19th Nov2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK 3×09’ Review

by Rhys Payne

Who would have thought that an overacting challenge that mashed together Star Wars and Doctor Who would be the saving grace of the season! Not only was last weeks acting challenge very entertaining but it also allowed every one of the top four queens to showcase their talents, which is essentially what the whole competition is about. After this rather camp challenge the queens walked the runway in a “scene stealers” category, which had them showing off their best film character-inspired outfits. This sort of category is always received well by the audience as it allows them to fully understand the point of reference and will get them excited to see one of their favourite films being celebrated. Instead of the usual bottom two, in last weeks episode we had the top two (Kitty Scott-Clause and Ella Vaday) lip-sync against one another to decide a winner of the challenge but alas they were both great and so it was a rare double win! Both Kitty and Ella did an excellent performance during the song, with the former showcasing her death drops and the latter doing some incredible splits! This meant that instead of going into the top three, we are still at the top four again! Before we got to the main challenge we had a wonderful discussion led by Ella where she discussed how judgemental the theatre industry still is! Everyone always assumes that the people working in theatre are welcoming and accepting all the time but Ella talked about how people are judged for being too manly or not manly enough etc. This is the second theatre-based conversation we have had on this season that explored the background politics of the theatre industry and I think it’s really important to hear them so that people looking to get into this sector know what to expect!

When it was announced that this weeks challenge would be a comedy roast I assumed that Kitty would do very well in this sort of challenge (spoiler alert she did!) but Ella, as the person with the most badges, got to decide the order that the queens performed in which if used correctly can be a very powerful benefit. If you have not heard the term “roast” before it is a format that has become popularised by Comedy Central and the channel’s Comedy Central Roasts, where celebrities go on to be insulted by their peers. Essentially the roasters have to create funny insults usually about other people but for this challenge the remaining queens would be roasting themselves, their fellow top-four queens, the judges and the returning eliminated queens! This is challenge is kind of like the reading challenge but more fleshed out as a full challenge. On a personal level, it’s great to see that Victoria Scone is mostly recovered from her injury, which meant she had to leave very early in the competition. I am aware that last week Victoria attended a viewing party in Cardiff where she spent a lot of the night running around the venue so I believe that her knee is a lot better. I hope we get to see her return to the race next season (which has actually begun casting already!)

The entire episode had a sort of “Gods” inspired theme. While I enjoyed the running theme it did feel a bit forced onto the episode. The roast was decorated as if it was the gates of heaven, with the queens wearing their best angel inspired looks but in all honesty, I did not understand the connection between heaven and the roast. However, I thought that Vanity Milan looked absolutely amazing in the challenge with her angel outfit complete with fabulous feathers and pearls! It was giving me very “angel that has grown up in Las Vegas” sort of vibes, which really looked incredible on her. It’s such a shame that she struggled more than the other queens, with her attempt at dealing with the hecklers being particularly difficult to watch. We had Krystal Versace open the entire roast with her set, which started off very well but after a while did fizzle out. I did think that the highlight of her routine actually came from Ru Paul, who clap-backed during the routine, saying how she takes back everything she said about how Krystal was born to do this. I think the thing about Kitty is that her personality is so wonderfully over-the-top and infectious that she can distract the audience from some of the moments where she struggled. The majority of her jokes were hilarious, with the ones that were not as effective still getting a laugh due to Kitty’s delivery. She also looked stunning during her challenge performance! What I did not expect however was Ella to be such an amazing roaster! I am learning that I should not underestimate Ella as it’s during these challenges that I think she will struggle with that she seems to excel in. Earlier in the season, Scarlett Hartlett told Ella that she wasn’t funny, but now Ella has done very well in two comedy-based challenges!

The runway theme this week did tie into the heavenly decor of the roast as it was “Oh My Goddess.” Going into the runway it was clear that both Ella and Kitty had done very well in the roast and so Vanity and Krystal needed to do something spectacular on the runway to try and save themselves. The runway was almost the complete opposite of the comedy performance as Kitty and Ella did okay but the other two queens did well! Obviously, Krystal looked insane again this week in a gorgeous gold jumpsuit with burgundy accents, that just looked amazing on her. My favourite look this week however would be Vanity Milan, who seems to have really stepped up her drag at the perfect time. Her black and gold ensemble looked amazing with her make-up really being a highlight this week. Her journey in this competition has been one of constant growth and this episode really showcase how much as a talented queen she truly is! I did like Kitty’s opera diva inspired look but I did think that the other two queens really shone. Kitty and Ella did well in the challenge but Krystal and Vanity did well on the runway, so I don’t know who I personally would have put in the bottom but Ru decided that the runway queens would lip-sync to see who would go home. Ella on the other hand was announced as the winner of this weeks challenge, with her and Kitty dominating both this and last weeks episode. This marks Ella’s fourth win in the competition which now makes her a clear forerunner as we go into the finale! However, before we got to the battle we got a surprise message for each of the queens from their loved ones/family members which seemed to really fuel them on! The Krystal vs Vanity lip-sync really benefited from these inspiring messages as they both delivered a very passionate performance, which led to Krystal being announced as safe with Vanity going home. This was Vanity’s fourth time lip-syncing, which is never a good sign but she was able to showcase how much of a talented performer she truly is!

Overall this was quite a well-balanced episode of Drag Race UK, with two queens doing well in the challenge and the other doing well in the runway. It was nice to see the returning queens with the emotions being reved up due to personal messages shared during the untucked section of the episode. I am excited to see the top three compete in the upcoming Christmas themed musical episode next week, where we will crown a winner of the season!

**** 4/5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.