Hello and welcome to another post recapping the first ever series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. For years, British fans of the hit US reality TV series have been waiting, in hope rather than expectation, that RuPaul will make the trip across the Atlantic to assess the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent of some of our best local drag performers. It has been a very good series and has tested the contestants on everything from sewing to writing song lyrics. Last week, the queens were tasked with coming up with their own brand of bottled water. The Vivienne bounced back from being in the bottom two in the previous challenge to win for the third time this season, whilst Blu Hydrangea became the sixth to sashay away.
*Warning: This recap contains spoilers*
The episode starts with the remaining four queens reading the lipstick message on the mirror of the eliminated Blu. I think that she massively grew into the competition as time went on and her confidence grew. However, she had the fourth best track record so it was her time to go when put up against the lipsyncing Cheryl Hole. The latter though was not convinced when the queens discussed the elimination, suggesting that Baga Chipz should have been in the bottom for effectively giving up and not knowing every word to the song, which Baga immediately backtracks on. As the competition has progressed, we have seen each of these top four crack at some point and I feel that Baga is on the edge at this moment in time.
To alleviate (or strengthen) the tension, RuPaul announces that the Mini Challenge will be a good old-fashioned bitch fest… with puppets! I’m happy to see the return of this challenge, reminds me of the series of old. All four manage to get some barbed comments in and have great fun doing it. Divina De Campo wins the challenge; I would have personally given it to The Vivienne on the whole for the shade towards Divina’s hair and makeup.
This week, the Maxi Challenge is a drag makeover, on some of the most important women in the contestants’ lives. Baga’s mum (who they don’t see very often), Divina’s sister, Viv’s mum and Cheryl’s sister will be transformed into glamourous drag queens that have to share a family resemblance with the contestants. This is always an interesting challenge because those who don’t have the experience of helping other drag queens or any design talent do tend to struggle.
In the Werkroom, it is revealed that Divina’s sister is four months pregnant and Divina is excited at the chance of bringing two people onto the runway with them for the challenge. Cheryl is feeling very confident due to the massive resemblance they have with their sister, maybe too much so as they are straying towards wearing bodysuits, which Cheryl states that regular judge Michelle Visage hates but will do it anyway because it is close to their brand. The Vivienne is having a lot of fun with their mum already, the back and forth between them is great to watch and you can see the chemistry between them, which is more than can be said for Baga and their mum; the two have a strange chemistry, almost as though Baga is trying to take over every thought process.
After RuPaul has their walkthrough and encourages each of the four pairs, there is drama for Cheryl Hole and their sister; the matching outfits that they created for each other ripped when putting it on to their sister, meaning they have to go to Plan B. There are also rough seas for Baga and their mum, who still looks visibly nervous and unsure about Baga’s ideas for how to sell their runway performance. Divina seems confident, but a red flag comes up when editing suggests that they will ruin their sister’s natural beauty with their make-up style.
It is time for the runway! RuPaul is looking lovely in a shorter dress that comes out like a tutu, allowing them to show their amazing legs. The stylists have been a lot more body conscious for Ru’s looks in this series. Ru, Michelle Visage and Alan Carr are joined by the star and writer of award winning comedy series Chewing Gum, Michaela Coel. Here are my thoughts on the looks of the final four and their family members.
|Baga Chipz & Sacka Spudz|
|Baga is having one of her better nights in terms of looks, though it is all black. However this is only a small positive compared to the poor makeup and wig of Sacka; shame Baga didn’t know how to paint others.|
|Cheryl Hole & Sissy Hole|
|They are having fun on the main stage and are bringing energy, even if the choreography is not completely in sync. The outfits are okay, though Cheryl’s looks nicer than the one their sister is wearing.|
|Divina De Campo & Delisha De Campo|
|Well first of all they look identical in looks, right down to the matching baby bumps and bright makeup. When you think it is just a look, they bring out these dance moves which are crazy but full of life.|
|The Vivienne & The Mother|
|The Mother is shining in this challenge, looking like a wealthy old lady off to the opera. The Vivienne looks good too, though it is just a nice black gown with some expensive looking jewelry on.|
On the runway, Cheryl and Sissy are praised for the energy in the walk, as well as the family resemblance. However the choice to wear bodysuits received critique from Michelle. The Vivienne and The Mother were praised on the glamour of their looks, with guest judge Michaela pointing out that The Mother looked as though she was in a euphoric happy place. Divina and Delisha were also praised on their identical looks, with Alan Carr giving another bizarrely accurate comparison by saying they looked like a couple of “sexy patio heaters”. Divina’s decision to give herself a belly to match her pregnant sister was also praised as being fun and taking the piss out of drag. Compared to these three, Baga receives near unanimous critique of her makeover skills, at which point she becomes quite defensive, not allowing her mum to answer questions put to her by Ru and mentioning her mum’s body and age. I mentioned above that Baga looked on the edge and I think she just cracked, and it’s not a great look at all sadly.
Backstage in Untucked, all of the contestants celebrate their family members being there, commented on what a great job they have done in the challenge. Baga’s mum also comes out of her shell a lot more and shows some wit, at which point Baga tries to defend her comments on the main stage. However, in doing so you get the impression that their mum feels responsible for putting her child in the bottom two and that was down to Baga’s comments. It does become clear that there is a story viewers are not getting, maybe some history between the pair.
As expected, Baga Chipz does end up in the bottom two, with Divina De Campo edging out The Vivienne for the victory, her third challenge win, meaning she has as many as Viv and Baga. This ultimately means that Cheryl ends up in the bottom two for the second week running, despite a decent week. The lipsync song this week though is a slower and more emotional one, “Tears Dry On Their Own” by the legendary Amy Winehouse, who Baga impersonated for the Hometown queen look back in the first week. Baga knows every word of the song and her performance feels rougher and more raw than Cheryl’s, meaning she is told to shantay, whilst Cheryl Hole becomes the seventh to sashay away. Therefore The Vivienne, Divina De Campo and Baga Chipz will compete next week to become the UK’s First Drag Superstar.
What did you make of this challenge and the makeovers? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to like and subscribe! I’ll catch you all soon for my recap of the finale of series one of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.