Entertainment

Everything We Know About the Wacky 'Drag Race' Season 12 Finale

The final leg of the race will look a little different this year.

Crystal Methyd
Crystal Methyd | Courtesy of VH1
Crystal Methyd | Courtesy of VH1

It's the final leg of Drag Race Season 12 and the Red, White & Blue theme of this season has turned more political than anybody anticipated. A New York City queen was disgraced, guest judge Jeff Goldblum fell into controversy after making questionable comments on Islam, RuPaul maybe admitted he has a fracking empire, and a global pandemic put the very nature of drag performances in question.

Even in spite of all the controversy and drama, this season hosted the most talented group of queens yet, and they're not done entertaining the nation. There's still the cast reunion and the grand finale -- and they'll certainly be the least conventional episodes of the series to date. Both episodes were recorded virtually as a result of coronavirus-fueled social restrictions, and there's only a Top Three in the finale instead of the usual Top Four.

With open questions of how the end of the season will actually play out, we've compiled everything we know about the final two episodes of Drag Race Season 12.

When are the final episodes of Drag Race Season 12 airing?

Drag Race goes live on Fridays at 8pm ET on VH1. The reunion episode is set to air on May 22, and winners will be crowned the following week during the May 29 finale.

Drag Race Season 12 finalists
Courtesy of VH1

Which queens made it to the Season 12 finale? 

The final five queens all brought their A-game to the semi-finals, forcing the judges to make Top Four decisions based on the contestants' overall performance throughout the season.

Gigi Goode secured the first spot in the finals after winning the night's Maxi Challenge. The LA queen is the youngest Season 12 contender, known for her chic style, supermodel figure, and stellar report card. She's been a frontrunner since the premiere and survived the season without ever falling into the Bottom 2.

Jaida Essence Hall was next to earn a spot, making a strong comeback after lip syncing for her life the previous week. She placed first in her group during the season premiere, and almost every week since, she's impressed the judges with her quick wit and homemade garments.

Sherry Pie initially claimed the third spot in the finale, but has since been disqualified from the show and barred from appearing in the final episodes after disturbing catfishing and sexual harassment allegations surfaced. Her absence in the upcoming finale leaves a lot of questions about how the episode will be structured.

Crystal Methyd was the fourth and final queen sent to the finale after surviving her first lip sync of the season against Jackie Cox. Crystal began Season 12 as the quirky queen from Missouri that judges weren't sure what to do with, and quickly rose to the top of the pack for continually pushing the boundaries of drag (and wooing America in the process).

Jackie sashayed off the runway, ending her groundbreaking run as the proudly Persian queen from New York City. Though she didn't survive the semi-finals, fans have speculated that she might take Sherry's seat in the Top Four. VH1 has yet to hint at a last-minute replacement, though, so for now it's either #TeamGigi, #TeamJaida, or #TeamCrystal.

Jaida Essence Hall
Jaida Essence Hall | Courtesy of VH1

How will the virtual lip sync competitions work?

We won't know exactly how the finale will look until it airs, but VH1 has announced that the remaining queens performed their final lip syncs in front of RuPaul virtually using "innovative technology that highlights the creativity of the queens," whatever that means. 

At this point, only three queens will be competing for the $100,000 grand prize, meaning the usual sudden-death lip sync structure will have to be altered to give each queen an equal shot at the title (another reason why fans think #TeamJackie should happen). 

Regardless of what VH1 settles on, Season 11 winner Yvie Oddly will be (virtually) present to crown the best-performing queen America's next drag superstar. With three Look Queens vying for the win, it's anyone's guess who will pull out all the stops on the dance floor.

What will the reunion episode look like this year?

RuPaul's ready to kiki, and reuniting virtually will just have to do. On May 22, RuPaul joins all of the Season 12 RuGirls (save for Sherry Pie) on video chat for a slumber party-themed reunion. They'll discuss life in quarantine, rehash the season's most heated moments, and spill the tea on fans' most burning questions. 

In some ways, a virtual reunion might be better -- the queens won't have to deal with Rock M. Sakura's gas or Brita's saliva, and they can hide behind a screen while they spew shade. Expect the typical drama you'd find at any other Ru-union -- sure, the format is different, but the content's all the same.

Crystal Methyd, Jackie Cox, Heidi N Closet
Jackie Cox and Heidi N Closet console Crystal Methyd in the werkroom. | Courtesy of VH1

Who are the frontrunners for Miss Congeniality?

In a show that's built around shade, it's no small feat to stay above the drama. Every contestant had their moments, but a few queens managed to consistently bring positivity to the otherwise-cutthroat competition. During the May 29 finale, Season 11 Miss Congeniality Nina West will pass down the crown to one friendly lady. The title winner also receives a $10,000 prize.

This season's most likely candidate for Miss Congeniality is Heidi N Closet, the small-town funny girl who fought her way through more lip sync battles than any other contestant and ranked sixth among the pack. Her sense of humor, persistent humility, and aggressive kale allergy made her America's sweetheart this season. (It's also fair to note that the past two Miss Congeniality winners have also finished in sixth place.)

Heidi's biggest competition just might be Crystal Methyd, the happiest queen of the season who made no enemies and rarely threw shade -- even in the talking heads. Of course, Crystal's eyes are set on a much larger crown, giving Heidi the upper hand.

In her brief stint on the show, Rock M. Sakura embodied congeniality more than any of the other Season 12 girls, but finishing in 12th place, it's unclear if she's a big enough player to be seriously considered.

Arguments could be made for Jackie Cox and Jan to earn the title, too: Both valued keeping the peace, both were quick to offer a hug, and neither could be accused of expressing no emotion, but they threw just a few too many punches throughout the season to be serious contenders.

Matt Iseman, Dustin Milligan, and Alex Newell
Matt Iseman, Dustin Milligan, and Alex Newell on "Secret Celebrity Drag Race" | Courtesy of VH1

Is there more Drag Race to binge?

Even if you're caught up on all 12 seasons of Drag Race, you're probably not caught up on everything. Of course, you can start by watching Untucked -- the dramatic, post-episode specials that show what the queens discuss backstage while the judges are deliberating -- but you can also dive into one of the Drag Race spinoffs, which are almost as good as the original.

In April, RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race, a four-part miniseries featuring a variety of celebs getting drag makeovers by former Drag Race contestants, debuted. The celebrities, like singer Hayley Kiyoko and actor Dustin Milligan of Schitt's Creek, compete in a series of challenges -- including, of course, a lip sync battle -- to earn prize money for the charity of their choice. All four episodes have aired and are available to watch on VH1.

On Friday, June 5, the fifth season of All Stars premieres, when 10 previous Drag Race contestants will return to the stage for another shot at the crown. Catch up on the first four seasons now and prepare for another great roster of queens that includes Shea Couleé, Miz Cracker, and Jujubee, plus an impressive lineup of guest judges like Ricky Martin, Tessa Thompson, and Jane Krakowski.

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Kyler Alvord can't wait for gay bars to reopen so he can see these queens IRL. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram, if you desire.