Warning: this piece contains spoilers!
In possibly the greatest episode of Drag Race UK to date, the contestants were tasked with writing and performing verses of ‘UK Hun?’ with the guidance of pop legend MNEK.
In a shocking turn of events, Joe Black returned and sashayed in the same breath. As Veronica Green tested positive for COVID-19, RuPaul was forced to delay her return until season three: Joe Black, Cherry Valentine, and Asttina Mandela were brought back under the guise of fancy dress, with the remaining queens voting one back in. Joe won by a landslide, but sadly, RuPaul failed to see the brilliance of her channelling British nans by wearing that highly controversial, beautifully camp H&M dress that led RuPaul to make one of the most iconic statements in Drag Race Herstory: “I don’t want to see any fucking H&M.” Naturally, this has since dominated gay Twitter discourse:
Ginny Lemon made the point that it was unfair of Ru to be so harsh on the judging front considering the conditions that COVID-19 had induced for the drag community, stating:
This spurred season one winner The Vivienne to come back with a fair, but loving criticism of the Worcestershire-based queen that infamously “Ben De La Crème”d herself last week:
This said, it leaves the “seven months to step it up” argument fairly redundant. Most of these queens had no work until the re-opening of venues in the summer, with Scottish queens Lawrence and Ellie rendered unable to return at all with harsher restrictions in place. There’s also an argument to be made that in the performance challenges, the outfits take a backseat in favour of the execution. In fact, for week one’s look challenge, Asttina Mandela won with an “ASOS jacket” (no judgment here, just straight facts), and yet Joe was the subject of the highest heights of fire and fury we’ve arguably ever seen on the runway over a similarly high street brand? In the words of Alyssa Edwards: I smell a stunt.
Since Thursday, I’ve had no thoughts: just bing bang bong, sing sang song, ding dang dong.
The United Kingdolls snatched the crown: Lawrence brought the comedy; A’Whora the seduction; Tayce the Butlins-esque encouragement, and Bimini the legs. It’s safe to say that Bimini Bon Boulash wins the prize for the best verse (not in Ru’s eyes, but in mine, at least!), and “T A Y C E” enters my mind multiple times a day.
Bananadrama had the talent but lacked execution and cohesion. Many RPDRUK fans have taken to TikTok to “rank” the verses, and the losing team’s verses have come out fairly poorly. I personally appreciated the understated poetry of Joe Black’s self-professed “camp witch” identity, but Sister Sister’s rapping was just downright criminal. That’s a fact – sorry, babes.
Some queens are infinitely brilliant but aren’t appreciated on Drag Race as they are in the real world. Joe Black is one of those queens: her kazoo cover of The Communards’ ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ is symbolic of this. Roll on Snatch Game next week: this’ll be one for the history books.