We’re already counting down to 2023, mostly because the new year means an all new season of RuPaul‘s Drag Race *Original Recipe*!
Last week, we received word that the Emmy-winning series’ 15th season would be its “biggest yet,” with a whopping 16 queens vying for the crown, including a drag pageant legend, the competition’s first-ever twins, and so many more fierce queens.
Now, Santa Ru kicks off the week of Christmas with a proper Season 15 trailer, giving us our first real glimpses of the girls in the Werk Room, with plenty of other surprises in store.
Check out the trailer below, and then read on for our rundown of its gaggiest moments:
One Premiere To Rule Them All
For the past few seasons, Drag Race has mitigated its ever-ballooning cast by divvying them up across multiple “premieres.” Despite its largest cast ever, that doesn’t seem to be the case here—just look at this shot of the Main Stage; that’s *counts five times over just to be sure* 16 queens! That’s a whole lot of padding! As the trailer announces, Season 15 will kick off with a two-hour premiere, so there will be plenty of time to get to know the girls. But the question remains: Will someone actually be sent home on Week 1?
Guest Judges Galore
Speaking of the premiere, MTV announced last week that pop princess Ariana Grande would be our extra special guest judge to open the season (the queens, correctly, are gagged). But the trailer also grants us a peek at some of the other icons who will be popping by, and they include: Country singer and bad*ss LGBTQ+ ally Maren Morris, Hacks scene stealer Megan “Hi gay!” Stalter, comedy queen Ali Wong, multi-hyphenate nonbinary legend Janelle Monáe, and the inimitable Ts Madison (who EW reports will finally become a regular rotating guest judge—hallelujah!).
Also announced to guest judge (but not shown in the teaser) are: Bodies Bodies Bodies‘ Amandla Stenberg, What We Do In The Shadows‘ Harvey Guillén, pop star Hayley Kiyoko, Ozark‘s Julia Garner, and country crooner Orville Peck.
It’s Not Chocolate?
This one’s more about what we don’t see, but we couldn’t help but notice there was no mention of the Golden Chocolate Bar twist, meaning that little trick may be a thing of the past after only one season. Will the
producers Drag Gods find another way to keep their favorites in the competition instead?
Breaking Free From The Studio
Quite honestly, the most shocking part of the trailer are the brief shots of the queens doing a photoshoot out in the open air! Did you catch that? We assume that, once the competition begins, the cast is hermetically sealed within a soundstage and aren’t allowed to see the light of day until the final lip-sync is over. Drag Race takes its queens out for a challenge once every couple of seasons, so it’s truly wild to see them in nature for what looks to be a requisite mini-photoshoot (complete with hoses and a sopping-wet Pit Crew). It’s a good sign for more fresh challenges to come.
The Ex Factor
The jury’s out on whether or not this will actually impact the competition, but we get to see a “talking head” interview of Amethyst admitting to camera that she “used to date” one of her Season 15 sisters. *Gasp* The edit would have us believe it’s Robin Fierce, who is shown shielding her face in embarrassment, and we can believe it! Both of the queens hail from Hartford, Connecticut, so we wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve shared a few dressing rooms, if you know what we mean.
This Is Not RuPaul’s Best Friend’s Race
Save for an unforgettable showdown between Jasmine Kennedy and Maddy Morphosis (“This is your moment! Have it!”), Season 14 was full of friendship, hugs, and sisterly love. The competition really has gotten nicer in recent years, but could Season 15 be the one to bring back the drama and theatrics that made the show’s earliest seasons can’t-miss television? It’s hard to say—this is a pretty lovable cast already—but the trailer does include some eyebrow-raising moments, including Jax removing herself from a “situation” and Malaysia Babydoll Foxx asking an undisclosed queen to “tone it down a bit.”