She also spills the T on working with the “enigmatic” RuPaul.
Jackie Cox may have not won a maxi-challenge during her run on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12, but she did win the hearts of fans around the world – especially those within the LGBTQ+ Middle Eastern community.
Last week, Jackie lost her place in the competition – and a spot in the final three – after a stunning lip sync showdown against Crystal Methyd to the beat of J-Lo and Pitbull’s dance anthem, On The Floor. It was a gag.
Throughout her time on the series, the self-described “Persian princess of drag” became a voice for queer people from the Middle East as she delved into her own personal struggles with her identity and her traditional mother’s expectations.
In the ninth episode, the star sashayed down the runway in a stunning, star-spangled hijab and advocated for queer Muslim’s everywhere in a controversial exchange with special guest star Jeff Goldblum.
It will go down as one of the most political – and iconic – moments in Drag Race HERstory.
Despite not advancing to the final three like she had hoped, Jackie is more than satisfied with her experience because she’s “gotten so many messages, especially from Middle Eastern LGBTQ people, that haven’t seen themselves onscreen before.”
She tells Gay Times: “We live in an age where the fandom is very passionate so there is a lot of opinion and discourse. Now that everyone is experiencing the world online, you never know what you’re going to get from the fans cause they’re so passionate.
“I feel so honored to be part of this season and to have made it on every episode to share my talent and drag with the world. It feels like just the beginning. All of the cast will move forward with legendary careers, and I’m excited to see it.”
Fun fact: Jackie boasts the honour of being the queen with the most ‘high’ placements in a single season without winning a challenge, having placed in the top a total of six times. Jackie Cox, the Glenn Close of season 12? Confirmed.
“I’m thrilled that I made it to the top as many times as I did. The judges got to see a full picture of who I am. I think there’s always room to grow, and I’m happy with the growth I had throughout the weeks of competition,” continues Jackie.
When it comes to working with Mama Ru, Jackie has nothing but praise.
“RuPaul is one of the most enigmatic people I’ve ever met. She is so fascinating, interesting and, in drag, so stunning in-person. We were honestly starstruck,” Jackie says of the Emmy-winning icon.
“Once the competition kept going, we could see the playful side and relax around her. I knew from the first judges panel, Ru was vibing with what I was putting down so I was excited whenever she walked in the room.”
Of course, we had to conclude our interview by asking Jackie if we can expect to see her sashay into the werkroom once again for All Stars, to which she responds: “If they asked, I would certainly give it some consideration!”
If she does return, Jackie’s says she wants to push herself aesthetically and have more fun, revealing: “The more fun I had in the mini challenges, the more fun Ru had. I want to bring more of that energy.”
Oh, and how could we forget? Jackie’s launching her music career with a single! The legendary queen has spent her time in lockdown recording and producing her own track. (We stan a multitalented drag queen and recording artist!)
“The lyric video was created with all archival footage so no photographer was needed. It was a new way to work and it was challenging and rewarding. I’m coping by being creative,” she says. We can’t wait.
You can next see Jackie this Friday (22 May) for season 12’s “virtual slumber party” reunion, where RuPaul will will reflect on the events of season 12 and check in with the queens to see how they’re coping in self-isolation.
The following week (29 May), Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode and Jaida Essence Hall will compete in a “revolutionary” virtual lip sync for the crown with “innovative technology that highlights the creativity of the queens.”
All 12 episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12 are available to stream now on Netflix UK.