Jaida Essence Hall has made her mark in Drag Race‘s 12th season. But with some other fierce girls in the race for the title of America’s next drag superstar, what are her odds of coming out on top and snatching the crown?
TBH? This is the hardest queen for me to fortune-tell this season.
On one hand, Jaida is tied with Gigi for the most challenge wins so far (three). She has excelled in both design and comedy challenges, and served some absolutely stunning looks over the last few episodes. Basically, she checks all the boxes.
On the other hand, she is one of only two remaining queens who’ve had to lip sync for their lives (Jackie being the other). There is no doubt that Jaida has all the makings of a top-notch drag queen (I need a gayer version of that phrase. Top-tuck? Top-bottom? Top-snatch? I’ll work on it.). However, her placement in the bottom two last week begged the question: Does she have what it takes to make it all the way?
This narrative arc from fierce to uh-oh is almost exactly opposite of Crystal’s; Crystal started out rocky this season, but slayed each challenge for the last five episodes in a row. Although Jaida has performed as well as any of the remaining girls on paper, Ru might have a hard time not rewarding Crystal if she continues her upward momentum.
For the best chance at the crown, Jaida has to keep up her top-snatch runway looks (I decided. Do you like it?) and give Ru a reason not to crown the other girls. She needs something that sets her apart from the rest, in a way that Ru can’t help rewarding. This is kind of vague, isn’t it?
Jaida is already the most glamorous queen on the runway; now she needs to make Ru laugh.
She’s got enough humor (“Look over there!) to back up her lewks, but her lowest point in the competition came last week, when she couldn’t make a stand-up comedy routine land. This is a rough time to fall short.
Jaida still has a very real chance at winning Drag Race this year, but it will not be easy. She must prove to Ru that her bottom-two moment last episode was a fluke, and continue escalating her glamour until it’s impossible to ignore.
If Jaida wins next episode’s challenge, she will be in a great spot to contend for the top prize this season. But for now (with the season’s edit in mind), silence! I’ve made my decision. Bring back my predictions.
(It’s bonkers that I can’t give Jaida a higher probability of winning at this point in the show. I would love nothing more than to see her, Jackie, Gigi, and Crystal in the final four, but … you know.)
Jaida’s odds of winning RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12: 15%