The second part of Drag Race’s Season 12 premiere introduced us to the final six queens (5 after the disqualification of Sherry Pie earlier this week) and gave them a very familiar task. Although the episode didn’t quite hit the highs of last week’s episode, it certainly didn’t drop the ball either. If Season 12 continues at this pace, then we are in for a treat of a season.
The episode began with last week’s Queens returning to the Werkroom after no one was sent home. However, before the Queens could even finish their conversation, they’re interrupted by a message from Ru, instructing them to leave a message on the mirror for the new queens. They decided to leave the message “We Done Already Done Has Oursus”, with a little kiss from Widow.
With the old Queens gone, it was time for the next batch to enter the Werkroom. The first to enter was our personal favourite so far, Rock M. Sakura. Rock entered with the energy of 50 ten-year-olds, running around the Werkroom, crawling on the floor and leaping onto tables. From the moment she entered, Rock immediately stole our hearts with her sharp wit and lovable personality. If she doesn’t at least win Miss Congeniality (or Fan Favourite) then we will riot. Rock immediately noticed the mirror message left by the other Queens and notices that some of the stations are already filled with wigs and clothes, but before she can even begin to process that, the next Queen entered. That Queen was Dahlia Sin, drag daughter of Drag Race Season 9 and All-Stars 3 alumni Aja. Dahlia looked stunning in her “Sexy Denim Chandelier” look. Jan Sport (now just Jan, like how Brita Filter is now just Brita), arrived in the Werkroom wearing a purple, sparkly sequined varsity cheerleader outfit, showcasing her fun and spunky attitude. Jan gave off the immediate impression that she is determined to win the crown and that the only thing stopping her is US copyright infringement.
The essence of beauty herself, Jaida Essence Hall was the next Queen to enter the Werkroom, and she immediately showcased herself as fierce competition before she even met the other girls. Jaida exuded confidence, beauty and personality, quickly making her a natural front-runner in the race (which she promptly reinforced by the end of this episode). The final Queen to enter the Werkrook and the final Queen of the season was the “In-Zhane” Aiden Zhane. From the moment she entered wearing black latex with a red and gold jacket, and her unusual arched eyebrows, Aiden felt like the underdog. The other Queen’s began questioning her drag and her experience, which seemed to knock Aiden’s confidence throughout the rest of the episode. Overall, this new batch of Queens had us really excited for the season, especially for the next week when both groups are united.
With all the Queens together, they began to notice what Rock also noticed in the beginning, that it seems they aren’t the first to arrive. After a brief interruption by some Ru-Mail, Ru entered the Werkroom to greet the Queens and explain to them this season’s opening twist, as well as their first mini-challenge.
Fall and Spring Challenge
Just like last weeks Queen’s, the girls were tasked with a fashion show, showcasing a Fall and Spring look. Unfortunately, none of Queens managed to outshine some of the looks from last week’s runway presentation. Jan and Jaida presented some great Fall looks, with Jaida’s lavender beret and pant look, and Jan’s faux Crocodile coat. Dahlia went full faux fur with both of her looks, giving us a green shoulderless dress from Spring, and a full Black fur dress and headpiece for Fall. Rock M.Sakura won this particular mini-challenge for us with her anime-inspired, hand-painted Spring look, and felt Koi fish Fall look. The only major failure on the runway was Aiden’s Fall look, which was reminiscent of an old teapot cosy that you would find at your Gran’s.
The girls de-dragged and Ru entered the Werkroom once again to tell them what this week’s main challenge would be. Without Nicki Minaj there as guest judge, it was not surprising that the girls weren’t tasked with another rap performance, yet the actual challenge wasn’t too far off. This week, the girls had to write the lyrics and choreograph to the Fosse-inspired number “You Don’t Know Me”. The Queens immediately got to work, writing their lyrics, but they hit a snag when it came to the choreography. Rock was put in charge of choreography with Sherry assisting, but as soon as the girls started practising, arguments ensued.
Jaida clashed with the other girls over the complexity of the choreography, with Jaida stating that it should be simplified to allow everyone to keep up, and to help with the crunching time limit. While eventually, the other girls did agree, Jaida states that she feels her opinions weren’t being validated, causing a small disagreement amongst some of the girls. Throughout this, Rock stayed quiet and drifted into the background, apologising and blaming herself, stating that as the leader, she felt responsible for small chaos.
The next day, while getting ready for the main challenge, Rock opened up to the other girls about her childhood, explaining why she shut down during the confrontation with the choreography, and why she felt responsible. In an emotional moment, Rock states that being in leadership roles triggers her, as she doesn’t want people to feel bad because of her actions. She said that it all stems from her childhood, where her mother was addicted to meth and would pull her to the side and tell her that she was addicted to meth because of Rock.
Onto the Main Stage, joining RuPaul, alongside Michelle Visage and Ross Matthews on the judging panel this week was actress Thandie Newton and Swedish Pop Superstar Robyn. Overall, despite the issues in the rehearsals, the girls put on a great show with “You Don’t Know Me”, a song very reminiscent of Cell Block Tango from Chicago. While the song didn’t quite reach the highs of last weeks I’m That B**** performance, there was still some outstanding performances. Aidan was easily the most surprising, as she came out bursting with confidence and delivered an excellent, expressive performance. Jan went full out with her performance, showcasing all her talents to the judges in just 25 seconds, with dancing, cartwheels and a high note that could even leave Mariah shaking. Rock delivered a fun and silly performance, with fart jokes and a 1920s accent. However, it was Jaida who stole the show this week, giving us a performance with fun lyrics which managed to perfectly summarise Jaida as a Queen, as well as a threat in the competition plus some great moves to back it all up.
Runway time and Category is: Tulle
Overall, while most of the Queens went the expected route with the theme, there wasn’t a bad outfit in the bunch, topping last week’s Sparkle runway. Rock M. Sakura stole the runway this week with her look, using 800-900 yards of Tulle, and still giving shape and definition. Add a beat mug and great wig to the mix, and you have a winner. Jaida was an image of beauty on the runway, living up to the “essence of beauty” she describes herself as, and Aidan and Dahlia both provided gorgeous Tulle dresses. While all three were stunning, overall, they felt like they were playing it a little safe. Jan was the only Queen to really take the theme into a different direction, toning down the Tulle and instead, going for the double entendre. Jan’s Tulle-belt/Toolbelt look was a great way to distinguish herself from her other competitors, and while we feel it should have secured her a Top 2 placement with Jaida, the judges didn’t seem to agree.
After the judge’s deliberations, the show repeated the same trick as last week and gave us a Top 2 lip-sync, with no one going home. Jaida and Sherry were this week’s Top 2 and had to lip-sync to Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” inIfront of Robyn herself. Unlike last week’s lip-sync to Starships, this lip-sync was more one-sided as Jaida destroyed Sherry on the stage. Whereas Jaida was giving emotion, face and tight lip-sync and split and tricks, Sherry seemed to be dedicating her number to Season 9’s Charlie Hides, and just stayed still for most of the number.
In a shock to no-one, Jaida was the winner of the challenge, netting her the second win of the season, and a sweet $5,000. It’s not over yet as Ru announces that the Queens are about to meet their competition, as last week’s girls are in the Werkroom waiting to meet them and greet them with a unanimous “MEH!”
So, that’s the full premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 done, and we couldn’t be more excited for the rest of this season. Our current favourites are Rock M. Sakura, Jaida Essence Hall, Gigi Goode, Crystal Methyd and Heidi N Closet, and we can’t wait to see what they (and the rest of the cast) will bring to the show this season.
Thanks for reading and remember to join us next week for episode 2. Please share your thoughts with us on this season of Drag Race and tell us your favourite Queen so far on Twitter @Fuzzable.