Well the time has finally come, us Brits finally get to showcase the queens of good ole Blighty, and the puns are already flowing out a plenty. A lot of expectations, anticipation and excitement has built from the moment the season was confirmed, rumours of who was to be casted were finally released (Check out the WERRRK exclusive interview with the cast here!) and of course the expectations rife (see our Dragworld coverage here!)
The UK and US are different in many ways, we’re more sarcastic, rough around the ages and everything is usually cross referenced via our soaps, much loved girl groups and of course the Royal Family. Being a fan of the show, over the last year the Drag Race machine has all us feeling like it’s hurtling towards us at full speed with three seasons in the last year alone. The anticipation and excitement for most is it feels great to be back in love with new queens and with a new format/facelift.
RuPaul and Michelle Visage are now joined by two brand new judges, British chat show icons Alan Carr and Graham Norton. The first season of queens had many fans pleased with Cheryl Hole, Divina De Campo, Scaredy Kat, Crystal, Vinegar Strokes, Gothy Kendoll, Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, Sum Ting Wong and The Vivienne casted.
So for the landmark occasion Mama Ru kickstarted the first season with the only way – Royally. The vibe is already one hundred percent fresh, and has a sense of excitement missing from the US current seasons, it may sound biased coming from a Brit but I for one am incredibly excited! It’s refreshing to see how stupid our camp humour is and how the world will interpret what is being said.
Baga Chipz is one hell of a character and quintessentially British, not the posh Brit the Americans may think we talk like! Within the first tenmins we had her spouting “Minging.” “I’m a bit of a chav.” “She’s a right trollop.” “I’m unique as f***, mate.” If any of you lovely readers are planning a trip to the U.K. especially London you’re more than likely going to hear the vocabulary from Baga, than stereotypical royals. A brit 101 vocabulary guide may need to accompany future episodes!
Seeing Divina De Campo finally in the limelight for me was a wonderful thing this lady is a powerhouse in the U.K. one of the hardest working queens in the business with a career of over 15 years, also her laugh is loud and infectious.
Next up Cheryl Hole is a must watch trust me when I say this queen is a performer! These two for me are the ones to watch being favourites, however this cast is full of talent and tough to call out the weak from the strong.
Mama Ru arrived with a more British ‘ello, ello, ello. We have new sayings, a brand new ‘Brit’ crew, and a whole new winners package…. a TV show career in Hollywood instead of the famous £100,000 cash prize!
The mini challenge is back and introducing the queens it’s off with their heads, a strong start and showing very little weakness they all came prepared… although some others heads were better than the rest. With the London tower being the setting it set the tone of how many cultural, historical references Ru plans to throw into this season.
With a lot of seasoned queens competing, nineteen year old newcomer Scaredy Cat confessed whilst getting ready, having never performed and doing drag for just eleven months. Admitting to Vinegar Strokes she’s never attended a drag show. Never. Been. To. A. Drag. Show! I don’t like to say that’s wrong or right, but considering they are on the biggest drag show and how many queens would love to compete did baffle me slightly, but hey, she could be a dark horse in the competition!
I never thought I’d see a runway theme where queens would be dressing as Queen Elizabeth II strutting to the tune of afternoon tea music serving Royal queen realness. Anything is possible in this series the union jacks are out! Serving not one but two looks, we see the queens represent their home town alongside Elizabeth II couture.
The runaway proved just how much the queens have wanted to be on the season, and that this truly is anyone’s game. There were no real ‘boots’ in amongst the girls, and felt little tiny things are what separated the bottoms from the tops.
Standout shoutouts go to The Vivienne, Baga Chips, Divina and despite the brutal bag loss Cheryl Hole! Each unique in hometown and incredibly regal for their Elizabeth representation!
The Vivienne won the challenge due to her Pete Burns tribute, her prize was a Ru-peter badge. Another nod to British culture a classic children’s show Blue Peter where badges were awarded for best arts and craft/act. However the prizes already seem to be lesser than the US version which will be interesting to see what else gets awarded to the queens. Drag Race US has seen luxurious holidays (Vacations), wigs, gowns etc prizes that can be invested back into their drag, this seemed a little underwhelming.
The lip sync however did let the U.K. side down slightly, showing that perhaps Charlie Hides was in fact a little bit correct quoting from season 9 reunion ‘We don’t lip sync much, we do live singing.” *SPOILER* We said farewell to Gothy Ken Doll who perhaps let her nerves get the better, and leaving in Vanjie style. What felt like the quickest 60 mins of Drag Race ever, we can all firmly agree that Drag Race is back with a big ole bang and has us Brits feeling very patriotic all of a sudden. Rule Britannia.
Let us know what you thought of the very first UK Drag Race in the comments below!