RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 may have just wrapped up, but RuPaul ain’t playin’ henny. Just weeks later, she’s back with 15 more queens looking to win that check and the glory on the season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 tonight on VH1.
In the debut episode, Miley Cyrus goes undercover in the Werk Room to spy on the new cast of queens competing for the grand prize of 100,000 doe-lahs. The first challenge is to create signature looks from materials belonging to former Drag Race legends.
Ahead of tonight’s premiere, here’s the low-down on all the new queens (and the one returnee!) who will be dancing, prancing, and trying to snatch that crown this season.
Nina West, 39, Columbis, Ohio
A self-proclaimed “comedy queen,” Nina takes her influences from The Muppets, Pee-Wee Herman, and Harvey Fierstein. She writes and produces her own shows and in 2008 won an award for Entertainer of the Year with a legendary moving dress that later inspired Sia. (The singer wore a similar look during a recent Coachella performance.)
“If the queens know who I am, I think some are gonna go ‘f–k, she’s here,'” said West.
Shuga Cain, 40, New York, N.Y.
According to Shuga herself, she can do anything despite the fact that she’s only been doing drag for a year and a half. Surprising her audience is one of her top performing priorities.
“I don’t want people to come to my show and be like ‘Oh, we know what Shuga’s gonna do today,'” she said.
Shuga made the decision to quit her job to pursue drag full-time and two days later, Drag Race came calling.
Plastique Tiara, 21, Dallas, Texas
“I like to describe my drag as the three P’s: Polished, persistent, and pussy,” she says in tonight’s premiere.
Plastique grew up in Saigon, Vietnam giving her plenty of inspiration from Vietnamese pop stars. She’s looking to prove that she’s more than just young and pretty. “I have some stuff in my repertoire.”
Mercedes Iman Diamond, 30, Minneapolis, Minn.
Mercedes makes quite an entrance tonight in the Werk Room and then proclaims herself to be the “African princess.” She grew up in Kenya and moved to the States when she was 11.
“My drag is all about body, oddy, jewels, bling-bling-bling, honey!”
Scarlet Envy, 26, New York, N.Y.
Scarlet Envy is here to balance “Southern beauty and New York City grit.”
“My drag is about embracing the beauty that you were blessed with, and I happen to be very blessed,” she says in an intro interview.
Honey Davenport, 32, New York, N.Y.
Honey calls herself “New York City’s crown jewel,” serving style that’s “anything the hell I feel like that day.”
According to Honey, she’s a performer who exceeds limits. Two months ago, she starred in an Off-Broadway play and she was also formerly in a band.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo , 26, Los Angeles, Calif.
Vaaaaaaaaanjie! Miss Vaaaaanjie!
In Season 10, Vanjie was the first girl out, but took the internet by storm with her built-in catchphrase and legendary Drag Race exit. (“Bitch, I made lemonade out of lemons!”) But this season, she’s back to prove she’s more than a meme queen, she’s the queen. “I’m not a one episode trick pony,” she says.
A’keria C. Davenport, 30, Dallas, Texas
“My drag is in your face, it’s very sexy and shiny,” says Davenport. Even though some drag queen’s don’t like the term “Pageant Queen,” Davenport has nothing to hide: she’s the current reigning Miss Black Universe.
Yvie Oddly, 24, Denver, Colo.
“Denver’s commodity of drag oddity”…meet Ms. Yvie Oddly. Yvie embraces her oddball nature, taking inspiration from Alexander McQueen, among others. She’s not afraid to shake things up from the normal glimmering bodysuits and excessive hair flipping. “I’m just here to shock.”
Silky Nutmeg Ganache, 28, Chicago, Ill.
Silky describes herself as “creamy and dreamy,” walking into the Werk Room singing, “Big Silk got the good old milk!”
“Silky can do anything. I have jumped on a U.S. postal truck in the middle of my show and drove off…I want to use this platform to start my career, have my own spinoff show—which I want coming in the door, I’m gonna be honest about that! I just want to entertain,” she says.
Brooke Lynn Hytes, 32, Nashville, Tenn.
Brooke grew up in Toronto, Canada, but now lives in Nashville. She was a professional ballet dancer for six years, so her drag centers around dancing and movement.
Ariel Versace, 26, Cherry Hill, N.J.
Ariel is “if Lisa Frank threw up on a drag queen.” She’s a pop princess with “almost 80,000 followers on Instagram” (which I guess is cool to say on national TV?). She can sing, act, and dance and isn’t afraid to turn it up at her shows.
Ra’Jah D. O’Hara, 33, Dallas, Texas
Ra’Jah is a dancing queen known for her kicks, splits, and energy, but as O’Hara claims, she’s also: “It!” She’s from Texas where she claims everything is bigger, better, and bolder.
Kahanna Montrese, 25, Las Vegas, Nev.
Kahanna likes to show her body and keeps it real with her own style of hip-hop showgirl dance queen. She’s also the drag daughter of Coco Montrese who appeared on Season 5 and All Stars Season 2.
Soju, 27, Los Angeles, Calif.
Soju is a K-Pop drag princess who can kick ass but look pretty while doing it. She’s known for her weekly YouTube show, Shot With Soju, where she reviews every episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. “It’s so crazy for me to be here on this side of it,” laughs Soju.
The 11th Season of the Emmy-winning series premieres with a two-hour episode at 9 p.m. on VH1.