Certain fans complained that Caliente landed this judging role given her track records on Drag Race season four and All Stars 6. Instead, these people argued that Drag Race season three runner-up Manila Luzon should've landed that spot.
Caliente recently clapped back at these critics, writing:
"I understand you wanted [Manila Luzon] to be in my place. She has her own show coming soon where you can support, love, [and] glorify her there. Can I just have this moment? I'm not asking for much. I'm not asking you to accept the inevitable, that I'm the judge on Drag Race Philippines."
\u201cI understand you wanted @manilaluzon to be in my place. She has her own show coming soon where you can support ,love n glorify her there. Can I just have this moment ? I'm not asking for much. I'm not asking you to accept the inevitable that I'm the judge on drag race Philippines\u201d
— Jiggly Caliente Official (@Jiggly Caliente Official)
Another noteworthy fact behind these casting decisions is that Caliente was born in Laguna, Philippines and moved to the US at 10 years old. In turn, Luzon has a Filipina mother but was born in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. As such, it is likely that producers wanted judges who could understand the language and cultural references that the queens on Drag Race Philippines will be showcasing.
Still, this decision was controversial for those who felt that Luzon could've very well judged - and perhaps even hosted - this Filipino edition of Drag Race. Nonetheless, the series' judging panel will consist of Ballesteros as the host and Caliente as a recurring judge alongside KaladKaren. This is a herstory-making moment for the overall franchise as two trans women will be recurring judges on Drag Race Philippines.