RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Series 1, Episode 3 – “Car Boot Sale Couture”

Hello and welcome to The Blogging DJ. In this post we will be continuing to recap the twists and turns of the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. For British fans of the popular reality TV show, we were in hope more than in expectation that Ru would make the trip across the Atlantic to judge the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent of our local drag performers. She is finally here and the series has started very strongly. Last week, the queens were tasked with acting in two groups for a sumptuous new costume drama: Downton Draggy. Baga Chipz stole the show with a… unique accent (“Much Betta!”) and it was the end of the road for our baby queen, Scaredy Kat.

*Warning: This recap contains spoilers*

So the episode begins in its usual fashion, with the remaining contestants returning to the Werkroom and reading the lipstick message of the eliminated queen. I believe that Scaredy Kat has so much potential in their outlook on drag and also their aesthetic being so different from what we usually see on the show, so they may well return in a later season, especially based on Ru’s last words to her. I am also glad that Blu feels she has a new lease of life; she is now the youngest left in the competition and has so much to offer, for looks if not for personality. On the flip side, Vinegar Strokes is very confident in her looks, which comes across badly considering none of her three looks have hit the mark, so it will be interesting to see how she does this week.

It is time for the first mini challenge of Drag Race UK (I don’t count the messy challenge for Vivienne to pick her competition last week) and it is a really fun one. The eight have to get into quick drag and then perform around a maypole – drag queen style! Cheryl Hole was named as the winner of the mini challenge for her double death drop, but I am inclined to agree with Crystal’s eye-roll at this. There were some who were very inventive; Crystal herself did a full pole-dancing routine and was upside down for most of it, whilst Blu Hydrangea looked like a 17th century choir boy, blackened teeth and all. But it was great fun and I’m glad to see the return of mini challenges.

This week is the first design challenge of the series. Inspired by the Brit’s love of car boot sales, Drag Race alumni Raven drives in to the studio with the Brit Crew in Michelle Visage’s car and starts unpacking the contents. The challenge is to create a highly fashionable and stylish look, using only things that you would typically find in a car boot sale. Cheryl gets a head start and takes a box of washing-up gloves, before there is the onrush on desperate queens who completely peel clean the trash and the inside of the car.

When Ru makes her weekly walkaround the Werk Room, she expresses concern over Baga Chipz, who has never created a dress similar to the one she wants to create. Vinegar Stroke’s fashion sense is called “Hodge-Podge” by Ru, to the shock of the other girls. Finally, Sum Ting Wong is asked questions by Ru, who is unsure whether using a non-stretch material is wise for a tailored suit. On the flip side, Crystal reveals that she studied fashion design at university, Blu knows how to sew and Ru reacts positively to The Vivienne’s concept. Comparing herself to the others, Vinegar feels her current look is below-par and redoes her entire outfit.

Joining RuPaul on the runway for this week’s challenge is Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and the extra special guest judge is 60s model and designer Dame Twiggy. Here is my personal ranking of the looks:

1) Crystal
The most intricate and detailed of the looks on the runway, this look went for a certain theme and ran with it. The use of the beach balls to widen the lower half of the outfit fits in well with the brief.
2) Divina De Campo
Feeling like something off London fashion week, the materials that she made this from were brilliant and the colours really pop.
3) The Vivienne
Another polished look from this queen; the big hair really compliments the wide shoulders and the black neck paint takes it to the next level.
4) Blu Hydrangea
It was a fun look and good to see another different side of Blu’s style. It had an interesting concept, just didn’t feel as strong as the top three.
5) Sum Ting Wong
Didn’t deserve the harsh critiques that it got. It did need a belt or something to hold in the waist but for a first try at tailoring, it fitted her well, and the wig was great,
6) Cheryl Hole
Looking more basic than others but not necessarily bad, I wish that the skirt that been fuller but she had a lot of run on the runway.
7) Baga Chipz
Looking very basic and not very well fitting, the hair is the best part of the outfit. She sells the hell out of it on the runway.
8) Vinegar Strokes
This looks a mess. The nude body piece is a different shade to the face, and there isn’t enough paper on the skirt to warrant it being there. The wig is too flat and the piece of paper down the face doesn’t look good.

Baga Chipz (probably due to her runway presentation) and Blu Hydrangea are called as safe and are told to step their pussies up for next time. Divina De Campo, The Vivienne and Crystal are given unanimous praise for their looks. Cheryl Hole is praised for her confidence and personality but her outfit was called basic, as was Sum Ting Wong’s, in spite of Twiggy being impressed with the work involved in creating the blazer. Vinegar received complete criticism for her outfit, with no one element working for the judging panel.

Divina is named the winner of this challenge, becoming the third different queen to win this season. Vinegar is immediately named as being up for elimination, where she is joined by… Sum Ting Wong (a decision I disagree with). This means that Cheryl Hole becomes the first ever queen in the history of the franchise to place LOW on the first three challenges without placing in the bottom two.

After a sloppy start, this week’s lip-sync was the best so far. The song they performed to was “Would I Lie to You?” by Eurythmics, a song previously done all the way back in Season 1 of the US show, in a lip-sync between Jade and Rebecca Glasscock. Sum Ting Wong is controlled throughout, pulling the true emotion out of the song and always being on beat with her dance moves. Vinegar has more energy but this becomes messier and messier as the song develops, meaning that she becomes the third queen to Sashay Away from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. This means seven remain, and coming up next week: Snatch Game.

What did you make of the third episode of Drag Race UK? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and stay tuned for more recap posts released in the next few weeks.

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2 comments

  1. I agree, Sum Ting Wong did not deserve the bottom space. I would have picked Cheryl for that, I feel she is a one -trick- pony with very similar movements throughout.
    I never got into the US version of the show but got hooked on this one. Vinegar was my favourite person on the show so I was sad to see her go. My money is on Vivienne to win it, although I hope the show will go in different directions, just as the badges have gone to different contestants and leave a bit of an open field.
    Great review of the show. Looking forward to episode 4.

    Liked by 1 person

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