After winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 12, Jaida Essence Hall had to accept her crown virtually as the coronavirus pandemic forced the finale to be filmed remotely from home. Luckily for Jaida, she still got to experience love and adoration from fans during a surprise car parade in her honor. “Love to love ya, baby,” tweeted World of Wonder, the show’s production company, along with video footage from Sunday’s parade (watch below). “The parade of cars in Milwaukee surprising America’s Next Drag Superstar @jaidaehall with a celebration is so amazing and pure.”
Love to love ya, baby.
— World of Wonder (@WorldOfWonder) May 31, 2020
“Oh my God! It’s everybody!” Jaida exclaimed as confetti exploded from many of the honking cars. An emotional Jaida broke down as she accepted presents from the crowd, including flowers, champagne and a Baby Yoda stuffed animal. Near the end of the video Jaida started twerking on the sidewalk as fans continued driving through her neighborhood. The 32-year-old Milwaukee resident even shouted, “Look over there!” to a fan, her signature catchphrase.
Jaida received her crown during Friday’s remote finale after competing against Crystal Methyd and Gigi Goode in three separate challenges: a close-up lip sync to “Bring Back My Girls” by RuPaul Charles, a prerecorded lip sync to a song of their choice (Jaida picked “Get Up” by Ciara), and a traditional lip sync to “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. Host RuPaul was supposed to eliminate someone prior to the third challenge, but instead she opted to keep all three in the running for the title.
“Y’all see exactly why I love my home town and my people!” Jaida wrote about her parade. “This was the best surprise.” She also congratulated her “sis” Heidi N Closet for being named the winner of Season 12’s Miss Congeniality, a coveted honor that goes to the kindest queen each year.
Jaida is well aware that her victory comes on the high heels of “difficult times,” including nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Entertainment is incredible but please find time to pay attention to the world you are living in,” Jaida tweeted. She then linked to a video of Peppermint and Bob the Drag Queen discussing “what’s happening in our country right now.”