Previously on Drag Race: Season 12 kicked off the first of two premieres by introducing seven of the contestants—each of whom was absolutely amazing in her own way. No one went home. Widow Von’Du and Gigi Goode kicked absolute booty.
The seven girls from the first episode return to the werk room to discuss recent events and the incoming group. Everyone is pretty much in agreement––these seven queens are the shit and the other girls are gonna have trouble measuring up. Spoiler alert: they’re absolutely right.
Widow Von’Du leaves a cute message/warning on the mirror for the next group.
The next mornting, the first seven girls are gone and it’s time for the newcomers to make their entrance.
Rock M. Sakura (Rock M. for short, pronounced “Rockum”) is the first in the werk room, and once she’s done screaming like a banshee, she runs around the room and puts her stank all over the place. She’s a crazy anime queen with Trixie Mattel-style makeup and she seems to have a great sense of humor. Love her already.
Dahlia Sin is from the Haus of Aja, so she’s Aja’s drag daughter… and apparently a biological clone of the bitch. She looks like Aja, she sounds like Aja, she has the same speech mannerisms… it’s a little scary. She introduces her style as being very banjee, which… yep, Aja. We’ll see if she’s able to differentiate herself.
The next queen in is…
So. Listen. If you haven’t caught yourself up on the T about this queen, please read up on it immediately. She-who-will-remain-unnamed has done terrible, terrible things to many people over the course of nearly a decade and I have absolutely no interest in featuring her on this blog. So please consider this your friendly forewarning that she will not be mentioned or pictured in these recaps. Periodt.
Now for a real contender: It’s Jan! The lady comes in with a sparkly backpack, which is a reference to her former name. You know, that backpack brand. Like Brita, Jan is sadly unable to use her full name on the show. So now, in the spirit of Jack McFarland, she’s “JUST JAN”!
Jan is polished as hell and she’s a fabulous singer. I can’t wait to see what she pulls in this competition.
This next girl is not a drag queen. You can’t convince me that that’s a man. That’s 100% a woman, Maury. Self-proclaimed female impersonator Jaida Essence Hall is about to pee all over this season. It’s going to be the Jaida show up in here, and I am fully okay with that.
Aiden Zhane is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, flavored like a horror movie. She’s a weird queen with interesting makeup and… not a whole lot of personality. The other queens try to get answers out of her to some very basic questions like “what kind of drag do you do” and “what do your shows look like” and Aiden has nothing to say. She doesn’t really perform at all, apparently.
This episode is going to follow pretty much the same pattern as the previous one, starting with a fashion show mini-challenge. We’ve got a few extra guest stars this week alongside the usual judges.
Let’s start with the Spring Collection.
First up, Rock M. Sakura struts down the catwalk wearing this beautiful kimono with long-ass sleeves. And guess what? She DREW the whole design on it. Talent. Her hair and makeup are pretty fierce too.
Dahlia Sin is looking cute in this neon green and orange combo, very reminiscent of Trinity The Tuck‘s All Stars 4 entrance lewk. Has it been done before? Yes. Am I mad at it? Nope.
Jan is looking gorge in this Bavarian ballerina confection. It’s creative, it’s cute, it’s bubbly. The makeup is perfect. I’m into it.
Jaida Essence Hall is giving the judges and the audience everything they need today. This revealing floral number is so beautiful, and the breastplate, hair, and makeup sell it. It’s purchased.
Aiden Zhane is wearing a sort of gardening-themed outfit. I like the water drops but like… I hate everything else about it. Sorry queen.
Rock M. Sakura looks pretty and polished in this shapely garment. The koi design is beautiful, and the color combo with that gorge hair is working.
Dahlia Sin is wearing a strange, partly see-through, almost Michelin Man-esque fur number that makes her look like a bitchy poodle. I like the baby hairs. Not sure how I feel about the rest.
Jan is proving she can do fashion effortlessly with this reptilian haute couture lewk. The sunglasses and high ponytail really help sell the garment. I approve.
Jaida’s getup is a very pleasant lavender color. The hair to the side really works and she’s serving a bit of French fantasy with the beret. Eat your heart out, Nicky Doll.
Aiden Zhane introduces herself as a queen who loves ugly things, which… makes sense with this outfit. It’s really ugly, but like in a high fashion kind of way? I don’t know, girl. That said, she is serving face for the gawds, so go Aiden.
With that out of the way, the queens de-drag in the werk room. Rock M. Sakura talks about how she loves feeling the steam come out of her pads when she’s taking her tights off.
Dahlia Sin is de-dragging and while I’m not personally into it, a few of the other girls are into her masc lewk. Including Rock M, who, as it turns out, is also attractive in Dahlia’s eyes.
RuPaul comes in to announce this week’s maxi-challenge. Like last week, the queens must put together a musical number where they’ll write and record their own lyrics. Except the theme this week is a lot more Broadway than hip-hop.
Dahlia Sin expresses her excitement at working on a Bob Fosse-inspired number, but when a producer asks her who Fosse is, she admits she has no clue.
Moving on to the choreography rehearsal, Rock M. is designated as the choreographer but she quickly fades into the background as Jan gives more and more suggestions and sort of becomes the leader of the pack. Jaida, however, thinks they should simplify the choreography for the weaker members. By the end of the rehearsal, no one knows the choreography. Jaida tells the girls they should’ve listened to her and simplified the dance, but that it’s too late to fix it now.
Meanwhile, Aiden looks like the gothy closeted teenager who’s waiting for his mom and dad to stop arguing so he can finally enjoy the new My Chemical Romance album in peace.
The next morning, tension is in the air as the queens start to get up in drags. A few of the girls are pretty nervous about how poorly the rehearsal went. Rock M. in particular is feeling very vulnerable, as she was asked to lead the group and failed the team. She hates feeling like the cause for other people’s unhappiness. She realized during the rehearsal that this feeling stems from childhood. Her mother, who was addicted to meth, used to tell her as a kid that she and her siblings were the reason she did drugs.
Jaida jumps in and comforts Rock M. with some sound advice: “You are not responsible for anybody else’s baggage. What anybody else does is not on you.”
With that done… It’s showtime!
The Broadway-style Fosse number gets started and it’s very “Cell Block Tango,” which I love. Of course, that’s way harder to pull off than the poppy “I’m That Bitch” rap the first group had going. Let’s see how these gals do.
There was some doubt that Aiden Zhane would do well with all the other queens questioning her ability, but she ends up delivering a super convincing performance. The schizophrenic shtick she has going on works very well with the number’s style.
Dahlia Sin does her best, but her verse is pretty lackluster––not to mention a bit misleading. She sings about winning titles and selling out venues, which like… has she really?
Jaida Essence Hall, on the other hand, makes this whole thing look effortless. Her moves are fluid and her voice sounds like butter. Like I said, ladies: this bitch is going to take over the world.
Jaida’s a tough act to follow, but Jan shoulders that burden like it’s nothing and absolutely murders her verse. She chews the scenery until it’s mangled. Her singing voice is beyond phenomenal, like, Adore Delano / Courtney Act level.
Rock M. Sakura has chosen to play a 1920s gangster-y character with an accent. It’s entertaining, though it perhaps doesn’t help a ton with defining who she is as a performer. Still, she nails the dance moves.
Our runway category this week: es Tulle Favric!
Aiden Zhane’s dress is a bit simple but pretty. The color combo with her perfectly coiffed wig is pretty satisfying, and her old-school horror makeup is really growing on me.
Dahlia Sin is serving up ’80s pop-rock icon. The boots are cute, but the dress is just okay. Her makeup is also a little underwhelming. She’s still pretty, though!
Jaida Essence Hall looks damn near perfect in this incredibly flattering gown. The hair, the makeup, the accessories… THE BODY. Crown it.
Clever Jan decided to interpret the category both ways: “tulle” and “tool.” She’s put together this excellent construction worker lewk made of tulle… with tools to go with. And girl, the traffic cone earrings? Winner winner, chicken dinner.
Rock M. Sakura went all the damn way and has built a mountain of colorful tulle around her. She still manages to show off her body despite all the fabric, though, so it’s a real win.
Most of the queens get good critiques, though Michelle Visage asks Dahlia Sin for some elaboration on her confusing lyrics. It quickly comes out that she kinda made that stuff up.
In the Untucked lounge, Rock M. is having trouble containing her emotions. She feels a lot of pressure to represent her home town of San Francisco and she got some slightly negative critiques about her number and runway outfit.
Dahlia and Rock M. check in with each other as they’re getting ready to potentially lip-sync. They know each other from New York, and they give each other a mutual pep talk and promise to make a double shantay happen in case they do have to lip-sync.
Like last week, no one is being eliminated: Aiden, Rock M, Dahlia, and Jan are declared safe. Jan? Safe?!
Jaida Essence Hall is the top queen of the week!
Jaida gets to do a victory lap to the tune of special guest judge Robyn‘s “Call Your Girlfriend”. She takes off the lower half of her garment, does some kicking, some splits, and just aces the number.
Jaida gets a cash prize of $5,000 dollahs!
With those shenanigans out of the way, the queens return to the werk room… Where the first premiere’s ladies are waiting for them.
After Nicky Doll gloriously calls the girls “Same, same, same, camp, camp, same” in her confessional, the seven girls from the first group emit a beautifully rehearsed, collective “meh.”
Let’s do a run-down with the new gang!
Aiden Zhane – Aiden came in as a clear underdog, with everyone wondering exactly what she had to bring to the table. She had some questionable lewks in the fashion show mini-challenge, but she still established herself as somewhat of a threat despite the odds. Good for her.
Dahlia Sin – Dahlia is very pretty, but I worry she’s just not ready for this level of competition. She’s out of her league and I think she’s aware of that. Here’s hoping she surprises us, because she won’t last long otherwise.
Jaida Essence Hall – Jaida, Jaida, Jaida. Where do I start? This ho is the clear frontrunner of the season in my eyes. She’s gorgeous, she’s witty, she’s a great dancer and lip-syncer, and she’s shown she has enough confidence and self-love to carry both herself and others around her at the same time. I’d say skip the season and hand her the crown if I wasn’t so in love with the rest of this cast.
Jan – Jan’s only negative critique this week was that she wants to win… too much? I don’t understand that at all. I’m guessing they’re trying to give her a Thorgy Thor-style storyline of the overly ambitious gal who has trouble focusing her ideas. But bitch, did you SEE her performance and her runways?! Ain’t nothing there to talk shit about!
Rock M. Sakura – Like Heidi N Closet last week, poor Rock M. got off to a rough start in the competition. She’s dealing with some pretty serious demons and her style is probably going to be a bit too much for the judges on a weekly basis, so she’s got a steep climb ahead of her. But she’s funny, and talented, and so lovable. I hope she sticks around.
Overall, though, I must agree with the first group of girls. While these new girls are cute and fun, most of them don’t measure up to even the weaker members of the first group. Yikes.
Next week, the girls are all together and shit starts to get real! Can’t wait. Stick around, honies!