“RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans, we know you are ready to rate a whole new set of queens (plus one veteran of the show). Season 12 of this Emmy-winning reality competition series kicks off on Thursday. Watch with us as the girls duke it out for the honor of being chosen by RuPaul Charles to join the Drag Race Hall of Fame. A lucky 13 contestants are in the fight for the coveted title. So who shantayed with the first all-important win and which queen sashayed away?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of Season 12, Episode 1 to find out what happened on February 28, beginning at 8/7c. After following along with our live updating blog, be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite queens on VH1’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most, and who you think will ultimately join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list.
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8:00 p.m. – The first queen to enter the workroom is Brita, the “Polynesian Princess” from New York City. She was followed by Nicky Doll, a “French diva” who also lives in NYC now, but still maintains the glamour and fashion of French culture. Widow Von’Du from Kansas City arrived next, vowing to “bring it” for all the big girls out there.
8:03 p.m. – A friend of Brita’s, Jackie Cox, entered next. She calls herself a Broadway and comedy queen, and is proudly displaying her Persian culture. Brita warns us that she’s definitely a performance queen, but questioned whether or not Jackie will bring the looks. And then… uh… next is…. Heidi N Closet who entered flicking her tongue in the oddest noise ever. She tells the other queens that she’s a performer and her goal is to entertain and that’s it. Gigi Goode comes next, and she’s clearly a look queen who focuses on making sure that her visual presentation is always the first thing that everyone notices. As a seamstress and a 21 year old, it’s clear that on some level the other girls are slightly threatened by Gigi. Then a green clown arrived named Crystal Methyd, calling herself the “dancing diva,” but then taking that back. Instead she claims makeup skills as her strongest trait.
8:09 p.m. – With only 7 girls in the room, Ru jumps onto the screen as if that’s the entire cast, confusing the girls, and then enters the workroom herself. He tells them (and us!) that we’re having two premieres this year — with these 7 girls competing against each other for the first one. In their first challenge he asks them to walk the runway in a Spring and a Fall look.
8:16 p.m. – In the “fashion week” runway challenge, Brita walked for Spring in an elegant blue gown, Nicky wore a lilac floral dress, Widow took it to another level with a neon streetwear jumpsuit, Jackie did a retro short mini in bright gem colors, Heidi unveiled herself in a draped dress with an enormous “genie in a bottle” headpiece that was ripped off on her way back up the aisle, Gigi turned it out in a pastel racer jumpsuit and Crystal closed the show in a 70s flower girl style jumpsuit.
8:20 p.m. – For Fall, Brita wore another gown, only darker and shinier this time, Nicky brought a menswear pinstripe look to the runway, Widow wore a busty tear-away gown to reveal a cute pantsuit, Jackie went retro again in yellow and brown pantsuit, Heidi turned out a shorter more fitted dress and hit a death drop at the end of the runway, Gigi put on a dominatrix horse jockey plaid outfit and Crystal had a Freddy Kruger inspired look that was both comical and terrifying all at once.
8:29 p.m. – Back in the workroom after the runway, the girls got to know each other better and I may be wrong, but Nicky was especially attentive to how cute each of the others are out of their drag. Showmance incoming?
8:30 p.m. – For the main challenge, Ru tasked the girls with performing their own verse to a rap song as an introduction to their drag persona. It was a total shock when Ru added that they’d be performing that rap in front of guest judge Nicki Minaj!
8:32 p.m. – During preparation time, Jackie took a sort of leadership role in organizing the roles that each girl would take in the performance and who would choreograph. Widow was worried once it was determined that she’d be one of the choreo leaders, knowing that taking on a “captain” role is the easiest ticket to be blamed for mistakes.
8:39 p.m. – In dance rehearsal, Gigi felt out of place as the least capable dancer of the group while Brita was concerned that Widow wasn’t varying the dance moves enough. Widow took it as Brita, as well as Jackie, stepping on her toes after it had been decided that she’d lead this section of the challenge.
8:47 p.m. – While preparing for the main stage, Nicky and Jackie swapped stories about what it means to be queer in the cultures they come from (Persian and French-Moroccan). The girls also addressed the tension with Widow from rehearsal, but Widow said she’s fine while acknowledging that she’s prepared for the other girls to throw her under the bus.
9:00 p.m. – After their excellent performance featuring standout dancing from both Widow and Heidi, the girls walked the runway for a third time. Crystal stood out here in a full body sequined devil outfit and Gigi looked chic in a glittered horse jockey look.
9:08 p.m. – In critiques, Nicki was most impressed with Brita for her inviting energy and Carson Kressley said that she’s very professional, especially in the way she looks. Michelle Visage scaled it back a bit by saying her rap lyrics didn’t say enough about her, but Nicki disagreed. With Crystal, they all agreed that she was a strong contender, but overall I got the impression that she fell in the middle of the pack. Gigi got a huge compliment from Nicki for her lyrics, but for a look queen she didn’t get any comments on her looks. Heidi had the judges rolling with laughter with her commentary, but Nicki read her for filth for the hair and makeup on the final runway. That being said, they gave her credit for performing so well in the dance considering she was in the ER the previous night with an allergic reaction. Jackie got high marks across the board, for her looks and for her rap lyrics and the performance of it. The judges thought Nicky’s looks and especially her makeup won the night and were head and tails above the competition. Carson complimented Widow for her looks and Michelle noted her high performance level in the rap challenge.
9:22 p.m. – Once deliberations were done, Ru declared Brita, Jackie, Crystal and Nicky safe first. When Ru also announced that Heidi was safe it left Widow and Gigi on stage thinking they were the bottom two and that they’d lip synch for their life, but instead he told them that they’re the top two of the week and that they’d be lip synching for the win! And so they did… to Nicki’s “Starships” for the first win of the season. When the beat to the song kicked in Widow was already going hard, ripping off the cover of her outfit and doing splits while Gigi focused on a more comical take to the song with very little dancing. Twice at the end of the performance Widow did the type of contortion acts that we’re used to seeing on AGT! It had to have been an easy decision for Ru to declare Widow the winner, earning her a $5000 prize and the first win of the season!
NEXT WEEK: The second group of queens arrive for the second season premiere.