Drag Race UK 2, Episode 5: A Concerning Shade of Ham Pink

Hello, H&M customer services, how may I help you?

I apologise that this recap is up late – I didn’t sleep a wink on Thursday night because all I could hear was that cursed “Ding Dang Dong, Sing Sang Song, Bing Bang Bong” chorus running through my head like a freight train.

Ginny-oh!

Obviously everyone is a little bamboozled after Ginny essentially Thanos’d herself out of the competition – and the list of potential All Stars candidates I’m sure. Or if you’re Lawrence Chaney you’re supremely pissed off and it might be just a little bit because you feel like Ginny just upstaged the fact you just won the episode – which personally I applaud Ginny for.
Sister Sister on the other hand is completely questioning her place in the competition because she’s kind of only here by default and while I get that, I’m not sure Ginny would ever do a lipsync and not pull a full Tammie Brown

But then some of the queens don’t even believe that Ginny should have been in the bottom two because Veronica is sitting right there in a pig mask

And I get that but even if the runways only count for like 1/3 of the final score the fact she had the best outfit still took her out of danger and it’s pretty obvious that the queens, who in the first episode disregarded Veronica because none of them had heard of her, are a little bit taken aback by the level of the drag she brought to the competition – especially given the fact she showed up on the first day looking a little busted and promptly turned into Veronica Green Theatre Monster the next episode.

But before the queens can go into the full depths of why Veronica Green is apparently a cocky monster bitch for beliving that her incredible Medu-sow costume saved her from the bottom 2, the Queens are given an emergency message by Ru AND DEFINITELY NOT A NAMELESS PRODUCER VIA SKYPE that production is going to have to cease for “a few days” due to the whole ~pandemic situation~. I like to think the Queens were kicked out immediately and Lawrence had to get back to Glasgow wearing a dress made out of humanskin with an ear on her tits

I would pay good money to see that train journey.

And so we bid adieu to our queens, for “just a few days”

They’re (mostly) Baaaaaaack

First of all, I want to know which producer made the decision to allow the queens to re-enter the Werk Room out of drag – WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DO I GET YOU FIRED? Although it did give the queens a chance to show off the work and The Work they somehow got done in the middle of a global pandemic… I mean Sister Sister has shown up with an entirely new face and I am almost certain that they’ve actually replaced her with someone who only looks passingly like her at a first glance

Big Media replaced her like they replaced Avril Lavigne in 2003. But let’s not completely discount the fact Bimini pulled a full Faceless Assassin and has put Maisie Williams’s face over their own

and A’Whora’s lips are now fully licensed members of the RNLI

I do really want to know why A’Whora came in dressed like a Pan Am stewardess and dragging a lunchbox on a string like she was fishing for junior school children

is there a reference that I’m missing? Because “lunchbox on a string” doesn’t give me any other results other than recipes from Jack Monroe.
But while those three threw caution to the wind in regards to continuity Tia spent more of quaratine desperately trying to maintain the blonde highlights in her hair

Let’s just hope she put the same amount of love, care and attention into her drag…
The biggest change in circumstances, other than the fact Ellie and Lawrence have been completely out of work for 7 months due to the Scottish Pandemic Rules, is the fact Tayce, who is stealthily auditioning for the role of Spiderman on The West End (the insurance will never cover it)

and A’Whora are now roommates – I imagine it’s “roommates” in the same way that the butch women wearing flannel and men’s jeans on Supermarket Sweep were “good friends”.

An astute person will have noticed that that was only 7 Queens entering the Werk Room and there should be 8 and that’s because the poor Rachel Berry of Drag Race tested positive for Covid and would not be rejoining the competition but will be offered a place in season 3 which knowing this franchise probably begins airing next week.
RuPaul sympathetically breaks all of this news while wearing the scalp of Ginny Lemon

The Queens all do their best to be upset, because I’m at least 70% sure they probably already knew because they definitely all kept in contact during the break, but Tia pulls off the Wooby Face with aplomb

AN ACTRESS!
This did at least give the producers a chance to pull some shenanigans and invite the past eliminated queens back for a chance to rejoin the competition EXCEPT FOR THAT SKANK BITCH GINNY LEMON

I cannot believe that Cherry Valentine was standing there in a cow costume and not one person called her Dairy Valentine. UP YOUR GAME LADIES.

Instead of making it a competition to get back on the show the eliminated queens just have to give a reason they should be welcomed back which basically amounts to Joe Black addressing how much effort she put into getting on the show in the first place, Cherry tugs on the heartstrings by mentioning she worked ON THE FRONTLINE YOU UNGRATEFUL SWINES and Asttina used the 7 months to evolve into an even hotter humanbeing

It’s the growth we love to see.
The queens almost unanimously vote in favour of bringing back Joe Black with only A’Whora and Bimini breaking ranks and picking Asttina while Cherry Valentine completes her transformation into being The Gretchen Weiner of Drag Race – none for you.
Asttina and Cherry don’t leave completely empty handed as they both get a giftbag including a two night stay at a luxury London hotel that I hope is redeemable sometime soon.

Euro That Girl I Knew You Were

With that moment of democracy over with and considered a mini challenge I guess the queens are told that this week they will be producing a pair of EuroPop performances of a song called UK Hun but will only ever be called The Ding Dong Song.
For winning the vote Joe Black is made a team leader and Lawrence gets to be her rival and because Joe Black hasn’t been here to see the 3 episodes between her departure and return she chooses a team consisting of Tia Kofi, Sister Sister and Ellie Diamond – honey… While Lawrence gets Tayce, Bimini and A’Whora by default because she was left last and looked iconically pissed off about it

I too would be a bit mad that I was chosen after the Sister Sister imposter.

The teams obviously have to come up with their team names and while Joe Black and Gang immediately land on “Bananadrama” and wail about it being “CAMP! SO CAMP! TOTALLY CAMP!” like a group of boy scouts in wilderness training. A’Whora immediately shoots down the idea of a parody band name because “it has been done before” and offers up the name The United Kingdolls which I too thought Lawrence was being very sarcastic about liking so much

She’s hard one to read that Lawrence is.

Prep Work

Prior to their performances the queens obviously have quite a bit of work to do, they have to write their individual verses as well record them with MNEK and then create their own choreography as well as decide on their band’s aesthetic – even if that aesthetic is little village dress shop.

As ever with Drag Race very little of the performance are mostly a hodge-podge of good rapping, bad rapping and some edgy teen spoken word but at least everyone knew their limits and how to kind of at least play them up, in most cases, Joe Black was really trying and failing to rhyme “Zigga Zigga” with cigar and still make it fit the bar scheme. Meanwhile A’Whora approached the whole task like someone had autotuned Babe Station and gave MNEK quite the moment

and through very subtle misleading editing…. The editors choose to only focus on the bad side of The United Kingdolls’ recording sessions including Lawrence Chaney missing absolutely every note she possibly could like she was playing reverse karaoke, Bimini just became her character from Rats again and sounded like the villain from Fievel Goes West while looking like the idea of the future in the 60s

and in the spirit of Eurovision Tayce goes Full Hatari and just screams into the microphone for a bit – it wasn’t *not* hot.
While Bananadrama on the other hand got a much smoother edit whose only hiccup was Joe Black eating the world “cigar” and completely glossed over the fact Ellie’s verse is woefully subpar and that she has all the flow of a puddle. Meaning Sister Sister and Tia Kofi had to pull the whole team through the mud with actual passable vocals and by the end of the session Joe Black is still going full Kamorah Hall and inflecting the sentence in every single way except for the right one.

But at least the choreography could save them, after all The United Kingdolls have Lawrence’s 5 left feet and complete aversion to the basic physics of human movement

At least A’Whora’s little Pan Am outfit allowed her to get into character and pick up the choreography faster than that time she dressed up as the most femme Mob Boss for RATS!

Over on Bananadrama and Ellie has somehow managed to convince everyone that she’s a dancer despite all of them except Joe having witnessed her in RATS!

And while she wants everyone to wave their arms around like an octopus at a rave

this is apparently too much to ask of Joe Black who can apparently barely manage a little one-two hot shoe shuffle and so the choreography becomes a lot of pointing and pretending to drive a car for some reason and because Joe can manage maybe a 5 step sequence AT THE MOST the routine is in danger of being just a touch too repetitive. But do you know what? At least Tia looks AMAZING

I believe in Tia Kofi’s Pink Boots Supremacy.

The United Kingdolls

As expected when a group gets as miserable an edit as they did during every stage of their pre-production The United Kingdolls came out and absolutely smashed it. I think it was a great idea to kick off with Lawrence immediately and not give her the chance to ruin the flow of the song halfway through like a girl group assassin. She’s hardly Roxxxy Andrews levels of bad but she was still the loose peg of the group and I’m glad they didn’t make her being shit at choreography a massive part of the routine. I also hated her outfit

And I get she isn’t prepared to as sexy as the other three for her own personal reasons but this just stands out in its sort of Pride Float-edness and is at least the niece of those infamous horrors that Nina West put herself and Shuga Caine in during the Drag Race Season 11 Makeover Challenge – an episode that should be put into The Void and never talked of again.

The other three in the group though? Complete art. A’Whora’s verse might not be very memorable beyond the moment it ends with her shouting “MUVAH!” like she’s anticipating the Eastenders Doof Doofs

But I enjoy that she’s really coming into her own as a physical comedian and is letting go of the inhibition she was battling against up until that moment she sprinkled glitter all over her tits in front of Lorraine Kelly.

Tayce had the best lyrics of the whole group and while everyone was obsessed with “Inch to the floor / I ain’t talking ’bout my weave” I SCREAMED when she chose to absolutely out of nowhere just incinerate Cherry Valentine

Ma’am this is a murder scene.
I have some issues with her styling, mostly just the choice not to even slightly fill out the bikini, I think a flat triangle bikini just doesn’t look great – we’ll talk amore about it when a seagull decided to wear one.

But truly the breakout star of the whole thing and stealing the show from the moment her skirt decided to pull a LaLa Ri and just ride higher and higher as the performance went on was Bimini

Her performance wasn’t Eurovision in the slightest but it was like one of those rare Hen Parties that ends up on the news for going too far even for Blackpool – you just can’t do that to the donkeys Sandra. For most of the routine I had wondered what the pink stool at the back of the stage was meant to be there for – I full excepted Lawrence to give up on the performance halfway through and just sit on it BUT NO

and then A’Whora did a little shablam at the end

and was the question mark to Bimini’s exclamation mark in this interrobang of a finale.

Banandrama

They could have at least let this group suffer a slightly worse fate by letting them go first – this was just cruel and had the first cutaway to RuPaul looking utterly disgusted less than 10 seconds into their performance

and I get that Joe Black’s little pink outfit was very pedestrian

I personally find the fact that someone would wear really thick woollen fingerless gloves more offensive than the fact she just wore a little H&M dress (that’s now a whole 31% off btw). I also get where Ru was coming from in the fact that they’re on television, the looks need to look a little more special but this was also obviously brought in as a very inconsequential outfit that was absolutely just intended for a mini-challenge and then got unceremoniously roped into being put on the mainstage like Guy Goma being put on BBC News as a technology expert. I do also think that Ru’s anti-H&M tirade crossed a line

and really failed to take into account that these queens hardly had a platform before this show and I would say most of them could hardly afford to spend more than a grand on outfits without taking out some sort of a loan – we’ve all heard the horror stories of Queens on Drag Race spending almost £20,000 and going home third which is essentially playing Russian Roulette with your life because production could screw you over at a moments notice. And if the show is so invested in the queens knocking it out with high tier outfits and costumes to make your jaw drop, maybe give them a budget to work it, help them out A LITTLE BIT because even good quality stones and fabric are expensive and when you can have up to 12 runway looks AND mini challenges AND maxi-challenge looks the show begins to become a little exclusionary.
This has been my little Drag Race soapbox and we’ll back in moment when discussing Tia Kofi’s yikes of a runway outfit.

The outfit wasn’t Joe’s only problem as she could barely manage the lazy monkey arm that they did A WHILE

and was for some reason was standing an extra foot apart from everyone else like they thought she was contagious

And just to rub salt into the would her little comedic asides including the thumbs up that happened not once but twice

as well as the little moment she and Ellie had halfway through completely died on the stage and I believe their funerals are next Wednesday.
At least Joe wasn’t the only one in choreo-Hell as Ellie was barely scraping and giving off one of the uncannily blank stares I’ve ever seen and her heavy eye makeup just really exacerbates the fear she had of whatever Kidz Bop dance step was coming next. All the while wearing a skater outfit in a concerning shade of ham pink that I would argue was more aesthetically offensive than Joe Black’s dress which at least had some texture to it

did Asttina Mandella’s elimination teach you NOTHING Miss Diamond?

This did once again leave it to Sister Sister and Tia Kofi to pull up the slack, and while there was no way of working around the quite frankly abysmal choreography both of them did incredibly well in their verses and both looked great, Tia in her cute 60s number and Sister Sister in her frothy gingham dress

I thought they were going to hit Tia with a “we can’t understand what you’re saying” critique because I had a few issues with her enunciation but I think by the time they got to her verse Ru and Michelle were so focused on trying to burn Joe’s dress with nothing but the force of their willpower that they didn’t notice.
And we all knew where this was going the moment Ru refused to clap or smile when the song finished

THAT is damnation.

I Do Like to be Beside the She Side

This runway was a fun (and controversial) one with the queens having to bring out there best seaside themed runway look and somehow in the vast inspiration of it all we ended up with a pair cones of chips duking it out, the first being A’Whora who looked REALLY GOOD, the shape she created with the newspaper is perfect and keeps that element of fashion about it

And I liked that the chips were behind her and not threatening to obscure her face. I didn’t really care for the ketchup bottle headpiece, it just looked confusingly small amongst everything else that was so enlarged. And then there was Sister Sister in her controversial choice of the same concept done unarguably less well

I love the addition of the seagull. The controversy lies in the fact this wasn’t her planned look and she was pre-lockdown going to be doing a Pamela Anderson reference but after the 7 months off she mysteriously turned up with a massive cone of chips costume. While this dress is absolutely not the most original concept we’ve ever seen – it’s literally on The Masked Singer right now – but Sister must have noticed the massive cone of chips and newspaper print fabric in the room, that’s a particularly hard element to miss just hanging up on the open racks.
I only hope Sister continues to Single White Female A’Whora for the at most 2 episodes she has left to haunt the building.

I am shocked we managed to avoid having two people merely draped in fishing nets and a load of bedazzled shells and starfish – that was my immediate thought for the runway – and I’m not sure if anyone else had attempted it that they would have been able to hold a candle to Tayce

I’m not entirely sold on the mullet wig, it clashes with the glamour of the outfit a little too much but I get her thinking behind not wanting to do another black wig and risk being told it’s too similar to anything she wore previously after she got burnt in the Fashion Frenemies challenge.
Bimini’s outfit was almost very similar in that it was a very sheer, body-ody-ody look that looked like it came out of a painting by Edgar Degas

I love it and her mug is phenomenal but there is also something about it that really reminds me of Jemima Puddle Duck, because nothing says “Children’s Book Duck” like a sheer dress and a pout.
While Bimini doing body might have been obvious I would have happily bet my life on the fact that Lawrence Chaney was about to come out onto that runway in some sort of a latex mermaid tail dress AND LO

It’s done very well but I think if they are going to tell Ginny to do something different in Week 3, they can tell Lawrence to change it up in Week 5. And if she didn’t have anything else to wear she could have just wrapped the hotel duvet around her and called herself an ice cream like Tia Kofi did

The shot of MNEK whispering that he hadn’t even realised it was an ice cream was BARBARIC.
I love Tia, she’s instantly one of my favourite queens from across the franchise but this outfit is a choice of violence and I truly hope that it’s the only blip in her post-Lockdown wardrobe as she claimed because I cannot take her coming down the runway in something that looks like it’ll be a reveal and then not being a reveal. And I do feel for her because Tia doesn’t want to be a ~Fashion Queen~ but because she’s this stick thin twink of a boy RuPaul feels obligated to make her into one and the whole point of “You could look like me if you had 50 people working on you” was an odd thing to say to a Queen that can clearly not have 50 people on her to make her TV ready although the worst part of the whole critique was Michelle doing this

Thanks, I hate it.

And if you thought the weird Drag Discourse ends there, it doesn’t because Ellie Diamond chose to dress up as a sexy pin up seagull

I unabashedly adore this, terrible fitting bikini and all. It’s like something from The Mighty Boosh but somehow scarier, Alfred Hitchcock could only wish of creating an avian terror as startling and nightmare inducing as a 6 foot Scottish man dressed up as a sexy humanoid seagull.
Of course Graham Norton tries to bring up the line between drag and fancy dress – I for one am bored of this debate. SHE’S A SEXY SEAGULL WITH TITS GRAHAM, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?

And lastly as a palate cleanser we have Joe Black and her windswept outfit that she did a marvelous job of showcasing on the runway

If anyone else bothered to watch Drag Race Holland there was a very similar look on there by drag queen ChelseaBoy but Joe has managed to escalate it into her own campy brand and the details like the ice cream in the hair and the arcade ticket scarf are really cute

A Seaside Look Ranking

  1. Trawler Net Tayce
  2. Bimini Victoriana
  3. Joe Black on a Windy Day
  4. A’Whora ‘n’ Chips
  5. SHE WAS A SEXY SEAGULL
  6. Lawrence Chaney in Latex Again
  7. Chippy Chips
  8. Tia Kofi’s Man Eating Duvet

Don’t Leave Me This Way (again)

After having the audacity to wear H&M on the runway Joe Black finds herself right back in the bottom 2 and Tia despite giving one Hell of a main challenge performance finds herself in the lipsync again and I get that her outfit was atrocious but Ellie Diamond WAS RIGHT THERE FUCKING UP THE MAIN CHALLENGE AT EVERY TURN.

The two of them find themselves lipsyncing to Don’t Leave Me This Way by The Communards (A certified bop) and all of Tia’s famed dance moves are back out, you have your Kneecap Destroyer

The 1,2 Cha Cha Step

and a new favourite sliding into home, which Joe Black tried to get in on and looked more like she had just tripped in the dairy aisle of Tesco

None of it is particularly stunning, elegant or not-cringe but it was more than Joe Black was offering who at least had the consideration to know all the words and not mime an elevator ride again this time.

But truly the lipsync was won the moment Tia Kofi whipped up that skirt to show off her legs and her nethers

and then promptly did a particularly painful looking shablam once the music had ended

and then continued to vamp on the floor like someone doing an interpretive dance about their nan falling over on her way to the loo in the middle of the night while Joe looked on like a bit of a lemon

but she looked *lip quivers* BEAUTIFUL

and so Tia Kofi was once again saved and in true Drag Race fashion Joe Black came in and was right back out

and so 7 Queens remain

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