Welcome to our weekly look at what has been going on in the Werk Room and Main Stage of Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under.
If you want to avoid spoilers for Rupaul’s Drag Race, stop reading now.
Last week we were introduced to 10 Antipodean drag queens who gave us our first taste of who they are in a two-look ball; Born Naked and No Place Like Home. We waved goodbye to Jojo Zaho as Elektra got a stay of execution. Karen was the first winner and it seems Art is a bit miffed at that.
Be still my beating heart…not one, but two Minogues as guest judges this week! Kylie is first up with a prerecorded message for the queens playing on her song titles – could it be the ‘Night of 100 Minogues’ will finally take to the runway?
We will have to wait and see as first up Ru enters the Werk Room and declares this week’s maxi challenge is the infamous Snatch Game, which I think is the first time ever there have been nine panelists. It’s going to be interesting to see which characters they pick to imitate….and how many will I know?!
As Ru chatted to some of the girls, the first few character choices were revealed; Anita would be doing The Queen; Coco would be Lizzo (two I know!); Etcetera would be Lindy Chamberlain (whose real-life story of a dingo stealing and killing her baby was the subject of the film ‘A Cry in the Dark’); Art would be doing Steve Irwin’s daughter Bindi (two I don’t know).
Karen was doing country legend Dolly Parton; Scarlet portraying actress Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde); Elektra would also be playing an American actress, Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone, Schitt’s Creek); Maxi would be doing Kath & Kim actress Magda Szubanski and Kita Mean would be Dr Seuss (although she was toying with Carol Baskin – seems like a no brainer to me).
Due to Covid restrictions, the contestants on Snatch Game were the judges Michelle and Rhys and most of the girls started strong in their introductory lines. I was hopeful for a good show. It was soon apparent that Anita’s Queen Elizabeth II was the show stealer with her subtle performance and shocking jokes (including one about wearing a seatbelt!). Etcetera’s Lindy Chamberlain was also very inappropriate and will have no doubt offended many people, but it did appeal to my wicked sense of humour.
Art seemed to waffle and not really have much of a punchline with his answers and Coco just hadn’t fleshed out her character in any way. Kita started nervously but managed to get a few laughs and everyone else fell in the middle. It definitely felt like it was going to come down to the runway to decide who would be lip-syncing.
As I excitedly waited for Ru to announce the runway category, I was very disappointed to learn that it would not be ‘Night of 100 Minogues’ but ‘Sea Sickening’ instead – what a wasted opportunity!
The queens came out in turn with the stand outs being Scarlet’s Great Barrier Reef inspired number and Karen from Finance serving a fun-but-fashion Shark look. Maxi, Elektra and Coco were all a bit on the basic side.
As all the queens gathered on the stage, Rupaul asked Anita to stand forward and crowned her this week’s hands-down winner. Ru then asked Kita and Etcetera to step forward; both girls were told they were safe.
That left six queens and Ru seemed a little disappointed in their Snatch Game performances, calling it simple ‘interesting’. Those getting praised for their runways included Art, Scarlet and Karen who all received criticism for not going big enough on their Snatch Game characters. Elektra and Maxi received some praise for their Snatch Game characters and poor Coco knew she was a shoe-in for the lip-sync.
As the girls went back stage so the judges could deliberate, they received a surprise call from Dannii Minogue who shared a little bit of ‘This is It’ choreography.
Back on the Main Stage and Ru quickly whittled six down to three; Art, Coco and Maxi. It was no surprise that Coco would be in the lip-sync, but it was a shock that she would be joined by Art!
The pair limbered up for their lip-sync to the Kylie classic…no hang on…to the Dannii classic….nope…er…to the Rupaul classic? What another wasted opportunity – what is going on? Anyway, Art and Coco performed to ‘I’m That Bitch’ and both did a good job but it was Coco who seemed to suit the song more and look more like it could be her song. Ru agreed and Art was sent home.
She got very upset on the runway and in her backstage messages, feeling like she’d let people down. It was quite uncomfortable viewing and although I think she would have brought more interesting looks than some of the other queens going forward, I just couldn’t warm to her.
Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under is on BBC Three every Sunday. Watch on iPlayer.