As our personal favourite is eliminated, we remind ourselves that competition results do not define artistry.
I actually could not write this article straight after the episode aired as usual, my emotions would have led me to be completely and utterly biased. I’m a bit shocked that lockdown has caused me to feel this much over a reality TV show, but don’t worry I’m fine lol – Lets crack on with our DYCAL recap of this weeks episode of Season 2 of Drag Race UK!
For previous episode recaps click below!
First of all I have to say, this is one of the best episodes of Drag Race we have ever been blessed with. We have the infamous reading challenge, and a design challenge with only six queens (meaning nobody can skate by). The workroom shenanigans before the runway are so funny and the looks on the runway are on the whole very hard to judge, which I think is a good thing!
The reading challenge is pretty good, with highlights including Sister, Lawrence, and Bimini. RuPaul secretly loves dark humour, and it’s something that he doesn’t encounter much when filming Drag Race US. The UK girls are a different story: Sister wins by calling Lawrence fat before telling Tayce to drown herself. It’s fabulous. Lawrence does well too, ‘She studied for her COVID test’ is a modern take on a common joke delivered excellently. I have to give Lawrence credit where it’s due, and I can see why the public love this brand of humour because it’s instantly imitable and relatable at the same time.
Ellie struggles with delivery, being 21 and all, her electric chair joke was smart but my Mum and I had to rewind a few times to understand her. Tayce was also very nervous you could tell, starting every read with ‘look at you’ reminds me of Detox saying ‘F*CK’ to fill blank space in Season 5’s Comedy Roast. Then A’Whora further cements herself as an extra in The Devil Wears Prada with “who needs a soul when you have a face like this”. Brilliant.
RuPaul then announces that the challenge this week is to transform yourself into a ‘Lockdown Super She-ro’. As much as this is a sensible concept for another design challenge, it feels like unnecessary context. I wouldn’t say any of the final outfits felt particularly ‘Super Hero’ like. Which is absolutely fine, because they all made nice outfits.
On top of the super hero concept, the queens find out they will also be making the outfits out of unconventional household ‘lockdown’ materials. This leads to hilarity in the workroom, with the larger than life characters playing with (and fighting for!) ridiculous materials such as loft insulation, scouring pads, inflatable flamingos and more.
As the winner of the reading challenge (finally she wins something!) Sister is given a 15 second head-start to take all of the unconventional materials before anyone else can. If RuPaul has taught us anything about winning Drag Race, it’s that it do take nerve. Because of this, Sister has once again been attacked online. What the fans don’t understand is that by attacking we will get less funny moments like this, as queens will fight to stay ‘Miss Perfect’ at all times.
A’Whora dramatically sneaks over to Sister to ask for materials, and it’s so brilliant in every way. It shows a level of smarts on both sides; A’Whora struggles to find Sister’s requested ‘compliments’ and ends up backhanding her at every turn, whilst Sister plays the part of smarmy sales-person seeking an ego stroking. Before any audience members get upset, Sister said on Instagram Live that she did give away lots of her stash, but it isn’t shown.
Before the runway, RuPaul brings in make-up superstar Raven from Season 2 fame to talk through the outfits in progress. Fans love Raven for her make-up, wit, and online content provided through Wow Presents. However, following her appearance on this episode the UK Twitter fans have bashed her for painting herself too dark. Much like Ariana Grande, the ‘tanned’ presentation crosses a line into racial ambiguity. I do agree that it’s not right, and hopefully this trend will become more taboo than it already is moving forwards.
Now it’s time for the runway! As there’s only six queens left, and this week was all about creating an outfit, lets go through the outfits one by one.
First up, Tayce walks the runway in her brillo-pad Baga Chipz nightmare. Tayce seemed to have forgotten that Baga should have absolutely been lip-syncing for her life in Season 1 for the exact same look. Contrary to the judges opinions though, I actually liked the thong (lol). It looked painful and beauty is pain. There is however, at this point, no excuse for the construction; especially when everyone else did very well this week. As a huge fan, it’s worrying. We are left wondering if Tayce really can make it to the final on her own merits?
Next up, Lawrence Chaney looks slightly better than Tayce. The outfit is constructed very well, with the material being extremely hard to work with. The concept and presentation leaves a lot to be desired. At the end of the day, does she look good? That’s up to you to decide. The judges in particular kept talking about funny she was on the runway, which would be a valid bonus if it were true. The clear favouritism is starting to grate, and although it isn’t Lawrence’s fault at all, I’m glad she was rightfully placed in the bottom three.
Hands down, the winner of the night. A’Whora’s NHS-inspired vinyl velociraptor was absolutely exceptional. The movement of the outfit caused the runway to be extremely memorable, not just for this season but I think for many years to come. The hair was EXPENSIVE, and even the metallic body pieces looked crafty yet chic. The only thing I wasn’t sold on was the blank space of matte leg between the shoes and the crotch, maybe a very slightly more interesting pair of tights might have been cool. Or it could have looked shit what do I know. After her stupidly fun workroom antics and her main stage presentation this episode, A’Whora has demonstrated that she is clearly an exceptionally talented and likeable queen and it’s been amazing to watch her grow; I can see her in the final.
Such is a legend, that oft they divide opinion. No I’m not talking about Sister Sister, i’m talking about Bimini Bon Boulash of Vegan Royalty. After speaking of her issues with construction, and seeing the hot mess of an outfit that was presented to RuPaul; I thought Bimini would either win again or be in big trouble. So I was very surprised to find her middle of the road garment essentially ranked as third place. Vivienne Westwood was thrown around a lot, but I don’t think that’s an excuse to wrap a shower curtain around your body. I love me some Bimini, but I think the judges got it wrong this week. She also wore the same boots she lip-synced the first episode in!
Ellie Diamond has a very clean concept and a great outfit to match. I don’t think it’s particularly exciting, but the idea is executed well and she has a great shape. It was definitely a bronze medal for me, but as its now the top 5 Ellie is really going to have to step up her game. As the only queen without a badge, she is in a precarious position, but this has also been said for the past few episodes so really anything can happen. Unfortunately, I don’t see her winning a comedy roast next week.
On to our final queen of Eden. Sister Sister, for me, had one of the best looks of the night. I can understand why someone would dislike it, but for me more is more! Maximalism as a design concept is incredibly hard to get just right, and some more editing would have helped. (Sister edits the outfit wonderfully on her Instagram post, with green tights really helping the beige base garment to stand out). At this point in the competition, the queens are told to go big or go home. Taking fashion risks is usually rewarded over safer garments (Lawrence & Bimini), so that is why I was upset and annoyed that Sister was asked to lip-sync. Due to her track record I’m not that surprised though.
I would like to mention that Sister has not received positive critiques on any episode of the show. For seven episodes, Sister neither won nor gained a ‘high’ placement. Even when she beat Ginny Lemon in the ‘Who Wore It Best’ challenge she did not receive praise. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to go home after such a tumultuous journey, only to then receive death threats online after airing. That’s why I defend her so vehemently online, it just makes me lament at the unfairness of it all. Don’t be swayed by an edit people!
Ultimately, there wasn’t much chance of Sister beating Tayce in a lip-sync in those outfits, and Sisters fate was decided as soon as the song starts playing. There is something deeply homophobic about making drag queens perform to Jess Glynne, as it is universally understood amongst The Gays™ that Jess was ‘that chavvy girl in school’ who bullied anyone for being different. The music causes Sister to move around like a Sexy Fish, and it’s hard to watch the queens in the background LIVING for Tayce. This is what the game is all about though, and Sister is sent packing.
I’m more than upset, and that’s ok. The best part about Drag Race is seeing your favourites go home. The queens you have invested in emotionally remind you that you are valid, and to see them go home reminds you that not everybody wins. So this week, as we say goodbye to Sister Sister, we remind ourselves that competitions do not define artistry.
I would like to personally thank Sister for inspiring me to write each week, and I plan to write an article on the impact that she has had on our attitudes towards reality TV and the very real dangers of online harassment. I can’t wait to see her perform live in 3027; I am a fan for life. Until next week! Goodbye x