It’s episode 5 of the second season of Rupaul’s Drag Race UK and here’s a handy recap of all the goings on.
If you want to avoid spoilers for Rupaul’s Drag Race, stop reading now.
Last week we said goodbye to Ginny Lemon who, in a Drag Race first, decided to eliminate herself just after the lip sync started against her bestie Sister Sister. Ginny happily blew a kiss to the judges and walked to the back of the stage and exited leaving the panel and the other queens confused.
Episode 5, as ever, starts with the instant fall out from last week’s elimination as the girls return to the Werk Room and read Ginny’s lipstick message on the mirror. The general feeling was one of shock with Sister Sister admitting she didn’t realise she’d gone until quite a way through the song. Veronica was getting tetchy when the other queens said that they thought she should’ve been bottom two with Tayce calling her a cocky slag. Before it could kick off any further, Rupaul came on the screen to say filming would have to cease because of Covid.
A massive seven months later and the queens came in to the Werk Room one at a time out of drag. Several of the queens had clearly had some work done with Bimini and Sister Sister looking the most changed – I couldn’t take my eyes off the latter’s teeth. Tayce and A’Whora announced they’d moved in together as ‘flat mates’ with Lawrence not believing it was purely platonic. Tia said that she was feeling fired up and refreshed as the queens then realised Veronica wasn’t coming in. Where was she?
We didn’t have to wait long to find out as Ru entered the Werk Room (in a Ginny Lemon coloured wig) and explained that Veronica had tested positive for coronavirus and wouldn’t be continuing in the competition (but will be invited back for series 3). Ru then lightened the mood by calling in the Brit Crew who were dressed in animal costumes. However, when they lifted their masks it turned out not to be the Brit Crew but instead it was the first three evictees; Jo Black, Cherry Valentine and Asstina.
Ru explained that Ginny had ruled herself out by leaving the competition and then dropped the bombshell that the existing queens would have to pick one of the three to rejoin the competition and each was asked to write one name on a hand mirror. The first three queens chose Joe and then the next two chose Asstina but the sixth queen voted Joe so she was back in the competition. Poor Cherry didn’t get any votes.
There would be no mini challenge this week, it was straight on to the maxi challenge – Ruruvision! Split into two groups, each girl would have to write lyrics, record them and perform as a group on stage. The returning queen, Joe, and last week’s winner, Lawrence, were team captains and picked one at a time to form their groups. Joe’s team was formed of Ellie, Tia and Sister Sister and called themselves Bananadrama. That left Lawrence, A’Whora, Tayce and Bimini, aka The United Kingdolls.
Whilst talking to Ru in the Werk Room, Tia confessed she did rely too heavily on Veronica to lift her up previously in the competition, but now she would be her own biggest fan.
MNEK was the guest judge and coached the girls through their recording with lots of the girls choosing to rap rather than sing; Tia and Tayce were very confident with Lawrence very nervous and Joe struggling to get the timing that MNEK wanted.
Next up was choreography and Joe handed the reigns to Tia and Ellie who had to majorly simplify the routine for non-dancer Joe. Tayce was head choreographer for team United Kingdolls with Bimini as her deputy. Lawrence’s insecurities were on display once again as he struggled with the moves. Tayce was taking a tough love approach!
As the girls got ready backstage, Bimini and Lawrence were talking about lockdown and how it’s stopped them working which has been really difficult both emotionally and financially. All the queens were nervous as no one wanted to be the first to go home after a seven month wait.
On the main stage, first up to perform was the United Kingdolls with Graham Norton reprising his commentary role from the real Eurovision. Lawrence managed to use his humour to put on a strong performance but it was Bimini that stole the show with his stage presence, unique vocal and flexibility.
Bananadrama were up next and from the off Ru looked less than impressed. Joe was wearing a very simply dress and had his hair in a 1920’s flapper girl style and just seemed a bit lacklustre. Ru’s face looked stunned as she watched some minimal choreography and a bit of a limp performance all round apart from possibly Sister Sister who gave it her all. Even Tia who seemed strong when recording the song, just didn’t seem to get her message across in the performance.
The runway category was ‘A Day at the Seaside’ with Lawrence in a latex outfit with a lifesaver as head gear and Ellie went full seagull in a clever if slightly fancy dress look. Tia looked basic in her ice cream outfit unfortunately with a very unflattering silhouette; Joe Black made it look like the sea breeze was a little too strong in what was my pick of the night; Bimini went for a see-through vintage lace look and Tayce wore a gold netted outfit accented with shells. Unfortunately A’Whora and Sister Sister both had similar looks; both dressed as a bag of chips (not to be confused with Bagga Chipz) which reminded me of Sausage from The Masked Singer.
Ru announced the United Kingdolls as the winning group with all four members earning a RuPeter badge and being told they were safe. That left Bananadrama to be critiqued. Ellie was told she needed to go even bigger in her performances, but was praised by Michelle for her runway look, although Graham felt it was a bit too costumey. Tia’s lyrics got the thumbs up from Michelle but her outfit was criticised for its proportions with Ru telling her to up her game – AGAIN! Sister Sister was praised for her performance with MNEK saying that A’Whora wore it better in terms of her runway chips look. Graham called Joe’s runway look ‘genius’ (he was right) but called him out for seeming distanced from the other girls in his group. Ru gave Joe a telling-off for her girl group outfit being straight out of a high street store and told all the girls they need to be better; she really did let rip.
As the safe girls relaxed backstage they slated the other team for being too old fashioned and dated and also commented on A’Whora wearing her chips better than Sister Sister. It seems that Sister Sister and A’Whora both have a chip on their shoulder as they had an awkward conversation about whether the former ripped off the latter’s work (being that she had a different seaside look before the lockdown break and had seen A’Whora’s chip outfit previously too).
When Rupaul called back the four bottom queens, she explained her earlier rage…and also claimed that her having been locked in quarantine for two weeks might have something to do with it! Ellie was told she was safe, as was Sister Sister which meant it was a Tia versus Joe lip sync. The song was The Communards ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ with Joe playing more of a comedic performance (or was that just unavoidable with his outfit being the windswept look?). Tia was clearly fighting for hard for her place in the competition and soon had yanked up her cone so that she could pull some big moves including a roly poly from the back of the stage and she finished with a death drop.
It was clear that Tia was the winner and yet again the curse of the comeback queen struck as Joe Black was sent straight home. Felt a bit like a wasted opportunity, but I think Joe just doesn’t fit in to the Drag Race mould and is much more of a solo performer.
Next time, the queens are playing the Snatch Game with Gemma Collins as a guest star and Jessie Ware as the main stage guest judge.
Rupaul’s Drag Race UK Series 2 is available on BBC Three through iPlayer with new episodes each Thursday at 7pm.