Drag Race UK 2, Episode 9: Nightmarish Easter Parade

I am pretty much Team Tayce’s Hair Flips at this point.

Are you ready to have 4 drag queens nonsensically scream some of the most iconic EastEnders memes at you for several minutes? If not, grab a glass of wine, it’ll help.

A’Whora-voir

The fact A’Whora was fresh off her second badge win when she got eliminated sent quite the shockwave through the queens, or at least some of them. Ellie was mostly just relieved that A’Whora was gone because no she only had to get it in the ear from Lawrence who is still mad about the ordering of the comedy challenge despite the fact she was in the top 3 for it. But no, Lawrence is still hung up on the hypothetical situation in which she was in the bottom two and was sent home while Ellie maniacally laughed and claimed Scotland for herself.

She did seem to come around slightly the next day once they were all down from the fumes of the moment and she “forgave” Ellie through gritted teeth – this apology and mild truce lasts all of one filming day, such if the lifecycle of a drag queen’s friendships.

Puppet and Lock It

Having reached the top 4 it is of course time for the grand tradition of the Puppet Challenge which RuPaul has apparently dressed up as Steve Zissou wearing the pages of a Victorian botanicals guide to announce

Is this a Monkey’s Paw situation where we wished for the pussycat wigs to stop and weren’t specific enough so now we have to endure lopsided beanies? Does the show get cancelled when we eventually hit animal ear Alice bands?
The Queens and their puppets are:

Ellie with Tayce
Lawrence with Ellie
Bimini with Lawrence
Tayce with Bimini

Shout out to the production assistant behind the fake wall who obviously handed Lawrence the Ellie Diamond puppet! Although it didn’t end up being nearly as salty and pointed as I think all of us wanted it to be, I did enjoy the badge placeholder he had drawn on his Ellie Puppet though

It was weird, she made a reference to Ellie being late for things and Ellie made the same joke about Tayce – is that a thing that’s been happening? It was also maybe the only joke Ellie told? The rest of it was just her doing her motormouthed Vicky Pollard but with a vaguely Welsh via Polish accent. The look of the Tayce puppet was spot on though

And at least Ellie didn’t resort to just throwing her puppet

I did love that Lawrence’s whole set was called to a premature close because the Ellie Puppet was so thick in the weeds of that poor wig Lawrence has strapped to its head

As is now Comedy Challenge tradition Bimini of course blows everyone out of the water with her Lawrence Chaney puppet that she’s dressed up as her pink prolapse look from the Stoned runway

and the joke about Lawrence Snatch Game is objectively very funny but they completely cut the build up to the punchline

which is so freaking weird considering everyone’s reactions to the joke was to just about wet themselves.

The winner is of course Bimini

At least Lawrence finally semi won a comedy challenge.

The Beast From the East

In lieu of Covid there is no Makeover Challenge this year so instead our semi-finalists are taking part in an acting challenge and parody of EastEnders, BEASTenders. As winner of the Mini Challenge Bimini is in charge of the casting and instead of taking a leaf out of the Ellie Diamond Book of Bridge Burning, Bimini decides to give everyone exactly the parts they wants and as such the cast list looks thusly

Bimini as Scat Slater
Ellie as Thot Bottom
Lawrence as Phyllis Bitchell
Tayce as Karen Bitchell

It is a rare snowy day in Hell that these acting challenges are ever funny or make even a toddler’s sugar-fuelled anecdote about visiting the moon for supper amount of sense. BUT, this might have been funny? It also helped that it felt like production had put money into it with the set design

I fully believe this would have been an utter trainwreck if the Queens have been acting in front of a green screen or with a member of the Brit Crew – we all saw them trying to act in the Downton Abbey parody last series! I’m so glad they didn’t have one them in to play as Mickayyy, mostly because I loved the visual gag of the mannequin edging out of frame

This is the sort of humour I wish the show’s parody challenges would focus on.

As it turns out Lawrence and Ellie have a scene together and well and truly have the bury the hatcher – although doing a scene together while hating each other’s guts would be more authentically EastEnders. They mostly seem to work around it, I’m not sure Ellie was ever going to be allowed to sleep on Lawrence’s good couch anymore but I’m sure she’d be welcome to stand in the hallway and call a cab.
As for the scene together, Ellie’s old lady makeup is really good

It’s as close to Dot Cotton as a 7 foot tall Scottish drag queen has any right to look.

both of them are terrible at reading lines together – I’m sure having the least funny and most nonsensical scene of the whole thing didn’t help but both of them are flubbing lines left and right. Although Ellie will have you know it was all Lawrence’s fault for throwing her off and in true Ellie Diamond fashion says what ought to have been the quiet part out loud during Untucked and only draws the ire of Lawrence anew


Although Lawrence accidentally referring to the pub as “The Queen’s Dick” was funnier than the pub just being called “The Queen Dick”.
The two of them at least manage to eventually working around their aggressive attempt to see who can drop the most lines or enunciate things in the most off way possible. Or at least they provide enough re-reads that the editors had enough to stitch together at least 1 passable run.

As for Bimini and Tayce, they’re going ahead without any problems. Michelle later claims that she, and I quote, “had to direct Tayce.” which, as a director for the challenge, was kind of her only job. She had to give an entire bloody mid-recording acting lesson to Lawrence Chaney on how to enunciate the “YES I AM!” line that even the most Anti-EastEnders person in the world can probably quote at this point. WAS THE NATALIE CASSIDY ZOOM CALL ACTING CHALLENGE NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU LAWRENCE?
I do get that with Tayce the whole joke about her character being called Karen Mitchell was that she was meant to play up the whole Karen joke and her hair wasn’t the asymmetrical choppy bob you associate with that character

I would hazard a guess as to what went wrong was that Tayce assumed she was meant to be a parody of Peggy Mitchell played by Barbara Windsor, given the big white hair and the well-beheaved Caucasian bosom, which made her look a little bit like The Vivienne during the Design Challenge in series 1

But Tayce undeniably had some of the best comedic moments of the entire sketch, starting with the irregular choice to flick her own tit every now and again

and her truly unhinged “YES I AM!”

and she was keeping up with Bimini who was well and truly playing the backrow in a whole ‘nother dimension with her Scat Slater gurning

One of my favourite styles of parody is when the characters are aware their in a show and the scripts get mentioned – it really does it for and the whole breakdown when it turns out that Scat Slater hasn’t read the script so doesn’t know what’s happening is right up my street. Did it make a lot of sense? Absolutely not, was watching Bimini roll across the floor a delight?

Yes, it was.

As the judges said it was a very hard challenge to judge given that the final product was very funny and nobody stood out as being truly terrible and it’s then bizarre to me that they didn’t take what happened during the recording process and how eking a performance out of Lawrence Chaney was like drawing blood from a stone, but no they decided to put Hell of an emphasis on the runway.

PantOH NO!

The runway theme for the week was Panto Dames, which is a theme purpose built for Lawrence Chaney and of course she smashed it

This is undeniably really cut and fun – it would not shock me one bit if I found out that Lawrence had already done a turn on the panto circuit wearing it. I think this might even be my favourite of all of Lawrence’s looks.
On the other hand if anyone was going to struggle with this challenge it was going to be Tayce and of course she couldn’t resist being the hottest panto dame

I get that she was channelling the Fairy Godmother but even then this isn’t really that Panto. Had she made a full fkirt out of the flue foxtail boas, then we could be talking but as is this is leaning closer to Carnival than it is Panto.
I did love that Graham said the wings looked too limp and then just to proove him wrong they almost snatched Bimini’s wig straight off in Untucked

Who’s limp now, bitch!?

Bimini could have also struggled, she tends to lean quite fashion forward which doesn’t exactly speak to the Panto aesthetic but her Grayson Perry cosplay was certainly the best route for her

I don’t quite know what Michelle was talking about in terms of it being “fashionable” because it is nothing of the sort. Is it cute? Abundantly and Bimini stomping her way down the runway like a drill sergeant while dressed as a 5 year in the most nightmarish Easter parade was certainly fun to watch!

And lastly we have Ellie Diamond who had an amazing outfit on paper, and from the waist up I truly do love it

That skirt is so measly though and she had the audacity to say “This is the biggest hoop skirt I’ve ever worn!” – Lawrence wasn’t even wearing a hoop skirt and she’s dwarfing yours! One of my personal pet peeves is a skirt that doesn’t fit its hoop correctly and sort of limply hangs at the end like Naomi Smalls’s toes in every pair of shoes she wore in Season 9. We later find out why the skirt was so sad looking but I’m not sure you should be designing your runway looks to be good in the lipsync at the detriment of them looking mediocre on the runway.
The face though?

The best there is. I honestly think Ellie will have one of the most influential beats in the franchise, 2 years from now you’ll be seeing queens emulating her vintage cartoon look.

With the judges done niggling over the small details of Michelle The Director having to gently direct and Head Judge RuPaul not understanding the meaning of the mainstage runway theme, the winner is Bimini giving her fourth and most deserved RuPeter Badge.

As for the lipsync, it very much felt like the show has been leading up to an Ellie vs Lawrence lipsync, an emotional battle against Scottish sisters and then Ellie burnt all her bridges and the judges decided they hate Tayce for some reason so the bottom two is Tayce vs Ellie. The fact they made Ellie pretend to have sex with a mannequin in three different positions and then put her in the bottom 2 is mortifying. I would still be waking up in a cold sweat every night if I had to record those scenes.

The Last thing I Wanted

The lipsync this week is to Steps’ Last Thing On My Mind, which is a great lipsync song but doesn’t really suit Tayce’s style of mostly just standing there and looking incredibly striking, which is not to say that she didn’t do exactly that

I was personally a little sad that she took off her little chicken tail, one of my favourite things about the first half of the lipsync was watching it bob around the stage like a swarm of magical twisty worms on strings

It also would have been able to distract from Ellie Diamond doing some of the most embarrassing vogueing I have ever seen outside of my own bedroom

I will allow her the sleekness of the reveal

that worked very well, but we know Ellie can do reveals because she did 2 of them in a very similarly cut dress for the reveal runway.

I do feel like Tayce heartily win this lipsync, to the point of it being a possible homicide, nobody is going to win when Tayce lies on the floor

it’s her element.

Tayce was called safe first and there some something about the general energy in the room that you could feel a double save coming along and sure enough Ellie Diamond is also called safe

I think at this point of the competition Ru could have made a decision, it’s pretty much a two horse race between Lawrence and Bimini anyway – not that it should be because Bimini is the Redrum to everyone else’s Socks, the moon dancing Shetland Pony.

And so, still 4 Queens remain

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