RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.
My apologies to Krystal Versace because I really got her wrong last week. I was all like, “She’s so obvious. She’s too young. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. She’s just giving us Drag Race Realness instead of anything original.” God, why didn’t any of you tell me to shut up? Huh? Well, now I have to take it all back, stuff it into a Yorkshire Pastie and eat it like it’s Ella Viday’s ass at a bottom’s convention.
Krystal really turned it out this week, and it was wonderful to behold. She didn’t start off that great. As all of the queens enter the workroom, she can’t shut up about her win and the weight of it all. She even gets to play Rupermarket Sweep, which they should really make, and I would watch every damn episode of it. (Really, if Leslie Jones, the host of Supermarket Sweep in the U.S., and Rylan Clark-Neal, the host in the U.K., had a baby, it would be exactly RuPaul Andre Charles.) In the game, Krystal has to say which of the queens is the biggest threat, has the worst taste, is out of date, and, of course, the trade of the season, which is so obviously Ella that no one is surprised about it except for Scarlett Harlett.
River is named as the queen with the worst taste, which makes sense after her first outfit, and Veronica is named out of date. I want to say it was because she was on last season, so she is technically out of date, but did you clock any of her boy clothes outfits this week? During this scene, she’s wearing a crop top rugby shirt so that we can all see her sparkly bellybutton ring that she got on a boys’ trip to Gran Canaria. Later, when they’re rehearsing, she’s wearing what can only be described as a dance singlet, but it has like a Steve Jobs–style mock turtleneck, and she’s paired this with neon heels and a pair of green monster novelty socks. It’s more confusing than going to a strip club that has taken over a preschool.
The big mistake is saying that Victoria Scone, who is hobbling around on a bum knee after doing a stunt in last week’s lip-sync for the crown, is the biggest threat. Ru asks why and Krystal says, “Well, she’s just the biggest.” That joke landed harder than a frozen turd falling out of an airplane bathroom at 60,000 feet. Even Ru is like, “Bitch, she almost beat you last week, so …” Everyone else just gasps and waits for later when they can have a teachable moment.
It comes when all the queens are sitting around getting ready for the runway, and they two are just coincidentally sitting next to each other. Victoria, very gently and lovingly, tells Krystal that she grew up a dancer and struggled with her weight and eating disorders for years and that she’s finally happy with her body. Krystal accepts that she made a really lame joke, says she didn’t mean it, and hopes they can get on. That unleashes the floodgates as all the queens talk about the things about themselves that they hate. Elektra hates her freckles. Vanity hates that she’s the only Black queen this season and has to represent so many people. Ella hates that she is so hot everyone is just always trying to give her things and take her on trips and be her boyfriend. The Brit Crew hates that, for some reason, they are stuck in a hotel room in Croydon and can’t be on set this season. Veronica Green hates that the International Male catalogue went out of business because she would have had a field day with their creative ensembles.
The main challenge is a dance-off with three groups, and each has to do a separate Dragoton fitness-inspired routine. Vanity, Choriza, and Elektra are the Ride or Dies, and they’re basically just doing Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” video. Vanity and Elektra are all, “We dance the house down boots,” so you know one of them is really in danger. Krystal, River, Kitty, and Veronica are the Ball Busters and only have one dancer on the squad, and she’s in the West End (did you know?), but there is much talk about how awful Krystal is, so you almost know that she’s going to show up and kill it. Victoria, Ella, Charity, and Scarlett would be a dream team of Momercizers except that Victoria has a busted appendage and Scarlett is spending so much time trying to both be and fuck Ella that she can’t pay attention. Everyone here seems a little bit in danger.
At the performance, the Ride or Dies are the worst, and the only one who looks like she knows what she’s doing is Vanity. Elektra, for all of her talk about being the best dancer, is totally off the beat. Choriza can’t keep up with any of the choreo, but at least she has a cute look and can sell a character.
But when it comes to characters, the Blue Balls really give it everything, especially Krystal and Kitty, who are giving us mean-boot-camp-instructor energy while looking like they’re both trying to play Sporty Spice at Victoria Beckham’s next birthday party. (Little do they know, she assassinates the Spice Girls impersonators after she’s blown out the candles.) The Momercise number seems over before it even began. Because Victoria can’t dance, she’s just sitting on a stool giving us shimmies and smiles, which is also the name of the newest sundae at the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.
On the runway, the category is Red Carpet Showstoppers, which seems like kind of a loose theme for the episode. It must have been at the same bottom’s convention as Ella. My favorite look is Veronica’s, who wears a curly blonde wig and a canary-yellow dress that is all frilly business in the front and all layered party in the back. Yes, it looks like a highlighter yellow mullet. Wait, is Veronica … wearing Bimini? I also love Charity’s orange fringe number with a cap and a koi-fish headpiece. She sort of looks like Carol Burnett dressed as Carol Channing at Carole Baskin’s birthday party. The judges are not feeling it, though.
I think the worst looks are River, who looks like the corpse of Laura Palmer dressed for an ’80s prom party, and Scarlett and Victoria, who are both wearing nondescript red dresses that someone’s mom would wear to a spring formal fundraiser for their local hospital. The tops of the week are Veronica, Kitty dressed as Madonna as Marilyn Monroe, and Krystal in a stunning green dress showing off her fake tits and tiny body and what Veronica describes as a little head even though the two of them have the same exact cranium. After a great runway and a stunning performance in the dance number, Krystal wins for the second week in a row, and everyone immediately hates her.
Duking it out on the bottom is Charity, who is lackluster in the challenge, Vanity, who wears a set of lilac drapes, and Elektra, whose sparkly boxer’s robe of a dress looks like a costume from a community-theater production of The Bodyguard: The Musical. When Vanity and Elektra go to lip-sync, Vanity just takes her purple wig down, whips her hair back and forth, and lets her charism ooze all over the stage. Elektra, meanwhile, is just doing flip, flip, Shablam, splits, splits into flips, Shablam into splits, leaps, weird Russian dances from the Nutcracker and caps it off with a leap from the stage into a split and everyone is like, “Give it a rest already.” There is such a thing as too much, and it seems like it can all fit in Elektra’s tiny frame. She goes home, and it is not, ahem, shocking at all.