'RuPaul's Drag Race': Adam Rippon announces the cast of Season 11

By Nicole Girten
Olympian Adam Rippon announced the cast of Season 11 of "RuPaul's Drag Race" Thursday on VH1's Youtube. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
1 of 2 | Olympian Adam Rippon announced the cast of Season 11 of "RuPaul's Drag Race" Thursday on VH1's Youtube. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and Season 10 winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Aquaria announced the cast of Season 11 of RuPaul's Drag Race Thursday.

Rippon interviewed the queens after they walked the runway. Viewers voted via hashtag between two challenges per queen on what they wanted the queens to perform and Aquaria explained the challenges before the queens attempted to complete the tasks in under a minute.


After interviewing with Rippon, the 14 queens premiered the official Season 11 promo video, which revealed there would be a 15th contestant in the competition.

The additional queen is Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, who Sashayed Away on the first episode of Season 10 before a clip of her exiting the stage earned her a cult following online. Mateo, drag daughter to Season 3 contestant Alexis Mateo, told Rippon she was nervous to return to the competition because she wanted to make her fans proud.


"Hopefully the audience will get to know me other than what they see on social media," she said.

The first contestant announced was A'keria Davenport of the same Dallas drag family as Season 7 queen Kennedy Davenport and the late Sahara Davenport of Season 2. She said that her experience in pageants helped prepare her for the competition. A'keria Davenport had to guess what was inside a fuzzy pink box based on feel alone and correctly identified a lobster, a plate of pasta and a snake.

Honey Davenport of the same family was also announced as part of the cast. Honey Davenport came out in a bee-inspired look and said she was "buzzing out love to each and every person watching today." Honey was a backup dancer for Season 9 performer Peppermint and is a drag mother to All Stars 4 competitor Monet X Change. Honey Davenport played Quick Straw where she used a straw to move pretzels from one bowl to another.

New Jersey native Ariel Versace was the second drag queen announced. Versace described her makeup style as a "Bratz doll aesthetic." The fans chose the "Know Your Herstory" challenge and Aquaria peppered Versace with questions about U.S. history.


Brooke Lynn Hytes was the first contestant to hail from Canada. Hytes has a background in ballet and performed en pointe with the all-male drag ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. She won Miss Continental in Chicago. She was asked to throw darts blindfolded.

Kahanna Montrese, drag daughter of Season 5 and All Stars Season 2 queen Coco Montrese of Las Vegas, came out in a Cardi B inspired purple bodysuit. Montrese attempted playing flip cup.

Mercedes Iman Diamond will be the first Muslim drag queen to be featured on Drag Race. The pageant queen said of being on the show, "I just want to share to those kids out there that are so scarred to be who they are." Mercedes played "Art is Blind" where she painted a canvas with vision blocking glasses on.

Nina West of Ohio auditioned nine times before making it on Season 11. Rippon said the first time he went to a gay bar West was performing. West said she remembered meeting Rippon after the event because of a mutual figure skating friend. West played a game called "Under Wraps" where she had to mummify a VH1 intern with toilet paper.


Plastique Tiara, the self proclaimed "Asian Barbie," had a Crazy Rich Asians-inspired blue feathered look. Tiara is the drag daughter of Dancing Queen star and All Stars 2 drag queen Alyssa Edwards of Texas. Tiara had to put a pancake in drag with different condiments.

Pageant queen Ra'jah O'Hara said that participating in competitions before didn't necessarily prepare her for the competition. It was her first time auditioning. Her favorite song to lip sync to is "Do it well" by Jennifer Lopez. O'Hara had to pin a tail on a blown up photo of New York City drag queen Lady Bunny.

Scarlet Envy, a Kentucky native who moved to New York City, walked out in a red jumpsuit with fabric roses and flaming red hair. She said her outfit was the closest she'd get to "running in the races," referencing the Kentucky Derby. Rippon agreed to go to the Louisville horse race with her if she wore that outfit on the event. Envy had to "Sit on a Secret" and guess different items by sitting on them.

Shuga Cain is a New York City baker with an online business selling pastries. Cain said she is the oldest competitor, though did not reveal her age. The performer said she is "over the moon" to represent New York City and said the key to success in the New York drag scene is being "good on the mic."


"You can do the splits, you can do the tricks and all that but you have to be able to make the kids laugh," Cain said.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache, a plus-sized queen from Mississippi, said she doesn't have fans, she has family. "You a part of the Silky Ganache family, I ain't got no fans," she said. Ganache said she was the "new Latrice Royale" referencing the Season 4 and All Stars 1 & 4 drag queen. Ganache had to place a cookie on her forehead and and get it in her mouth without using her hands.

Korean drag queen Soju said her look was inspired by "K-pop street chic." Soju got her name from the Korean alcoholic beverage, which she says tastes like "watered down vodka." Soju hosts a K-pop party called Seoul Train held throughout the U.S. and said her favorite K-pop group is Black Pink. Soju had to eat food blindfolded and guess what she ate.

Yvie Oddly of Denver said her favorite runway challenge in the history of the show was the Apocalypse runway from Season 4 because it mimicked how she feels when she's running late for a show. The drag queen has a booming laugh that she described as "dopey meets Goofy meets Santa Claus meets Satan." Oddly had a box filled with ping pong balls strapped to her back and had to twerk to get them all out.


Adam Rippon won the bronze metal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and in doing so was the first openly gay man to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Rippon also won Dancing with the Stars: Athletes with partner and former ice skater Tonya Harding in May 2018.

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