Guess who’s back in the house!
Season 16 of the Emmy Award-winning series RuPaul’s Drag Race will kick off Friday, January 5, on MTV and spotlight 14 new queens sashaying down the runway in hopes of winning a crown, a $200,000 grand prize, and the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” The premiere episode will be split into two parts and once again feature the show’s signature variety show, but this time, there will be themes like “MTV’s Spring Breakers” and “Queens Choice Awards.”
Additionally, the premiere will also introduce a new twist, and we all know how Mama Ru loves a good twist. Following the talent show performances, the queens will be tasked to Rate-A-Queen and rank each other’s performances, which will determine the tops and bottoms of the challenge.
With so much at stake, it sounds like we are in for a drama-filled season! And on the plus side, each episode will have the traditional 90-minute runtime, followed by 30-minute Untucked episodes.
So, without further ado, the cast of Season 16 includes…
Amanda Tori Meating, 26 (Los Angeles, California)
Calling all staff: there’s a mandatory meeting to discuss this funny queen! Ready to take it to the top with her wit, wigs, and energetic moves, this talented wig stylist has done wigs for Drag Race stars Sasha and Kerri Colby, as well as Beyoncé’s music video dancers. Amanda is the ultimate mix of camp and comedy.
Dawn, 24 (Brooklyn, New York)
The self-described “ethereal elf goddess of Brooklyn,” Dawn is a fitting name for a queen who often stays up late enough to see the sunrise. Designing and constructing almost all of her eccentric looks, this kooky and artistic queen always brings a story when she hits the stage, and she’s hoping for a happy ending at Drag Race.
Geneva Karr, 30 (Brownsville, Texas)
¡Viva México! RuPaul’s Drag Race’s first Mexican-born queen, Geneva witnessed her parents’ struggles as they worked tirelessly to get her family safely to the United States in search of a better life. A dancing queen with a mischievous energy, she plans to be the first Mexican-born queen to win the [U.S. version’s] crown!
Hershii LiqCour Jeté, 31 (Los Angeles, California)
It’s chocolate! Part of the legendary Haus of Jeté, Hershii counts Drag Race star Kornbread Jeté as her sister. A take-no-prisoners performer with a legion of Los Angeles-area fans, Hershii is now ready to slay the main stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. When not performing, Hershii is very family-oriented, and, together with her boyfriend, is raising two young children.
Megami, 33 (Brooklyn, New York)
This self-proclaimed “geek-chic” queen started doing drag as a cosplayer at conventions such as Comic Con, and from there incorporated high fashion into her characterful designs. Proudly claiming Nuyorican culture, Megami means “goddess” in Japanese, and this creative force now hopes to rule the Drag Race world!
Mhi’ya Iman LePaige, 34 (Miami, Florida)
Get ready for your world to be turned upside-down! An electrifying performer, Mhi’ya is known as the Queen of Flips. That’s because you can find Mhi’ya performing her thrilling flips and tricks in the sun, on the sidewalks of South Beach. Mhi’ya’s videos of her flipping onto café tables have caught fire on social media. Now, she’s ready to flip the competition on its head.
Mirage, 29 (Las Vegas, Nevada)
A heady mixture of stripper heels and stripper moves, the “Legs of Las Vegas” is here! Hailing from Sin City, this Native American and Mexican beauty towers in seven inches heels and legs that go on for days. Already a showgirl sensation on the Strip, this quirky queen is ready to snatch the crown!
Morphine Love Dion, 25 (Miami, Florida)
Body, beauty, and “mug” – just what the doctor ordered. Morphine started out doing makeup tutorials on social media, but now, she is the self-proclaimed “It Girl of Miami.” Can this trained dancer, who has been featured in Maluma and Bad Bunny music videos, cha cha her way to the top of the competition?
Nymphia Wind, 27 (Taiwan/New York City)
Banana time! RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s first queen to hail from Taiwan, Nymphia came to the United States to build on her massive fanbase of “Banana Believers” – a term given to her fans thanks to her signature color yellow, and penchant for the absurd. Inspired by Asian culture, art, and tradition, let’s hope she doesn’t slip up in the competition.
Plane Jane, 24 (Boston, Massachusetts)
Fasten your seatbelts, because, yes, that is how you spell this diva’s name. Plane Jane is as glamorous as she is wickedly funny. Boston-raised, but with Russian roots, and no stranger to competition, Plane Jane was a competitive ballroom dancer as a child. Now, she’s focusing all of her passion on becoming “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”
Plasma, 24 (New York, New York)
Straight out of Old Hollywood, this vintage-inspired femme fatale leaves all of the boys hot and bothered. Raised listening to Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, and Barbra Streisand, Plasma channeled her love for divas into drag, and the rest is herstory. Can this queen’s BFA in musical theatre performance raise the roof at RuPaul’s Drag Race? Only time will tell.
Q, 26 (Kansas City, Missouri)
The only letter of the alphabet you ever need worry about! This talented diva is a theater queen who specializes in the costuming aspect of drag. She makes all of her own looks, plus many commissioned costumes for prior Drag Race stars. Q is ready to go all the way in this competition, one design challenge after the next.
Sapphira Cristál, 34 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Philadelphia’s crown jewel, Sapphira is a serious musician with a six-octave vocal range. This powerhouse performer studied music composition, vocal performance and opera, and in drag she can be found hosting, singing, dancing and performing comedy. Is there anything this diva cannot do?
Xunami Muse, 33 (New York, New York)
This self-described “knock-off Naomi Campbell” is the supermodel of the season. Originally from Colón, Panama, Xunami moved to New York City, where Drag Race superstar Kandy Muse became her drag mother. Signed with a modeling agency in New York, time will tell if this leggy beauty can strut her way to the top!
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 premieres Friday, January 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, followed immediately by new episodes of Untucked.