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.
Last week saw Veronica Green bow out as Vanity won a second lip-sync in a row. I’m not convinced she will make it past a third, so she needs to up her game. The other queens seemed genuinely shocked and disappointed for Veronica, with winner Scarlett feeling particularly bad after Veronica took time to help her with her winnign outfit. Charity did however, stir the pot by asking Vanity who she would have liked to see in the lip-sync instead of herself. Vanity said Choriza and River and got some friendly backchat from the former.
As the girls entered the Werk Room for week four, for some reason the conversation seemed to hone in on River, with Scarlett asking her if she really wants it, because it’s not coming across. Cue the cliches from River!
Ru then came in to tell the girls it was a pop group challenge this week with Scarlett and Vanity the team captains. Scarlett chose Kitty, Charity and Krystal, with Vanity selecting Ella, River and then poor Choriza getting picked last.
Ru announced that both groups would be performing the same song – BDE (aka Big Drag Energy) – but there are two versions; a top pop mix and mid-tempo power bottom mix. The girls would have to style themselves, write lyrics and choreograph a routine. Scarlett got to listen to both songs and then choose which version her group would perform. She chose the uptempo pop track, thinking she’d made it difficult for the other group.
As the queens decided on names (Scarlett’s team is Slice Girls and Vanity’s Pick n Mix), the door opened to the Werk Room opened and in walked H from Steps, followed by Claire, Faye and then Lee (Lisa was in Dubai). The queens were very excited to see the foursome and learn that they would be helping them with the task. H & Claire were there to help the girls with their vocals and Faye and Lee with the choreography.
There was a very touching moment whilst Pick n Mix were recording their vocals when River’s lyrics touched H when she sang about it being ok to be femme. As he told River this, she welled up as she then told H he had been the one that she’d looked up to as a child.
When it came to choreography, Lee and Faye weren’t really giving the queens much help initially, putting pressure on the queens to come up with their own moves. In Slice Girls, Kitty (who has made a career in tribute drag bands) took control, but the simplest of moves didn’t seem to be doable for some of her group.
Pick n Mix faffed about for a bit with no one willing to take control, but eventually it was Vanity who started to get the dance moves together and suggested they play up the cheese factor complete with a signature chest pop maneuver.
As the girls got ready for the challenge, Ella asked River about her mother who she referenced in her lyrics as being in heaven. River revealed that her mother got covid and had to go to hospital where she died soon after. She said she led on her mum’s bed after and said she was going to go on Drag Race and tell the world about her mum. She got the call up the next day.
The first act to perform was the Slice Girls and it was instantly obvious Kitty could do this in her sleep. Surprisingly, Krystal, who is a self-proclaimed non-dancer, slayed again in a mirrored catsuit pulling out a jump splits. Whilst three of the girls all wore white and silver, Charity went for a blue gingham outfit with dark hair and scary make up that just made her stand out, and not in a good way. Scarlett managed to forget his own words as he lip-synced and it completely threw him off.
Next up, the underdogs this week, Pick n Mix came out and nailed a great performance.
For this week’s runway, the category was Night of 1,000 Spice Girls to honour guest judge Emma Bunton, who joined Michelle and Alan Carr. Kitty was beside herself as Emma is one of her heroines and said that if she doesn’t come out of this week with a restrainer order she’s failed!
There was some very on the nose looks from Kitty and Vanity and unlike the US version of the show, they didn’t show photos of the looks that were being paid homage to, which I think would’ve helped.
Krystal looked stunning in a Baby Spice icy look (similar to her look in the ‘Goodbye’ video) and Ella served a gym bunny version of Sporty Spice most recent tour look (which itself was inspired by her look in the ‘Wannabe’ video), both of which hit the brief well. Choriza paid homage to Geri’s Union Jack dress and River also paid tribute to Geri in a red sparkly short catsuit. Scarlett had a confused Mel B inspired, quite basic look and Charity came out looking like something out of Dr Seuss; it was high end ‘Cat in the Hat’ but as Michelle said “if you showed me this look out of context I wouldn’t say Mel B’.
Ru declared Pick n Mix this week’s winners and gave them all a Rupeter badge. That meant all four Slice Girls were up for elimination. It soon became clear from the critiques that Scarlett and Charity would be lip-syncing. The former for letting her mistakes show on stage and not believing in herself; the latter for not blending in with the other girls in the challenge and not really hitting the brief on the runway.
The girls lip-synced to Spice Girls’ ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ with both girls giving a solid performance, but Charity edging it for me. Ru must have agreed with me as she announced Charity’s name, but rather than saying the famous phrase ‘Chantay you stay’, she then said ‘Scarlett Harlett’ and saved them both. I think Scarlett had a lucky escape, but could still well be a finalist or even potential winner of the whole series.
Next week, it’s a infomercial challenge with Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock as a guest judge.
‘Rupaul’s Drag Race UK’ series 3 continues weekly, Thursday at 7pm on BBC iPlayer/BBC Three.