Hello everyone and welcome to another post recapping the first series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, currently showing on BBC3 in the United Kingdom. For years UK fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race have craved a show of their own and this year Ru has made the trip across the Atlantic to judge the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent of ten of the brightest drag queens in the land. So far they have been tested on their runway presentation, their acting skills and, in the last episode, their ability to use a sewing machine and now seven remain in the contest.
*Warning: This recap contains spoilers*
This episode starts with the remaining contestants reading Vinegar Strokes’ lipstick message on the mirror. I feel like she had so much to offer in the competition but never really showed that, besides from minor glimpses of her talent in the acting challenge and that brilliant entrance line. I am glad that Sum Ting Wong was given a chance to redeem herself, she is a likeable character and I honestly think that the outfit was bottom three worthy at worst.
RuPaul announces this challenge and I am glad to see that the annual challenge of the Snatch Game (based on Match Game, known as Blankety Blank in the UK) has made the trip across as well. However, this immediately causes some problems as both Baga Chipz and Divina De Campo have already decided upon playing Margaret Thatcher, the most Marmite Prime Minister in a generation. Baga does not have a back-up choice (though maybe she was pressuring Divina by bluffing) so Divina switches to her second choice of Julia Child, an American TV chef known for being butchered by Milk during season 6 of the US series. The Vivienne has three different choices, Cilla Black, Kim Woodburn and Donald Trump, all of which make Ru and Alan Carr burst into laughter in the Werkroom. Sum Ting Wong also has two characters (David Attenborough and Nigella Lawson) and is so unsure which to pick.
The two celebrity contestants are investigative journalist Stacey Dooley and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly. The line-up for Snatch Game is: (from left to right, back row first).
|Divina De Campo||Julia Child|
|Cheryl Hole||Gemma Collins|
|The Vivienne||Donald Trump|
|Baga Chipz||Margaret Thatcher|
|Blu Hydrangea||Mary Berry|
|Sum Ting Wong||Sir David Attenborough|
The Vivienne and Baga Chipz were clearly the best on the Snatch Game. The Vivienne mimicked Donald Trump’s expression and personality perfectly, whilst Baga was a hoot as a red-eyed Thatcher talking about redundancy of the miners and the Belgrano. Blu was also surprisingly funny in her acting as a Mary Berry who had gone past the level of innuendo on The Great British Bake Off and straight into crude sexual humour. Cheryl Hole was a more exaggerated version of her Essex persona as Gemma Collins. Crystal managed one laugh as Rue when thanking syphilis for her death but looked lost throughout and Divina started strongly but didn’t do much after that. Sum was the clear weakest link, though at least had the voice of Sir David down.
The runway for this week is GMDQ (Genetically Modified Drag Queens) which should produce some interesting looks. Before that though, there is some friendly sparring between Baga and Divina, the latter seeming slightly rueful of her choice to give her competitor Margaret Thatcher. There is also a conversation between the queens about the status of gay marriage in Northern Ireland. Though this has very recently been made legal, Blu Hydrangea bringing up the fact Northern Ireland, in 2019, is so far behind the rest of the United Kingdom brings out a reaction of anger from Divina De Campo, who is quickly becoming the moral voice of this season of Drag Race UK.
It is runway time! Ru is looking lovely in a gold outfit; the stylists are really bringing the fashions this series! Joining her on the panel are Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Spice Girl Geri Horner (previously Halliwell, also known as Ginger Spice). Here are my thoughts on the looks the queens have brought out for GMDQ week, in alphabetical order!
|Very generic and could have fitted into any runway category; the forehead and eye makeup is also lacking, as is the wig. A miss.|
|Maybe the best on the whole runway tonight, the makeup is impeccable and the caftan and the helmet really brings the giant eye concept to life. This is the strongest Blu has looked so far.|
|Cheryl herself says that this look is not quintessentially her but, not to be shady, this is the best she has looked all season. The concept is interesting, the colours pop and the stacked ponytail looks good!|
|We have seen many apocalyptic looks on the runway of Drag Race, but Crystal brings a completely unique flair by having a grinder create sparks on specially made metal plates on her arm, crotch and between her legs. Terrifying but compelling to watch.|
|Divina De Campo|
|Coming on the runway as a plant/drag queen hybrid, Divina continues to bring the looks this season. The bubbles attached to her body make the silhouette look unique and she looks beautiful too.|
|Sum Ting Wong|
|This is lacking in most areas. The concept of a cyborg having a human face with the prosthetics could have been taken so much further so the outfit is essentially a latex leotard with thigh high white boots.|
|It looks like another fantastic look at first glance for The Vivienne, but it is not perfect. There is some sagging in the body suit and the arrangement of flowers could have been better placed; still good though.|
On the main stage, Blu Hydrangea and Cheryl Hole are both called as safe, with Blu receiving positive praise from RuPaul for their portrayal of Mary Berry. This is also the first week that Cheryl has not been placed LOW for the challenge, so a milestone for her too. Baga is highly praised for her Mrs Thatcher but receives criticism for the look and the way she painted her face. Sum Ting Wong is torn apart for the runway presentation and it was felt that her David Attenborough got completely lost. Divina’s runway look was loved but her Julia Child was compared to a member of the supporting cast. The danger in Crystal’s runway presentation was praised, particularly by Michelle, but her Rue was Crystal with a Southern accent. The Vivienne’s Donald Trump was loved across the board and her GMDQ look received moderately positive critiques as well.
Backstage in Untucked, Divina had a slight meltdown over the decision to give Margaret Thatcher to Baga Chipz and her frustration that some of the girls were talking over here. Meanwhile, Sum Ting Wong once again received criticism from The Vivienne over the fact that she didn’t ask the other girls for things to create a fuller runway outfit. Back on the stage, both Baga and The Vivienne were awarded the win; honestly I would have gave it to the latter based on the better runway look. Divina’s look saves her and she is named as safe over Crystal, who has to lipsync against Sum Ting Wong to the iconic Spice Girls song “Spice Up Your Life”.
The lipsyncs, after a poor start, have been getting better in every episodeand this was the best so far. Sum Ting Wong was full of energy and joy as she recited the famous Spice Girls movements, though it did feel repetitive as the song went on. Crystal started slower but played up the freakshow element of her costume to her advantage, pounding and crawling on the floor and hitting the big comedy moments in the song. As a result, she survived, whilst Sum Ting Wong, the heart of the season, sashayed away but not before having a lovely hug with Geri backstage after her elimination. This means that just six remain to fight to become the UK’s Next Drag Superstar.
What did you make of the first Snatch Game in Drag Race UK history, and who do you think is in pole position to win the show? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see you all soon for a recap on the next episode, a girl group challenge!