Drag Race UK 2, Episode 8: Beautiful Piece of Cardboard

She really puts the “mini” in Bimini.

With another comedy challenge on the cards we have to ask ourselves “How many comedy challenges can you fail before they stop calling you a comedy queen?”

Sister, Miss Ya!

In a contrast to Tia’s send-off nobody is shedding any tears over Sister Sister’s departure and Tayce can’t even be bothered to read her mirror message properly, although in her defence Sister’s handwriting is a bit of a scrawl

that “camp cows” does look alarmingly like “champions”.

Talk very quickly turns to who everyone thought should be in the final because Ellie is still mad that people thought she’d have gone home during Snatch Game and then she got really lucky with a sewing challenge last week, and is still very obviously fuming that she missed what is absolutely her last chance to win a badge and is glaring daggers at A’Whora

because they’re obviously not going to be doing the makeover challenge this year due to Covid and so the next two challenges would obviously be either comedy or acting ahead of the final lipsync musical number.
She’s also had it with people underestimating her and is personally very offended that A’Whora thought that her Candyland Nightmare Outfit was too similar to Ellie Diamond’s personal brand of Candyland Nightmare Outfits

and A’Whora is very quick to remind her that the task was to be a “superSHEro” and not Ellie Diamond – did anyone actually remember that that was the theme? Could you look at this group of queens and imagine them having a secret meeting in The Halls of Justice?

Except for A’Whora they all fully failed the challenge so I can’t really blame A’Whora for making the most of her first solo win which Lawrence makes out is A’Whora’s “redemption” – REDEMPTION FOR WHAT? The badly judged Snatch Game that she should have been in the top for? The fact she was completely robbed of the win in the TV hosting episode? The fact she techniquely has a better track record than Bimini? Sorry to bring out BenDeLaCreme’s All Stars Abacus like this but ~technically~ on a points based system A’Whora has a higher scorecard than Lawrence and I’m guessing Lawrence had gradually come to this realisation.

Masc Singers

In order to reveal this week’s mini challenge RuPaul has come dressed as though he is both about to read the BBC 10 O’clock News and try and enact some sort of zany plan in Gotham

Apparently Monet XChange is responsible for giving Ru this wig and leads me to believe that someone is still a little salty over the double crowning.

The mini challenge this week is for the queens to dress up in Macho Drag and do a cover of Ru’s song “Kitty Girl” – so Ru’s Rita Joker-borty costume makes… complete sense?
The attempts at said Macho Drag varied across the spectrum, there’s Lawrence who looks exactly like Madame Madness

a reference I, as the only person who watched Drag Race Holland understands.
Bimini who cannot pull off “macho” to save their life

It’s very Joe Exotic through the lens of 90s Anime.
And then in the worst attempt at facial hair we have Tayce who looks like she got a third degree burn after trying to eat a pizza fresh out the oven

and yet still a less noticeable beard than Sister Sister. I did love that her idea of masculinity was essentially just Greggs in which she used “put your sausage roll in my chicken steak bake” as a sexual euphemism, and the “chicken steak bake” continues her relationship with cursed food after owning up to eating Pot Noodle Sandwiches

Tayce, find Jesus.

Thoroughly nailing the look is Ellie Diamond who drew her inspiration from the glam rockers of the 80s and served up the best look she’s ever had

This is amazing, the concept is great and the execution is pretty darn incredible for a hurried 15 seconds in which most people only managed to scrawl on some facial hair

As far as the singing goes it sounded less like a song and more like 5 different dogs had tried to start The Twilight Bark in 7 different languages but I think A’Whora pretty much stole the whole show the moment she dropped the line about not knowing her Lady Gaga was as the defining trait of masculinity

that and Bimini declaring their love for Cheryl

I feel like I’m missing a reference here but I couldn’t find anything – it very much had the same energy as JB wishing everyone a merry Christmas on the X Factor halfway through a performance.

The winner of the mini challenge is Ellie which of course brings out the obligatory “at least she won something” comments – which aren’t *not* warranted.

Live. Laugh. Love.

The Main Challenge for the week is a stand up comedy challenge in which the queens have to prepare a solo routine themed around love – which Ru explains with a very badly timed Taylor Swift joke that should maybe have been nixed considering the hot water Netflix is currently in – RIP RuPaul, it was The Swifties that did it.

As a reward for winning the mini challenge Ellie gets to decide the all important order that the queens will have to go in – and you know how much this show loves the myth that the order really matters…
Relishing her new found superpowers (WHO’S THE SUPER-SHE-RO NOW A’WHORA?) Ellie fully commits to the idea of choosing only violence and decides that order should be

A’whora
Ellie
Bimini
Lawrence
Tayce

and my God did this get turned into an absolute tornado of bullshit. The only person I think who has any right to be slightly upset is A’Whora because opening a show and getting the crowd ready is a difficult job for the best of comedians, opening a show to a room of 4 people and whatever props were leftover after Sister Sister glued them to herself would be a hardship even for Hercules

Of course Ellie wanted to go after A’Whora because that was her best chance of looking better, unfortunately for Ellie she said that part out loud and was now enemy number one

what I hadn’t expected was for Lawrence to be so shaken by the running order given that she has (against my permission) been branded “a comedy queen” for telling exactly 3 jokes that most primary school children could tell and had thus far failed the biggest comedy challenge of the series in Snatch Game, and I suppose going after the person who won that challenge had shaken her but really the order can only count for so much, if your material is good people will laugh.
While A’Whora continued to plot bloody revenge against Ellie and Lawrence sat furiously gnawing a pen like a feral animal trying to get to the nutritious centre of some sort of seed

Bimini was happily declaring that she didn’t care where they put her, she’d slay it either way. Can we just crown her now?
Tayce was also very quiet throughout this whole debacle and had arguably the most difficult position purely because going after 4 other queens all doing jokes about the same subject as you does come with the risk of them all doing your jokes.

A’Whora really didn’t help herself by opening the show with a routine that required a gratuitous amount of bleeping and censoring which garnered a reaction that the subtitlers could only caption thusly

although I’m of the conspiratorial opinion that what she said wasn’t *that* bad and everyone was just very sensitive to it because Dawn French was in the room

and I imagine that’s a bit like having your mother in the room during a sex scene.
I think A’Whora would have been better off reprising the Essex character she did on the Morning TV episode – it was filmed before the 7 month break, RuPaul wont remember it! Opening the show on a crude note just doesn’t work, but I’m not ok with Michelle playing the “This is the BBC after all” card as though they abide by The Hays Code of the 1940s – I watched Normal People with my mum I can handle A’Whora talking about her nan’s sexual adventures.
There were of course bigger problems with A’Whora’s routine that the fact her jokes apparently aren’t fit for broadcast, such as her attempts to subtly glance at her notes

(she was far from the only person to do this)
and the fact she fully stumbled and broke character halfway through while trying to tell a joke about how dumb her nan was, during which Ru generously threw her a bone

and she recovered from it remarkably well and relished the opportunity to get a jab in at Ellie while handing over to her

RuPaul may not want to see anymore fucking H&M on the main stage but how does she feel about Quiz?

I NOTICED ELLIE.

Considering that Ellie Diamond’s previous comic stylings were her literally just describing the physical appearance of a custard tart and being non-existent on Snatch Game this stand up routine should have been an absolute car crash and yet it wasn’t. I still didn’t love it, but I respect it as a bold choice – it actually reminded me a lot of Valentina’s attempt in the Roast of Michelle Visage in that it was just varying degrees of nonsense pivoting entirely on the use of an accent.
In Ellie’s case said accent was her demonic, sex obsessed alter ego “Dirty Diamond” (ROUGH DIAMOND IS RIGHT THERE ELLIE, COME ON)

I also can’t help but notice that apparently the demonic voice is funny in this sketch but when Plastique Tiara did in The Challenge That Shall Not Be Named whenever she said “Ariana Grande” it wasn’t? Despite the fact that when Plastique did it, it made sense and was funny – which is saying a lot considering that Plastique is ostensibly just the most beautiful piece of cardboard.
Ellie’s demonic voice was making sense up until the moment she was telling stories about previous dates and became a frog

Her pretending to be a frog with the voice of Linda Blair in the throws of a demonic positions is exactly the ringtone I’ve been looking for.

It would be difficult for most people to follow the 7 foot demonic voiced Scottish drag queen dressed as every Sheffield girl on a night out but I think Bimini casually walking up to the mic looking like she was about to open the door of a detective’s office and tell him all about the awful crime that just happened was more of a relief than anything else

and Bimini was pulling no punches and apparently A’Whora’s rambling stories about her nan’s sexual exploits are too much for the BBC but Bimini casually dropping a joke about paedophilic Vicar was perfectly fine, although the second punchline of said Vicar being Dawn French was the absolute highlight of the entire episode, if not for the joke then just for Ellie’s reaction

Bimini’s whole set was a masterclass in Drag Race stand-up challenges – it was referential, it pushed certain boundaries and she didn’t have to wonder back to the stool every 20 seconds to read her next joke.
My only issue with it is that it felt very “bitty” (a cursed word, I know) but there wasn’t really a narrative to it and it kind of just jumped from bon mot to bon mot with the only connector being “Not a joke, just a fact” which Dawn French seemed to think was a revolutionary take on stand-up… Which not to take anything away from Bimini’s routine but it’s not?

While Bimini fired out jokes like a machine gun, Lawrence took the much lengthier approach of slowly eking them out like mercury poisoning while distracting everyone with the glaring camel toe

and yet A’Whora talking about her nan’s gaping asshole is frowned upon.
In the entirety of Lawrence’s set I think there was time to broadcast at least 3 punchlines because every time you thought one was coming she would just continue the rambling anecdote and these eventually got so boring that Bimini starting reading her own jokes again

I personally didn’t find this funny and yet the judges thought it was comedy gold and while the set ups were too long all three punchlines were very good. I will agree with them that Lawrence does have that natural ability to make you feel at ease but I still thought this was overall a pretty poor routine, which at least made it moderately easier for Tayce to close the show!

My absolute favourite part of the episode was during Tayce’s rehearsal session with Alan Carr when she genuinely didn’t realise how funny she can be and her just chatting with Alan about her routine was funnier than anything she had actually written down for the routine. She did rely on saying “That’s a story for another day!” a lot and in most cases she didn’t need it and could have just gone on to the next joke Bimini-style, but at least she looked INCREDIBLE throughout it

She also got some of the biggest laughs with her joke about the Deliveroo customer care chat being a dating website as well as her bit about the sexual thrill of beans on toast.
I genuinely thought Tayce killed this challenge, and sure she had a few cheeky glances at her stool notes

but it wasn’t quite the same awkwardness as Blair St. Clair rifling through an entire notebook with 3 inch nails on

I still have nightmares about this moment.

A Stand-up Comedy Routine Ranking

  1. Bimini Bon B-laughs
  2. Tayce Loves Beans
  3. A’Whora the *bleep*
  4. The Possession of Ellie Diamond
  5. Lawrence Chaney’s Vagina Monologues

Did You Stone Those Tights Yourself?

The runway theme this week was Stones, which is essentially exactly the same as the US Drag Race’s theme of beads, I guess? There’s certainly an overlap because A’Whora basically came out as the meeting point of Joey Jay’s (Not Poison) IV Bag outfit and Denali living her chandelier fantasy

It’s a striking outfit that the harsh lighting of the runway does absolutely no justice to – it was certainly the sparkliest one on the runway this evening. My only gripe is the earrings

I get that the snaking shape of them is meant to compliment the hair cut they’re just a bit too big and stark – I found them quite distracting.

Also going for white was A’Whora’s arch nemesis Ellie Diamond

I honestly would have loved this more if the entire thing had been furry and she had just stoned onto the fur, I find that with the furry sleeves and skirt and the bare chest she kind of looks like a cat that was shaved ahead of having surgery, but her mug is immaculate

She will always have that going for her and I will always love it.

Tayce’s take on the brief was a bit odd, I didn’t immediately look at it and think “this is stones” because it’s that very strong 1960s sci-fi B-movie aesthetic

which I will always love, and I do think she looks stunning and obviously there are rhinestones all over it but it doesn’t read as particularly coherent to me and feels like it was a costume she had and she just stoned it a bit when she got the brief.

More successfully out on left field was Bimini who has revolutionised acne for everyone

If she completely took the zits away, the actual look is incredible, it has that very slouchy Stella McCartney feel to it. Ru mentioned that she looked like a celebrity that he couldn’t place and to me she looked a lot like a Brigitte Nielsen or Charlize Theron during her awkward grow out after filming Mad Max

either way, she once again looked incredible and didn’t take the easy or expected route with her look.

Lastly we have Lawrence Chaney who came dressed as Eldrad from Doctor Who going to a Pride parade

I think she looks phenomenal, I kind of wish the protruding stones had been bigger and more pronounced to create a more dynamic silhouette but it was excellent regardless of that and I think it quite honestly my favourite thing Lawrence has worn.

A Stones Runway Ranking

  1. Bim-acne Bon Boulash
  2. Eldrad in Drag Form
  3. A’Whora’s Medical Chandelier
  4. Tayce in Space
  5. Ellie The Glittering Yeti

Untucked this week was a weird one because A’Whora spent the whole time seething and refusing to look at Ellie as though she was the Devil incarnate

which very much came across as A’Whora being offended that Ellie would dare to do a demonic voice BUT ~allegedly~ on the runway they were asked who they think should go home and Ellie mentioned A’Whora, which does make more sense because after spending 10 minutes expounding about your grandmother’s sex life, I don’t think you’d be too upset that someone pretended to be a demon for a comedy bit.

Don’t Say It

With the runways and the stand-up routines taken into consideration it was inevitable that Bimini was getting her third badge, which is impressive given that she almost went home in the first episode. With Lawrence called safe the places in the bottom 2 are between Ellie, A’Whora and Tayce with the latter two finding themselves lipsyncing against one another and nobody is more surprised than Ellie

to me it stinks of storyline editing because we always knew that these two were going to have to battle it out eventually – given her mild slip ups I think it was fair that A’Whora was in there but she should have been lipsycning against either Ellie or Lawrence. But alas the two besties are battling it out to Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.

It’s not the draggiest song in the world so there’s no room for stunts and tricks so Tayce essentially just revives her Memory lipsync against Cherry Valentine and there is A LOT of dramatic mouthing and stern pointing or passionate air grabs from both parties.

The decision as to who could have stayed or gone could have gone either way, both did perfectly fine jobs, A’Whora did a stellar knee slide and we know how much RuPaul loves it when you potentially bust a kneecap

But I think Tayce had more life behind her lipsync and managed to hit the beats much better than A’Whora did, especially on the final one which she managed to hit with that little bit more drama and impact that A’Whora

Given that it was her third lipsync I had fully prepared myself for Tayce to go and yet she pulls of the rare feat of surviving three lipsyncs and A’Whora is eliminated

I’m glad she made it this far, she really grew on me towards the end – honestly, put her on an All Stars, she’s more interesting that anyone on the rumoured All Stars 6 cast!

And so, only 4 Queens remain

One thought on “Drag Race UK 2, Episode 8: Beautiful Piece of Cardboard

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