‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ S1E2 Recap: It’s Twink Hunting Season
Much better (than the US version)!
Hide, my twinks: according to Drag Race UK, it’s purging season, and you’re going first.
Well, both Gothy and Scaredy Kat might both identify as feline cubs actually, but either way, their roars weren’t quite fully formed enough to stand out from the pack. Or be heard above Cheryl’s constant cries.
This week, Drag Race UK set up a solid cast divide between the old (26+, which is upsetting but also incredibly realistic for how queer men treat ageing) and young, a tried-and-true plot line.
In this week’s mini-challenge segment, The Vivienne sorted her competitors from top to bottom, placing all the younger queens — Scaredy, Cheryl, Blu — as her weakest competition.
But if the cock destroyers have taught us anything, it’s that you can still be powerful as hell while taking it. Watching that lip-sync, Blu clearly had a fire lit under her after landing in the bottom two, and Cheryl might’ve had a bit of a breakthrough moment during Untucked — hopefully we start seeing more her, and less Alyssa Edwards.
Two episodes in, and Drag Race UK has a solid rhythm — fast too, with only eight queens remaining already.
The show feels distinct — lower budget, less serious — but ultimately it’s hard to get super excited about the third season of the show this year, especially when it still carries some of Drag Race‘s hang-ups. Namely, terrible acting challenges we wish the show would get rid of in favour of letting the queens write their own material.
They do serve a purpose though: as the acting challenges are often early in the season, they’re a sure-fire way to send someone home, given how unfair some roles are. There was some high-level producing underway in saving Sum Ting, by having the week judged by teams, but ultimately the right queen went home.
When Scaredy runs off stage, she jokes the show “wasn’t bad for a first gig”, which is a real understatement.
Back in S2, Tatiana had never performed live either and made it to the top five (though the show didn’t know that, having faked a performance on her audition tape): it speaks to both of their talents that they made it on.
Scaredy was a really interesting personality on screen, and for a first performance, that lip sync had some genuinely funny parts and showed potential for something. Like Tati, we wouldn’t be surprised if she came back in a little while to show off some new tricks, but for now, the twink is defeated.
Blu And Sum Ting’s Favourite British Pop Star? Scared-As Spice, Duh!
Both Blu and Sum Ting struggle with nerves in this week’s Downton Draggy challenge, and it’s bloody hard to watch.
Given Divina’s odd meltdown about being good but not good enough on the main-stage, it’s clear that the years of build up surrounding Drag Race UK have placed a heavy weight on this cast. Not only do they want to do well, they probably want the show to shine, too — if they fail to capture the globe’s attention, so does the franchise.
But oh God, Blu. As someone who knows that voice crack and sheer ‘Zooey Deschanel coke-eyes’ panic very well, it was heartbreaking to watch Blu continually screw up her lines during the challenge, though she does pick it up later on.
There is nothing more horrific than somebody losing all confidence while realising that everyone around them can tell they’ve lost all confidence but are trying to politely not acknowledge it. It was pity-inducing, which is the last thing you want from a drag queen. We’ve all been there.
She wasn’t alone, though, as Sum Ting was flustered for most of the show. While her stamp look was a stand-out in episode one, that savviness didn’t come through in the acting challenge or on the runway, and she knew it, too.
We’re a little worried about Sum Ting since we also got some of her back-story this week when she, Scaredy and Vinegar discussed every gay man’s most loved/dreaded first date topic, coming out.
Vinegar and Sum Ting — the two queens of colour of the season, mind you — echoed what we’d read online during #NationalComingOutDay last week: that for people from religious or immigrant backgrounds, it’s not as simple as the truth setting you free.
Sum Ting hasn’t addressed his sexuality with his family once since he came out at 12, and while isn’t in love with it, has accepted that might be the reality of his life. The show’s depiction of the conversation was markedly different from S8’s narrative around Kim Chi, where RuPaul continually tried to get her to come out.
We hope they’ve learnt their lesson, and that Sum Ting isn’t pushed into an agonising story-line by the show.
Who Put 50p In Cheryl?
Cheryl Hole got a bit of heat this episode for doing a LaGanja Estranga. She’s young, hung and marches to the beat of Alyssa Edwards’ drum, honey! There’s a talented, funny queen in there, but where Sum Ting and Blu froze from being overwhelmed, Cheryl has gone the other way, dominating the conversation.
It’s an easy plot-line, but we’ll see if it continues — she seems to have gotten the message during Untucked, but her teary confessional is pretty defensive.
Am I Making You Horny, Baby?
This week’s runway was an ode to that Austin Powers spin-off, the 007 series. We’re wondering if every week is going to be so BRITISH: it’s oddly limiting for the queens, though right now, it’s still fun. The Vivienne, Baga and Crystal come out with stunning looks which display exactly what type of queen they are (drag excellence, comedy, fashion).
The rest were perfectly fine.
Baga wins this week’s challenge, and it’s well deserved. She seems to embody everything we can imagine from Drag Race UK‘s first winner — it’s a real shame she wrote a column about why she voted conservative a few years back, celebrating the Tory’s terrible track record with LGBTIQ+ rights.
Conservative queers are bootlickers of the highest order, people who undermine other queers and minorities because they personally don’t feel hurt by oppressive laws. I regret to say that Baga Chipz can get the fuck off my live chat, which is for Rexhars, Bad Bitches and the true Bebe Rexha fans only.
Blu turns out the lip sync, and proves to be a screencapper’s dream.
Two episodes in, we’re going to call the show’s top contenders. The Vivienne was pretty spot on, really: from what we’ve seen so far and by what the show’s given us in terms of storyline, we’re picking The Vivienne, Baga Chipz, Crystal, Divina de Campo and either Vinegar or Blu to be in the top five.
Time will tell, and it’s fine to be completely wrong. Meanwhile, here’s a picture of Maisie Williams saying ‘fuck RuPaul’ on the main-stage.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is available to stream on Stan, with episodes dropping 7am AEDT each Friday.
Jared Richards is a staff writer at Junkee, and co-host of Sleepless In Sydney on FBi Radio. Follow him on Twitter.