RuPaul’s Drag Race paid tribute last night to late producer Jacqueline Wilson in its season 12 finale.
Filmed remotely during lockdown, the episode saw Jaida Essence Hall crowned as the winner, beating out Gigi Goode and Crystal Methyd out for the top prize.
The episode also contained a somber note, however, as Ru paid tribute to Jacqueline Wilson – a member of the Drag Race family who sadly died in 2019.
Who was Jacqueline Wilson?
Wilson was a long-time producer on Drag Race, serving as the reality show’s co-executive producer prior to her death.
She had started her career on the show by joining World Of Wonder in 2009, initially as a supervising story producer on the second season.
During her time on Drag race, Wilson would go on to win three Primetime Emmy awards and was given a posthumous PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television in 2019.
How did Jacqueline Wilson die?
Wilson passed away on 11 September 2019, shortly after completing production on the show’s twelfth season.
RuPaul paid tribute to the production member on Twitter following her death, saying ‘I could never express in words her invaluable contribution to the success of #DragRace, and to all the lives of those who were fortunate enough to have worked alongside her.’
In another tribute, Wilson’s co-worker on Drag Race, Meesh Mills, shared that the producer died after a battle with lung cancer.
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It’s challenging to try to accurately sum up 2019 when I’m still reeling from the death of my dear friend and colleague, Jacqueline Wilson. I had been at JW’s side throughout her battle with lung cancer and it was really hard to see such a wonderful, strong, talented person taken down by disease. I am grateful that I was able to be by her side to support her throughout and for our conversations and time together during her last week of life, in the hospital. I am proud to say, she was never left alone. Bobby Webster also passed in the same time period, which was another shock. Losing people never gets easier. We also have the ongoing saga of the monster of a President and the ever-depressing support he gets from his hate-filled, misguided, narcissistic followers. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed with bad feelings about 2019, however there were some good things too. I (as well as JW) won a second Emmy for my work on my passion project, RuPaul’s Drag Race. During the year, I completed work on season 11 and started season 12, which I am very excited about. I am grateful for the many years of enjoying Jaqueline's friendship before she passed and for the love and support of all my amazing friends and my chosen family, which is priceless. I survived a very rough patch. I’m too drained to be overly optimistic about 2020, but I am cautiously hoping for something better to come.
‘I am grateful for the many years of enjoying Jacqueline’s friendship before she passed,’ she wrote. I am grateful that I was able to be by her side to support her.’
RuPaul’s Drag Race is available to stream now via Netflix.
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