This is the beginning of the rest of RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s life…on MTV! The iconic drag competition show officially makes its MTV debut Friday with a two-episode premiere featuring guest judge Ariana Grande.
This season, the competition will harken back to the first seasons of Drag Race with iconic challenges and, if the Meet the Queens interviews released in December have been anything to go by, tons of drama. Fans have often complained both about the lack of drama on certain seasons and other seasons having too much drama. But for sason 15, the queens have talked about how there will be enough drama to keep fans who want some controversy glued to their chairs.
This is also the biggest season yet for Drag Race, with 16 queens competing for the crown and the largest grand prize every, $200,000 via Cash App. This season, however, there doesn’t seem to be any reliance stunts (like the chocolate bar stunt from Season 14) that could keep queens sticking around after they sashay away, meaning the fight for the crown, which has been marked by these stunts in recent seasons, might have an intensity previous seasons have lacked.
Another addition is a new judge. Online personality Ts Madison has been a guest judge for several seasons of Drag Race at this point, and this season, she has finally crossed over into becoming a permanent member of the judges panel with Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews.
Guest judges this season include some of the biggest names in music, television, film and social media. Along with Grande, Ali Wong, Amandla Stenberg, Harvey Guillén, Hayley Kiyoko, Janelle Monáe, Julia Garner, Maren Morris, Megan Stalter, and Orville Peck will also judge the queens on their runway looks and maxi challenges.
The queens gunning for the crown this season are: Amethyst (West Hartford, CT), Anetra (Las Vegas, NV), Aura Mayari (Nashville, TN), Irene Dubois (Seattle, WA), Jax (Queens, NY), Loosey LaDuca (Ansonia, CT), Luxx Noir London (East Orange, NJ), Malaysia Babydoll Foxx (Miami, FL), Marcia Marcia Marcia (New York, NY), Mistress Isabelle Brooks (Houston, TX), Princess Poppy (San Francisco, CA), Robin Fierce (Hartford, CT), Salina EsTitties (Los Angeles, CA), Sasha Colby (Los Angeles, CA), Sugar (Los Angeles, CA), and Spice (Los Angeles, CA).
Watch the interviews the queens conducted with Shadow and Act’s managing editor, Trey Mangum, below. RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Fridays at 8/7c.