Drag Race UK, Shantay you stay!

The debut season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK recently finished much to fans’ dismay. Featuring 10 of the UK’s best drag queens, the hit reality TV show had been long overdue a UK edition, and it’s safe to say it did not disappoint.

With a wide range of contestants, the standout for diversity this season was 19-year-old baby queen Scaredy Kat. A bisexual with a bio-queen girlfriend, though she didn’t last long, Scaredy managed to prove that the new face of drag is, well, anyone that wants to try it. More traditional UK queens like Sum Ting Wong and Baga Chips provided the dry, vulgar humour that the US edition lacked, and Blu Hydrangea and Cheryl Hole showed the influence of the glamourous queens we’re used to seeing on Drag Race. This was a cast that managed to meld together magically despite the wide range of aesthetics and talents. Legendary guest judges such as Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall, Andrew Garfield, and Maisie Williams proved that the UK edition has as much celebrity support as it does fan support while having enough knowledge to back up their presence on the judging panel.
Joining RuPaul and Michelle Visage as regular judges were Alan Carr and Graham Norton, the latter of whom appeared as a guest judge on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 2 in 2016. Having the two interchange throughout the season was a good test run, however. Hopefully, the next season will see Ru choose to have just one- or both- on the panel to make for more consistent judging.

Challenge wise, the combination of acting, design, and even selling bottled water meant that the UK queens were able to show off their individuality, dispelling all fear that this would become a repeat of the US show. With Divina De Campo’s endless talents, The Vivienne’s Scouse humour, and RuPaul’s frequent hilarious attempts to understand complex UK culture, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is just as good as its US counterpart. After the announcement of a second season due to be broadcast next year, let’s hope it continues to thrive and show off the best parts of the UK drag community.

Image Credit: tellymix.co.uk