Like a RuGirl returning to All Stars with some fresh fillers and a new set of pearly-white veneers, RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race is back this summer looking better than ever.
In spring of 2020, the franchise spin-off made a fun if conceptually confused debut, in which trios of celebrities (Vanessa Williams and Loni Love among them) were given drag makeovers by queens, and then asked to compete in classic one-off challenges, like Snatch Game or the Rusical.
The idea behind things being “secret” was flimsy at best given the contestants “RuVealed” themselves at the episode’s outset, but, hey, it was early on in the pandemic and we were happy for another diversion.
This August, the format gets a revamp (a RuVamp???), taking a page from The Masked Singer to ensure that the “secret” stays in Secret Celebrity Drag Race. As a brand-new trailer details, 9 stars will compete in “the ultimate lip-sync showdown,” undergoing drag transformations while keeping their identities hush-hush.
These stars are sitting on a secret! ? ?
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) July 18, 2022
On a souped up soundstage, they’ll perform in front of a live studio audience to be judged by Mama Ru, Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews, and Carson Kressley. It’s not until contestants are eliminated that they’ll untuck and reveal who they really are underneath those wigs.
Along the way, they’ll have the help of regular “Queen Supreme Mentors”: All Stars 7‘s Monét X Change, Brooke Lynn Hytes (taking time off from Canada’s Drag Race hosting duties), and Jujubee—returning to the franchise for a sensible 74th time. As Entertainment Weekly reports, Eureka, Gottmik, Katya, Morgan McMichaels, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, and Violet Chachki will also appear as special guests.
Naturally, we’re dying to know which celebs will make up this “secret” cast. Presumably, we’ll be guessing at who’s who all season long, but the early teaser does provide a few clues of its own, which has inspired the internet to put on its sleuthing trousers and get to the bottom to the mystery. Let’s take a closer look…
For the most part, our celebrities are only shown speaking in silhouette, (fiercely) lit from behind, but we do get this very Brady Bunch-esque shot of them each walking to the set. Now, how well do you know the backs of your favorite stars’ heads? Can you help us out here?
Even more than hairstyles, hats seem to be the big giveaway here, as fans are already pointing out who is likely Mean Girls‘ Daniel Franzese (center-left) with his unmistakable style, and Backstreet Boys’ AJ MacLean—still rocking a wide-brimmed hat after all these years.
Elsewhere in the teaser, it’s the celebrities’ voices that are causing some fans’ ears to perk up. For example, consensus seems to be that that’s the iconic Loretta Divine saying, “This is gonna shock the h*ll out of everybody” at around the 0:30 mark.
Loretta Devine!!!!! pic.twitter.com/rZ4Rm1DIPY
— ✨ (@heyjaeee) July 18, 2022
And the Gleeks are hungry, too, with some wondering if Jenna Ushkowitz—Glee’s Tina Cohen-Chang—is in the Brady shot, while others are pretty certain that this is Kevin McHale, the artist formerly known as Artie Abrams.
We’ll leave it at that for now, but there are plenty of other guesses floating around the internet (Esther Dean? Brittany Broski? Tan France?) if you know where to look. But the spoiler-averse won’t have to wait long: The second season of RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race premieres August 12 on VH1.
Back in early 2020, Secret Celebrity Drag Race was actually the Queerty Award-winner for “Next Big Thing,” so we feel vindicated by this new season’s buzzy reception online. Here’s what Gay Twitter™ has to say:
— Seddera Side (@sedderaside) July 18, 2022
RuPaul putting out Season 14, UK vs The World, All Stars 7 and Secret Celebrity Drag Race all within 7 months of 2022
Me: I’m tired Ru
— ? (@heyjaeee) July 18, 2022
RuPaul: “let’s give the gays EVERYTHING they want”
— ray ? (@mascarayde) July 18, 2022
juju will come back for the 193729th time and we‘ll still be watching! pic.twitter.com/Xt79yQ2av7
— c #teamjinkx #teamjaida #teamraja (@catearine) July 18, 2022
When someone is eliminated do they say “Take it off” and the queen starts frantically removing make up,tearing her lashes out, snatching her wig and untucking just for the judges to be like “no way, it’s Jason derulo”
— hello olleh (@mehehhhmeh) July 18, 2022