Over the past 11 seasons, RuPaul’s Drag Race has relied on tried-and-true reality TV tropes of villains, heroes, underdogs, and Stockholm syndrome to create the usual drama, while also creating a world of unique archetypes all its own. The show’s upcoming 12th season offers up new faces in many of the beloved and be-loathed roles audiences have come to expect.
Filling the role of creepy queen previously held by winners Sharon Needles and Evie Oddly will be Aiden Zhane, who Entertainment Weekly describes as “a cross between Marilyn Manson and Joan Crawford.” The spooky queen is always my favorite, and the fact that this time she’s not only scary but also southern, just like me, makes me very hopeful for a Faulknerian Gothic element to her drag.
This season, the title of the young and beautiful queen who makes both the audience and other contestants feel like crumbling mummies forgotten in a cobwebby crypt goes to Gigi Goode. She is 21 and named after a character from the 2018 season of American Horror Story, which premiered right around the time she started doing drag. She has 42,000 Instagram followers because this type of character always does.
The New York City art queen to hate or love this season, depending on your Thorgy Thor opinions, seems to be Jackie Cox, a self-described theater kid and Star Trek nerd.
And dueling for the roles of “queen Michelle doesn’t get and/or would like to see more from” is Crystal Methyd, who hosts a grunge drag night back in her hometown, and Rock M. Sakura, whose paint is anime-inspired, a look Michelle is slowly getting used to.
Jaida Essense Hall promises to be the pageant queen yearning to prove she can do more, and Sherry Pie is a classic queen á la Nina West or my mother, Chad Michaels.
This season, the perfect blonde foreigner role made famous by Courtney Act will be played by French queen Nicky Doll. Wild cards I’m excited about include Widow Von’Du, a rapper from Kansas City, and Jan Sport, who wore an assless tracksuit for the Twitter ru-veal of the Season 12 queens. Which one of these queens will go home way too soon and who will stay much too long? We will find out when Drag Race returns on February 28.