated $5,000 to The Trevor Project.[15]

Ratings

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 "I'm That Bitch" February 28, 2020 0.19[16] 0.504[16]
2 "You Don't Know Me" March 6, 2020 0.24[17] 0.558[17]
3 "World's Worst" March 13, 2020 0.23[18] 0.542[18]
4 "The Ball Ball" March 20, 2020 0.33[19] 0.678[19]
5 "Gay's Anatomy" March 27, 2020 0.29[20] 0.630[20]
6 "Snatch Game" April 3, 2020 TBD TBD

References

  1. ^ Swift, Andy (August 19, 2019). "RuPaul's Drag Race Renewed for Season 12; All Stars 5 Also Ordered". TVLine. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (August 19, 2019). "VH1 Renews Two Series in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Franchise". Variety. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  3. ^ a b Mitchell, Amanda (August 21, 2019). "RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12: Premiere Date, Trailer, Cast, News". Oprah Mag. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  4. ^ a b Bonner, Mehera; Chambers, Hannah (August 19, 2019). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 12 Air Date, Cast, Filming, Judges". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  5. ^ Street, Mikelle (21 March 2020). "'Drag Race' Did Edit Out the Queen They Disqualified From Season 12". Out.com. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  6. ^ Rudolph, Christopher. "AOC, Robyn, and More RuVealed as "Drag Race" Season 12 Guest Judges". LOGO News. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  7. ^ Rudolph, Christopher. "Nicki Minaj Will Pound the Alarm on "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 12 Premiere". LOGO News. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  8. ^ a b c Fitzgerald, Christine (February 29, 2020). "Let's Kiki About The Top 10 Moments Of The RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Premiere". Socialite Life. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  9. ^ Alter, Rebecca (March 13, 2020). "Here's How RuPaul's Drag Race Is Dealing With Its Sherry Pie Problem". Vulture. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  10. ^ Dehnart, Andy (March 7, 2020). "RuPaul's Drag Race disqualified a queen but will still air season 12". Reality Blurred. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Abad-Santos, Alex (2020-03-07). "RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Sherry Pie is disqualified after admitting to sexual misconduct". Vox. Archived from the original on 2020-03-07. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  12. ^ a b Mack, David (March 5, 2020). ""Drag Race" Star Sherry Pie Apologized After Five Actors Accused Her Of Catfishing". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  13. ^ Chilton, Louis (2020-03-06). "Drag Race star apologises for 'trauma and pain' following catfishing claims". The Independent. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  14. ^ Mack, David (March 6, 2020). "Sherry Pie Has Been Disqualified From "Drag Race" After A BuzzFeed News Investigation Into Catfishing Allegations". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  15. ^ Bray, Abbie (March 14, 2020). "RuPaul's Drag Race donates $5k to Trevor Project after Sherry Pie catfish allegations". Metro UK. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 2, 2020). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals and Network Finals: 2.28.2020". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 9, 2020). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals and Network Finals: 3.6.2020". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 16, 2020). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals and Network Finals: 3.13.2020". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 23, 2020). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals and Network Finals: 3.20.2020". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 30, 2020). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals and Network Finals: 3.27.2020". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2020.