They say twins are born with a built-in best friend. But this is not RuPaul’s Best Friend Race.
In Season 15 of MTV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Fridays, 8 p.m. EST/PST), siblings Sugar and Spice are making “Drag Race” herstory as the first identical twin contestants on the show. It’s a new experience for the hilarious and high-energy queens, who have amassed nearly 8 million followers and 165 million likes on TikTok for their joint drag videos.
“We’re not lip-syncing, cluck-cluck, house-down divas – although keep watching the season, and maybe we will be,” Spice says. Rather, “we love design, we love fashion, and we love creating our own characters and our own world. That’s why we love making videos.”
Luca and Cooper Coyle, 23, were raised in Long Island, New York, and now live in Los Angeles. Their drag personas are inspired by Bratz Dolls, with looks that pay homage to early 2000s pop-culture icons including Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera and “Mean Girls” character Regina George, who was played by Rachel McAdams.
USA TODAY caught up with the queens before the Jan. 6 season premiere:
Question: What’s the most annoying question you get asked as identical twin queens?
Spice: People are like, “Can you read each other’s minds? Can you think the same thing?” And I’m like, “No, I can’t even think for myself.” (Laughs.) The question we keep on getting is, “How are you different?” And I’m like, “See for yourself.” It’s annoying, as a person, to have to keep explaining what makes me an individual. But I don’t really care.
Sugar: Yeah, I don’t really care. It’s a shtick; it’s a gimmick. And if you don’t have it, you better get one.
You’ve said in middle school, you used to love turning your dolls into models and photographing them. How did that evolve into doing drag?
Spice: I like to say we’ve been doing drag since we popped out of the womb. For us (as kids), drag was just in a different medium – it was through our dolls. When we got older, we were like, “Oh, we have to get real jobs.” So we were doing fashion photography, taking photos of other people, but it wasn’t giving us that zest that the doll photography (did). And we realized, “Oh, we don’t even like photography that much; we just like the transformation.”
Sugar: We would really transform our dolls: We would do their hair and makeup, and get so into it. It was literally like an art. So I think of it in the same way, except we’re doing it on ourselves now. Middle School Me would be so happy, like, “Babes, I can be the life-size doll now.”
What drew you to TikTok?
Spice: TikTok was perfect for us, because it wasn’t taken seriously and we’re not serious people.
Sugar: You have to take yourself back to 2018 – TikTok was a joke in the public (when we joined). Everyone thought we were James Charles, like, “Oh, my God, boys in makeup.” But we realized that the people seeing these videos were 12 years old; they hadn’t been exposed to “Drag Race” yet, they were so confused, and that was really the factor that was making us go viral.
What was the biggest challenge of translating your drag from TikTok to a TV competition?
Sugar: We’re such perfectionists. I know for a lot of queens, it’s about performance first, but for us, it’s about the visual. So we would take all day (to get ready), but here, they’re like, “Babe, you got 30 minutes before you hit that runway.”
Spice: It really helped us, because for the rest of our careers, we could’ve been taking eight hours (to get into drag). But going on the show definitely broke the spell that’s been hindering us for years.
How did it feel competing against each other this season?
Sugar: It was never uncomfortable, because we just understood the assignment. As viewers, we know it’s more interesting to see twins go head to head.
Spice: And secretly, a win for her is a win for me. You’re only as cute as the (other) twin, so it’s like, even though I want to beat you, you still need to be second. I’m not going to have my twin come in last – that’s just not going to happen.
And how did the show change your relationship?
Spice: It really brought us so close. Also, it was just so iconic. I know everyone throws that word around, but in the words of (“Real Housewife”) Ramona Singer, “We are pop icon.”
Sugar: When we were thrown into that environment with all those other girls, we gravitated toward each other. Especially when the girls started coming for us, we had to stand up for each other.
So who would you say is the better lip-syncer?
Spice: We’re not good at singing or dancing, but I’m better at singing and she’s better at dancing. But take it with a grain of salt. It’s kind of like one of the three blind mice saying they can see better. It’s like, “Babes, give it up. You’re blind.”