Welcome to our weekly look at what has been going on in the Werk Room and Main Stage of Rupaul’s Drag Race UK Series 3.
If you want to avoid spoilers for Rupaul’s Drag Race, stop reading now.
As usual episode 2 starts immediately following last week’s elimination, where we waved goodbye to Anubis. As the girls came back in to the Werk Room it was soon apparent that Victoria wasn’t among them, her absence quickly explained when the rest of the queens talked about her injuring her knee in her lip-sync. It looks like something popped when she skidded on her knees whilst trying to beat last week’s winner Krystal and her knee is now swollen and she needs to rest it.
With a new week upon us, Rupaul entered the Werk Room and asked Krystal, as last week’s winner, to play Rupermarket Sweep. She had to run about a mini supermarket set up and find special stickers that she then had to assign to a queen of her choice. First up was Star Buy, which was to be awarded to her biggest competition and Krystal chose Victoria; although she was focusing on ‘biggest’ not necessarily competition. In fact, Krystal wasn’t out to win friends with reads that just came across as spiteful; Out of Date went to Veronica because ‘she looks old’ and Bargin Bin to River for her poor fashion choices. The only one to get away with it was Ella who she awarded Hot Deal aka trade of the season.
With some feathers ruffled, it was on to the business of this week’s maxi challenge as Ru announced she was setting up her own fitness programme – Dragaton. The queens were then split into three teams each with a different theme; Ride or Dies (spinning), Ball Busters (balls) and the Babycisers (yummy mummies).
In the Ride or Dies we had dancers Elektra and Vanity along with non-dancer Choriza, but as a team they were all set to help each other. Choriza was clever in ensuring she brought energy and praised the other two to get them on her side! They were the first girls to go through their choreography on the runway with Strictly’s Oti Mabuse. The latter was more excited than the queens to be on the show! As suspected, Elektra and Vanity picked up the moves much quicker than Choriza and it was going to be interesting how she would cope in the live performance.
Next up for rehearsals was the Ball Busters and their ballography. Veronica was wearing a ridiculously short leotard which left nothing to the imagination as she rolled around the ball, much to the eye rolls of her team mates. The team had had some words with Krystal earlier in the challenge and explained she needs to be less harsh in her reading which she seemed to take on board. She then confessed to having never learnt choreography before and rather than throw her under the bus, her team encouraged and supported her.
The final group were called up to the Main Stage by Oti and it wasn’t looking great. Ella was the only one who seemed to be picking up the choreography with Scarlett struggling, Victoria’s knee playing up a little and Charity looking a little out of her comfort zone. Could they pull it together for the live performance?
Next day, as the girls got ready for the performance, Victoria and Krystal had a chat and the former explained that she’s always had issues with her weight, especially from the dance and performing arts community where everyone is supposed to be slim. Krystal apologised for her earlier comments and Victoria went on to talk about suffering from an eating disorder before later learning to accept that she is happier as a more curvy woman. Krystal talked about her youth and being too femme and skinny and that made her self-conscious. I think perhaps Krystal is learning to let her barriers down and be more vulnerable. The pair hugged it out before Elektra joined in, talking about her freckly body that had seen her bullied in her past and Vanity shared that she has the darkest skin of her immediate family and had been dubbed the dark sheep of the family. A statement her mother counterbalanced by saying ‘the darker the berry the sweeter the juice.’
Back to the Main Stage and Oti had joined Ru, Michelle and Alan Carr as this week’s judging panel. The lights went down and a scary looking bunch of aerobics instructors filled the stage. Choriza used her personality to distract from slightly iffy dance moves whilst Elektra was hyped up and Vanity wore a distracting fire-coloured wig.
The Ball Busters however, scared me from the start. Each queen seemed to be doing their deepest voice and looked like the end of a big night out at a St Trinians alumni reunion. For all her worries Krystal actually looked the part and stayed in character throughout. To me Veronica and River faded a little in to the background whereas Kitty was a stand out.
Then came the yummy mummies group and as per the rehearsals Ella had it nailed with her west end training evident. Victoria had to sit due to her knee and wasn’t given much air time however, Charity looked great as a scouse, Barbie-type, young mum but then looked a little lost on the choreography. Perhaps being stood at the end next to Victoria who was sat, threw her off? Scarlett put a lot of effort in, if slightly awkward in places.
After the Babycisers had done their section all the queens were back on stage for a group number with Elektra looking like a whirling dynamo at the front as she got a little overexcited and ended up out-of-time with the music…and the group.
This week’s runway category was Red Carpet Show-stoppers and was a bit of a mixed bag with no one really stopping the show for me. The stand outs were River who pulled off an elegant number, and Krystal whose breast plate was huge and the hair reminded me of Miz Cracker. Kitty paid homage to Marilyn and Charity was a quirky flapper girl in orange fringe and Koi carp embellishments. After Victoria’s big and bold looks last week, I felt a bit underwhelmed by the more simple red dress she wore this week and Elektra’s sequined outfit drowned her.
Ru asked Ella, Choriza, River, Kitty and Victoria to step forward, telling them they were safe and leaving Krystal, Elektra, Vanity, Charity, Veronica and Scarlett as the tops and bottoms of the week. Following the critiques it became clear that the tops were Krystal and Veronica whilst Vanity, Elektra and Charity were in trouble.
After deliberation, Ru praised Krystal and then Veronica….were we on for another lip-sync for the win? No. Ru announced Krystal was the winner, giving her a second Rupeter badge in a row. Veronica was told she was safe as was Scarlett. Last week’s survivor, Elektra was the first queen to be put in the lip-sync, followed by Vanity meaning that Charity lived to see another week in the competition.
The lip-sync was to M People’s ‘Moving On Up’ and it was actually Vanity that pulled the first big move with a sliding splits, but that must’ve been like a red rag to Elektra who went in to overdrive and was bending, splitting and sliding all over the place, doing some breakdancing and then finishing with a jump off the stage. Alas it was to no avail as Ru asked Vanity to stay and sent Elektra packing; I just don’t think her looks were elevated enough despite her giving her all in the lip-sync.
Just as we thought the show was over for another week, Ru called Victoria to the front of the stage and I thought we were going to be having a surprise elimination on medical grounds but it was all a tease. Ru said that Victoria will have to go and see a specialist to see if she can carry on; we will find out next week. I think she’ll be alright, and if not she can do a Eureka or a Veronica and come back next season no doubt. She was definitely a front runner last week but this week I found her forgettable – hopefully she was just distracted by pain and will bring it if she stays.
Next week is a creative challenge with the girls tasked with making two outfits from camping gear; Ella looks like she might be in trouble from the clip. The guest judge is actress Nicola Cloughlan from Netflix’s period drama ‘Bridgerton’.
‘Rupaul’s Drag Race UK’ series 3 continues weekly, Thursday at 7pm on BBC iPlayer/BBC Three.