‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ S2E6 Recap: Look At Moi, I’ve Got One Word To Say To You: Snatch Game!
Tayce may have won over Australia's hearts, but Bimini Bing Bang Boulash could win the whole show.
Sorry Drag Race Down Under, you’ve been scooped: Tayce did it. She brought Kath & Kim to Snatch Game — and while it wasn’t the best Kath Day Knight I’ve ever seen, she scrubbed up all right (and cemented a legion of Australian fans for decades to come).
Last week, I presumed I’d know next to none of the Snatch Game characters, given how the international editions tend to play with national figures, but call me Gemma Collins, because I was just shooting shit with absolutely no idea how things work. Unfortunately for Gemma (who was unfortunately pretty subdued as the Snatch Game guest, and couldn’t make time for the panel), nobody went as Big Ben, The Inventor Of Time, but we did have the inventor of horror, Mel B.
Unfortunately for Mel B, Tia Kofi knows absolutely nothing about Mel B, other than she was Scary Spice and slept with both Eddie Murphy and Geri Horner. Justice for her work as judge on every reality competition on UK, US and Australian TV.
But with a so-so snatch and another runway that missed the mark, it was regrettably Tia’s time to go — and as soon as she learned she was up against frontrunner Lawrence in the lip-sync, it was pretty clear who was sashaying away. Looks like her talk of being a lipsync assassin was just one episode premature: she jinxed it (not Jinkx. to Jinkx it would have been to nail every challenge so much the judges overlook your runways).
Between Bimini’s deserved win this week and the spate of badges handed out to the United Kingdolls, Lawrence isn’t the sure-winner anymore. I could see Tayce coming from behind (and I’m not talking about her weave), or, if Bimini continues her winning steak, pulling a Jaida to take the crown in the season’s last half. I love when Drag Race is an actual race!
Impersonations? I Hardly Even Know Myself!
Before we bypass the mini-challenge, the girls challenge both Tia and Sister Sister on how they’ve going to address the judges’ critiques.
Tia repeats the same lines about stepping it up, but Ellie presses her, and it’s clear she’s just a bit over it. To be fair to her, there’s not much she can do with her looks at this point, which might be why she seems a little reserved or tired this episode. Her walkthrough with Ru doesn’t help. If anything, it sets her up to fall: Tia’s planning to do Shirley Bassey, but Ru thinks the wig is too small for such a statuesque queen, and pushes her towards Scary Spice.
Tia says she’s done Mel B before, but lip-syncing as her at a gig is very different from what Snatch Game entails, and she just doesn’t have the knowledge to play with the character. It’s a shame, because in another timeline, Tia won Snatch Game.
Ru’s walkthrough moments are clearly one of his favourite parts of the show, as he gets to show off his pseudo-psychology skills and live out his own talk-show fantasy. Sometimes the babble really connects, given the queens are going through a lot: others, it’s utterly intelligible.
While chatting with Ru, Ellie has a little cry when her family comes up in conversation, and when Ru mentions something about using ‘that’ energy in the challenge, Ellie has no idea what to say but eventually nods and says she will. It’s laughably off, almost as if Ru just pontificates without any actual empathy towards what the girls feel or actually need (or, alternatively, as if nothing matters when the cameras aren’t rolling).
Thankfully, Ellie didn’t cry in character as Little Britain‘s Vicky Pollard, which is a smart, easy choice of character. In a stronger group, she’d be in trouble, but her and Sister Sister both coast through with one or two good jokes. I have no idea who Sister Sister played, but the show seemingly doesn’t want me to care, as she was the only queen to not have her talk with Ru make it to air. Brutal.
But Sister played a smart Snatch, playing some well-worn jokes about psychic characters with a bit about possession that was actually pretty funny/original — same with A’Whora, whose fake legs gag (and runway) saved her from the bottom this week.
The criticisms against her Snatch Game seemed pretty harsh: I didn’t know Louie Spence before this episode and yes, the lisp was pretty over-the-top, but it was a full-fledged impersonation with plenty of jokes.
The judges questioned her choice of Spence, but it’s not hard to put it together with her werkroom convo with Ru, where A’Whora says she lacks confidence out of drag, and feels like she hides behind aesthetics. Spence, as she embodied him, is boldly camp, a queer man who takes up space by over-exaggerating his effeminacy; of course A’Whora would find something of worth in that.
The A’Whora we see now in E6 feels like a completely different person from the twink-brat of E1, and the evolution of her character comes across very genuine and real. With the filming break, I think she was able to sit with some of the lessons from the show, and really process a lot about her persona: and, without projecting onto her too much, maybe being in lockdown and away from the social circles she ran in made her sit back and question whether she liked who she was.
There’s no real takeaway here, other than that the bitchy, visual-focused gay is rarely as vapid as first seems or they present: at risk of Ru-splaining, it’s often a facade. It’s nice to see A’Whora’s growth without the show, so far, spelling out all the mechanics behind it.
Her room-mate Tayce steams ahead with Kath Day Knight, and while she’s not reinventing the wheel, who cares? It’s fun, the accent’s pretty good, and a few more people might watch Australia’s best TV show to date. Any hole’s a goal (ain’t that right, A’Whora?).
But Bimini! Bimini Bing Bang Bong Bolash excels this week as tabloid figure Katie Price.
Every joke was so effortless, her impersonation over-the-top (clearly she’s from the Symone school of knowing how to mispronounce words in the funniest way possible), and the absurd lines about ‘nipples being the eyes of the face’ and being robbed of breast implants are a perfect parody of trashy, tabloid figures and scandals. This is Bimini’s episode, where the judges are finally seeing what we’ve seen since her football outfit in E1: an absolute star.
Then there’s Lawrence, who has an off week with his Miram Margoyles. It’s not the best character choice — she’s quite witty, but Lawrence can’t quite translate her own humour into it. Ru gives some pretty terrible advice to Lawrence in the walk-through to “be herself” in the Snatch Game, which is the opposite of what they’re supposed to do.
I think Ru is aiming for ‘don’t overthink it’ and let the jokes come naturally, which is the opposite of what Lawrence does: her jokes are convoluted and over-thought. The pressure of three wins in a row and being ‘the comedy queen’ probably got to her, which is understandable. The train had to slow down at some point.
Prehistoric? I Didn’t Know They Flew Out Lady Bunny
Before the runway, we get a bit of backstory from Ellie about her relationship with her father, who kicked her out as a teen for being gay.
Ellie’s only just moved out of home in-between the filming break, and it’s clear from a few chats now that her family is really central in her life: it’s heartwarming to know her mother stood by her side and took her back in while kicking her dad out. It gave me a lot of respect for Ellie, who can come off a little underdeveloped as a queen at times on the show. But she’s so young (I could barely talk to strangers at 21!), and has been a little pre-occupied, working to support her family (she had to move out during lockdown as they could no longer afford their rental). I’m excited to see the queen she is in a few years.
But first, runway. Jessie Ware takes the judges’ panel, which is a great excuse to recommend her 2020 nu-disco album, What’s Your Pleasure?, as well as her podcast with her mum and various famous dinner guests, Table Manners (the episode with Kylie Minogue is particularly fun). She is the moment!
Well, not really, only because this moment is a prehistoric runway, and Ware, despite what I may have said many times, did not actually invent music. It’s clear that Bimini is winning as soon as she steps out: where most of the others go cave-woman, Bimini goes molecular with an editorial take on a bacteria bringing life to all forms.
Of the cavewomen, A’Whora’s is the best: she’s 3D-printed the bones to her exact measurements, and the giant faux-bear skin she carries behind her is just beautiful. In the face, she gives off Stephanie Germanotta. It’s the best she’s looked yet.
Tayce is a close second, going for more of a witch-doctor look that’s artfully ripped to reveal her rippled abs.
The rest I’m not super into: Ellie’s nod to The Flinstones‘ Pebbles is cute, and Lawrence’s tiger-print gown is nice. Sister Sister’s outfit doesn’t connect for me, a tiger print with green fringe and a bone face mask, and Tia’s again looks like a costume shop outfit. It’s a shame!
The judges rule Bimini the winner, and Lawrence goes head-to-head with Tia in a perfectly fine lip-sync to ‘Touch Me’ by Cathy Dennis. Ru must really love this song though, as she’s more animated than the other lip-syncs combined.
It’s sad to see Tia go, but her time has come: and there’s always room for another cuppa on All Stars. Next week’s an unconventional material design challenge, which could be bad news for Tayce — and that’s ignoring the preview footage, where she seems to require an ambulance. Unless the editing is merely playing things up: but they’d never do that, right?
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is available on Stan, with episodes dropping each Friday 8AM AEDT.
Jared Richards is Junkee’s Drag Race recapper, and a freelance writer who has written for The Guardian, The Big Issue and more. He’s on Twitter.