Nicki Minaj to Be the First Celebrity Guest Judge on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 12

There’s a new performer joining the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12, and we’re not talking about Carson Kressley. Thanks to a teaser posted to the Drag Race Instagram account, fans got their first look at a celebrity judge joining Mama Ru on the panel. Here’s what we know about the premiere of this Emmy-award winning reality series.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ returns for its 12th season during February 2020

With wig “ruveals” and death drops galore, it’s not always easy to judge a “lip-sync for your life” moment on RuPaul’s Drag Race. While celebrity guest judges share their thoughts on the runway looks and main challenges, the final decision is RuPaul’s to make. 

With each lipsync, the contestants of this series are one step closer to the crown and the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” Now, RuPaul’s Drag Race returns for another season, complete with 13 drag performers, a handful of celebrity guest judges, and plenty of twists, turns, and twirls.

(The contestants of this upcoming season are Aiden Zhane, Brita, Crystal Methyd, Dahlia Sin, Gigi Goode, Heidi N Closet, Jackie Cox, Jaida Essence Hall, Jan, Nicky Doll, Rock M Sakura, Sherry Pie, and Widow Von’Du.)

Rapper Nicki Minaj will be the celebrity guest judge for the ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 12 premiere

On Jan. 30, RuPaul shared another sneak peek into the upcoming season of his reality series. The first celebrity guest judge joining the panel is the “Super Bass” and “Starships” rapper, Nicki Minaj, as seen in the teaser posted to Instagram. 

“You look like a Barbie out of the box,” Minaj says in the Instagram clip, while wearing a red semi-see-through gown. Past celebrity guest judges on this series include Ariana Grande, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, and Gigi Hadid. 

For the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’s first season, Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield appeared as a judge. However, this will be Nicki Minaj’s first time judging on this Emmy Award-winning reality series.

Rapper Nicki Minaj at the 2019 Met Gala
Rapper Nicki Minaj at the 2019 Met Gala | Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

There are 13 contestants competing on season 12 of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Maxi-challenges, mini-challenges, and runways aside, one of the most important aspects of Drag Race, and of live drag performances, are the lip-syncs. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, RuPaul shared more of the lip-syncing process, and the most iconic moments, for the contestants.

“The lip-sync is always such a telling point of this whole experience because the girls are literally lip-syncing for their lives in this competition. And it could be the very last thing that people around the world see of their experience in doing the show,” RuPaul said. “I’ve seen a lot. Not just on this television program, but in lip-syncs since I started working in show business.”

“On this show, we’ve seen tears. We’ve seen a wig underneath a wig. What I’d like to see someone do is take out a set of teeth to reveal another set of teeth. That would be great,” RuPaul continued. “You know, alien drag.”

Fans will just have to wait until the season premiere to find out what reveals the contestants have up their sleeves. Or under the wigs, rather. Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.