Drag Race UK, Season 3, Episode 4: And None For Victoria.

Victoria doesn’t sit with us.

Welcome to Girl Group 101 with Professor Kitty Scott Claus, you can either major in The Social Dynamics of Girls Aloud or The Philosophy of Girl Power.

The Name “Veronica” Doesn’t Lends Itself To Punny Titles

Everyone is left a little shocked by Veronica’s elimination, well anyone that wasn’t at the viewing party that A’Whora got a little mouthy at… I think everyone always expects a lot from a returning queen, we see it all the time on All Stars where you’re expected to have elevated your drag to insane degrees and unfortunately for Veronica I think this same pressure was put on her she had to try and live up to this expectation while having been stuck in a near perpetual lockdown. There is obviously also a little guilt going around seeing as Krystal was in the top AND Scarlett won the challenge while Veronica, who helped both of them a fair bit, was eliminated – that still doesn’t excuse the fact Veronica chose to make an outfit you can only reasonably describe as “a vengeful piñata ghoul”.
As for Vanity, she seems to think that Choriza and River should have been lipsyncing which is certainly an opinion.
And Vanity certainly had it out for River in the first part of the show, asking her “what are you going to do to stop being so safe?” – it’s just bizarre that they made the queen who has just lipsynced for her life twice ask her this question – you know Krystal would have gleefully asked it too.

Good God Girl Get a Group

There is no Mini Challenge this week because production promised Steps at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted airtime so we just have to settle for Choosing Teams as this week’s fun group activity, because yes it’s the Girl Group challenge again. Which of course once again happens the week after Veronica Green is eliminated because the universe does indeed have it out for her.
Scarlett and Vanity are granted the privilege of being team captains with Scarlett getting the first choice and immediately gunning for Girl Group Authority and Friend of Cheryl Hole™, Kitty Scott Claus who is just living her absolute best life

while Vanity goes for Ella Vaday as her first choice deciding that the risk of Nuclear Theatre Kid Energy was a risk worth taking. I did find it very interesting that Scarlett opted for Charity Kase as her second choice after the two of them had to work together in the Dragoton Challenge and Scarlett, who really shouldn’t throw stones in a glass house, lambasted Charity’s vague attempts at moving her body to an even vaguer semblance of a rhythm.
Despite the fact Vanity was nominated as Chief River Medway Botherer, she picks her second leaving the final choice between Krystal Versace who is pulling one Hell of a Gigi Goode when it comes to supposedly not understanding the concept of choreography and then pulling off some impressive stunts and Choriza May, who continues to be slept on. Ultimately Scarlett picks Krystal because “we need a pretty bitch” which Choriza takes in true Choriza fashion

this is indeed a Choriza May stan account.

Because she won last week’s challenge Scarlett does get to choose whether her team does the fast, upbeat version of the song or the mid-tempo power ballad version. She of course goes for the faster, more pop-y version because in Girl Group Challenges of Days Gone By, they do tend to do better – she didn’t however take into account that a faster song does indeed mean faster choreography and if you thought she looked like a praying mantis dying in the vacuum of space during the last dance challenge, well this week she looked like someone put Forky from Toy Story 4 in a blender.

They also have to choose their Girl Group names with both teams opting for puns, I guess? There’s a lot of talk in Team Scarlett about how to best pun the Spice Girls with Krystal suggesting “Sugar Skanks” and in true Drag Race is Now Family Friendly Viewing UwU fashion, the subtitlers had other ideas as to what she said

the team eventually decides on the Slice Girls which… sure, I guess?
Team Vanity meanwhile decide on everyone’s favourite joke from 2011 and call themselves Pick’n’Mix as a pun on Little Mix. I wonder who The Jesy is?

Have I waded into the discourse?

In order to help them out and perfect the art of the pop group, Steps did of course rock up

Lisa Scott Lee has apparently been banished and exiled to Dubai, whether it was at the request of Faye Tozer or not I can’t say.
H and Claire are on recording duty while Faye and Lee are helping the queens out with their choreography, by which I mean they mostly sit in chairs while pulling stank faces for a lot of the session

they’re not exactly Oti Mabuse, are they?

Sliced and Diced

Scarlett’s reasoning behind her team choices was that she wanted to make them as Spice Girls adjacent as possible so naturally we have Literal Baby Spice in Krystal, Strongly Fluctuating Strong Accent Spice in herself, The Only One That Knows What’re Doing Spice in Kitty and Scary But Without The Racial Baggage Of Using The Word Scary To Describe a Black Woman Spice in Charity Kase. And None For Victoria Spice.
This did mean she put no thought into how this might all play out in terms of the choreography and well… she really should have because Faye and Lee sure weren’t going to be very helpful as they watched Kitty desperately trying to corral the near rhythmless trio into a vague pop group formation and all the while knowing she was going to eventually have to work out what everyone should be doing on that stage during the sections in which Charity Kase chose to perform like she was being possessed by the ghost of Margaret Hamilton during a live TV séance. But apparently the comically pantomime witch voice wasn’t the most grating aspect for Ru and Michelle, no their sensitive little ears couldn’t quite handle Charity daring to make a top/bottom joke on a song called BDE (Big Drag Energy) being performed by drag queens

keep in mind this was called The Top Thot Rumix and the other version was called The Power Bottom Mix so… Drag Race really needs to decide what it wants to be and who it wants to appeal to. Not that I want to defend Charity’s lyrics too much because she was pretty much doing Drag Race Song Writing By Numbers

not really the time for crowning talk, gal.
And it wasn’t only her lyrics that were a little too blue for RuPaul and Michelle’s puritan ears, they were simply aghast that Charity would dare wear blue and white while everyone else was in silver and white on a stage lit mostly by blue…

Maybe if Charity had just just used a few Wizard of Oz references (it is Ru’s favourite movie after all) it all would have been ok?
The Queens were at least a little bit aware of how Charity’s look might not quite fit in with the others so they were all going to use some blue elements to tie it together. This basically extended to eye shadow and a hair tie

great effort, ladies.
Charity might have honestly been better off just wearing her Werk Room look out on stage

it’s like she is at once Mary-Kate & Ashley Olson as they are now and as they were on Full House

but in terms of the choreography, I was quite surprised by how good Charity actually was, but it might have also just been in comparison to Scarlett who flubbed her lipsync and from there just became an incredibly slow car crash as she wandered around that stage looking distinctly like she had no idea what she’s doing

it had the same energy as Guy Goma being interviewed on BBC News – just sudden blind panic and awkward fumbling politeness but distinctly less meme-able and mostly just a little bit sad, but at least she had the self-awareness to know it was pretty tragic

Meanwhile Kitty pretty much carried her entire team on her shoulders with a gleefully silly performance and Krystal wasn’t too bad either, she at least managed to work out the art of pointing, which is more than Katie McGlynne managed on Strictly and she had a whole week to learn her jive choreography. And of course Krystal can do the splits

that mirrored catsuit is drag perfection and probably a good 54 years of bad luck.

Top of the Pick’n’Mix

The upsides of the slower song were that first of all, you could get away with mostly just walking around the stage with your arms extended and second of all, your verses could be a lot more emotive and personal – contrast River Medway singing about the loss of her mother and Vanity singing about being proud to be black against Krystal basically singing “I’m thin and pretty and thus an obligatory finalist”… And that’s not to say that this performance was completely devoid of humour, Choriza May delivered a truly iconic verse

well, that’s my go to insult from now on.
And the choreography was fun with their increasingly unhinged chest thrusts, I honestly thought River was about to jettison that breastplate to the moon

and of course the rule of bringing in as many black outfits as you can really payed off for this team

my only aesthetic gripe being that Ella Vaday’s wig didn’t really seem to belong here and in many ways Ella herself kind of stood out for a lot of the wrong reasons, they had at least managed to bargain her down to one (1) set of vocal runs but she was still going to do a splits

the camera treating it with absolutely no reverence <3
The performance did perhaps drag a little bit, which is honestly mostly the fault of whoever mixed the song but the repetitiveness of the choreography didn’t help. There’s only so many times you can circle the stage like a flock of glam vultures before people notice you’re on a 3 section loop. Vanity being dressed as a sort of drag version of the vultures from The Jungle Book only added to the effect

the bedazzled gloves? Perfection, wear them with everything. Wear them everywhere. And it’s nice to see her continuing her Redheaded Redemption.

Not to undermine the performance of Pick’n’Mix but my absolute favourite part of the entire thing was it cutting back to the other team watching them and Charity Kase saying “Oh God, this is going to be close” while Scarlett sat there praying for the floor to just open up and swallow her whole

Krystal is just no thoughts, only vibes.

Spice Up Your Runway

In honour of it being the girl group challenge and the fact Emma Bunton was given the judging position ahead of any single member of Steps, the runway theme was of course A Night of 1000 Spice Girls. And I wont pretend to be an encyclopaedia on the subject, I am after all not Kitty Scott Claus, Girl Group Authority and Friend of Cheryl Hole™. And I mixed up Bucksfizz and ABBA in the first recap, WHO I KNOW AREN’T GIRL GROUPS, CALM YOUR DIGITS. But I did listen to the Spice Girls as much as any flamingly obvious queer 7 year old growing up in 90s Zimbabwe could. Basically, I had the transferable tattoos and I knew Wannabe. That’s it. That’s all I got. I am a fake fan.

In terms of iconic looks for the Spice Girls, the go-tos are always going to be Baby Spice and Scary Spice and Ginger Spice when she wore the Union Jack but out of fear of reliving A Night of 1000 Madonna Deep Dive Kimonos, I think most people scratched that off the list very early on.

Krystal was out first, which probably did everyone else a bit of a disservice because her Baby Spice cosplay was, well very baby

it’s an impeccable look, as you’d expect from Krystal and it has got those extra details and much more depth to it than a few of her other runways. I’m still finding it very uncomfortable quite how much Ru puts an emphasis on her having a very small waist but maybe I’m overreacting, I just think we need to tone down the idea of a cinched waist is the be all and end all of a good drag queen because the Adore Delano narrative on Drag Race Season 6 sure did a number on how the fandom views drag.

Charity Kase followed as Scary Spice but her own version of Scary Spice, Furry Spice

I am furious on Charity’s behalf that the judges didn’t eat this the fuck up because it is incredible. She could have added a few more nods to Mel B with some space buns and platform shoes which might have helped her case, because this is kind of just a leopardine pimp costume, but a very good leopardine pimp costume. And if they’re going to praise Krystal’s “attention to detail” – which is always mentioned in the same breath as her waist – then I find it incredibly dismissive that they ignored the detail in Charity’s outfit

SHE RHINESTONED THE WHISKERS. Not many queens bother to rhinestone their tights!
And to be honest, I would rather a queen reinterpret the character they’re playing to fit their drag rather than just have a whole load of cosplay.

Kitty Scott Claus, Girl Group Authority and Friend of Cheryl Hole™ was next and had opted for an outfit from the reunion tour, which I suppose is the most obscure Spice Girls reference you could make?

it’s cute and a well made replica of the outfit but truly the best thing about this was just how utterly over the moon Kitty was to be walking in a Baby Spice outfit in front of Emma Bunton, it was very cute, if a little unnerving for Emma Bunton who will be placing a restraining order of 750 feet.

Scarlett Harlett was the last of the Slice Girls to go and was doing Scary Spice as the judges wanted Scary Spice to be done, with some added Saint Patrick’s Day novelty jewellery

all of the elements are there and you immediately know it’s Scary Spice, however I have never seen anything sadder than those tiny little nubbins on her forehead that look like the first pair of horns of a springtime deer growing out

well, I say that but Scarlett refusing to make eye contact with the judges out of shame was also pretty upsetting.
I do also think the shoes could have been bigger, that platform is practically formal when it comes to Scary Spice, had she found a way to cover her Werk Room platform in a green fabric and worn them out

it would have been pretty great.

The first member of Pick’n’Mix to take to the runway was Ella Vaday, who was the only queen to opt for Sporty Spice

it is of course the outfit from the Wannabe music video, which I’m sure itself was styled on Wonder Woman’s outfit because this is very Themysciran International Women’s Basketball Team.
I’m mostly obsessed with the shoes, I think they’re extremely cool and thus far, the best shoes we’ve seen this season and I do include the boots Charity Kase wore during their choreography session

she looked like a cross between Ariana Grande and the spare bed at your grandmother’s house, I am obsessed.

River Medway was next in an outfit that did look delightfully like the sort of thing a massive Ginger Spice fan would have worn to a concert

it’s very cute, the outfit does however feel a little flat and one dimensional but I loved the headpiece and the wig, including the rather sad looking dyed curtain fringe

it’s like Flick from A Bug’s Life was feeling a little down.

Vanity Milan followed, finally giving us the full Scary Spice cosplay

at last, some decently sized space buns! Also, good for her for reviving The Gothy Kendoll As A Face-painted Estate Agent Experience

I think it was a really good Scary Spice costume and the corset she was wearing was incredible in its detailing, to the point of putting the rest of the outfit to shame a little bit, the fabric of the tiger print does look a little pyjama adjacent – such is the jeopardy of tiger print, tigers obviously being the pyjama aunts of the big cat world.

And lastly we have Paloma Faith Choriza May

I was glad SOMEBODY did the Union Jack Geri. I also think Choriza May was absolutely the right person to have done this look, especially considering the weird “Why aren’t you doing Drag Race España?” comments she keeps getting on Twitter, SHE’S BEEN LIVING HERE FOR 5 YEARS YOUR PEASANTS.

And none for Victoria.

A Night of 1000 Spice Girls Look Ranking

  1. Justice For Furry Spice
  2. Choriza May For Prime Minister Spice
  3. Literal Baby Spice
  4. Vanity Milan’s Appropriately Sized Space Buns
  5. Restraining Order Spice
  6. Kentish Spice
  7. Wonder Woman at Sports Day Spice
  8. Sad Spice

The Challenge was of course judged by teams and with Pick’n’Mix pretty much blowing the entire Slice Girls line-up out of the water it was a clear win for the four of them, although I do think it could quite easily have been a solo win for River Medway but this was the fairer option. Had we swapped Ella and Kitty around, it really would have been a perfect line-up.
This does of course mean it’s Kitty, Krystal, Charity and Scarlett in the bottom. Personally I’d have put Krystal and Scarlett in the lipsync together because let’s be honest, it was a forgone conclusion that this lipsync was going to be a double save regardless of what happened so they might as well make the only two queens who have won badges so far lipsync against one another for shits and giggles. But alas, Krystal is saved for being fashionable and Charity Kase is in a face off against Scarlett for being a little bit rude in a song performed by drag queens and not respecting the sacred historical accuracy of the Spice Girls Oeuvre.

A Forgone Conclusion

They obviously had to lipsync to a Spice Girls song, with the designated option being Who Do You Think You Are? Which is a great lipsync song and both of them gave good performances, I do think Charity Kase fairly blew Scarlett out of the water though, even just due to the surrealness of watching someone’s fursona just going for it on that stage

and Scarlett didn’t really have anything that could compete with it in terms of a gimmick, which I suppose is why she decided that pulling a handkerchief out and dabbing herself like a distressed Victorian woman was a good idea

and then proceeded to lightly mop Charity’s brow, earning herself not a single reaction from anyone

U OK, hun?
Scarlett did at least know the words this time and I suppose in the eyes of the judges that was redemption enough and thus both queens are saved, rendering this whole episode null and void and now only Kitty and Charity are without badges so expect that to be a rampant storyline in the next episode which if anything, Kitty *should* win with it being a comedy challenge but we’ll have to wait and see how Ru and Michelle decide on how they’re going to judge the advert challenge this year.

And so, we’re still stuck on 8 queens

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