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RuPaul's Drag Race

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Meet the Queens (S02 E01)

In the words of Alyssa Edwards, “I’m back back back again.”, bringing you another season of RuCaps for all things RuPaul’s Drag Race UK! A global pandemic can’t stop the wonders of Drag Race UK coming to our screens once again! After the iconic and incredibly successful season one aired what now feels like a lifetime ago, BBC3 gave the green light for season two! 

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We may have had to wait just a little longer for the airing of season two due to COVID-19 halting the production halfway through, but we can all agree the wait has been worth it! As a Brit, the excitement sets in, I love the original Drag Race as I rarely know the whole cast so it’s great fun meeting the queens across the pond. However when Drag Race UK rolls around, I love seeing the British drag culture spewed on the screens, and yet a tiny bit of dread arises when your fave queen does actually get on the show. You’re so happy they get the well deserved recognition but the fear of how they’ll do, coming across onscreen and on the forums of social media. 

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But we’re all sensible adults here and know to not feed the trolls, So the engines are revved up the cast are here delivering another season…. Will it be ‘much betta’? (Sorry!)

Lawrence Chaney enters as not only the first queen but the very first Scottish queen to step into the workroom. What I look forward to most is everyone trying to grasp the Scottish slang/saying! I can just about grasp the fantastic thick accent, we are all on this journey together. Lawrence to me already is a strong contender full of comedy and style! 

Bimini Bon Boulash…. already an icon, her out of drag look alone is jaw dropping! I could write an essay on every queen’s entrance and the looks that were brought…. hello Tayce!!

Each entrance screams loud and proud, complete with merch catch phrases at the ready! All I have to say about Cherry Valentine, is her laugh is out to rival the bird cackle queen Miss Trixie Mattel!

RuPaul appears donning a wonderful cockney accent, I truly love seeing him on the UK version. He thrives and looks like he’s living his best life. Last season saw the Rupeter badges awarded out, and well, they have made a return, along with the final prize being a Hollywood web series! Whilst viewers found the lack of cash prize unfair, a lot of the queens exclaimed how they were happy for the opportunity to get given such a platform!

Which brings us to the very first mini challenge, a Wimbledon-esque photo shoot containing the pit crew and balls! The innuendo-laden photoshoot saw balls flying everywhere with all the queens performing magnificently. Ru tormented the queens for his own entertainment, and we see Lawrence Chane as our very first mini challenge winner!

It’s de-dragging time! My favorite part of a new season is always watching them de-drag, seeing the transformations always shows how much work goes into creating such a persona. Season 2 even stepped up the confessionals outfits, seasons been and gone, we’d see a jumper or t-shirt. 

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Not on season two’s watch! They are all serving fashion, flamboyance and showcasing how camp British fashion is! The difference in someone’s confessional look shows how different the cast is. 

Bimini is decked out in yellow hair, and no clothes yet. We switch over to little Veronica Green, is he just not the cutest thing? It shows just how drag can transform a person and give them their true confidence. This is highlighted by Lawrence Chaney, who admits to using the make up he wears as a mask to feel confident. I think that’s something we can all relate to and even why we gravitate towards drag in general.

This weeks runway saw ‘British Queer Icon’ as the queens paid homage to their favourite UK icon. I loved this runway, not only to see their interpretations, but also a way to take note of icons that I perhaps don’t know myself. It’s never too late to keep educating ourselves!

The standouts for me were Ellie Diamond, her take on icon Lily Savage was spot on and more. For those who might not know Lily Savage, she presented a range of family games shows and also her own chat show created by Paul ‘O Grady. The Battle of Naomi Campbells saw Astina win, although let’s be honest, both her and Tayce absolutely took it above and beyond, serving face and fashion. 

What I particularly love about Drag Race UK, is how camp it is. Compared to its American cousin, we almost parody it. We take the piss out of ourselves, where as the US runways are so incredibly polished, glam and almost perfection. Seeing the UK a little more rough around the edges balances on the end of the spectrum. 

The surprised second runway category is: Hometown outfits. The queens bring a different aspect to the runway, Joe Black is the first ever Brighton queen. Now if you ever find yourself in ole Blighty’, please head to Brighton. It is chock full of so many talented artists and is the most vibrant place to see shows. It has a very big place in my heart!

We most certainly saw more of Bimini than we thought we would but what an introduction to her hometown Norwich outfit, butt wiggles and all!

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For me the highlights were Cherry’s Freddie Mercury tribute, Tayce and Astina’s Naomi Campbell, and Ellie’s Lily Savage. We see Astina as the well-deserved winner and the first holder of the exclusive Rupeter badge!

SPOILER

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Avert the eyes if you don’t want to spoil it…. But are you reading a (very long) review, if you don’t want to know…. Drum roll please….

It’s time to LSFYL… and honestly seeing Joe Black in the bottom two is a hard pill to swallow. I may be biased as I am Team Joe Black, but I really liked his own conception of his gay icon look, Bowie was known for pushing gender and not being mainstream, so for Michelle Visage to say it’s not traditional seemed a bit odd considering drag is also about being your own individual. But anyway we aren’t in the judging seat, we are mere fans! 

So we see our first lipsync song, British gay Icons Frankie Goes To Hollywood with classic Relax. Now compared to last season’s first LSFYL, I was in love with this! They took different approaches to the song. Seeing Joe in cabaret shows, I was really excited to see his talent shine on the stage. Bimini threw in tricks a plenty, alongside that exposed booty. She is going to tear up the shows when we’re back in the regular world!

We said goodbye to Joe Black which breaks my little fan heart. However, as highlighted on last week’s Season 13 Porkchop Lounge, first out doesn’t mean a bad thing. Queens have gone onto have worldwide fame and success and Joe will do just fine. I know it!

I think we can all agree that after that opening episode, it is going to be a rollercoaster, with some very strong characters, and an incredibly talented cast. So support the dolls, don’t be a troll and enjoy the double dosing of Drag Race this weekend. After all, what else do we have to do right?


New episodes of Drag Race UK will debut on the BBC Three iPlayer at 7:00 p.m. BST in the United Kingdom and at 11am PT / 2pm ET, exclusively on WOW Presents Plus in the US and select territories worldwide.

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Written By

Kirsty Bright is a copywriter and freelancer living across the pond in the U.K.. Her free time is used wisely by spending too much money on drag shows and getting distracted watching YouTube series UNHhhh.

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