In her new music video, Taylor Swift does a lot of things: she makes up with Katy Perry while wearing a French fry suit, she shouts out GLAAD, and she even encourages people to sign her petition in support of the Equality Act. All very noble causes. But hiring nine drag queens to make cameo appearances is yet another thing worth shouting out.
The footage, which was executive produced by frequent RuPaul’s Drag Race choreographer and collaborator Todrick Hall, takes place mostly in a trailer park. But at one point, we cut to “The Queen Pageant,” populated exclusively by drag queens, all playing some of our favorite pop divas and reigning musical legends. The line-up goes as follows (as pointed out by journalist and Drag Race expert Evan Ross Katz):
Tatianna, Drag Race season 2 and All Stars season 2, as Ariana Grande
Trinity the Tuck, Drag Race season 9 and All Stars season 4 winner as Lady Gaga
Delta Work, Drag Race season 3 as Adele
Trinity K Bonet, Drag Race season 6 as Cardi B
Jade Jolie, Drag Race season 5, as Taylor Swift
Riley Knoxx, noted Beyoncé impersonator, as Beyoncé
Adore Delano, Drag Race season 6 and All Stars season 2, as Katy Perry
A’keria Chanel Davenport, Drag Race season 11, as Nicki Minaj
They don’t last on screen in their finery for very long. RuPaul — out of drag, naturally — comes on screen to award the winner, and instead of giving the crown to one of the rightfully deserving *cough Adore* she throws it in the air. It’s the perfect segue into … a food fight? It was, as Cardi B called it “soooo cute.”
Swift adds her name to the now very long list of celebrities (hello Lizzo, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, and Iggy Azalea et al) who have used drag queens for cameos in music projects. When they will begin to actually collaborate with the queens as musical artists as opposed to just for a novelty cameo — love Shangela but her “NASA” inclusion was a novelty cameo — remains to be seen. We’re looking for something more like RuPaul in Miley Cyrus’s “Cattitude” except with like … Shea Coulee or Monet X Change. But as long as my queens are getting paid, I’m happy either way.
Who is next up for the cameos? Madonna, is your rumored video on deck?