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RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Fierceness Across the Pond

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RuPaul makes the trip across the pond in search of the queen with the most charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent in the United Kingdom, setting the contestants a series of challenges week by week.

Airing in the USA on Logo on October 11th, all episodes of the UK version are to be discussed here. 

 

@ElectricBoogaloo here you go. 

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Looking forward to this! It's also supposed to be available on wow presents plus. might be a better picture quality on the tablet than on SD logo.

Is there anywhere to discuss Drag Race Thailand? I have OPINIONS and also FEELINGS.

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S1.E1: The Royal Queens

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In this premiere episode the queens all meet for the first time before joining RuPaul, who surprises them with an outrageous photoshoot challenge. They then deliver two regal looks on the Drag Race runway. Hollywood actor and drag race fan Andrew Garfield joins Michelle Visage and Alan Carr on the judging panel, as the first queen is eliminated from the competition.

FYI - the episodes are airing a week earlier in the UK (episode 1 airs on October 3 on BBC3 and on October 11 on Logo) so US viewers may encounter spoilers in this thread!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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FYI for others like me who don't have access to Logo. Episodes can also be viewed with a subscription to WOW Presents Plus. It's $3.99 a month or $29.99 for a year. Free 30-day trial.

From their website: "RuPaul's Drag Race UK will be available on WOW Presents Plus every Thursday at 12 PM PST / 3 PM EST Starting October 3rd."

Drag Race Thailand is also available.

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Just watched the first episode. Here in Canada it's on OUTtv, weekly.

At any rate ... it's pretty bad. The production (so far) is on the cheap side and there wasn't one queen I could say I truly liked. A couple held promise but not enough to keep watching.

I don't know... maybe I'm just RPDR'd out.

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I thought the first episode was fine and I appreciated that the queens were generally kind and non-toxic towards each other. It remains to be seen how high the skill levels will be given the relatively small drag scene in the UK.

It was interesting that the majority of UK viewers on Reddit thought it was fantastic, laugh out loud funny, and the best episode in years. I personally didn't get a lot of the references and had to look up some slang. 

Ru was upbeat and more engaged than I've seen her for a while.

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I loved it! The best episode of drag race in a while IMO, but I am British so I understood all of the references. Ru was definitely more engaged and I thought that the queens were really strong.  I get why some people might not like it, it was definitely a British show, and not just an American show with British contestants. I thought that the prizes were great considering it's on the BBC, I burst out lauging at the Ru-Peter Badge! I'm glad that they're having a lot of fun with it. 

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6 hours ago, 2727 said:

It remains to be seen how high the skill levels will be given the relatively small drag scene in the UK.

Have you watched Drag Queens of London? 

Slightly off topic, but I remember watching a low budget drag competition show in Australia. It took place in a house and the two hosts always walked the eliminated queen out to the driveway at the end of each episode. Does anyone remember what the show was called?

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Just watched, and loved it! I have high hopes for this season and look forward to seeing more from these queens.

Ru also seemed energized and excited for a change!

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11 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Have you watched Drag Queens of London? 

Slightly off topic, but I remember watching a low budget drag competition show in Australia. It took place in a house and the two hosts always walked the eliminated queen out to the driveway at the end of each episode. Does anyone remember what the show was called?

Could it have been "I will survive" a 2012 show about finding performers for Priscilla Queen of The Desert stage show?

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I felt sorry for Gothy Kendoll. So out of her depth from the very beginning.

19 hours ago, doesntworkonwood said:

I thought that the prizes were great considering it's on the BBC, I burst out lauging at the Ru-Peter Badge!

As an American, I didn't understand the badge joke. I thought it stood for "repeater" and still didn't get it. I had to do some internet sleuthing.

Edited by 7-Zark-7

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5 hours ago, 7-Zark-7 said:

I felt sorry for Gothy Kendoll. So out of her depth from the very beginning.

As an American, I didn't understand the badge joke. I thought it stood for "repeater" and still didn't get it. I had to do some internet sleuthing.

Blue Peter is a national institution here, the badges are pretty cool and important. For those of you who don't know, Blue Peter is a childrens 'magazine' show that airs on the Children's BBC. It does loads of things, but it's probably most famous for it's craft stuff and it's garden. It's been running for 60 years now. 

If you're a cool person (or you send in a peice of work that they show on the show), you get a Blue Peter Badge which a) gives you street cred and b) gives you free entry into a bunch of attractions across the UK. If you're a really cool person (aka The Queen or JK Rowling), you get a gold badge. 

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New Ru viewer here - do the queens get advance notice of the challenge? They sure had packed some gear appropriate for the two looks they were presenting.

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On 10/5/2019 at 3:00 AM, Kelda Feegle said:

New Ru viewer here - do the queens get advance notice of the challenge? They sure had packed some gear appropriate for the two looks they were presenting.

Yep. In earlier seasons they were more explicit about saying "we asked you to bring a ______ look" on camera. 

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I thought it was pretty good. Maybe a 7.5 out of 10 for  the ep. Judging seemed fair with the correct queens top and bottom. Alan Carr was fun and Andrew Garfield was droooollll..

Won't go into spoilery stuff and will comment further later in the week. 

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I am so glad we get it here in Canada on the broadcast day. My wife and I loved it.

When she said chav, I thought of Vicky Pollard from Little Britain...is that about right British people?

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S1.E2: Downton Draggy

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This week the queens’ acting skills are put to the test as they star in a sumptuous new comedy costume drama - Downton Draggy. Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams joins Michelle Visage and Graham Norton on the judging panel as another queen exits the competition.

Original UK air date: 10/10/19
Original USA air date: 10/18/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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On 10/8/2019 at 9:25 PM, Machiabelly said:

I am so glad we get it here in Canada on the broadcast day. My wife and I loved it.

When she said chav, I thought of Vicky Pollard from Little Britain...is that about right British people?

Not British here, but exactly that. Or Catherine Tate's Lauren.

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The Vivienne has powers of prescience, people! The bottom three queens this week were the last three in line after she ranked everyone Top to Bottom earlier in the episode.

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Really starting to like this season after the 2nd episode. It's really refreshing. They are opening up more.  I know everyone now and their stories  and personalities are coming out more. I was surprised who went home, though. Thought he was a contender. The first two eliminated were pretty good so it was a bit sad to see them go this early.

I think (or hope) it will be a less bitchy season and these queens really find something together. Cheryl Hole is a piece of work, though. The UK queens on this show (generally speaking) are a bit more direct and low key. But I think a strength will be if they become more and more genuine and strip down those walls (Cheryl!) It may not be as bright and loud as the US version but that is what is refreshing, that they get back to basics. There are a lot of unique queens. The Vivienne is a standout so far and so is Baga Chipz.

Being in Australia, I do get a lot of the references. I got the Kim Woodburn references (from watching Celebrity Big Brother.)

Blu, Sum Ting, and Divina had very emotional moments this episode. Divina seems like she's struggling with being in the business a long time, which is interesting. 

From the first episode I thought Scaredy was a straight drag queen, but now he has clarified he is sexually fluid.

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1 hour ago, Mayberry said:

Cheryl Hole is a piece of work, though.

She's the British Alyssa Edwards so far.  Although was it Vinegar who said she's not normally like this?

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11 hours ago, Ruby Gillis said:

She's the British Alyssa Edwards so far.  Although was it Vinegar who said she's not normally like this?

Yes, Vinegar said she knows her in real life and she's not normally like that. It's like another LaGanja situation. She's playing it up. Vinegar said she's acting like Alyssa Edwards and Gemma Collins (another UK reality star who was on "The Only Way Is Essex" and "Celebrity Big Brother.) 

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37 minutes ago, Mayberry said:

Gemma Collins

She's so fucking annoying; if that's how she acts, she will not be one of my favorites (still have to catch up).

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2 hours ago, OnceSane said:

She's so fucking annoying; if that's how she acts, she will not be one of my favorites (still have to catch up).

Oh, I like watching Gemma - she's so bratty and diva-ish. Cheryl Hole is trying to act like Gemma though looks more like Arg! (Gemma's boyfriend.)

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On 10/3/2019 at 9:22 PM, marsha said:

The production (so far) is on the cheap side

After catching up on the first two episodes, I agree. It's putting me in mind of the first few US seasons. There isn't any cash or goods or services in the offing, and the grand prize is coming to the US. And a large handful of the queens seem new, or downright green, in Scaredy Kat's case. I don't know the depth of the UK drag community, but a lot of these girls seem not super familiar or not super strong at your basic slate of drag skills. These lip syncs ...

The personalities are good though. I don't mind Cheryl as much as they seem to, and I like The Vivienne and Blu whatchamacallit. You can definitely tell that just the opportunity means a lot to them all.

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22 hours ago, Mayberry said:

I was surprised who went home, though. Thought he was a contender. The first two eliminated were pretty good so it was a bit sad to see them go this early.

I was surprised as well, just because he seemed like the type that could be a fan favorite.  Think Ru feels burned by the Pearl situation and is now not going to keep someone just for the audience?

On 10/3/2019 at 10:22 PM, marsha said:

The production (so far) is on the cheap side

I actually like the cheapness.  I feel like US Drag Race has gotten too expensive and expects the queens to come with 10s of thousands of dollars in looks.  Plus lower stakes makes the queens act more naturally, I think.  

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9 hours ago, Mayberry said:

Oh, I like watching Gemma - she's so bratty and diva-ish. Cheryl Hole is trying to act like Gemma though looks more like Arg! (Gemma's boyfriend.)

Tries to act like Gemma but looks like Arg?  It's like every TOWIE nightmare I hope to never have!  Okay, I gotta catch up on this show, cuz, despite potential nightmares, now I have to see this.

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13 hours ago, Ruby Gillis said:

I actually like the cheapness.  I feel like US Drag Race has gotten too expensive and expects the queens to come with 10s of thousands of dollars in looks.  Plus lower stakes makes the queens act more naturally, I think.  

Me too. I think being on the BBC and having to justify every pound spent/studiously avoid product placement is really tempering some of this show's worst tendencies. In particular, I'd be shocked if the final challenge is the usual "sing backup on Ru's latest shitty forgettable dance track".

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I was out of town so I'm finally catching up!

There was a lot in the first episode - a photo shoot mini challenge and two runway looks. I'm not complaining though - the more looks they do, the more I get to see their aesthetic and get a sense for each of them while I figure out everyone's names (although I do always wonder how much time they are given to change from one look to another since they must need time to redo their hair and makeup).

For the Queen Elizabeth runway, I enjoyed the stamp and coin looks. Vinegar's River Thames look was in the bottom for me because it looked like a regular outfit with a blue squiggle slapped on top.

Cheryl Hole's Essex look cracked me up. From the splotchy tan and the smears of tanner on the white dress to the toilet paper stuck to her shoe, it was a very specific look. Her face looked gorgeous too.

I loved Divina's look. The bright green dress and the cartoon like red hair were great.

Sum Ting Wong's bull look was a memorable hometown look too. I know it was just a dress with giant bull horns and a huge nose ring added, but it totally worked. She was one of the few who had two good looks.

The Vivienne also had two good looks. I liked that she looked so different in her Pete Burns look and her royal look. I really liked that she wasn't afraid to give herself an old look.

Andrew Garfield was a great guest judge I liked that he told Gothy to use that nervous energy to her advantage.

The LSFYL was a bit lackluster, but Vinegar was the clear winner to me.

I did laugh when Gothy backed away in a Miss Vanjie tribute.

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As usual, my favorite part of the show is the queens talking about their lives while they get ready for the runway. I really felt for Sum Ting Wong when he was talking about his family not knowing that he's a gay drag queen who lives with his partner of five years.

Baga's Liza Minnelli totally cracked me up. I don't know if that really counts as a Bond girl, but I still liked it.

Team Vivienne was the obvious winner in the Downton Draggy challenge. Even when people have problems with the acting challenges, the judges tend to be more forgiving if they were able to take some direction or apply the director's notes. Kitty was not able to adjust at all which is with her character stayed the same one note whiner throughout the skit.

I hope we get to see some awesome lip syncs but after two weeks in a row of ho hum LSFYLs, I'm starting to lose hope.

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On 10/13/2019 at 6:48 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Vinegar's River Thames look was in the bottom for me because it looked like a regular outfit with a blue squiggle slapped on top.

Apparently she was told she couldn't wear the look she brought with her:

 
On 10/13/2019 at 9:35 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Baga's Liza Minnelli totally cracked me up. I don't know if that really counts as a Bond girl, but I still liked it.

 
I know she was going for an Oddjob thing, but I wish she had made herself some laser tits.
Edited by Ruby Gillis
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S1.E3: Posh on a Penny

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This week RuPaul tests the queens’ sewing skills and fashion sense, as they are challenged to create show-stopping outfits from junk found at a car boot sale. The original queen of British fashion, Dame Twiggy, joins Michelle Visage and Graham Norton on the judging panel as a third queen sashays away from the competition. Also, Drag Race All Star, Raven makes a cheeky guest appearance.

Original UK air date: 10/17/19
Original USA air date: 10/25/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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I have to agree with Ru and some of the queens - you should have watched the American version of the show which means you should know that you will have to make a runway look at some point (which means you should learn some sewing basics beforehand).

I loved that when Cheryl was given first dibs to get materials, she grabbed that box of yellow gloves like she thought they were gold and everyone else was like "Ugh, we didn't want that shite anyway."

Divina was the clear winner for me. She took some crap from a car boot and made it fashion with a very clear point of view. I totally got the David Bowie and Vivienne Westwood vibes that the judges mentioned.

Crystal's look was very well made, but for me Divina's was more fashion and Crystal's was more costume.

I wasn't crazy about most of the other looks (like Baga's steel wool outfit, Cheryl's yellow glove look, or the VIvienne's "my cassette tape exploded" look).

Vinegar seems like a nice person but that book outfit was a mess. The concept was fine but the execution was not great.

Sum's look was definitely not fashion enough, but I give her so much credit for creating a tailored look with the materials she had. She gave herself a huge challenge and she did a great job constructing that look. Unfortunately, Graham was correct - she was so focused on the sewing part of the challenge that she forgot about the fashion aspect of it.

This was the first LSFYL where both queens were really fighting to stay. They were pretty even, but I agree with Ru's decision to eliminate Vinegar because she started veering into desperation territory (while Sum stayed in performer mode).

I can't wait to see Snatch Game next week!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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One of the things I really love about this version of Drag Race is how the contestants interact with RuPaul. They are respectful and irreverent at the same time and it's devoid of some of the genuflecting that has become part of the US brand.

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Sum's look was definitely not fashion enough, but I give her so much credit for creating a tailored look with the materials she had. She gave herself a huge challenge and she did a great job constructing that look. Unfortunately, Graham was correct - she was so focused on the sewing part of the challenge that she forgot about the fashion aspect of it.

This. It's like she forgot she was on Drag Race and thought she was on Project Runway. Making a well constructed suit is all well and good but where is the drag? The character? The performance? What are you trying to convey with the outfit?

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16 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Divina was the clear winner for me. She took some crap from a car boot and made it fashion with a very clear point of view. I totally got the David Bowie and Vivienne Westwood vibes that the judges mentioned.

Crystal's look was very well made, but for me Divina's was more fashion and Crystal's was more costume.

Agree.  Also, I couldn't tell exactly what all of Crystal's materials were, but it seemed like a lot of fabric and not much unconventional stuff?  

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This episode with focus on the sewing made it feel like an episode from an earlier US season, which was nice. Getting back to origins of the show.

Vinegar did the typical thing of the last-minute switch-up look which barely works out (unless you're good at that like Roxxxy.) I actually wish we saw that ghastly orange outfit rather than that paper monstrosity.

Sum did an impressive lip-sync. 

I am glad that Divina showed up The Vivienne, Baga and Crystal. They can't afford to get too cocky.

I find Crystal's chest hair hot. 😝

Blu was funny in that last week he was like "I have no friends here..." to now bagging out everyone, where nearly everything he says sounds like an insult, intentional or not. So now he's become that friend!

Edited by Mayberry
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It was a fun episode - we really are getting to know these girls well with all the workroom coverage. I did not care much for Divina pre-show (seemed very generic) but she's really growing into the heart of the season. 

I'm still stanning Blu but doubt she will make Top5. I like that she's bringing the sass and confidence without being overly shady.

Although she won the mini-challenge - Cheryl is still the underdog of the season. Much like Alyssa who she at times mimics, there is something endearing about her messiness.

Viv and Baga are the frontrunners but yes their cockiness is not making them faves. Still they will have to mess up royally to not make the finals. 

I see lots of people stanning Crystal . she has some great aesthetic but is somewhat lacking in charisma IMO. Her acting skills were questionable - let's see how she does at Snatch Game.

SumTing rightfully won that lipsync - she was in total control, while Vinegar was all over the place. 

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On 10/18/2019 at 8:25 AM, BloggerAloud said:

One of the things I really love about this version of Drag Race is how the contestants interact with RuPaul. They are respectful and irreverent at the same time and it's devoid of some of the genuflecting that has become part of the US brand.

I agree, although it feels like Ru doesn't know what to do with this or how to relate in response. That workroom walkthrough was kind of dry.

I need young Blu to spend some of that sass on a worthy target, or it's all for naught. No point in picking at Divina with some of these other outsized egos lounging around waiting for action.

I'm starting to like Cheryl and Divina. When they kept showing Divina in just that tarp ruffle that looked like trash bags around her neck I didn't see the vision, but her finished look was like a Vivienne Westwood calling card, right down to the eyelashes. Meanwhile, the Vivienne's was nothing special, painted neck or not, Michelle. And Baga's craft project could've been in the bottom easily. It reminded me of Monet XChange's sponge dress, but not as well made.

I can't wait to see who we'll get for Snatch Game. 

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S1.E4: Snatch Game

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This week the queens take on the iconic Snatch Game challenge, where they must deliver their best celebrity impersonations against a classic TV game show backdrop. Special guests Lorraine Kelly and Stacey Dooley join in the fun. On the judging panel Spice Girl legend Geri Horner joins Michelle Visage and Alan Carr as another queen is eliminated from the competition.

Original UK air date: 10/24/19
Original USA air date: 11/1/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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I wish Baga and Divina had both done Maggie Thatcher because I agree with Baga - let's just see who does it better!

The Vivienne's Trump impersonation was the winner for me, but Baga's Maggie Thatcher was right up there. I agreed with Alan Carr - I would watch a sitcom with the two of them.

Geri Halliwell seems like the sweetest person. I loved that she went backstage to hug Sum Ting Wong after the elimination.

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Divina was a mess of conflicted emotions, graciously giving Baga Maggie then looking and acting tortured about it for the rest of the episode. The way he snapped at Baga when Baga was only complimenting him backstage: Awkward.

I felt bad for Divina. A last minute choice usually goes badly. I wanted to see his Maggie too and kept wondering what it would've been like. He was kicking himself. Watching Baga get all the accolades looked torturous for him (but delicious for us.)

Geri's enthusiasm for Sum Ting's Snatch Game was baffling. But the backstage moment was sweet. But it was like when Maisie Williams loved Scaredy Cat so much and then he was then sent home that same episode!

Sum seemed to play an old Asian man rather than an old Englishman! She and Divina froze up from the get-go.

I didn't find Blu particularly outstanding. I actually thought he would be bottom.

Cheryl did Gemma Collins because of course he did. It was alright. He got the way Gemma talks a lot of rubbish down pat.

Crystal did not capture Blanche. Michelle was right, it just wasn't big enough. Not Southern enough.

The Vivienne and Baga are obviously very talented. Although Baga's runways can be weak. I wish I saw Vivienne's Kim Woodburn too. 

ETA: Just read this: 

Drag Race UK: Geri Horner Leaves Fans Disappointed With 'Prudish' Guest-Judging Stint

Edited by Mayberry
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1 hour ago, Mayberry said:

Divina was a mess of conflicted emotions, graciously giving Baga Maggie then looking and acting tortured about it for the rest of the episode. The way he snapped at Baga when Baga was only complimenting him backstage: Awkward.

She should not have given up Margaret Thatcher.  I think Baga would have backed down if Divina had gone ahead because Baga's funny enough to do other characters.  She should have definitely not given Baga her costume!  Have some competitive instinct!

I have no idea who's going win at this point.  Baga and Vivienne are kind of getting a bitch edit.  Divina seems not confident enough.  Crystal's kind of a dark horse, but would they let a Canadian win the first UK drag race? 

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22 minutes ago, Ruby Gillis said:

She should not have given up Margaret Thatcher.  I think Baga would have backed down if Divina had gone ahead because Baga's funny enough to do other characters.  She should have definitely not given Baga her costume!  Have some competitive instinct!

I have no idea who's going win at this point.  Baga and Vivienne are kind of getting a bitch edit.  Divina seems not confident enough.  Crystal's kind of a dark horse, but would they let a Canadian win the first UK drag race? 

Bitches can win the title! Baga and Vivienne are getting that edit because they are bitches. 😜 But they're not too bad. Even Cheryl's not too bad in that regard. 

I don't think Crystal has been that outstanding to take the crown.

Divina's getting the "complicated" edit but I still think she's good enough for Top 3. It could be the "I'm good enough even though I doubt myself and have been a bit beaten down being in the biz so long" kind of journey.

Edited by Mayberry
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That LSFYL was so underwhelming.  I thought Ru was going to make them do it again (like Art Arya in DR Thailand season 2).

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Poor Gothy Ken Doll - loved his look but damn he was terrible! Couldn't walk to save his life, did he even have hips to shake? 

Scaredy - loved! But seriously Ru and producers what were you thinking? He wasn't a queen, had never performed, just was a bit of a mess really and seemed to be play acting.

Vinegar - was definitely more actor than drag queen. Shame because I liked her.  

Sum Ting - adorable! Loved her. She was funny and sweet. Wish she'd lasted longer. I was definitely concerned about her David A.

Baga was an awful Maggie Thatcher! Just terrible. I was so over the face she kept pulling when Ru called on her. Yeah, she had a couple of good lines but blurgh.

Blu - Mary Berry was too raunchy. I get that it could have been funny but it felt lowest common denominator comedy. 

Crystal - she should have just been blanche instead of Rue M. And definitely, her voice was so bad. Come on, try SOMETHING! 

Davina - why? Shees, Julia Child is HILARIOUS and davina failed miserably. 

Cheryl - nice - so you can do an Essex girl? Aren't you from Essex and it's your whole schtick? That's like me going on snatch game as a tech trainer! 

The Vivienne - AMAZING DONALD TRUMP! She is so skilled! Her Majesty The Queen look was incredible! But I just don't like her.  She's way too polished and way too assy or should I say arsey?

I love Ru and always will, but i'm so tired of her "oh i'm American look at me with my silly British puns" already! I kinda roll my eyes which is unfortunate. I honestly have begun preferring drag race Thailand and the boulet bros show.  😞

Edited by hatchetgirl · Reason: My post posted before I was done...

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It's about time I chimed in on this one now that half of the girls are gone. I was surprised by how much this show reminded me of the first season of drag race. I guess I'm just really surprised by how poorly most of the girls lip sync and how janky some of the runway looks are.

Even though we've gone through half the cast, I can't really say I'm rooting for anybody at this point. Heck I can't even remember all of their names yet! It just goes to show how important storylines really are on this kind of a competition show. You could never forget Coco and Alyssa after their showdowns.

I actually kind of liked Crystal and found her to be rather polished and put together. Her look last week was awesome on the runway and I was surprised she was in the bottom two even though her Snatch Game was pretty crappy. If they ever do an All Stars edition of the UK show, Crystal is definitely a contender to win, but she would need to get better control over her body movement and lose some of her angst. I feel like she's always had a bit of attitude and I think on the inside she's probably much softer than she comes across. I just don't get much joy from her, but maybe that's something that will develop more over time..?

Vivian is definitely the front runner.

Hachet, like you I am also tired of the British puns. It kind of feels like the show is struggling to stay relatable to its longtime American audience while still embracing its UK sensibilities. I didn't know who some of those characters were in the Snatch Game for example, but maybe that's the point? Maybe it needs to be more UK...and less an American show trying to make dumb UK jokes and references, as if it's being shot at Epcot Center or something. After all, the success of the show really has to be with audiences across the pond. The more it feels authentic to their world, the better it is.

They are filming the entire thing overseas right?

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