RuPaul’s Drag Race UK – Episode 7. What happened?
It’s the top four!
This week kicked off with the puppet mini-challenge. Everyone loves puppets, right?
Divina won the mini challenge, although that didn’t seem to mean anything.
The main challenge was the make-over challenge, with the queens required to make over their family members.
Divina and Cheryl had their sisters, while Baga and Vivienne had their mothers.
Joining Ru and Michelle on the judging panel this week were series regular Alan Carr (who we love) and London actress Michaela Coel, who was a bit of a revelation. I need a lot more Michaela Coel in my life.
Having family members on set is always a bit of a curve ball. Everyone did fairly well, although Baga’s effort was clearly the weakest. She was joined in the bottom-two by Cheryl, which was probably fair enough as Cheryl had to make do with some fairly basic outfits.
The lip-sync track was Tears Dry On Their Own by Amy Winehouse. It’s almost a spoken-word track, no dancing required, which was a bit of a saving grace for Baga.
It was a solid performance from both Baga and Cheryl. There’s only so much you can do with this track and they both did the job. To be honest, I thought we might get a double-save, but ultimately it was Baga who stayed and we said goodbye to Cheryl. Given the comparative track records in the competition, overall it probably made sense to keep Baga, but Cheryl has won a lot of fans with her performance on the show.
I thought I’d figured out the meanings of Chantay and Sashay, but it’s helpful to have it spelled out every week *dripping with irony*
So, there we have it – our Final Three! Vivienne, Divina, and Baga – all the badges, just the big prize of a WOW Presents digital series to play for!
What’s going to happen on Episode 8 of RPDR UK?
It’s nearly all over. Episode 8 is going to be the final when the winner of Series 1 of RPDR UK is crowned.
The big challenge is going to be an all-singing, all-dancing production, with brothers AJ and Curtis Pritchard on hand to help with the choreography.
It also looks like the entire cast will return to be part of the final episode.
Who’s your money on? Vivienne, Divina, or Baga?
Baga Chipz is a London queen who hosts G-A-Y Porn Idol and has long been a fixture of the Soho scene.
She describes herself as: “A pub queen – a tart with a heart. I might not have the best outfits or makeup, but put me on a stage and I will entertain the absolute shite out of the room. My style is more cabaret, old school, sequin frocks, Shirley Bassey, Danny La Rue, Lily Savage kind of drag.”
Another lucky escape for Baga this week. She survived the lip-sync and has made it to the Final 3.
Blu Hydrangea is from Belfast and calls herself: “A GCSE art project, high fashion from outer space, a cartoon character – with Muppet realness.”
Blu is the only queen from Drag Race UK to come from Belfast, of which she says: “The scene is very small – we literally have two gay bars opposite each other and you’re either on one side or the other and that’s it. It’s hard sometimes. You’re performing to an empty bar with seven people and it’s very quiet. But I’ve built a big social media profile, and I now have a platform that allows me to talk about what it’s like to be gay and a queen in Belfast.”
We said goodbye to Blu on Episode 6. She’s really been one of the break-out stars of the series, and it’s clear that she’s someone we’re going to be seeing a lot more of.
Crystal was born in Canada but has lived in London for 10 years. You may have seen her performing as Crystal Beth.
“I do aerial circus, I can crack a whip, put cigarettes out on my tongue – it’s a freak show…” says Crystal. “Crystal is a gender bending, ‘mess with your brain’ kinda drag queen. She stands for tearing down gender constructs using creativity, looks, and fashion and crazy performances.”
The queen, who studied costume design at university, promises: “I’m not afraid to look a bit ugly, messy, and scary – it’s not about being pretty all the time.”
Crystal made her exit in Episode 5. A strong run, and she made East London proud.
Cheryl Hole is an Essex queen, who calls herself: “A dancing diva, known for my dance moves, death drops and pure entertainment. I think my degree in dance will give me an edge because there are several challenges that are thrown at you where you have to use your body.”
Cheryl, who brings ‘Essex glamour with a touch of showgirl’ plays her namesake – who will be a guest judge on the show – in drag Girls Aloud tribute Gals Aloud.
This was the week that we said goodbye to Cheryl. She may not have won anything all series, but she made it to the Top 4 and she’s won a heap of new fans. Likeable, warm, and entertaining, Cheryl has a bright future ahead of her.
Yorkshire queen Divina De Campo, is a singer in what she calls: “A sequin dress, a big wig, a big lash, an approximate face.” She’s been on a lot of television singing shows, so will clearly be comfortable in front of a camera.
When asked what fans can expect from her on Drag Race UK, she says: “I’ve taken a long time to build up my skillset so when you come to a Divina De Campo show you know there’ll be some comedy, some dancing, some singing, and some acting.”
Divina says her drag is “old school glamour. As a kid I was dressing up in dresses all the time, but the first time I went out, I went out as Christina Aguilera from the Moulin Rouge video.”
Another strong week for Divina, she’s heading into the Final 3 with some momentum behind her.
Gothy Kendoll is from Leicester, and says her unique name “comes from my friend who described me as a Ken doll but a gothy one because I used to be wear loads of black, have really black hair, but also be really tanned and wear loads of makeup!”
She says she is inspired by 80s divas like Annie Lennox and Grace Jones and says her drag is: “Dark, contemporary, striking and unique, and everything that is cool and fresh about UK drag now.”
Gothy describes her drag as “dark, contemporary, striking and unique. I first did drag on New Year’s Eve 2016 and it was a mess. I was in a leotard with no wig on but I was living my life, having the best night ever.”
Gothy was the first queen to be eliminated from the UK edition of Drag Race. In her farewell mirror message, she described herself as the UK version of Pork Chop – a reference to Victoria Pork Chop Parker who was the first queen eliminated from Episode 1 of the first series in the US.
Sum Ting Wong is a queen from Birmingham who now lives in Reading.
“When I started doing drag five years ago, I wanted a name that was cheeky but also reflected my British Vietnamese heritage.”
She said she turned to drag because: “I can’t be a singer out of drag – I am a Chinese male who’s overweight and losing his hair, so drag helped me, and the 12 year old me, finally live out my dream of performing and singing.”
Despite being known for her singing, the queen said she didn’t know how she made it to the show, joking: “This is a fluke – I don’t know why I’m here.”
Week 4 was the end for Sum Ting Wong – a weak Snatch Game and a disappointing runway found her inevitably in the bottom two, bowing out to Crystal in a Spice Girls showdown.
Wiltshire native Scaredy Kat describes herself as: “Cute, pink and scared – like a nervous flamingo.”
The youngest queen in the Drag Race UK line-up, she says she wants to move on from making drag videos at home.
Scaredy Kat added: “I need to be on a stage in front of millions of people because the attention just has to be on me right now.”
Scaredy is fairly new to the whole scene. “I really haven’t done it that long. It was probably about a year ago. I was with my girlfriend trying to have a laugh. It was quite embarrassing but it went quite well for a first try.”
After a great start in Episode 1, Episode 2 saw the end of Scaredy Kat’s Drag Race run. She was a bit one-note in the acting challenge, her run-way was solid, but her lack of performance experience let her down when it came to the lip-sync. We loved her exit line: “It wasn’t a bad first gig!” She’s already a winner.
Liverpool queen, The Vivienne, was named as RuPaul’s Drag Race UK ambassador back in 2015, so it seems fitting that she’s made it through to the final cast. You may have seen her performing at Sparkles drag bar in Gran Canaria.
She describes her style as: “Like a scouse wife who has come into money, she moved to LA and blew it all and then she’s had to move back to Liverpool,”
Her strengths are: “My impersonations, I can sing, I look good, I’m funny as fuck and I can drink a whole bottle of Jägermeister in 20 seconds flat. Comedy is definitely my trump card. My favourite trick in drag is my vocal impersonations so I do everyone from Kim Woodburn and Cilla Black to Donald Trump.”
Good work again from The Vivienne, she’s probably the favourite to win the whole thing.
London-based drag queen Vinegar Strokes is: “Like Tina Turner meets Lizzo meets Kat Slater. Drag is the new black.”
She previously appeared on the West End alongside Drag Race UK judge Michelle Visage in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, of whom she says: “I did dance with Michelle Visage every single night, but I’ve already been clearly told there’s going to be no favouritism and this will be a level playing field.”
Vinegar already has some Drag Race exposure, having performed in London’s West End with judge Michelle Visage and former champion Bianca Del Rio.
We said goodbye to Vinegar in Episode 3. A sewing challenge was never going to be her friend.
RuPaul is host and head judge. As in the American version, RuPaul is supported on the judging panel by Michelle Visage. Completing the illustrious panel of judges are UK television hosts Alan Carr and Graham Norton.
The guest judges
There’s a lot of celebrity fans of this iconic show, so there’s been no shortage of volunteers to fill the coveted guest judge spots on the UK edition.
- Andrew Garfield appeared on the first episode
- Maisie Williams appeared on the second episode
- Twiggy appeared on the third episode
- Geri Horner appeared on the fourth episode
- Jade Thirlwall appeared on the fifth episode
- Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini-Payne appeared on the sixth episode
- Michaela Coel appeared on the seventh episode
Where are you watching?
Airing at 8 PM each Thursday (UK time), if you’re in the UK you can watch it on iPlayer. Everywhere else in the world, your best bet is probably WOW Presents Plus.
This is the kind of show that is a lot of fun to watch with a group of friends or in a rowdy gay bar.
If you’re in London, there’s lots of places that will be holding screenings of the series.
If you’re north of the river, the best option is probably The Glory.
If you’re south of the river, the best option is probably The Eagle.
The re-cap shows
One of the best bits about a cultural phenomenon such as the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race is the re-cap and reaction shows that spring up around it – celebrating the highlights and lowlights of the show.
Here’s a couple you might want to check out.
Nova and Olympia are doing a weekly re-cap. They’re always fun to watch.
Ophelia Love and Kitty Scott Claus don’t hold back with their take on the show.
Chan and Dixie freely admit they’re missing a lot of the British references on this series, but nevertheless they’re enthusiastic fans of the show.
If you’re looking for a Drag Race podcast to add to your listening list, take a look at United Queendom. United Queendom is hosted by London boys, Ed Dyson and Charlie Valentine and delivers impressions, comedy, and interviews.
You also need to be following everything that Lee Dawson does.
His Ru-Cap videos have always been more entertaining than the show itself, and he’s now doing official Ru-Cap clips for RPDR UK on the BBC’s social media.
Best bet is to follow him on Twitter.
Series 2 of RPDR UK
The good news is that Series 2 of RPDR UK has been confirmed and the casting call had gone out. Be quick – you’ve only got a couple of weeks to get that audition tape submitted!