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'RuPaul's Drag Race' reveals season 12's new queens

The upcoming season will bring together 13 contestants as they vie for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and a cash prize of $100,000.
Thirteen contestants will compete to be "America's Next Drag Superstar" on season 12 of "RuPaul's Drag Race." Credit is: VH1Charlotte Rutherford / VH1

The new season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will premiere on Feb. 28 on VH1, the network announced Thursday. Along with the highly anticipated debut date, VH1 also revealed the 13 queens who will be sashaying down the catwalk on the 12th season of the popular reality contest show.

“With each new generation of queens, the RuPaul’s Drag Race revolution continues to drive culture,” RuPaul told NBC News in an emailed statement. “And as more and more new viewers discover the show, the phenomenon continues to open hearts and minds with love, laughter and a whole lotta sass.”

The 13 contestants — who hail from across the United States — will vie for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and a cash prize of $100,000.

“RuPaul's Drag Race” has been nominated for 29 Emmy Awards — and has won 13 — since it premiered in 2009. The show made history in 2018 when it became the first series to ever win Emmys for both Outstanding Reality-Competition Series and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program award in the same year. In 2019, the show won both categories again.

“There’s an interesting balance of entertainment and deep stories that really touch our audience,” RuPaul said of the show’s appeal in a press conference following the double wins in 2018. “We started out this show to celebrate the art of drag, and in doing so we brought along a bunch of kids who had varied backgrounds. We have challenges that are fun, but these kids bring their courage and their stories, and that is what the heart is.”

RuPaul also said at the time that the series “adds a little relief” during this time, in which “we’re living in a country that is very divided.”

“We celebrate people who dance outside the box, and those are my favorite kind of people,” he added. “Those stories need to be told, and I think there is value in those stories for everyone, not just drag queens.”

Following VH1’s announcement on Thursday, the network released a short blurb about each of the new contestants, and the 13 queens all shared an Instagram post announcing their upcoming appearance on the hit series.

Aiden Zhane (Acworth, GA)

“Hailing from rural Georgia, it’s apparent Aiden Zhane is attracted to the darker side of life. Horror films, Marilyn Manson, and weirdness all inform her outlandish — and original — spooky persona.”

Brita (New York, NY)

“Everyone who knows drag in New York City knows Brita. That’s because this hard-working Polynesian queen captivates audiences with her famous lip-syncs … no less than seven nights a week.”

Crystal Methyd (Springfield, MO)

“The only thing Crystal Methyd is addicted to is attention. And with her quirky fashions, incomparable makeup skills and screwball sense of humor, she’ll certainly be catching the judges’ eyes.”

Dahlia Sin (Los Angeles, CA)

“Originally hailing from Brooklyn, Dahlia Sin emerged from the Haus of Aja (of Season 9 and All Stars fame). Now this look queen lives in LA, where she wows the west coast with her urban brand of sexiness.”

Gigi Goode (Los Angeles, CA)

“This leggy fashion queen is only 21, but enters the competition with a sizable social media following. Gorgeous fashion illustrations come to life and make her Instagram fans stan.”

Heidi N Closet (Ramseur, NC)

“Heidi comes from Ramseur, a small country town in North Carolina. She playfully says there’s little to do there except count chickens and cows. But her infectious persona is sure to make her a global name very soon.”

Jackie Cox (New York, NY)

“The Persian princess of drag has arrived. Born in Canada and with Iranian heritage, Jackie Cox now considers the New York cabaret stage her home. She loves to write her own shows and bring them to life.”

Jaida Essence Hall (Milwaukee, WI)

“Jaida Essence Hall always strives to be the essence of glamour. She originally wanted to be a fashion designer, and now gets to both live that fantasy and model her own gorgeous creations.”

Jan (New York, NY)

“Jan is a musical theater queen and skilled singer, who can belt in the original key of a female pop star’s song. Ambitious and driven, she’s looking to slay the Drag Race performance challenges.”

Nicky Doll (New York, NY)

“The first French contestant to compete in RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nicky Doll relocated from Paris to New York City, where she enchants audiences with her European catwalk, high fashions and seductive charm.”

Rock M. Sakura (San Francisco, CA)

“Rock M. Sakura’s aesthetic is an amalgamation of anime, manga, and anything pink. With her high-energy, death-dropping performance style and dirty sense of humor, this is a queen who defies categorization.”

Sherry Pie (New York, NY)

“A campy, polished queen who knows her references, Sherry Pie will leave an audience in stitches. And with Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett as her icons, she’s certainly learned from the best.”

Widow Von’Du (Kansas City, MO)

“The Widow is up in the building. A Missouri girl who lives life out loud, this queen can perform the house down … and dance circles around her competition.”

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