‘RuPaul’s Drag Race:’ What Is the ‘Twist’ for Season 13?

The Emmy Award-winning reality series, RuPaul’s Drag Race, is back for another season, complete with gags, twists, and twirls. Even the first episode of season 13 comes with a new lip-syncing challenge for these performers. 

[SPOILER ALERT: This article contains major spoilers from the first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13. Read at your own risk, squirrel friends!]

Cast and crew of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' accept the Outstanding Competition Program award onstage during the 71st Emmy Awards
Cast and crew of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ accept the Outstanding Competition Program award onstage during the 71st Emmy Awards | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

RuPaul premiered season 13 of the Emmy Award-winning reality series

Even a pandemic can’t keep a good queen down. After months of anticipation, fans are ready to see who will be crowned “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” The next batch of contestants will have a chance to show off their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. 

This first episode introduced fans to contestants Denali, Elliott with 2 Ts, Gottmilk, Joey Jay, Kahmora Hall, Kandy Muse, Lala Bi, Olivia Lux, Rosé, Symone, Tamisha Iman, Tina Burner, and Utica Queen. However, this season’s premiere includes a surprising, yet exciting, twist for these drag performers. 

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There’s a new twist for ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 13

Within the first few minutes of Season 13, RuPaul calls Kandy Muse and Joey Jay to the mainstage. They were the first of six pairs to “lipsync for their lives,” a challenge normally reserved for the end of each episode.

RuPaul stated this was a chance for the judges to get to know the competitors better. They didn’t get to know them too well, though, as some of the queens sashayed away before the competition even got started.

“The premiere will be like no other season has had before,” Kandy Muse said during an interview with ETOnline. “You walk into the Werk Room and expect day one to just be, like, a regular day at Drag Race. [Laughs] ‘Regular day at Drag Race.’ But to walk in and be like, ‘All right, girls. Hi, we’re here. Six lip syncs?’ That’s gaggy.”

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Will this season include more ‘twists?’

In true RuPaul’s Drag Race fashion, some fans expect another twist is surely coming. Will the eliminated queens return to the competition? Will fan-favorite contestants from past seasons have their chance for ru-demption? Fans will just have to wait for future episodes. 

This wouldn’t be the first time there was a twist in the first episode. For season 9, there was a Lady Gaga-inspired fashion show, with no competitor eliminated. For season 6, RuPaul split the queens into “two big openings,” meaning that two performers were eliminated before meeting the other half of their sisters.

Season 13 of RuPaul’s Emmy Award-winning reality series premiered on VH1 on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2021, with new episodes premiering on a weekly basis. New episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked premiere right after, on the same television network.