Meet the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK!
Big news on the Drag Race front, with the reveal of the cast for the UK edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race and confirmation of when the series will begin to air.
The first episode hits our screen on 3 October, and the cast announcement means that we finally get to test the accuracy of the predictions and rumours that have been swirling around the UK’s drag scene.
“Each of the UK queens is so unique, so courageous and so special…” announced RuPaul. “I can’t wait for the UK – and the world – to fall in love with them the same way I did.”
The show will be broadcast on BBC3 at 8 PM each Thursday from 3 October. It’s going to be screened via iPlayer. If you’re not in the UK, your best bet is probably going to be watching via Wow Presents Plus.
Let’s recap what we know so far.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 experience, having performed in London’s West End with judge Michelle Visage and former champion Bianca Del Rio.
RuPaul will act as host and head judge. As in the American version, RuPaul will be 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.
Here are the guest judges that have been confirmed so far:
- Andrew Garfield – who appears on the first episode
- Cheryl Cole
- Geri Horner
- Jade Thirlwall
- Maisie Williams
- Michaela Coel
The Snatch Game is always a crowd-pleasing episode, and it’s been confirmed that we’ll be seeing a UK version of that as well. Lorraine Kelly and Stacey Dooley have been confirmed as the contestants who will be posing the questions to the celebrity stars.
There’s also clearly going to be some challenges that require the queens to be singing and dancing. AJ and Curtis Pritchard have been confirmed as dance experts on hand for one of the main challenges, and MNEK has also been confirmed as the vocal coach for the series.
Episode 1 – the first challenge
With a sneak peek of Episode 1 now available, we can see that Andrew Garfield is the first guest judge to step up to the plate – joining RuPaul, Michelle, and Alan Carr for deliberations.
Ru is looking stunning in blond and acid green, with legs that go on for days.
The first challenge is a fashion challenge, with the queens required to present two Royal looks.
Could there be a Charlie Hides redemption?
In 2017, Dame Charlie Hides became the first British queen to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Unfortunately, following her short run, what Charlie will be most remembered for isn’t the sickening looks – she’ll be known for delivering one of the limpest lip syncs of all-time. It led many to wonder whether Charlie was a fair representation of what the UK has to offer drag’s most prestigious platform.
She hasn’t been mentioned in the cast announcement, but could there be a surprise twist? Could we see Charlie return to the UK edition so that she can be given a redemption moment?