Fear not, Covid-19 won't halt the finale of RuPaul's Drag Race season 12

22 May 2020 - 00:00 By Paula Andropoulos
The cast of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 12, with disqualified contestant Sherry Pie front and centre.
The cast of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 12, with disqualified contestant Sherry Pie front and centre.
Image: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for VH1 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

For superfans of television staple RuPaul’s Drag Race, the highly anticipated twelfth season has been rife with unstaged surprises.

To begin with, a leading contestant (Sherry Pie, aka Joey Gugliemelli) was disqualified before the show even aired, after confessing to a spate of sexually exploitative catfishing offences.

Now, the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing the show's producers to come up with a creative alternative to the usual format of the finale, which has been filmed at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles for the majority of the past few seasons.

This must be especially challenging because RuPaul’s choice of winner is informed not only by the contestant’s track records, but also by their performance in a final lip-sync face-off, which varies slightly depending on whether three or four queens have made it through to the final hurdle.

Fear not, though: the finale will be taking place on May 29, as scheduled. This year, though, the three finalists – Gigi Goode, Crystal Methyd and Jaida Essence Hall – will be dancing their last dance from home, with the judges and last season’s winner in wait to elect and then crown the winner.

It remains to be seen how successful this solution will prove to be, given that the details of the queens’ outfits and their interactions with one another normally play such a large part in sorting the wheat from the chaff.

Who will film them? Will we be able to see? What if one of them loses their WiFi connection mid-move? All of this remains to be seen - and most of us diehards are just relieved and happy that the finale is even taking place at all.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is the latest of several shows to adopt a virtual platform for its finale, joining the ranks of All Rise, The Voice and Survivor.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is on Netflix SA.