RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race: See Every Star's Unrecognizable Drag Queen Transformation
"We put these celebrities through it!" RuPaul said of the series, which featured Vanessa Williams, Nico Tortorella, Madison Beer and more
RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race, VH1's most recent offering in the ever-growing Drag Race franchise, wrapped up its debut season on Friday — and in case viewers missed the transformative series, PEOPLE has gathered every jaw-dropping look together.
Over the course of four episodes, a total of 12 celebrities from film, music, television, stage and comedy learned about the power of drag, undergoing mind-blowing makeovers into drag queens.
Each installment followed a trio of celebs competing for the title of "America’s Next Celebrity Drag Race Superstar," as well as a cash prize for the charity of their choice. To win, they had to ace a series of popular Drag Race mini and maxi challenges (like Snatch Game), walk the runway in their best look, and lip sync.
They had help, of course, from a handful of RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni — dubbed here "Queen Supremes." The pros who appeared included Alyssa Edwards, Asia O’Hara, Bob the Drag Queen, Kim Chi, Monét X Change, Monique Heart, Nina West, Trinity the Tuck, Trixie Mattel and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.
"RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race is a blast," said judge and executive producer RuPaul in a statement before the show's premiere. “We put these celebrities through it! Because no matter how famous your charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent is, you still put your pantyhose on one leg at a time.”
Here's a list of everyone who competed, and how they did.
NICO TORTORELLA (Episode 1):
Where you've seen them before: The actor, who identifies as non-binary and uses gender-neutral pronouns, became a breakout star playing Josh in Younger. Other notable roles include Scream 4 and the upcoming Walking Dead spinoff, World Beyond.
Their drag persona: Olivette Isyou
How'd they do? Tortorella has served as a guest judge on Drag Race before, and explained watching the show "fully changed" their life and helped them find liberation from gender and sexuality norms. And while they gave it their all in the Snatch Game challenge, as comedy legend Lucille Ball, in the end, Tortorella lost the main title. The star didn't go home empty handed, though — they earned a respectable $10,000 for Transgender Law Center.
JERMAINE FOWLER (Episode 1):
Where you've seen him before: The comedian has a big stand-up career, and is known for his starring role on the CBS television series Superior Donuts.
His drag persona: Miss Mimi Teapot
How'd he do? Fowler didn't win the final prize, but did get $10,000 for Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the largest anti-sexual assault nonprofit organization in the United States. He earned the love of RuPaul, too, who howled laughing at his hilarious impression of Kevin Hart (or Kevina Hart, as Fowler played him). Fowler also gave RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race its most touching moment, when he first saw himself in drag and revealed he looked just like his late mother, who was a lesbian. "It's actually really sweet that I got to see my mom again, like, through me," he said.
JORDAN CONNOR (Episode 1):
Where you've seen him before: The Chinese-Canadian actor plays Southside High villain Sweet Pea on Riverdale. He's also had big roles in Looking for Alaska and Hospital Show.
His drag persona: Babykins La Roux
How'd he do? A Drag Race superfan, Connor came in looking to support his two gay siblings, telling Trixie, "As a straight male, I don't necessarily relate to drag as much as maybe my brother and sister do, and understanding the empowerment that a man feels when he dresses up in drag. I think that doing drag for me will really give me a new experience, and a new viewpoint on drag and the LGBTQ community too." In the end, he slayed the competition, nabbing laughs as Chrissy Teigen in the Snatch Game and ultimately beating Fowler and Tortorella to win the title and $30,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
TAMI ROMAN (Episode 2):
Where you've seen her before: A reality TV pioneer, Roman first broke onto the scene as a cast member on season 2 of The Real World (Los Angeles) in 1993. Nearly two decades later, she would become one of the breakout stars on VH1's Basketball Wives.
Her drag persona: Miss Shenita Cocktail
How'd she do? Roman was a self-described underdog among her fellow competitors, but stood out, especially when she showed off her best Jane Fonda workout moves during the Rusical tribute to 9 to 5 (titled Twerking 5 to 9). She went home with $10,000 for her charity, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
LONI LOVE (Episode 2):
Where you've seen her before: The comedian is a star on the stand-up scene, and one of the hosts of the syndicated talk show The Real.
Her drag persona: Mary J. Ross
How'd she do? Love had a blast, channeling two of her favorite queens — Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross — in her drag persona. She served some serious Missy Elliott realness too, while rapping as Lily Tomlin in the 9 to 5 parody. In the end, she left with $10,000 for Dress For Success.
VANESSA WILLIAMS (Episode 2):
Where you've seen her before: Duh, she's Vanessa Williams! Williams was the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss America and has since worked in Hollywood throughout the past three decades — finding success in music ("Saved the Best for Last"), movies (Eraser), television (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives), and theater (she was Tony-nominated in 2002 for the revival of Into the Woods).
Her drag persona: Vanqueisha De House
How'd she do? How do you think she did? She's a pageant queen and a two-time Drag Race guest judge — of course she snatched another crown! After dominating in every challenge (including the 9 to 5 Rusical, where she played Dolly Parton), Williams was named a winner, baby, scoring $30,000 for her charity of choice, the Trevor Project.
ALEX NEWELL (Episode 3):
Where you've seen him before: Longtime fans may remember Newell as one of the competitors on 2011's The Glee Project. Others may remember him from his role as Unique Adams on Glee. He's also a recording star (RuPaul's "favorite"), and has a Broadway credit to his name, in the 2018 revival of Once on This Island. Most recently, Newell began appearing on the small screen again, as Mo on the NBC series, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.
His drag persona: Madam That Bitch
How'd he do? As a gender nonconforming gay man, Newell was comfortable in drag, and called upon his performance past to slay the lip sync. He ended up winning as part of a three-way tie in his episode, earning $20,000 for his charity, Hetrick-Martin Institute.
DUSTIN MILLIGAN (Episode 3):
Where you've seen him before: The Canadian actor is known to Schitt's Creek fans for his recurring role as Ted, Alexis' love interest. He's also appeared on The O.C., 90210, Final Destination 3, and Slither.
His drag persona: Rachel McAdamsapple
How'd he do? This Drag Race superfan — who may love the show more than anyone else on the planet — brought so much heart and joy to every challenge. He ended up winning big in a three-way tie for the final crown, taking home $20,000 for Project HEAL.
MATT ISEMAN (Episode 3):
Where you've seen him before: Iseman started his career as a physician before transitioning to stand-up comedy. He's best known for hosting American Ninja Warrior and is the first (and only) winner of The New Celebrity Apprentice, Arnold Schwarzenegger's one-and-done NBC competition series.
His drag persona: Bette Bordeaux
How'd he do? With a background in stand-up, Iseman killed it on the Roast of RuPaul challenge. But it's how he pulled out his feminine side on the runway that helped the star win $20,000 for the Arthritis Foundation, in a three-way tie alongside Newell and Milligan.
MADISON BEER (Episode 4):
Where you've seen her before: The singer and YouTube star is known for being Justin Bieber's protégée. Hits have included "Melodies," "Unbreakable," "All For Love," "Dead," "Say It to My Face," "Home With You," "Hurts Like Hell," "Good in Goodbye," "Dear Society," and more.
Her drag persona: Coral Fixation
How'd she do? The Long Island native stunned on the runway, and took home $10,000 for The Trevor Project.
PHOEBE ROBINSON (Episode 4):
Where you've seen her before: The comedian and stand-up sensation is the creator and co-host of the 2 Dope Queens podcast and HBO series.
Her drag persona: Cocotini
How'd she do? Robinson's success on the show was no laughing matter, the star standing out in the group Dragzilla number and earning $10,000 for her charity of choice, Product Red.
HAYLEY KIYOKO (Episode 4):
Where you've seen her before: As a singer-songwriter, she's found hits with tunes like "Curious," "What I Need," and "Girls Like Girls." And as an actress, she's starred in a variety of films, including playing Velma Dinkley in 2009's Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and its 2010 sequel, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.
Her drag persona: Queen Eleza Beth
How'd she do? She's a winner, baby! The out lesbian pushed herself out of her comfort zone more than anyone, embracing her feminine side and winning $30,000 for Planned Parenthood. "This experience was so emotional and unveiled so many insecurities," she wrote on Instagram, thanking Miss Vanjie for guiding her through. "I am SO grateful to @vanessavanjie for helping me power through this transformation and learning to love myself even more. @rupaulsdragrace is such a special show and the message behind it continues to inspire so many, thank you @rupaulofficial for sharing your world with me! Queen Eleza Beth forevaaa."
RuPaul's Drag Race airs Fridays (8 p.m ET) on VH1.