Drag Race UK, Season 3, Episode 1: A Sugar-coated Supernova

Can Sister Sister sue over this?

It’s back, perhaps a bit prematurely, Bimini hasn’t even had the time to release her damn book yet, but it’s not an unwelcome return and this group of queens seem like a lot of fun.

Making an Entrance

With a new season obviously comes a whole host of new queens and the first to enter the Werk Room is none other than returnee Veronica Green who is throwing Lee Dawson one hell of a bone by dressing up as Elphaba

*cue Why_is_she_green.mp3*
Also, the bravery to don green makeup in the Werk Room lighting should probably have earned her a token RuPeter Badge.
I would expect nothing less than a flagrant attempt to catch the eye of a West End producer from Veronica Green and if they’re not interested in her Elphaba, she could always gun for Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors

or if there’s a job going in a vintage ice-cream parlour – you’ve got to keep your options open, theatre isn’t looking so hot right now.

Following Veronica was Birmingham queen and Friend of Cheryl Hole, Kitty Scott-Claus who is apparently a champion of “obscure pop culture references” and I would very much like to know if she’s considering Elle Woods an obscure reference

because if she is, there might be issues. There is also a likelihood that she’ll only communicate through Cilla Black quotes, which is at least a unique gimmick.

Our third queen is River Medway who came dressed as a sort of amalgam of Sportacus from Lazy Town and a carwash

it’s a fun look, as a fellow proponent of the statement sleeve, it very much feels like a look made for me to like, and she made it herself so maybe we’re kindred spirits. But truly my favourite thing was her makeup

the beat is divine, I think it might actually be my favourite make-up from the entrance looks. Also block anyone on Twitter that said she looked like Manila Luzon because she *checks notes* wore black and white hair and is of East Asian descent. It’s a Yikes™ babes.

Speaking of look-a-likes, here’s Joe Swash in Stacey Solomon drag

I waver wildly on how I feel about Scarlett Harlett – first of all, that spelling is going to catch me out EVERY time and I hate her for it but there’s a definite charm to her which at least softens the annoyance of the fact she feels compelled to fill every ounce of dead air, even when there is no dead air.

With so many Pride events unfortunately being cancelled within the last (almost) two years, there is certainly a wealth of unused Pride looks in the back closets of many a drag queen, so I’m glad Vanity Milan managed to find a use for hers

it does perhaps look a touch like a macaw took one hell of a beating from someone’s windshield but it’s fun and at least memorable and for someone that’s only been doing drag for a year and has thus only ever known the thrill of being a bedroom queen because we’ve all been stuck inside for far too long, she looks pretty damn incredible.

Ella Vaday was next in, dressed as a sort of Daphne Blake gogo dancer

it’s a perfectly cute look and comedically large tits always go down a treat on this show. She is of course a fellow theatre queen and after Veronica Green spent most of her entrance talking about how unique she was in the competition, we were treated to one Hell of a face crack

they ask you how you are, and you just have to say that you’re fine, when you’re not really fine, but you just can’t get into it because they would never understand.
I mean, dressing up in Wicked cosplay only for your rival, who has been cast in Wicked, to walk in is some God tier schadenfreude. I eagerly await the Sondheim Off to see who gets the lead in the Rusical episode. Theatre Kids at Dawn it is.

Next up was Spanish queen Choriza May (which is a play on Theresa May for anyone who had a 90 minute delay in realising that…) so it does seem fitting that she came at once dressed as Theresa May, a Matador and for some reason a dash of C3PO

she has had to deal with a lot of people asking why she isn’t competing on Drag Race España, and by people I do mean 13 year olds with Aquaria avatars on Instagram. The reason for being on Drag Race UK is because she’s been living in Newcastle for five years – the whole thing making her entrance line that much more delicious

it’s just unfortunate that if anyone runs the risk of being thoroughly Ginny Lemon’d it’s probably Choriza. But if she does, she at least got to spend an entire episode eulogising the quality of her boyfriend’s dick, and that’s a legacy worth having. Also, God bless how emotional she was at just having the opportunity to around people again and fully sobbing over it with all the energy of the  “I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles” girl from Mean Girls. We must protect Choriza at all costs.

Following Choriza and making Drag Race Herstory was the franchise’s first cis woman, Victoria Scone looking like an absolute dream

it’s a look worthy of being crowned in.
She too has obviously been harrassed by the Aquaria Avatar Army who very quickly branded her as “a straight woman gentrifying queer spaces” to which all I have to say is “Harold, she’s a lesbian.” and all I care about is how utterly thrilled the other queens were to see her

it genuinely had me a little choked up. We’re very much Team Scone over in this corner.

It was then a little bit cruel to make Elektra Fence follow the knock out glamour of Victoria in a look that could have been pulled from the pages of that brief year Miley Cyrus seemed to have a complete breakdown

I like the glasses?

I love how it seems to be only drag queens and Rihanna who are keeping the laser-cut plastic sunglasses industry afloat. It’s at least a prestigious customer base.

Next was Anubis who came in clutching a very large fur coat which did immediately get my attention because I was expecting some sort a reveal and then she opened the coat to reveal basically the same dress

it is of course designed to look like the Egyptian flag as a nod to her father’s Egyptian heritage, which is a nice touch. I also really loved the wig because it was giving me major Furfrou from Pokemon vibes

I am aware that that is the Kabuki form and not the Pharaoh form before someone dings me on that.
She’s also a very young queen at only 19, which does at least explain the Billie Eilish cosplay she’s doing in her confessionals

it is a well known fact that Billie Eilish did indeed invent the bucket hat.

Our penultimate queen was another youngster, Krystal Versace, which you can tell by the fact she looks like someone put an Instagram filter on an actual baby

I can only aspire to such levels of highlighter, she has superseded glazed donuts, she’s a sugar-coated supernova.
And it looks like she’ll be hard to beat on the runway because her entrance look was DAMN good (and RuPaul will obviously obsess over her miniscule waist)

and of course, you have to respect the nose contour that looked like it could cut someone with a swift tilt of the head

maybe Magnolia Crawford was a trendsetter?

And our last queen certainly ended the entrances on a bang as she emerged from the pages of my French Revolution zombie apocalypse screenplay

it’s called Viva la Damned and is a cool 90 pages if any film producers happen to be reading a far too long recap about Drag Race? I’m a little surprised to see Charity on the show, she’s been a rumoured contestant on Dragula for the last 3 years. I just dread the inevitable “do you ever do glamour?” discourse that’ll hit in episode 4.

An Entrance Look Ranking

  1. Victoria’s Crowning Glory
  2. Charity Kase’s Gorey Georgian
  3. Choriza May as a Bull in a Power Suit
  4. Krystal Versace’s Music Video She-Devil
  5. Veronica Green’s Witchy Schadenfreude
  6. River Medway as Sportacus Washing His Car
  7. Anubis’s Big Coat
  8. Vanity Milan at Pride
  9. Kitty Scott-Claus’s Very Obscure Elle Woods Reference
  10. Scarlett Harlett’s Cute Vintage Dress
  11. Ella Vaday as an Austin Powers Extra
  12. Elektra Fence as Bad Years Miley Cyrus

Life is a Charade

In true office party ice breaker fashion the very first Mini Challenge of the season is Charades, but not just any Charades these are M&S Dirty Charades. Which means that the queens will be acting out the titles of books and films with one word swapped for a dirty word. Is this an actual game, or have they just stolen the popular Twitter trend? Either way, this did mean the challenge mostly involved queens wildly gesturing at their arses

and then being met with a veritable barrage of anal synonyms – it was actually quite eye opening how many words for an asshole we actually have, truly the English language is a marvel.
Most of the queens got on fairly well, Veronica Green however came to a crawling halt as she tried to work out how to mime “The Curious Case of Benjamin Bumhole” in the least scatological way she possibly could. She does after all have an aspirational West End reputation to keep in tact, meanwhile Krystal is gleefully miming “pooping” without any restraint in heels that are basically a built-in Squatty Potty™

Veronica did eventually get her team to guess her answer, although there was nearly a mutiny after they realised she had told them it was 5 words long when actually it was 6 – that “of” will allude you every time!
And while Veronica floundered in party game Hell, Victoria just decided she was going to slaughter the competition from the outset as she pulled a comedy bit that had Ru eating out of the palm of her hand

Scone Domination continues apace.

Home is Where The Heart Is

As is tradition, the Main Challenge for the first episode is a 2 look runway challenge – the first category being the go-to look based on their hometown – shout out to the London queens who are all rapidly running out of options. But with there only having been one Welsh Queen on the scene before her, Victoria Scone got to claim the Daffodil inspired costume for herself and looked phenomenal doing it

it’s just GREAT drag – the costume is extremely well made, the makeup is great and her presentation on the runway had all the silly pageantry you could want. Not to be repetitive, but Scone Domination does indeed continue apace.

Kitty Scott Claus was championing Birmingham’s claim to inventing British chocolate and did it by dressing up as the moment you are overcome with disappointment at having unwrapped a chocolate to find it’s dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate Votaries need not write in with opinions.
It’s a cute look and I do enjoy the layering and colour story – it’s very Lidl’s Not-Cadbury’s *wink* brand.

Ella Vaday was next and as she’s from Dagenham, she really had to do the Ford Motors protests, didn’t she? And she certainly did a great job at summarising the entire Made in Dagenham plot in 15 seconds like an IMDB synopsis given flesh

and then once she had that over with, she fell back in to what seems to be her go-to and became a 60s gogo dancer

branding is very important after all.

Anubis was next and on a mission to redeem Brighton on the runway, coming as iconic landmark The Helter Skelter, which is probably a safer bet than dressing up as the pavilion again

it’s delightfully silly and I think her wacky waving inflatable flailing arm tube man arms were at least the second most stupidly joyful thing to be exhibited on the runway, coming second only to River Medway dressed up as the statue of Thomas Waghorn complete with traffic cone wig and an overly dramatic point that had Ru eating out of the palm of her hands

truly, it’s the sideways shuffle like she’s one of the Green Army Men from Toy Story that puts it all over the edge. It’s a runway that, while maybe not anything to write home about in terms of the fashion, should go down in the hall of fame just for her presentation.

Krystal Versace was next and good God did I love the overly dramatic revealing of her makeup

it’s uncannily android-like, I am OBSESSED.
Her look, which was mostly just a corset and whatever her weekly allowance could get her in the B&Q fake foliage section, was inspired by the fact Kent is known as The Garden of England

I want to love this much more than I do, I just find the cropped morph suit to be a little too jarring.
The poor unfortunate soul having to follow Krystal’s face was Veronica Green who was championing the cotton mills of Rochdale

I think the idea is cute, however, the cotton balls are just that little bit too sparse and it gives it the effect of a Christmas decoration that you made in junior school out of a pinecone and your mother insistently puts on the mantlepiece every year despite the fact that nobody remembers what it’s actually meant to be anymore.
I also imagine Veronica was a little bit miffed because she looked phenomenal in this category last season

Nothing is worse than a premature deployment of an Oscar winning dress.

Scarlett Harlett was next with her take on the Pearly Kings and Queens and putting a twist on it with some Queen Elizabeth I makeup that suits her face almost uncomfortably well

I adore EVERYTHING about this look – it fits like a glove, the pearl details are so elegant and the way they carry into the hair. I also, really didn’t expect this kind of a look from Scarlett.

Elektra Fence proudly continued Ellie Diamond’s legacy of When In Doubt, Chaps!

I certainly don’t think it’s a bad look, it’s maybe a little lacklustre compared to most of the others but if there’s one thing going for her, it is the obscene padding, which deserves its own place in the competition at this point.

Vanity Milan was next

you’ll never guess but the giant high visibility Christmas tree was indeed a reveal

I really like it, it’s got a very relaxed athleisure look to it which gives it a very fashionable feel. It’s not something to really write home about but she looks great!

Penultimately we have Choriza May in black and white to represent Newcastle United

I for one personally admire Choriza’s dedication to wearing at least a quarter of a power suit at any given time. I also think this is a great look and if Cruella 2: Ill-advised Dalmatian Boogaloo has a scene in a football stadium, well they’ve got their look sorted.

And lastly we have Charity Kase who very much came dressed as the jump scare vine monster from Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant in drag

and there’s the irrelevant media reference for the recap.
I adore this, my main worry for Charity is how long it’ll be before the judges begin to question her tendency to wear a lot of masks and prosthetics – you know it’s coming and you know it’s going to make my blood BOIL.

A Hometown Look Ranking

  1. Krystal Versace’s Face
  2. Scarlett Harlett Might Just Be Queen Elizabeth I
  3. Charity Kase’s Goosebumps Cosplay
  4. Victoria Scone’s Claiming of The Daffodil
  5. Choriza May’s 1/4 of a Power Suit
  6. River Medway Pointing
  7. Anubis’s Brightonian Redemption
  8. Vanity Milan’s Jamaican Athleisure Wear
  9. Krystal Versace’s Topiary Morph Suit
  10. Ella Vaday’s Made in Dagenham Spark Notes
  11. Kitty Scott-Claus as The Leftover Quality Street
  12. Veronica Green’s Moulting Sheep
  13. Elektra Fence’s Chapped Miner

A Few of My Favourite Things

The second runway of the challenge was for the queens to don a look inspired by one of their favourite things and Victoria Scone, being incredibly unsubtle, just dressed up as an afternoon tea cake stand

I am glad we have her entrance look to fall back on because after these two runways, I would maybe be a bit worried that she was just going to dress up as objects for every runway, which is fun and great but might get tired by the time she comes down the runway dressed like a chaise lounge.
The afternoon tea look is cute though and very well made, I do wish that there was maybe a little more variation in the sandwiches, just to make it a little more interesting.

Kitty Scott-Claus followed paying homage to ABBA

it works for what it is, but if you’re going to do an ABBA look, why didn’t you do the famous reveal? [AN EDIT: Forgive me Kitty, for I have sinned. Yes, I have been a bad mediocre Eurovision watcher and confused ABBA and Bucks Fizz. I shall pay a penance.]
And I’m mad that she made the Mother Theresa joke about herself because I had written it down in my notes as soon as she hit the runway. Who knew Mother Theresa has such a strangle hold on blue and white? The Greek flag found DEAD.

Ella Vaday was next and she too was just excited that she had an opportunity to use a thus far unused Pride outfit

It’s very elegant, we have seen this sort of a look a few times now, but you know, given the circumstances it’s nice to see the Pride Progress Flag getting used. Also, I just thought her makeup and wig were really pretty

it’s all just blended to absolute perfection.

Anubis was next and she assures us that her favourite things are sea creatures

personally, all I see is a chicken drumstick, and she probably would have gotten off much better if she said that her favourite thing was to cry while eating fried chicken. It would certainly have been relatable. This outfit falls into my favourite Drag Race Runway Category: Things I Owned Before I Was Cast and Will Find Any Way to Possibly Use Them.

River Medway was next in what quite honestly might be one of the worst outfits to have ever walked the runway

every decision is baffling – the half chaps, the single flared shin, the white corset ribbon back, the seatbelt-like belt buckle and the puffed biceps? But most of all is the fabric choices which are the sort of things you can only find in a small village’s haberdashery owned by a woman called Ethel who will talk to you for 40 minutes if you dare enter. I think we’ve found The Tia Kofi of the season, so look forward to the slow breaking of River Medway’s soul and psyche.

To cleanse the palate, here, once again, is Krystal Versace’s face

Botticelli, whomst?
Her favourite thing is apparently cats, not to be confused with CATS (2019) which would have been my favourite thing had I done this runway

it’s a great look, she’s undeniably got a great sense of style. I do also love that conceivably, I could see Choriza May wearing this exact outfit, it’s very power suit adjacent.
Making a wild departure from fashion is Veronica Green dressed like this

I cannot explain it, but this is giving me Jess Glynn energy. And that’s never a compliment. I can’t tell if this outfit is a reference to something? Is she dressed as a specific video game character? Also, why was she pointing the controller like a gun?

I think this look broke me. Everything just unravelled. I have been caused untold psychic damage by Veronica Green in a lamé tracksuit. How do I sue?

Redeeming the concept of music after River Medway momentarily ruined it for everyone was Scarlett Harlett who looked very cute

an 80s look is always going to go down well with the judges who have failed to absorb any sort of culture after the year 1995. I did very much enjoy the RUDE cut to River Medway the moment Michelle said “it was very clever to have the headphones to show that it was music.”

I’m glad to see the shady editors are back on the payroll.

Next was my worst nightmare

I just feel very uncomfortable when an adult dresses like a toddler and you know you’re in trouble when you only get a vague patronising smile from Matt Lucas after your big comedic entrance to the runway

if there was anyone specifically built to find a drag queen dressed as a little girl on a sugar high rib-crackingly hilarious, it’s Matt Lucas.

Vanity Milan followed paying homage to Estonia, her home away from home

she just look straight up gorgeous, and who doesn’t love a big old flower hat?

she did say that the look was inspired by Estonia’s national bird, and when she said I thought, “ESTONIA HAS CONDORS?!” it turns out, she was actually meant to be a Barn Swallow, I think something a little more streamlined might have read more as “swallow” but either way, I do really like this. Hi, I’m Ariadne and apparently I’m an ornithological pedant.

As night follows day, here comes Choriza May in a power suit

this is gorgeous, and hand-painted by herself! I have to say, that after the Meet The Queens video, I really didn’t expect Choriza to be turning looks like this, I simply adore this and think she was kind of robbed of being in the top 3.

Lastly once again we have Charity whose favourite thing is Freakshows because of course it is

I love the fun in this look and I’m really happy to have someone flying the flag for this style of drag on Drag Race. The dress does however feel like a bit of a cop out and completely at odds with the outfit? It’s not detracting from the look necessarily, it just feels a little unfinished, especially given Charity’s usual meticulous eye for detail. But I do love that while in Untucked, she did look like a member of Slipknot had somehow found themselves in a particularly obnoxiously decorated cocktail bar and was thoroughly hating every second of it

and I look forward to this being the case every week.

A Favourite Thing Runway Ranking

  1. Choriza May’s 2.2nd Power Suit
  2. Krystal Versace’s Choriza May Cosplay
  3. Victoria Scone’s Afternoon Delight
  4. Ella Vaday’s Finally Used Pride Look
  5. Vanity Milan’s Accidental Condor
  6. Charity Kase’s Weirdly Garbed Clown
  7. Scarlett Harlett’s Well Deployed 80s Aesthetic
  8. Kitty Scott-Claus as The Wrong ABBA [Bucks Fizz can now only be referred to as The Wrong ABBA]
  9. Anubis as a Very Emotional Chicken Drumstick
  10. Veronica Green is a Fake Gamer Girl
  11. Everything About River Medway’s Look
  12. I reject Elektra Fence’s Toddler Costume Entirely. I Do Not See It.

Personally, in my version of the show the top three would probably have been Victoria, Choriza and Charity while the bottom 3 would have absolutely been Veronica Green, Elektra Fence and then probably Kitty Scott-Claus over River just for being slightly more lacklustre all round, but certainly nowhere near the decisive bottom 2 that was Elektra and Veronica. The judges apparently had different ideas with their top three being Victoria, Krystal’s Waist and Scarlett – the latter seemingly more to rub in the face of River than anything else, as much as I adored her Pearly Queen runway. The bottoms were however River, Anubis and Elektra – which I can understand based on the incoherence of Anubis’s sea life runway and… well, every decision River made, I’m glad her manic pointing saved her in the end though.

As the show has long established, RuPaul is occasionally completely overcome by the inability to make a single decision and this episode was no exception as for the first time in Drag Race Herstory (except for every finale) the top 2 queens will lipsync for the win! The top 2 being Krystal and Victoria. Following that, the bottom 2 will lipsync for their lives – the bottom 2 being Anubis and Elektra.

Eclipsed

Victoria and Krystal’s Lipsync For The Badge was to Total Eclipse of the Heart, which is honestly a God Tier lipsync song and for the most part I thought they both did really great! I did think Victoria was about to absolutely slaughter the humanoid cat, especially from the moment the song began and Victoria just barged her way to the back of the stage, completely cutting Krystal off

A power move from the start!
And she had a lot more to work with given the fact the sandwiches could be removed from her costume, I’m just sad she gently tossed them off the stage and didn’t just pelt them at Krystal

I imagine there was probably a health and safety briefing beforehand but I still admire the restraint.
Krystal wasn’t to be underestimated though, she really nailed the melodrama of the song and it’s honestly hard to look away from her whenever the lights catch her highlighter

that is a damp woman.
Krystal also had the better body language, mostly because Victoria had unwittingly made herself a delftware prison so was slightly hampered. But honestly, the less said about the dual flop to the ground the better

we’re bordering on Gottmik here

NEVER FOERGET SHE WON THAT LIPSYNC ALLEGEDLY. At least Victoria and Krystal were actually facing the judges.

It was a really good lipsync all round and while it’s tempting to decry this as The Great Scone Robbery, upon a rewatch Krystal won it pretty decisively.

Sweaty Melody

First of all, I just really loved that this lipsync looked like a battle between a child and their horrifyingly sentient piece of fried chicken

which already made it a great lipsync and then both of them were quite entertaining – Elektra may have been dressed as a nightmarish 6 foot, third alternate Miss Back-state Oklahoma but somehow that made the franticness of her dance moves that much better

also, she’s coming for Tia Kofi’s gig as Queen Knee Smasher

meanwhile Anubis kind of had to saunter around the stage trying her best both avoid the manic child and hope to God the stability of her wig lasted for the entire lipsync, which impressively it did. I did also enjoy Anubis’s lipsync, she had some great to-camera moment but she very quickly realised she was fighting a losing battle, I mean even Krystal Versace was going harder than she was

and so she defaulted to every vaguely comedically aligned queen and began to do mocking yoga at their opponent

it’s a roll of the dice, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Unfortunately, this time it wasn’t a great outcome for Anubis despite her valiant thumbs up at the end of the lipsync

and so Anubis becomes season 3’s first boot thus continuing The Brighton Curse.

And so, 11 queens remain

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