26th Feb2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK 2×07’ Review

by Rhys Payne

In last weeks episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, we saw the elimination of Tia Kofi who was known for her camp outfits (which the judges called too ‘local’ for the biggest drag competition, but I have to be honest it’s this style of performance I would love to see live; and you can bet that when she eventually comes to Cardiff I will be the first in the queue for tickets! We also saw the first few steps on the evolution of one Bimini Bon Boulash. During last weeks snatch game, she delivered a hilarious performance as Katie Price and then showcased an incredible bacteria inspired outfit on the runway. This episode was a turning point for Bimini, as I am aware that she and A’whora both were invited to a professional high fashion runway (I know this is a very big deal for A’whora as she was once shunned from the fashion industry due to her drag passions) but also shows how Bimini is excelling in both the completion and in real life.

The mini-challenge this week was the classic ‘Reading Challenge’ where the queens compete in an insult based, comedy challenge inspired by the cult classic film Paris is Burning. I have to admit that this whole trope of queens walking up saying “Oh no… No never, I’m too kind” and then switching to be an intense and aggressive character normally with something along the lines of “Let’s Go” has because somewhat overused throughout the Drag Race franchise. All the seasons of Drag Race (including the UK version) have this reading challenge and so many queens do this same performance to start the challenge which has become somewhat tiresome. This season of Drag Race was one of the only shows that has to acknowledge the current global situation. At one point in this reading challenge, Lawerence said to Ellie something along the lines of “You are so dumb you studied for your Covid test!” Ru also acknowledged the lockdowns during the main challenge in this episode, but more on that in a bit… Most shows seem to ignore what is going on and hope the audience won’t realise that everyone is so far part and things like that, however this show does not which I enjoyed. We all know what is going on, so why pretend nothing is different when it is? This is why I enjoy the fact that this show discusses what is going on as it makes the audience think the show is a lot more relatable and real.

Like I said earlier, Ru Paul mentioned the lockdowns in the main challenge where the queens had to make “Lockdown super (s)heroe” outfits from household items. I enjoyed that the materials and challenge made sense and fitted with one another. As sister sister won the reading challenge she was granted a 15-second head start on selecting her materials which she took advantage of by grabbing as much stuff as humanely possible before the other queens could pick up some stuff. This challenge saw a very special guest enter the werk room to give the queens some advice on make-up. Raven (from Drag Race US Season 2 and All-Stars 1) is also Ru Paul’s make-up designer and so she is a pretty good source of makeup help. The other special guest this week was a random member of the medical team who was brought on to help Tayce after she cut her hand on some sort of wire. I have never seen a medic in the werk room before and so this was very exciting and unique to see and I hope that Tayce is okay after this incident.

This weeks Drag Race UK runway was very unusual. The queen entered the main stage in their casual, boy clothes and then, in a very superhero-esque manner, transformed into the hero outfit with so fun camera editing. So onto the looks, the queens had made … Tayce had created an outfit out of metal scourers that had a constant comparison to Baga Chip’s outfits in Drag Race UK Season 1. The top half of Tayce’s outfit was so ‘much betta’ (see what I did there) however the bottom half was very bad. She did very little on the bottom half of the outfit was quite disappointing I have to admit as the top half was so great for such an uncomfortable material. The problem with Lawerence Chaney is that in the last design challenge she did so well and so the bar was set very high. I did not enjoy her orange and blue outfit this week as it was nowhere close to the incredible she created earlier on the season. On the completely other end of the spectrum was A’whora. Don’t get me wrong A’whora’s outfit in the first design challenge was great but this week was incredible. She had made a blue, fashion-forward look that had the most wonderful shoulder pieces that reminded me of florets that you get on presents. This costume was so powerful and impactful, which showcased her fashion school past. She also wore one of the most fantastic glitter masks I have ever seen! I enjoyed Sister’s look week from the neck up. She had a fantastic Rosebud inspired wig with stunning pink makeup that blended into one another perfectly. This look was a lot more theatrical than we have come to expect from her which I liked but the rest of the outfit did seem a bit rushed. Ellie Diamonds outfit this week was so wonderfully over the top that was inspired by pop princesses and specifically Katy Perry.

A’whora slightly out-performed Ellie this week and claimed the win for this weeks episode. I agree with this, as A’whora’s look was so incredibly impactful and stunning however Ellie was a close second. On the bottom week, this week were Sister Sister and Tayce! After that iconic lip-sync to Memory (that sent Cherry Valentine home), I was excited to see Tayce lip-sync again. She did and won again which meant that sister sister has to leave the competition. Overall this was a good episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, with two incredible looks made from household items that fitted with the lockdown theme of the episode. The reading challenge was not the best on herstory but was still entertaining.

***½  3.5/5

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