Watching this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. is a little bit like, well, watching a bad drag performance. It just stands still, flailing and pointing, failing to surprise us, and then there is the occasional shablam to get the crowd on their feet, but even that feels stale and predictable. That was especially true this episode when, once again, the competition went absolutely nowhere. There were no losers, there were two winners, everyone got badges, no one got prizes, Russell Tovey did not take his shirt off and no one got to sleep with him. We’re all winners, we’re all losers. This makes this entire episode essentially pointless, since we will pick up next week exactly where we left off.
Oh, and if you thought that ending — when clearly inferior Vanity and Krystal were called out safe before the clearly superior Kitty and Ella — was meant to be a surprise, well, just like your favorite follow on Only Fans, it was pretty easy to see it coming. Not only were all the critiques favorable — Oh, sorry. “Favourable.” — last season also ended without a final-three elimination. So this is just what happens now? Okay. Got it. The final four next season will definitely take notice.
It’s sad that there was such a non-ending to this episode, because the challenge was quite good. It’s an acting challenge for Bra Wars, the RuPaul parody of Star Wars and other intergalactic features, which includes a joke about, “That being one extra terrestrial” that made my dad-joke heart go pitter-pat in my dad-bod body. Since she won last week’s challenge, Kitty gets to cast the roles. She can’t decide whether to be nice and give everyone easy roles or to screw her competition by giving them shitty roles. Instead she puts on a red curly wig, a pair of spectacles with a librarian chain, and decides to start the Kitty Scott Casting Agency. This is why Kitty is the best and I will always love her: She created her own little sketch out of the process and gave us some fresh entertainment when the show is relying on the same tricks. Make this lady a producer.
Kitty casts herself in the lead, Ella as the villain, Krystal as an even gayer C3-PO, and Vanity as essentially a talking head that is supposed to be Baby Yoda. While they’re preparing, Ella and Kitty are sitting around being like, “Oh god, these other girls are freaking screwed. They should be brickin’ it.” (The English-to-American dictionary says that “brickin’ it” means “shitting bricks.”) Across the room, just out of sight, Vanity and Krystal are like. “Oh god, we are freaking screwed. We should be brickin’ it.”
I knew they were going to pull it out, though, and I can’t say why. Maybe I have some sort of third eye that lets me sense what drag queens are going to do. All these years I thought I was third eye blind, but it turns out that my life is much more than semi-charmed. (Baby. Baby.) At the challenge, Michelle is directing the girls and Krystal is struggling with remembering her lines and she tells us it’s because she’s dyslexic. It’s also because she had to memorize a whole script of puns and pop-culture gags in about an hour and pull it off seamlessly. I surely couldn’t do that. I would probably try a Yoda voice and it would sound like someone stepping on a sick toad.
Contrary to them trying to make us think that Vanity and Krystal would be big failures, it seems like everyone is killing it, especially Krystal. She and Michelle have a great moment when Krystal is clearly nervous and says that she just wants to be perfect. “There is no such thing,” Michelle tells her. “So let that go and do what you can.” Where was she with that advice in, like, my sophomore year of high school? I would have avoided so much torture and anguish if only Michelle was around back then when I was [counts on fingers] essentially the same age as Krystal.
In the workroom, the conversation turns really dark. Vanity is talking about how she and her husband won’t show affection in public in her neighborhood, because the people of Brixton would really not like that. Ella talks about how she and her boyfriend were walking the dog on their block and someone was yelling at them about being “f-slurs.” It was not Matt Damon, or else she would have turned him into the police. All joking aside, though, gay hate crimes in the U.K. are on the rise, and there have been some extreme examples lately, like a gay man who was knifed and his partner beat up in Birmingham. The conversation might have seemed dour and maybe even extreme to some of us who live in cozy liberal cities, but this is also a warning. Gosh, Drag Race is really here to help us all out.
On the runway, the category is “scene stealers” and Krystal really shattered this challenge dressed as a drag Cruella de Ville. Emma Stone wishes, honey. She just wishes she looked this good in that billion-dollar movie (that was actually shockingly good). No notes for Krystal. Slay it again, ma-MA.
Also no notes for Ella, who is a slutty Oompa-Loompa, which I didn’t think would work but really does. The orange skin, the green hair, the sheer pointy pantaloons. Russel Tovey is not wrong, I am going to be Googling Willy Wonka porn like I’m putting together a Timothée Chalamet stan account. But it’s Ella. Does she look bad in anything?
Also no notes for Kitty Scott-Claus, who is still my favorite (sorry, “favourite”) to win the competition. She’s Kate Winslet from Titanic and even drops her necklace off the side of the stage. If only Drag Race could afford the rights to a Celine Dion song, it could have been playing as she did it. (Sidenote: Why has Celine never been on this show? You know Celine watches every week and just cackles and throws popcorn and randomly bursts out song based on what the queens are wearing.) Everyone makes a little fun of Kitty’s breakaway skirt, but an unnecessary reveal is just the camp that this outfit needed.
Also no notes for Vanity. Oh wait. JK. Like a vigilant substitute teacher, I have notes. Piles and piles of notes. “Do you like this outfit? Check one. Y. N.” I am checking N. As Michelle points out, this is the third week in a row she’s worn orange and the second week in a row she wore the same wig. And Utica and Symone just did B.A.P.S. and it was more polished and more synthesized than Vanity’s sad little hair vase on the top of her head. I mean, her oranges didn’t even match! Snatch it together, Vanity.
The video was great, everyone delivered their best and, for a change, it was a silly RuPaul production where everyone got to showcase their talent and a few of the jokes were actually funny. It was apparently enough to save everyone and have Kitty and Ella lip sync for the win. But they all win. Everyone wins. Everyone gets a badge. Everyone gets a crown. Everyone gets an amen up in here. Everyone loves themselves so they can love someone else. The problem is, now the show is giving us something to hate.