If the producers of RuPaul’s Drag Race are looking for yet another spin-off, Ariana Grande just filmed the pilot. Think of it like Netflix’s Nicole Byer-hosted Nailed It!, except instead of complicated baked goods, celebrities have to recreate the most complex drag makeup looks from the Drag Race runway. It’s not as easy as it seems.
Grande took to her Instagram stories to show off her attempt at season 13 contestant Gottmik’s distinctive black-and-white makeup. Emphasis on attempt. “@Gotmikk i really want to be u but its just not.......... in the cards,” wrote Grande. “Guess who doesn’t know how to do drag makeup?” As someone who once attempted to do Klaus Nomi’s signature makeup (which Gottmik’s face often seems to recall), it really isn’t that simple. Grande’s version is far from the worst it could turn out.
Gottmik herself, however, seems to approve. “My drag daughter is stunning,” he wrote on Instagram. As a makeup artist Gottmik is hard to imitate. Under his legal name Kade Gottlieb, he’s literally a professional. Gottmik has painted the faces of Kaia Gerber, Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum, and Gigi Gorgeous long before being cast on the show. Perhaps Grande might be the next in his chair?
Grande is a well-known superfan of Drag Race. She served as a guest judge all the way back in season 7, and is known to send words of encouragement to her favorite contestants. She also holds the record for most songs performed for the episode-ending lip syncs, an honor of which she’s quite proud. She seems particularly swept up in this season and has previously taken to Instagram stories to declare that she really has no idea who to root for. “i really........ love them all so so much. not sure what to say or do with myself,” she wrote.
She’s not alone. The season 13 finale ends tonight, and just about every Drag Race fan is betting that the crown will either go to Gottmik (Drag Race’s first trans man contestant) or Symone. No one seems to be sure which will win, or even which one they want to win.