Wow! Our queens from across the pond have been bringing it, and the second episode of Drag Race UK brought the drama.
Not only did the dolls take on their first acting challenge they also opened up in the werk room and on the runway, in fashions inspired by James Bond. Let’s take a peek at the top moments from the episode.
And, in case you haven’t gotten WOW Presents Plus to get this and every new episode on Thursdays (the show airs Fridays on Logo), be aware that there are major spoilers ahead.
1. The top and bottom “micro mini” challenge.
Seeing two members of the Brit crew entering the werk room with signs emblazoned with “top” and “bottom” can evoke all kinds of risqué jokes- especially when Ru tells the fellas to swap signs. But, contrary to what you have come to expect from this show, it’s truly innocent. Since The Vivienne won last week’s runway challenge, she got to line up the other eight queens from the strongest (the tops) to the weakest (the bottoms.) Surprisingly, The Vivienne’s first choice was Vinegar Strokes, who had to lip-sync for her life last week. And then, in order, came Baga Chipz, Crystal, Divina De Campo, Sum Ting Wong, Blu Hydrangea, Cheryl Hole and Scaredy Kat.
As Ru loves nothing more than shaking things up, he announced that the top, The Vivienne and the bottom, Scaredy Kat, would be the team captains for the main challenge, the Drag Race take on Downton Abbey, called (of course) Downton Draggy. More on that in a bit.
2. The Downton Draggy challenge
The main challenge this week is the (often dreaded) acting challenge and, after watching the UK queens get their Dame Judi Dench on for the Drag Race take on Downton Abbey, it’s easy to see why. I guess it’s comforting to know that the queens from Shakespeare’s hood are equally as awkward in acting challenges as their US counterparts. Eek.
The Vivienne and Scaeredy pick teams and TV goes with the more…umm…seasoned queens – Vinegar, Baga and Sum Ting Wong. Scaredy goes with the “twinks” – Cheryl, Blu and Crystal – as well as Davina. As with every acting challenge, the writing is a mess (seriously, Ru, I am a great writer and I am available). And, of course, the read throughs are hilarious. Crystal, who is Canadian, trying a British accent and Sum Ting Wong trying an American accent are particularly amusing.
The teams shoot their scenes under the direction of Michelle Visage. Team Vivienne’s standouts are Sum Ting Wong’s endearingly tone deaf Mariah Carey-inspired character and Baga Chipz, who makes Michelle (and all of us) laugh with her “Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins” voice and pretty much anything else that comes out of her mouth. (If she doesn’t sell shirts that say “Much better”, she’s missing a golden opportunity.) https://twitter.com/dragraceukbbc/status/1182375103172169728
Team Scaredy Kat didn’t fare much better. Crystal’s accent was all over the place, Scaredy delivered a one-note, whiny performance and Davina proved to be the team MVP. Both finished results were pretty terrible. Thank God for the runway. One criticism…the makeup. These queens apply makeup for a living. The ones who had to do “character makeup” looked like they were in some high school production. After viewing the videos, Ru declares Team The Vivienne the (rightful) winner.
3. Graham Norton
Graham is the best talk show host in the world. Hands down. He is the perfect judge for Drag Race and I hope Ru gets him a visa so he can judge future seasons of the show in the states.
4. The queens open up
There were a lot of moments for us to really get to know these queens in this episode and I, for one, am glad we got them. Scaredy talks to Vinegar and Sum Ting Wong about how he was able to come out as bisexual to his family. Vinegar said she didn’t come out to her family until she was 25 and Sum Ting reveals that her family doesn’t even know she does drag. As a first-generation. Chinese, she obviously comes from a traditional background and said that she told her father she was gay when she was 12 – and hasn’t talked about it since. She’s had to keep so much of her true life away from her family – that she’s gay, a drag queen and has been with her partner for five years. Sum Ting elaborated in a recent Instagram post. I’m so glad that the Sum Ting story has a happy ending.
Later, on the runway, despite getting kudos form the judges, a visibly upset Divina said she wished she had done more and says she’s at a point in her career where she feels she needs to push herself. Ru reassures her that she’s there based on her merits and killed it in the acting challenge. Blu, after receiving criticism that her Downton character got lost, said she was still nervous because she wasn’t from “around there” and hadn’t really gotten to know everybody. Michelle tells her if she comes out of her shell, the other queens will too.
5. Maisie Williams
Hitting the runway in an adorable, sparkly ensemble, the adorable Game of Thrones actress was a delightful guest judge. She flinched every time Crystal cracked her whip and seemed genuinely happy to be there. My favorite critique was leveled at Davina’s, to which Maisie pointed out, “I just wish you had a bigger dagger.”
6. Ru’s glam look
(You may as well consider this a permanent fixture on the list every week.) Ru hits the runway on this episode in a stunning navy blue sequined gown with a slit up to her tuppence (See? I’m starting to grasp this UK slang!) Her hair was in a full, curly blond bob and she was once again painted for the gods. Ru continues to take my breath away.
7. The Bond Girl Glamourama Runway
The queens were asked to channel their inner Bond girl on the runway and delivered some fierce looks. The Vivienne hit the runway as the Grace Jones-inspired “Serena Shart” (and you thought the Brits were so refined) in a sparkly brown jumpsuit. After this, and her entrance and Pete Burns looks last week, I’m sensing that jumpsuits are her “thing”. I dig them though.
Sum Ting Wong also went with a hood for “May Ting” and revealed her bald head. Vinegar Strokes was “Mrs. F Tits.” Ru didn’t get it, and neither did I, until Vinegar explained the “F” stood for “Fondamy”. Ahhh. Her look was not one of the standouts though. Baga Chipz rocked my absolute favorite look as “Lazer Minnelli”, complete with a martini, sequined tuxedo and jazz hands, and now I want to see Liza as a Bond villain.
Cheryl Hole looks lovely as “00Dipshit”, and she’s serving “Met Gala realness” and yet another Alyssa Edwards tongue pop. She removed her gown to reveal a gold lamé leotard and a gun in a garter. If this was the US version, she would have been clocked for not having a waist. Crystal is “Wanda Whipper” in a black latex bodysuit, high pony and, true to her name, a whip that she brandishes across the runway, to the terrified delight of the judges.
Scaredy Kat is “Kitty Rouge” and I kind of did her 1930s aviator look. She whips out a joke gun with the “Bang” banner and adds a naughty twist when she lifts up her skirt to reveal a banner with “Me” on her knickers.
I also loved Divina as “Paris Eatemall”, with her bright red hair and glittery eye patch, she looks like a worthy foil for 007, especially after she whips some knives out from beneath her skirt.
Blu Hydrangea gets the award for creativity for her “Triple Tatas” character. She looks like she just stepped out of Total Recall when she reveals that, yes, she has three boobs, with “007” on the pasties. Love, love, love.
But, thanks to her hilarious turn in Downton Draggy and “Lazer Minnelli”, Baga Chipz has victory in the bag and takes home the “Ru-Peter” badge this week.
8. Everyone vs Cheryl Hole
It’s early on, but it appears Cheryl Hole is getting the villain edit. When the queens are getting painted for the runway, The Vivienne goes in on her, calling her a “mean little, horrible little bitch” and rolls her eyes every time Cheryl opens her mouth (which, admittedly, is quite often on this episode.) During the mini “Untucked”, the safe queens all agree that Cheryl is not being herself and, as soon as Cheryl comes in, makes it all about her – and a throwaway comment shew made on stage about Sum Ting being the weakest link on Team The Vivienne, which prompted Vivienne to utter the best line of the episode, “Who put 50p in Cheryl?”
Sum Ting and Vinegar reiterate that they feel they haven’t met the real Cheryl yet, and Cheryl replies that she still feels “overwhelmed” and in the confessional, can’t figure out why she’s being called out for trying to stand out. Is Cheryl this season’s Laganga Estranga? Is she already feeling attacked? Stay tuned to find out.
9. The lip sync
Blu and Scaredy landed in the bottom two this week (and, honestly, Blu’s runway look should have saved her) and lip-synced to “Venus” by Bananarama. Scaredy has already announced that she’s never performed on stage before, so before we hear the first note of the classic 80s jam, it’s pretty evident that Blu will be the victor. Despite the obvious advantage., Blu pulls out all of the stops, using her boobs for percussion (https://twitter.com/WorldOfWonder/status/1182388301505945600) and working every inch of the stage with ferocity. Poor Scaredy kind of staggers around the stage, looking like, well…
10. Scaredy’s sign-off
While Scaredy may not have had the experience of her fellow queens, she knew how to sashay away with grace and humor. As she walked off, she said, “It wasn’t a bad first gig.” She’s 19 and has already made it to Drag Race, she’s sure to have a very successful career. Good luck to you, Kitty Girl. Not that you need it. (You can check out her exit interview here.)
And so the curtain rings down on another episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Next week, the queens put their wardrobe construction skills to the test, as they make treasure from trash. This ought to be interesting, to say the least. Until next week, cheerio!