29th Jan2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK 2×03’ Review

by Rhys Payne

It seems like every Drag Race review I write starts with a moment of silence for the queen who went home the week before. It’s getting impossible to predict who is going home week by week as two of the heavy hitters, and my personal favourites, have gone home in the first two weeks – that being Joe Black and Cherry Valentine. I was sure that Cherry was going to go the whole way in the competition, so to see her leave was a gag! But alas, if you haven’t shown her love on social media then you really should as some of the looks she is turning in on Instagram are phenomenal – so she’s one to keep an eye on. Last weeks “Rats” challenge shone a light on many of the queens as performers not to sleep on, none more so that Veronica Green. The whole episode was dominated by Veronica last week but the problem is that when you are at the top the only way to go is down! Want to see if it happened to Veronica? Then read on…

The mini-challenge for this week was a limbo competition, which was complete camp fun and I loved every minute of it! To start this challenge Jodie Harsh was brought on as a famous DJ to play music for the queens to perform to (despite never actually speaking or changing the music but still it was nice for her to get a cameo on the show I suppose) which was fun. Lawrence Chaney stole the show during this challenge as her facial reactions are pure comedy gold and she was dressed as a pantomime dame but on steroids, which was ridiculously camp – which I loved! As Tayce had been in the bottom two last week she was given the difficult task of ‘Ru’-deeming herself and rebuilding herself as a threat in the competition. She performed perfectly and ended up in the final against Veronica Green, which is particularly interesting considering that Tayce was in the bottom and Veronica was the top queen last week.

The maxi challenge this week was a very interesting one that I have never seen done before. It was titled “Who Wore It Best?” where the queens were paired up based in their closest friends in the competition but the shock was that they would be competing against each other! The twist was a very clever way to draw the queens in and was an obvious plot to create drama later in the episode. They had to create outfits based on materials found in their pairs boxes, with the one queen who wore it best would be safe and the other would be in the bottom. The pairs allowed for some very interesting conversations between the queens and Ru. Firstly Ellie Diamond and Lawrence Chaney talked to Ru Paul about the difference in the funding Scottish queens get for shows and how the scene is not as well paid as the US drag queen scene. Ellie told everyone that she had to take a break from drag to work in a drive-thru to get the money to fund her career. Also, we had a very interesting conversation between Ginny Lemon and Bimini Bon Boulash about identifying as non-binary which was very emotional to watch. During a video call on Instagram with Joe Black and Sister Sister, they discussed how sister gets very little TV time… and now that it has been pointed out I agree! I keep forgetting that Sister Sister is still in the competition and that’s not just her fault!

On the main stage we saw a very different side to Ginny Lemon, where she was instructed to try a more sexy look this week and she tried her best. In a challenge where you have to make your outfit, I would not want to showcase a new side of my character – that I had never done before – as there would be too many things that could go wrong. In her defense, she tried her best at this new look but it wasn’t my favourite but it wasn’t the worst either. Tia Koffi had created a green outfit that reminded me of Tasha Salad, who was a character that Roxxy Andrews played in season 5 of US Drag Race. I have concluded that the Newport-based queen Tayce will look stunning in whatever she wears on the runway but this outfit was nice and using (and keeping) the pins to hold it together was a clever idea and looked like an intentional style choice.

The pairing of Ellie Diamond and Lawrence Chaney was a force to be reckoned with this week, as they both turned out incredible outfits. Ellie Diamond’s embellished swimsuit looked so flawlessly rich and expensive. I need to stop sleeping on Ellie as she is a very talented queen, that has turned out numerous stunning looks AND she is only 21 years old! Lawrence created a bold and powerful outfit which was a blouse that transitioned into a dress, in gold, which again looked very expensive. Out of this pair, Lawrence was told that not only did she “wear it best” but that she was also the winner of this weeks challenge and gets a Ru peter badge (don’t get me started on these) and her first win. This does mean that Ellie ended up with the bottom queens, which even Michelle thought was not fair to her as she also created a stunning look this week. This was probably one of the most emotional runways I can remember ,as half of the bottom queens cried when talking to the judges. After all the queens were told they were safe, we were left with Asttina and Tia Kofi in the bottom two. Now Asttina had bigged up her lip-syncs, with Tia expressing concern with going against her. Also, Asttina had already won an episode and Tia had been deemed as Baroness Basic in the previous episode but none of that mattered as Asttina goes home this week! Like I said it’s impossible to guess would go home each week in this show and I was shocked that we won’t get to see more of Asttina, as I found her incredibly entertaining and a very talented queen!

Overall, this was a unique episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK that tried to create drama that didn’t go anywhere. Both Ellie and Lawrence shone this week with a very surprising elimination (again!) Which keeps the audience on the edge of their seat throughout!

***½  3.5/5

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