12th Feb2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK 2×05’ Review

by Rhys Payne

Okay, so the opening of this weeks episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK was the most unusual in drag race her-story for multiple reasons!

The episode starts with the queens discussing the iconic self-elimination of the enigma that is Ginny Lemon. A queen walking out during a lip-sync had never happened before, so seeing this happen last week was a gag! However, we did get to see a solo performance from Sister Sister which was fantastic and gave her the TV time she has been missing. Now onto the main reason that this episode was unique – it was filmed at the time of the national lockdown!

The queens sat down at the end of the last episode to chat about that Ginny’s elimination and during this, we heard an extra-long alarm. Ru Paul appeared on the screen informing queens that due to the global situation they have been forced to stop filming the show and all queens must return home immediately. How can you start an episode by telling everyone to go home? Well, Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK did it by skipping forward 7 months in time, which means we got to see another set of werk room entrances but this time all in boy clothes, which was very different. There has been a lot of discussion around how the queens in this season have an advantage because they have had 7 months to work on their craft, step up there costumes etc. but, like some queens have said, they have not been able to perform for the entirety of lockdown. While I understand this is an opportunity for the queens to improve their drag, it’s not their fault that they have been forced to stay at home. It does mean, however, that we get more episodes of Drag Race UK so I think people should stop complaining. A lot can change in 7 months … Tayce and A’whora now live together, Sister Sister has new teeth and unfortunately Veronica Green is no longer a part of the competition. My thoughts and prayers go to Veronica who unfortunately tested positive and I hope she recovered quickly. Ru offered Veronica a free pass to return in season 2 when she is healthy again and I am excited to see what she’s can bring!

I suppose the mini-challenge this week saw the return of three of the queens eliminated earlier in the season. Joe Black, Cherry Valentine and Asttina returned disguised as the pit crew, dressed as an animal mascot… if that makes any sense? The remaining queens then had to vote one queen to return to the competition by writing their votes onto a hand mirror. This was meant to create drama but instead was just an appreciation for Joe Black who is now officially back in the race! There was outrage when Joe went home first this season, so it is a great opportunity to show more of his talents. The queens who did not return were sent home with fabulous gift bags, which I suppose was fun.

What a fantastic episode for Joe to return for, as this week saw the queens write, record and perform original verses to a Eurovision-inspired song. Joe is known for being incredibly camp, as well as being an international cabaret sensation, so it seemed to be the perfect time for him to return and show off. The issue is that everytime the Drag Race UK queens do a group singing challenge everyone is naturally going to compare them to the “Frock Destroyers” from season 1 (who now have a new album called Frock 4 Life, if you’d like to check it out!) In the previous episodes, I have talked about how much I love that the show makes sure to get guest judges that are experts in the challenge. This week we had MNEK who is a famous performer but we also had Graham Norton who is THE voice of Eurovision, so to see him judging a Eurovision-inspired challenge was amazing. When the performance first started I was like “absolutely not” it’s so ridiculously camp and over-the-top but as the song went on I must have given myself over to the Eurovision spirit as I’m now super excited to hear this in a club or at a party (when we can safely do so). Both the versions of the new song “U K hun” are available on Spotify so go give them a listen to see what you think of these new songs.

The runway theme this week was “A Day at the Seaside” which sounds like it’s going to be super fun. Bimini wore a very modern aqua blue lace dress which was very stunning and showed off her fantastic body. Tayce’s outfit this week was an incredible seashell inspired netted bodysuit, which was also amazing and solidified her as a very fashion-conscious queen and a forerunner in this competition. Both A’whora and Sister Sister did looks inspired by baga chips (get it) which did cause some drama backstage. I enjoyed both looks but A’whora’s did feel a lot bigger and more fuller although some of the tomato sauce did look like blood. The returning Joe black wore one of my favourite outfits this season, as they did a windswept look complete with an asymmetric wig and an amusement ticket necklace that appeared to be floating – which was amazing! This outfit was so incredibly fun and camp which Joe sold perfectly.

This week we don’t just get one winner, instead, we get a whole group of winners. The “United Kingdolls” (Tayce, Bimini, A’whora and Lawrence) all get a badge and that does mean that technically Lawrence has won three episodes in a row and the only place to go from here is down! The bottoms this week were Tia Kofi and Joe Black so they had to lip-sync to the song “Don’t Leave Me This Way” which I initially thought would play perfectly into Joe’s wheelhouse but I was wrong! Tia deserves praise for being hilarious even after the lip-sync with an intentionally botched death drop. Joe Black was told to sashay away for the second time and I can only anticipate how the public is going to kick off again! However, I want to see a Joe Black show so badly and I believe he is going on tour shortly so I will (and you should) keep an eye out for that.

Overall, this was a fun episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK that saw the return (and second elimination) of a fan favourite queen, as well as producing two incredibly catchy songs that will be added to my playlist right now! Next weeks episode will be snatch game which normally is enough to get any Drag Race fan excited but also the guest judge is none other than the GC herself Gemma Collins who was impersonated in season 1!

**** 4/5

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