While we’re glued to our screens watching season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in quarantine, there’s no denying things have been a little different for the hit show this time around.
We’re talking about you, Miss-Rona.
A global pandemic, that has killed 40,000 people in the US alone, means cancelled gigs for the foreseeable future, loss of income and, well, the loss of the opulent Drag Race finale fans adore so much.
“It’s going to be different in terms of what we’re used to but my hope is that it won’t taint the season,” judge Ross Mathews told HuffPost Australia during a phone interview from his Californian home.
“But I think we’ll be really able to crown the right woman of season 12 - no matter how we do it.”
When RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12 premiered in the first week of March, Australia had just 39 confirmed cases of Covid-19 while the US had 188 reported cases. A chaotic month of global panic, lockdowns, economic fallout (especially in the entertainment industry) and widespread mortality has followed.
So just what will the finale look like?
There is no official word yet and Ross said he was unsure what the plans are for the finale which will stream in Australia on May 30 on Stan.
“The entertainment industry is good at pivoting in these times,” he said.
“Whether it’s getting the news from newscasters who are sitting in their basements, to experiencing the finale a little different.”
Despite fans labelling season 12 as the “cursed series”, reviews have deemed the queens some of the most talented on the show yet, with Ross adding that they’re innovative and will have to showcase their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent online for now.
“It’s a bummer, these queens are so good and so talented,” he said.
“I hope that the fact that we won’t have the same kind of finale and we won’t be on the road right away after the season ends, won’t hurt them financially.”
Ross pointed out that Drag Race fans are incredibly smart and won’t forget the faces on season 12.
After all, the whole world is in quarantine waiting for the latest episode to drop every week.
“The second things get back to normal, we’re going to be out there shaking dollar bills,” he added, “screaming at the queens to do death drops and we’re going to be paying those queens’ bills - because they’ve earned it.”
His favourite moment on the show so far?
“I got to sit next to Robyn for a day, I wanted to call my girlfriend, but I don’t have one,” he laughed.
Standby though because there are many more big names to come on the guest judging panel this season.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking to fill the time between Drag Race eps, Ross’ podcast Straight Talk drops every week and often features former Drag Race alumni.
Right now we’re reading Ross’ new book Name Drop - an autobiography-style read that showcases spicy celeb stories that Ross only divulges after a couple of cheeky drinks.
Each celeb yarn is paired with one of his famous recipes and cocktails, aka Rossipes.
“There’s a couple of chapters about Barbera Walters in there who was not super great with me,” Ross said, looking back over his 18 years in the industry.
“The cocktail that’s paired with her chapter is the ‘Old Fashion With Extra Bitters’ - read into that whatever you may.”
Got to love the sass.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 (plus RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked) streams in Australia on Stan on Saturdays and you can download Name Drop on Audible now.