Welcome back to RuPaul's Drag Race, my lovelies! You're just in time for some very exciting news from season 13 – and yes, that is the casting we've been waiting for. Now, I reported on this back in the summer, and I am pleased to say the tea on casting spoilers was absolutely scalding and totally correct. However, now that the official announcement is here, let's get into it.
We have Chicago queens Denali Foxx and Kahmora Hall; Los Angeles queens Gottmik and Symone; and from Atlanta, for the first time on Drag Race, we have drag mother and daughter, Tamisha Iman and LaLa Ri. Repping Las Vegas is Elliott with 2 Ts; for Phoenix is Joey Jay; and from the North, Utica Queen rules Minneapolis. And of course, rounding out the bunch are our requisite New York queens, Tina Burner, Rosé, Olivia Lux, and Kandy Muse.
Now, since the season premieres on VH1 New Year's Day, there's already a lot of promo and reaction videos out there – so let's discuss what all the first impressions of the queens are!
Denali Foxx: I am in love with her snowflake look we see in all the promos – and it's fitting since she's from Alaska (the state, not the queen) and a professional figure skater. First Alaskan queen and I am already gagged by everything about her. Yes, I am team Denali, and no, it's not just because she skates too.
Kahmora Hall: It took me admittedly far too long to put together that she's drag sisters with reigning champ Jaida Essence Hall…as well as Naysha Lopez and Dida Ritz. To add to the Drag Race legacy, she's also the drag mother of Soju (but not her cyst). I can't wait to see what Kahmora has in store – and if she makes it to snatch game and she doesn't do Kimora Lee Simmons, I will sue the bitch.
Gottmik: Not throwing shade here, but Alexis Mateo did mention in her reaction video to the Meet the Queens video that she wasn't a fan from her introduction. Something just didn't click and her personality didn't shine through and connect with us. I agree completely with that assessment, but I thoroughly look forward to actually meeting Gottmik on the show – he is also Drag Race's first transman competitor.
Symone: Now, not to put too much emphasis on relationships to past queens on the show, but Symone is GiGi Goode's drag sister. That sets a high bar for her fashion and ability, but I'm not hyping her too much because I am buying whatever she's selling after that promo wig alone.
Tamisha Iman: I'm not sure if having a mother/daughter drag duo on the show puts them at an advantage or a disadvantage, but it will certainly be interesting, that's for sure! Both are Atlanta queens, and that means they're bringing the Southern charm, sass, and the two-piece and a biscuit too, right?
LaLa Ri: I cannot wait to see her in this competition – she's giving me Chi-Chi Devayne vibes and I am obsessed. I love me a sassy southern queen, and I'm sure both LaLa and her drag momma will bring it.
Elliott with 2 Ts: Another dance queen, this ballet dancer performs in sin city itself, and apparently has already gotten established in the drag scene thereby completing the ever-popular rite of drag passage: pissing off resident Britney herself, Derrick Berry. Britney beef aside, I am excited to see what Elliott with 2 Ts has up her ruffled cha-cha sleeves this season.
Joey Jay: I love a good punk queen, and this season is Joey Jay – keeping it real with no secret identity drag name. She's serving Morgan McMichaels classic polished butch queen lesbian and I am living for it. Though it is noted that she doesn't usually wear a lot of wigs, and we all know how Michelle feels about a queen without a wig.
Utica Queen: I can already see it – Utica is this season's "quirky queen", like a Trixie Mattel, Thorgy Thor, or even Jinkx Monsoon. Maybe it's just the mixed pastel plaids in her promo outfit or her very Northern midwest accent, but I can see her sense of humor either paying off or being a miss one week that gets her in her head about every choice after. Either way, there's bound to be some unique Utica looks.
Tina Burner: Tina is an established staple in the NYC drag scene- her name pops up on Bob the Drag Queen's podcast, in documentaries, and now she herself is on Drag Race. As an old school camp queen, I can't wait to see how she does in this competition – especially with her signature fiery wigs.
Rosé: I can't figure out if she's cosplaying Jem from Jem and the Holograms in her promo look, but I feel the same either way: obsessed with the glamour with just a hint of confusion. At any rate, the confusion was enough for Simon Cowell, a judge on America's Got Talent when her girl group (also consisting of her drag sister and RuGirl Jan) was on the show, they got into an argument after Simon gave them the X – twice! Hopefully, Drag Race will hold better odds for her.
Olivia Lux: Another musical queen, but Olivia has the report card to back it up: with professional musicals on her resume, we have another singer and actress this season. She seems sweet and super talented and I cannot wait to see exactly how she slays these challenges.
Kandy Muse: Last but certainly not least is the drag daughter of Aja and drag sister to Dahlia Sin, plus size piece of candy, Kandy Muse. The internet is already comparing her to Miss Vanjie, but I hope she has a better fate her first season than Vanjie did!