RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Drag or drab?

The sheer drama of episode one left viewers reeling and thirsty for more, but episode two fell short. Warning: this piece contains spoilers!

To kick things off this week, the hilariously-named Brit crew arrived at the workroom, armed with miniature polling booths for the second mini-challenge of the season. Channeling General Election realness, the queens were told to elect their Drag Race cabinet, from Secretary of Shade to Baroness Basic. Silly quips (“every poll’s a goal!”) and plenty of shade followed before Tia Kofi was, perhaps unsurprisingly, voted this season’s most basic queen. In a classic Drag Race twist, the self-proclaimed Queen of Clapham was put in charge of episode two’s maxi challenge, a live performance of Rats, the Rusical. As leader, Tia Kofi had the chance to seek revenge and throw her fellow queens under the bus, but chose not to in a sweet (or tactical?) gesture. After Joe Black’s exit last week, it’s anyone’s game and the queens compete to prove their performance credentials and land their desired roles in the cast. 

The rehearsal stages offered viewers a chance to hear this season’s queens open up about their backgrounds. Tears were shed as Lawrene Chaneyyyy displayed the emotional strain of the performance challenge, whilst Cherry Valentine candidly shared her experiences of toxic masculinity in the traveler community. Whilst these more vulnerable moments are not new in Drag Race, the camaraderie displayed was heart-warming.

Disappointingly, the Rusical was limp, with even the most striking performances easily forgotten. One queen who did demand the respect of both the viewers and the judges, however, was Veronica Green. Initially obscured by the more attractive or larger-than-life queens, the goofy Lancashire lass served a true underdog moment. She had the looks, the voice, the moves and, perhaps most importantly, the camp value, earning her another prong to her self-dubbed ‘Triple Threat’ title and, more importantly, the second RuPeter badge. 

The category for this week’s runway was ‘Surprise Surprise’, but the biggest revelation was how uninspiring the looks were. The ensembles were generally tacky, but not in a good way, with Tia Kofi once more surpassing all in her truly awful red dress. 

Cherry Valentine and Tayce were up for elimination, lip-syncing for their lives to the classic West End slow-burner ‘Memories’. Much like last week’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood number, it was a hilariously camp musical choice, though it stunted much movement. 

Whilst the soul-baring and sisterhood of episode two was touching, the competition was drab. With the team already down two queens, we can only hope for more heat next week.

Featured image via @veronicaqween on Instagram