01st Nov2022

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK 4×06’ Review

by Rhys Payne

As a musical theatre fan, last week’s episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK was a dream come true! What started with one of the most accurate yet hilarious Ru-sical performances (that had the queens all singing live) transitioned into a runway that celebrated some of the most iconic shows to ever hit the west end. The clear stand out last week was Danny Beard, who seemed incredibly natural singing live and their Audrey two-inspired, towering outfit was one of the campest and fun outfits we have seen on the runway in a very long time! This marks the second week in a row that Danny has been declared the winner of the entire episode and when it was announced that this week would be the return of the iconic snatch game we had a sneaky suspension she would yet again end up in the top as two weeks ago she won another improvised comedy challenge but we were proven drastically wrong! On the other end of the completion we saw Baby and Dakota Schifer battle it out to “No Way” from the musical Six (which gets bonus points from us as it fitted the episode theme) but it was the elimination that left everyone gagged! After the two queens gave an excellent performance, Baby cut off Ru Paul during her iconic ending sequence to announce that she wanted to go home to focus on her own well-being which is incredibly admirable in our opinion!

To mark the return of the snatch game it was clear that the creative team thought it would be a good idea to really pull in as many famous faces to appear on the episode as they could. The first of which was none other than the queen of the battered sausage Baga Chips who rose to fame for her appearance on Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK season one. I have to admit that Baga has clearly had a glow-up since we last saw her on Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK vs The World season one (and we are very excited for Canada vs The World premiering soon!) where she wore a wonderful power suit and the most gorgeous tinsel hair that looked absolutely gorgeous on her! As a two-time winner of the snatch game, Baga returned to give advice and support to the queens where she actually gave helpful advice to those who appeared to be struggling with this Drag Race staple! As well as Baga Chips we also saw Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daily and presenter AJ Odudu join the queens as the aspiring celebrity guest. Due to Tess being on the show the creative team thought that it would be a good idea to shoe-horn “strictly come” into the title of the challenge making it a “strictly come snatch game” with no actual difference to the actual challenge. It felt like this was a forced nod to the sparkly British TV show whereas, on the aforementioned Drag Race UK vs The World, the snatch game took on elements of Family Fortunes and so adapting the challenge is very possible.

We went into this episode thinking that Danny Beard would yet again dominate this improvised comedy challenge but when she announced she would be doing an impression of Louie Walsh I personally was stunned into silence. It was clear during her werk room chat that Ru Paul was also not a big fan of this choice either as she suggested changing to a more Liverpudlian personality. This led to Danny opting for Cilla Black which involved her putting in massive teeth and essentially shouting for the entire performance. Another controversial choice in this episode’s line-up was Pixie Polite, choosing to impersonate Shirley Bassey who is famously a POC whereas Pixie is not. Ignoring the skin colour factor, it is clear that Pixie also struggled with this challenge as she relied too heavily on the ideas of diamonds (from Bassey’s Bond song) “Diamonds are Forever” by referencing them multiple times in one answer. At first, it seemed like a fantastic idea for black Peppa to take on the role of the wonderfully flamboyant, POC Lil Nas X as we don’t know too much about his personality outside of the over-the-top performances but Peppa seemed to really struggle with the majority of her answers falling flat. During her walk-through in the werk room, Ru suggested to Jonbers that she should reconsider her choice to do the queen of Ireland Anya for the snatch game. I have to admit I am in two minds about her actual performance as the fictional sister of St Patrick. While her performance was hilariously funny by playing up many of the classic Irish stereotypes, I am a bit torn by the fact that this was not an impersonation of a real character but instead a totally unique character. If we were basing this purely on the performance elements then it would be fantastic but the concept of celebrity impersonation is so key to the challenge that I don’t really know what I would think of it if I was on the judging panel. The stand out this week however would have to be none other than Cheddar Gorgeous as Queen Elizabeth the first. Not only did she look incredible in her golden outfit with pale make-up and ginger hair but also her clever comedy fitted the charter perfectly. As the virgin queen, there were many brilliant sexual references throughout with the brilliant reveal of disgusting teeth to reflect the healthcare at the time this character functioned within. There was also a brilliant reference to the performance of Mary Queen of Scots by Rosè during Drag Race season thirteen. I was also really surprised by Dakota Schifer who did a wonderful impression of Pete Burns. This queen continues to show her many talents week in, and week out and so I am constantly excited to see what she ends up doing every episode!

The runway category for this week’s episode was “tickled pink” which I would have used as an opportunity to pay homage to the iconic and adorable pink bow look worn by Lady Gaga during the 2019 Met Gala. Dakota chose to showcase a very classically beautiful look with a Valentino-inspired look with incredible hair and make-up which matched the outfit perfectly! One of my favourite looks this week was worn by Pixie who decided to do a pink F1 look that also paid homage to the look worn by Ru Paul during the opening credits of every episode. She strutted up and down the runway complete with a black and white checkered flag which made sense with the look! I thought that her body this week looked absolutely sensational and she looked absolutely gorgeous in this tribute to Ru Paul herself! It is very difficult for the queens to showcase a look that is emotionally moving (the last I can recall was Symone’s Black Lives Matter “don’t shoot” gown) but Cheddar managed to blend the worlds of camp and politics in her pink and black look. She played heavily on the idea that pink triangles were used as a symbol of homosexuality by the Nazis which led to a very powerful conversation backstage about the importance of HIV charities. This look has vibrant neon pink triangles scattered around the black jumpsuit with the words “silence equals death” (with a triangle covering her mouth) adding a political message to this wonderfully unique outfit! Jonbers decided to use the pink colour scheme to showcase a party girl, a feathered outfit with an attempted reveal on the runway. While the excitement for the reveal was not what she expected, I do have to say that she looked beautiful on the runway in a pink wig (which I think I also own!)

I thought it was a fairly obvious choice when it was announced that Cheddar Gorgeous is the winner this week as her snatch game performance was brilliant and her outfit was incredibly moving. At the bottom, however, was Le Fil and Black Peppa the latter of which is known for being a talented performer. Black Peppa dove deep into her bag of tricks and pulled out a range of flips, backwards rolls, splits and death drops whereas Le Fil opted for a unique also stripping performance which resulted in her flicking off her shoes. This was a very entertaining lip-sync but it was announced by Ru Paul that Le Fil would be going home this week which has caused quite a stir online. I personally thought that Black Peppa was much more chaotic and frenzied but taking your shoes off during a performance is a Drag Race cardinal sin so I would have had a tough time deciding who would go home!

Overall, the snatch game provide to yet again proved to be a challenge that distinctively divides the queens with two (Cheddar and Dakota) doing very well and the bottom two clearly being the worst performers of the week. After building up the professional performing rivalry between Pixie and Danny I expected them to do very well in this challenge but I was left very disappointed by both of their performances!

**** 4/5


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