On Season 12, Episode 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, six new contestants vying to become America’s Next Drag Superstar were highlighted.
In the second half of the season premiere, we met Rock M. Shakura (an anime-inspired queen), Aiden Zhane (who brings something truly unique to the runaway), the lovable “Just Jan,” Dahlia Sin from the City of Angels, the stunning Jaida Essence Hall, and this season’s most controversial contestant, Sherry Pie.
During the episode, the ladies collaborated on choreography, taking to the stage to put on a Fosse-style musical.
However, all fans at home could talk about was Sherry Pie’s preemptive elimination that hit the internet mere hours before the episode.
Pie takes to catfishing
After multiple catfishing allegations, Sherry Pie was disqualified before her Drag Race debut was even shown.
Out of drag, Joey Gugliemelli was soliciting young actors into sending him embarrassing, harassing audition videos via e-mail. He would pose as a casting director, claiming to work at a local theater for productions that did not exist.
The 27-year-old, New York-based queen admitted to taking advantage of the accusers through his Allison Mossie Facebook alias.
In a social media statement on Facebook that he posted a few days before the March 6 episode, Gugliemelli posted:
“This is Joey, I want to start by saying how sorry I am that I caused such trauma and pain and how horribly embarrassed and disgusted I am with myself. I know that the pain and hurt that I have caused will never go away and I know that what I did was wrong and truly cruel. Until being on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I never really understood how much my mental health and taking care of things meant.”
He went on to state that, “I learned on that show how important ‘loving yourself’ is and I don’t think I have ever loved myself. I have been seeking help and receiving treatment since coming back to NYC. I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions. I also want to say how sorry I am to my sisters of season 12 and honestly the whole network and production company. All I can do is change the behavior and that starts with me and doing that work.”
VH1 takes action
At the top of the episode, VH1 released the following statement:
“In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Out of respect for the hard work of the other queens, VH1 will air the season as planned. Sherry Pie will not appear in the grand finale scheduled to be filmed later this spring.”
All the commotion didn’t stop Sherry Pie from taking the first win in the second half of the season premiere. Only time will tell how long she continues in the competition before the finale.
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Fridays 8/7c on VH1.