This week, the five remaining contestants have to perform a comedy stand-up routine… much to discuss.
We are back for episode 8 of Drag Race UK! It’s been two months since the show started airing and we can finally see our way out of this Coronavirus nightmare. I’d like to thank Drag Race for keeping my mind occupied, and to all the lovely people reading this blog.
For previous episode recaps click below!
Drag Race UK Season 2: Episode 1
Drag Race UK Season 2: Episode 2
Drag Race UK Season 2: Episode 3
Drag Race UK Season 2: Episode 4
Drag Race UK Season 2: Episode 5
Drag Race UK Season 2: Episode 6
Drag Race UK Season 2: Episode 7
Now, before we start I’d like to address, hopefully for the last time, my woes regarding Sister Sister. To think that she was just eliminated before a comedy challenge, judged by British comedy legend Dawn French, and the lip-sync artist was Dusty Springfield!! I know that Sister must be feeling proper left out, lets send her some love on her Instagram: @officialsistersister.
On to this week’s episode, the queens return to the workroom to discuss, once again, how Ellie Diamond does not have a badge! This obsession is getting a bit old. Of course Ellie needs to prove herself, but for the most part she has not been bad enough to be in the bottom two! End of! Then Tayce starts monologuing about… mulberry bushes? We love.
The next day, Ellie tells the girls that she is upset that the girls are underestimating her. I would be upset too! I feel that now Sister Sister has been eliminated, the target is very much on Ellie’s back, so naturally my underdog protection goes into full swing and I’m rooting for her! Until RuPaul lets loose that this week’s challenge is ‘something comedy’… oh dear.
Before we get into that, we have an amazing mini-challenge. In the ‘Masc for masc-ed Singer’ (get it?) the queens have to dress up as a ‘butch’ queen… or king? I am unsure of the gender they are meant to be, but I suppose that’s irrelevant as Ellie says: ‘what is masculine and what is feminine!’ Exactly! We live in a society.
The performances are pretty surreal, and essentially the queens go down the route of ‘dingy-pub-singer-confesses-love-to-straight-woman-in-audience’ – and RuPaul lives for every single moment. Tayce without a doubt is MVP of the challenge, but Ellie gives a layered androgynous Culture Club style look that I know Ru is recognising and appreciating, so she is declared the winner of the challenge. As the winner, Ellie decides the order of performers for the main challenge: A stand-up comedy routine. Drama ensues.
For many seasons now, RuPaul has been telling the queens that he wants to see them fight for the crown, and he literally means fight the other girls. Ellie does exactly that by placing A’Whora first followed by her straight after – shady! The whip smart Bimini Bon Boulash is third, followed by Lawrence Chaney and then last is Tayce. Ellie is a smart one no doubt, and this lineup immediately aggravates global tension.
The other girls have been undermining Ellie the entire competition, so now A’Whora and Lawrence are pressed that Ellie has the audacity to try to win! The girls let Ellie have it, and it’s uncomfortable to watch Lawrence attempt to scold Ellie -it’s absurd! As much as these queens are under pressure, I fail to see how one can react so poorly to such a minor inconvenience. Meanwhile, Tayce was just straight vibing to the drama and we love to see it.
Lawrence’s attitude regarding the line-up is pretty yikes to say the least, and as much as I think she has been overrated by the fanbase for a long time, it’s sad to see those same ‘fans’ turn on her so quickly. Lawrence has been showing these insecurities throughout the competition, and now that it’s turned ugly the fans are no longer protecting her like they did before? Where’s the logic in that?
Anyone who knows me knows that Lawrence has never been in my top of the season, but it just makes you look like a fool to slam the same queen you have been ‘living for’ this whole time. Don’t call yourself a fan of drag if you aren’t willing to understand that this show is designed to create a narrative. Now you can believe that narrative blindly, or, you can form your own opinions. If you don’t want to see your ‘fave’ get down and dirty, stop watching Drag Race! OK rant over, lets move to the main challenge.
I found it very interesting that the theme of the comedy challenge was love and relationships. I don’t think the theme mattered, but I am almost certain that they chose a theme to distract from the obvious theme of ‘Coronavirus’ and wanted to avoid the queens’s sets being all about the virus. If so, this was probably the smartest decision of the night.
Before the live show, the queens have a one to one coaching session with Alan Carr, but we can largely gloss over that as the training can all fall apart the minute the queens step on stage. Despite a theme, Coronavirus still manages to weave its way into the main performance as… there was no live audience; All previous arguments regarding Ellie’s lineup became irrelevant as there was literally no audience to warm up or react to!
As a result, the whole comedy show becomes very very awkward. For a British person, having to watch A’Whora talk about her anal-loving Nan followed by Ellie’s ‘horny devil’ voice (that Alan Carr encouraged might I add!) being performed to an empty room was just solid gut-wrenching cringe for a good 8 minutes. I almost had to skip through it, I was watching with my parents!
Luckily we have Bimini on third to save us from our silent movie nightmare. Her stand-up is well rehearsed and has recurring gags; not a joke it’s just a fact. It also proves that the line-up really doesn’t matter, if the set is funny then the set is funny, and Bimini’s performance is a knock-out. Her look also synergises with the performance, as a sort of liberal yet dark funeral attendee.
Up next we have Lawrence who, despite having an amazing cameltoe, wastes a lot of time with the set ups. At the end of the day we love coming out stories, but this is Drag Race, we know you’re gay! Get to the
Last but not least is Tayce. For all the set up that Tayce had of being nervous… it didn’t show! Tayce’s natural Welsh charm lifts her monologue to Nessa levels of fun, and I certainly had a very good time watching. She uses her body correctly with the jokes, she LOOKS amazing, but also her tone is calm and the content is sexy food. What more could you want! I think it’s casual, irreverent, and interesting! That being said, all of the performances aside from A’Whora’s and Bimini’s do feel like they could swing either way in terms of judging, but that’s a story for another day.
The runway theme is ‘Stoned on the Runway: Dripping in Jewels’. This runway category is a classic for beauty, but I feel it leaves little room for interpretation. Despite that, A’Whora once again nails this category with her high-fashion private hospital bodysuit and abstract headpiece with matching diamante IV bag. Yes. A great outfit to lip-sync in I thought too.
Ellie Diamond’s look is inspired by Ellie Diamond’s previous looks. There’s also a nod to what Ellie Diamond wore before. I’m almost certain there’s a subtle reference to what Ellie Diamond brought to Drag Race on her season, but I can’t be sure. It’s polished, professional, and mad boring at this point in the game.
Bimini Bon Boulash lets her freak flag fly in this ode to Meryl Streep’s younger years (pre-oxytetracycline). As much as I love the outfit and special effects, I literally don’t get how the acne look relates to the category, except maybe the ‘dripping’ part… I can totally understand how a bacteria look is prehistoric, but this is maybe pushing the interpretation a tad far. Props to her though, Bimini gets away with it and is rightfully declared the winner of this week’s challenge! Bimini’s trajectory is something that we absolutely love to see here at DYCAL, lip-syncing in the first episode has really given her the fire to win this entire competition. #TeamBimini
Next up, I actually really like Lawrence’s interpretation of the category. I love love love pink, but the ‘bubblegum princess’ fantasies that Ellie has been serving don’t do it for me. I like pink and weird, and Lawrence’s crystallised Doctor Who meets Boobah outfit really does it for me. I wish there were more crystals to hide the obvious bodysuit more, but overall I can’t be mad at Lawrence for standing out from the white diamond crowd.
Finally, Tayce’s Thierry Mugler metal armour reference is instantly recognisable and still extremely successful. The jewels that were dripping off the pieces could have easily looked like an afterthought, but as it’s Tayce there is a certain ‘Tayste’-level and that makes outfits look modern and effortless. It was interesting to hear that someone with such a seemingly confident approach to beauty and aesthetics can still have issues with relationships and honestly, I relate.
Now, aside from Bimini winning, the judging is QUESTIONABLE darlings. Ellie’s humour in the comedy challenge felt very ‘American’; the campy voices and alter-egos felt almost absurdist and Maria Bamford-esque. (Maria Bamford is actually one of the most sensational comedy performers of our time and Ellie Diamond is not. That’s not a joke it’s just a fact.) Whereas Tayce’s performance definitely had a casual Britishness. Out of the two, it comes down to personal taste. However, Tayce ate that runway, far more than Ellie ever has. Therefore, Ellie really should have been in the bottom two. Unfortunately, it’s A’Whora and Tayce for *unnecessary drama*.
The queens are set to perform to one of my all time favourites, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by the legendary gay icon: Dusty Springfield. After the travesty of last weeks Jess Glynne abomination, we are back on track. With all the pointing and over-dramatic movements, A’Whora loses the lip-sync fair and square; I didn’t think they were actually going to send her home though! The cheek! Especially since I thought the producers must put Tayce in the bottom to get rid of her and have her as the ‘robbed’ 5th place favourite ala Katya and Ben Dela Creme. I was wrong.
It’s definitely shocking to see two-badge A’Whora get eliminated at this point in the competition, but ultimately I’m not upset as she did have what I perceived to be the worst comedy routine of the night. It’s just the nature of Drag Race so please don’t get mad online, and let it be known that I will be following A’Whora on Instagram until I die in the 2028 pandemic! Good night!
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