01st Nov2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK 3×06’ Review

by Rhys Payne

I have to admit that last weeks episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK was probably one of the worse in drag race her-story! Due to the poor performances for the majority of the queens in the drag Alexa advert challenge, Ru announced that there were no winners last week which means that no one gets a ‘coveted’ Ru Peter badge. If I had to choose who did best last week I would say that it would have to be River Medway, mostly due to her incredible Asian influence outfit. At the bottom were Charity Case and Scarlett Hartlett, who were competing against one another for the second week in a row. Charity Case went home, which I am a bit disappointed by, but I would strongly recommend that you follow them on Instagram as they are extremely creative with their looks especially! However, the thing that most people will remember from the last episode was Scarlett’s tantrum after all the queens had said that she should go home. This meant that going into this week episode I was excited to see how the drama would continue into an episode and it did (sort of) in a much more jovial way than expected!

Episode six of this season of Drag Race contained two iconic challenges – the first of which was the reading challenge. For those who aren’t not familiar with ‘reading’, this was a tradition popularised from the 1990 LGBT film Paris is Burning where the queens essentially insult each other in an extremely comedic manner. Crystal stood in front of the queens and delivered a very stereotypical camp routine that had some funny quips throughout. I thought that Scarlett was still dealing with the anger she felt in last weeks episode as her jokes came across as way too aggressive and pointed which was not the purpose of the challenge. It was really great to see Ella Vaday seem to come to life throughout this episode especially during this reading mini-challenge. However, it was Choriza May who was declared the winner of this challenge – which was fair enough as she was very funny. However, I was disappointed to learn that Choriza is not granted any advantage for winning this challenge and so instead could have been seen as just a chance to continue the drama from last weeks episode.

The main challenge this week is probably one of the most iconic challenges to come out of any Drag Race franchise, which appears on every season without exception! This week the queens are playing the snatch game! This challenge has the queen dusting off their celebrity impressions to play a blankety-blank style game (which I believe has made a return with Bradley Walsh hosting) where the impressionist had to match the answers from the guests. It must be very tough to go into a season knowing that the snatch game will happen at some point, preparing a character, researching etc., for Ru Paul to advise you to play a different person. Choriza, Ella, Scarlett and Kitty Scott-Claus were all told to change there characters last minute to varying success! It was quite interesting when it was announced that Crystal Versace would be playing Selina Mosinski – who is probably best known for playing Charity Shop Sue! For the actual challenge, Crystal seemed to play the character much more withdrawn than the she usually is but the voice Crystal was using was brilliant! Ru Paul had advised that Kitty play Gemma Collins as that was more suited to her physicality (which led to some very hilarious quips from Kitty) but this is even more interesting considering that her girl band sister Cheryl Hole also played the iconic TOWIE star in season one of Drag Race UK. To be honest, though Gemma is the perfect character for snatch game due to her iconic lines and comedic personality. I really enjoyed the fact that Kitty decided to do the Gemma reveal into her swimsuit although I am pretty sure that on the TOWIE it was a black swimsuit! Also Kitty had decided to write candy on the swimsuit which was a reference to Gemma line from the show about Arg never being able to get this candy! River Medway had also decided to play a TOWIE character so I was excited to see how they would interact but this was fairly limited. Choriza had decided to play the role of Margarita Pracatan, who is an over the top Cuban novelty singer who I only recently learnt about from my Aunty. I thought that for a last-minute impression Scarlett did an amazing job of looking like Macaulay Culkin with her make-up and hair looking like the Home Alone actor. Her impression started off very well but become very repetitive after a while! Ella continued this newfound presence in the snatch game where she decided to perform as the sensual Nigella Lawson. Ella is clearly a very talented actor as she was able to improvise flawlessly with the other characters and made Ru laugh throughout!

I don’t know what it is about the Drag Race UK runway themes but they seem to be very unusual this season. This week was “Feeling Fruity” which fitted (in a sort of double entendre way) with the coming out stories shared by the queens in the werk room. Yet again Crystal looked absolutely stunning on the runway where she did a dragon fruit inspired look. This outfit was clearly well throughout with an ombré bodice to the white and black jewelled jumpsuit underneath which just screamed dragon fruit. I do have an issue with one of the judges critics that Crystal had set the bar so high early in the season and now she is flatlining. When I was in primary school we used to have a thing called the merit cup that would be given to one student in each class who had been particularly good every week. As a constantly well-behaved kid, I remember getting very frustrated that the naughty kids who would behave for one day would get the cup and all the praise and I would never it. Do not worry though, I told my mum about my frustrations and she spoke to the school and I managed to get it two weeks in a row! I think this is the same concept for Crystal as she is always showcasing incredible looks that are often miles ahead of her competition but she is being critiqued for not progressing anymore. Now is Drag Race about seeing the queens grow or is it about showcasing talent? For me, it’s the latter and so I think the critique of her not developing anymore is a bit unfair! I thought that Ella looked incredible in her watermelon inspired look complete with a sparkly green cape. I was a bit confused as her outfit was mostly pink and to me, I thought that watermelons were famously red and black on the inside. This alongside her brilliant Nigella performance meant that she was declared as the winner of this weeks episode!

I thought that the choice River made to walk the runway as an actual fruit bowl was brilliant! However, I do think that it did need to be more bigger and theatrical to not be overshadowed by the other queens. However, it was River and Choriza who ended up in the bottom and so had to lip-sync against one another to see who would go home. Shockingly, Ru announced that both River and Choriza (two of the fan favourites in this season) would be leaving the competition and I have to say I am outraged! Both the lip-sync between Scarlett and Charity from the weeks prior were at a much lower standard that this one and they deserved the double-elimination but this one. But alas we say goodbye to both Choriza and River which is very disappointing!

Overall, this episode did break the run of poor episodes that Drag Race UK seemed to be going through recently. It was a pretty good snatch game with many hilarious moments throughout but still had a fairly strange runway theme. I look forward to next week to see if they can get this season back on track!

**** 4/5


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