Drag Race UK, Season 3, Episode 7: The Siren’s Nyaing

Ella Vaday, Tit Whisperer.

I profusely apologise for this recap being up so late – life got in the way and by “life” I do mean a night out in Leeds which I did at least spend most of in a drag bar, so we’ll consider it research?

No Laughing Matter

Fresh off the back of the double elimination of Choriza and River, both of which took the opportunity to write very long mirror messages – honestly God bless River for doing her best to write out the infamous Come Dine With Me monologue in lipstick – the height of camp.

Of course the most discourse (once everyone was done making fun of Choriza trying to slam a wig on her head during a lipsync) is about the fact Kitty lost Snatch Game to Ella Vaday who Scarlett has decided has absolutely no personality and isn’t really funny because she and Kitty make Ru laugh the most by far… And I’ll hand it to Scarlett, her one talent probably is making Ru laugh because it sure as hell isn’t dancing

I do find it very amusing that in these discussions about queens only having a single talent or speciality, that Krystal, whose major personality trait at this point is her highlighter, has managed to not be mentioned once despite the fact her critiques FREQUENTLY boil down to just being about her runways and her challenge efforts being skimmed over.
And once they’ve done discoursing about quite how valid Slightly Burnt Out Theatre Kid is as a personality, we turn instead to a discussion about the fact Vanity wears synthetics wigs AND I AM SO TIRED I CANNOT TAKE THIS. I just don’t think we should be setting a precedent that in order to succeed in drag you need human hair wigs. It’s just a hirsute version of the H&M fiasco from last season. Also you’re drag queens? Just look fun.

Hello Uglies…

This Week’s main challenge was an interesting affair as the queens had to walk three different categories in the Miss F.U.G.L.Y. Beauty Pageant (that’s Friend U Gotta Love Yourself…) which is basically the Ball Challenge but the twist is that they wouldn’t know the categories (despite the fact they’d obviously have some idea because they got an outfit call sheet prior to the season…) and they’d get an ever decreasing amount of time to do their makeup for each one – which I’m honestly sure is how the normal Ball Challenges work, just this time we get a little peak behind the frantic curtain.
The chaotic panic induced by the strict time limit very much gave the challenge an air of the very early seasons of Drag Race, which was quite fun after several of the newer seasons distinctly feeling like they’ve lost what the show is kind of about. The downside to the challenge is the entire concept of the theme which was basically just an invitation for Kitty to show off her range of ridiculous false teeth because apparently she did bring more than just the Cilla ones – I imagine she has a walk-in dental wardrobe at home.

As for what the categories were, the first was “Fugly Swimwear” which had 100% less problematic body shaming than I anticipated so that was a nice surprise but did hinge a lot on Tits Are Funny™ as a punchline. The second category was the most confusing of the bunch with the queens having to style a look from charity Shop items but the look had to then specifically be for The Kensington Tennis Club, which most of the queens promptly ignored and defaulted to The Girl Everyone Regrets Inviting On The Hen Party. And then lastly was Fugly But Fashionable which was essentially a category so vague and obviously designed to allow them to apply some very strange critiques and swing the outcome of the challenge whichever way they wanted.

You Ugly Beachwear

I wouldn’t even have known where to begin with this category, there’s just not *that* many ways to make a swimsuit ugly? But I suppose Vanity dressing up as a motorcycle seat is as good an approach as any?

it’s the addition of the extremely glitzy necklace and the elbow length bejewelled gloves that really send this over the edge for me – it’s an utterly baffling outfit, which in my head is what I want from “fugly” – I want to be completely dumbfounded by every sartorial decision which is why Kitty’s didn’t work for me

I mean that’s just a cute swimming costume with a bad wig and joke shop teeth? But I’ll give it to her, that wig is distressing – what are those Nanette Manoir bangs?
Somehow beating Kitty to the Cat Lady punchline was Scarlett who looked like Glenn Close performing a synchronised swimming routine to Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer

just generally a rather baffling choice of theme but for someone who dressed as the sad remains of an iceberg lettuce for the fruit themed runway, not all that surprising. I think she could have probably pushed the cat theming a little harder, and there had to be a better cat print than that one because when she first came out and started talking about the fact she was a “crazy cat lady” I thought “why is she wearing butterfly print then?” – also, everyone stop being cowards and just wear the cat ears dammit! My anarcho trans soul yearns for it – embrace catgirl aesthetics, give in to the siren’s nyaing.
Next was Ella Vaday who again looked kind of perfectly cute

sure, foil zebra print is kind of generally a bad choice for any occasion and the ice cream shoes don’t belong within 50 feet of this outfit but both the shoes and the costume kind of feel very Ella to me – they’re kitsch and fun but ever so slightly dated. Zing.

And lastly we have Krystal who was doing everything in her power to not serve “sex on a stick” and I think Squidward in an oil spill achieved that

Was this the runway to serve up quite this much of a character? Probably not, but it is nice to see Krystal being able to offer something up beyond uncannily beautiful Blade Runner 2049 sex robot. I would have liked it to have been more of a swimsuit though, the netting kind of gets in the way of making sense of it as an outfit.

A Fugly Beachwear Runway Ranking

  1. Vanity Milan’s Niche Motorcycle Cosplay
  2. Ella Vaday’s Disparate Kitsch
  3. Krystal is a Character Actress Now
  4. A Subpar Catgirl Effort
  5. Bad Teeth Does Not Fugly Make

That’s Charitable

I think the idea behind this category is really good – having the queens cobble together a look from second-hand clothes is really fun and puts everyone on a very level playing field. It’s also a great tester of the queens’ taste levels – see for instance Ella saying “I’m going for glam” while she wraps the most tired looking fur stole around her neck and looking like The Big Bad Wolf from Shrek

lowkey, a great runway idea if anyone wants to take that idea any further. And to think there were a pair of cat ears right at the back there

I’m quite frankly disappointed in everyone for ignoring them.
And because the show had gone to the effort of setting up a makeshift charity shop in the backstage area, lest they unleash 6 scrappy drag queens on an unsuspecting Oxfam, they had of course invited Charity Shop Sue along

I’m going to admit, I’ve heard of her, I’ve not seen any of her stuff but her presence did very much show up how not great Krystal’s Snatch Game effort was. Sue didn’t really serve any great purpose and was seemingly mostly there as a hindrance and to remind everyone of how little time they had left because Ru wasn’t going to stand in backstage lighting in full drag.
Krystal had the biggest task on her hand because the others could at least mostly get away with keeping their makeup from the first runway and it would have been hard to turn environmental disaster Squidward into a lady who lunches, which does explain the rather basic outfit she ended up with

chucking on 3 different necklaces and tying a scarf around your waist just to meet the minimum 5 item rule is an almost admirable copout. There’s just not a lot to say about the outfit though, but it’s at least better than the red smock she was running around in for a fair bit of time

I mean, if she wanted to absolutely under no circumstances look sexy…
It also didn’t help Krystal that Scarlett was in a similarly basic black look

it’s not exactly the most mind-blowing outfit but there is a touch of Showgirls about it – I could see Nomi Malone walking the Vegas Strip in this, maybe without the funereal rose necktie though.

Luckily everyone went with more colourful, interesting outfits. Vanity immediately gravitated towards an orange sequined dress because, in her own words, “I’m the orange queen of the season.” because she’s worn 2 orange outfits and has a recurring orange wig? I’m not going to deny she looks good in the colour though

I really love this look, I think the colour blocking works phenomenally well – I wish she’d maybe had time to change the purple lip to something orange and punchier but that’s such a minor quibble for what’s an altogether great look given the circumstances.

Ella Vaday was apparently completely married to the idea of that fur stole being one of her five items, sadly giving up on it as a neckpiece

I think this is the most on brief in terms of the mostly ignored “WAGs at the Kensington Tennis Club” prompt and while the dress might not have a lot of style or appeal to it, she’s accessorised it really well – I’m choosing to ignore the Christmas elf green gloves by the way, I don’t even know why she had them because she had 5 items in the dress, necklace, belt, fur stole and handbag. Unless she wants to admit to one of those items being from her personal collection which might be even more damning.
And lastly we have Kitty who did the most outfit modifying by cutting up a green dress to make a skirt for her alleged Daphne Blake cosplay

Yeah, if Daphne was doing a community theatre production of 9 to 5.
I do love how often in an outfit designing challenge there’ll always be a queen who defaults to tying scraps of fabric around her neck, ankles and wrists in order to make an outfit look more cohesive.

A Baffling Charity Shop Outfit Ranking

  1. Vanity Milan Likes Orange, OK?
  2. Ella Vaday Going a Glove Too Far
  3. Daphne Blake’s Dolly Phase
  4. Scarlett’s Showgirls Chic
  5. Krystal’s Necklace Panic

It’s Called Fashion, Fugly! Look It Up

Essentially what was required from this runway was to wear something that looked like it could walk a couture runway – slightly glamorous, unique and entirely impractical for real life. Think the likes of Gareth Pugh or acclaimed soft sculptor Serena Cha Cha. So I was a little nervous about how this was going to go when Ella Vaday stepped out first looking like a broken umbrella

I get it, When In Doubt: Chaps but I think it’s the neon pink pants that are boggling me. Just go the full hog and have them be in the purple and yellow plaid too? Or match them to the neon yellow lining of the cape? And the cape could have also done with a slightly better drape.

Following Ella and quite frankly being the only person to understand the assignment was Vanity Milan who just looked phenomenal

LIKE DAMN. It’s striking, it feels original, it’s highly impractical. It’s couture baby!
And I loved her hair and makeup

sure, the lashes are a tiny bit too heavy and giving her Gia Gunn Sad Eyes but that dark berry lip is *chef’s kiss* and I would never have thought to pair this sort of haunted flapper style with such a modern looking gown and it works perfectly.
Krystal was next and had come dressed as a premonition of Lizzie’s Gluten-free Celebration Cake

I wouldn’t describe anything about this as being fugly, it’s just not glamorous – sure the wig looks like Anubis’s entrance wig as styled by Coco the Clown which I suppose is really pushing the boat for Krystal but that coat feels like something from a middling popstar’s music video.
And if I thought Krystal playing ~a character~ in the first category was Not The Time, well Scarlett going Full Little Britain in this category was even worse

I get the feeling she probably brought this look specifically for a comedy challenge look and had intended to use her lime dress for either this category or the fruit runway and planned on making something for whichever one came second and was scuppered by the format of this challenge because none of her reasoning behind wearing this for a “fashionably fugly” runway made sense.
And lastly we have Kitty who I imagine was a little annoyed that Scarlett beat her to this punchline

I don’t really see how it fits in this category because there is absolutely nothing even remotely fashionable about any of it and it suffers from many of the same issues as Scarlett’s look.

A Fashionably Fugly Outfit Ranking

  1. Vanity Milan’s Couture Car Cover
  2. Krystal’s Muppet Blitz
  3. An Umbrella in a Gale
  4. Kitty Scott Tired Puns
  5. You’re Just dressed as Vicky Pollard, Scarlett.

In my eyes, Vanity absolutely stormed this entire episode and was the outright winner – apparently the judges felt VERY differently because she found herself in the bottom 2, but it’s not all bad because WHAT. A. LIPSYNC. As for who won, they decided to chuck Kitty a last minute bone and give her a badge to at least try and make the semi-final a little more tense – personally for me she was in the bottom 2 – apparently the only thing the judges and I agree on is the fact Scarlett belonged firmly in the bottom 2.

It Was Quite The Scandal

I can only imagine they put Vanity in the lipsync because the lipsync song was Scandlous by Mis-teeq and it would have been embarrassing to have Alesha Dixon outperform both queens from behind the judges’ desk

because she certainly obliterated Scarlett who had absolutely no chance of embodying Mis-teeq in any way, shape or form but I was pleased to see her inching ever closer to those catgirl vibes

As for Vanity, I’m glad she thought to have a reveal ready

I’m going to guess that her clambering out of the car cover dress was a little clumsy and the editors spared her the embarrassment of that ordeal but she stormed the rest of this lipsync – I mean her spins are iconic

queens have lost wigs to lesser cartwheels.
And of course the splits were out in force

Scarlet very much having a moment of realisation that she was losing big time <3 and so you could hardly blame her for just lying down and admitting defeat

that’d be my lipsync tactic too, my only chance of winning would be if they happened to make Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol the lipsync song.

It was a nigh on instant annihilation for Scarlett who by this point was beginning to feel like the show was dragging her through these episodes for the sake of an overly produced villain. I fully expect she’ll be snapped up by a media agency and with some TV training I think we’ll be seeing a fair bit more of Miss Harlett

Kitty Scott Claus, once again beaten to a Very Obscure Reference™.

And so, we have our Top 4 in Krystal, Vanity, Ella and Kitty!

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