Drag Race UK, Series 3, Episode 8: Aurantiusness

can we give Pile of Joke Shop Items the crown?

Welcome to The Fake Semi-final of The Season That Never Ends!

On Top Four-m

In the wake of her elimination, Scarlett is definitely, totally, absolutely over the whole “one talent” conversation. Like it doesn’t bother her. Totally doesn’t.

honestly? Mostly shocked about the fact she has such neat penmanship, I had expected her to write like a pigeon had been dipped in ink.

As they’ve reached the Top 4 and with the queens clearly being under the impression they’re currently about to go into the penultimate episode talk obviously immediately turns to who’s not going to make it. The obvious answer was always going to be Vanity, like they said, nobody really survives 4 lipsyncs because as amazing a lipsync performer as she is, one more time in the bottom and they’re probably going to chuck Chasing Pavements by Adele at her. But Vanity isn’t discounting herself yet and the Scandalous lipsync really seemed to have lit a fire in her.
Obviously Kitty is throwing stones in glass houses given she’s only just won a late stage filler challenge which doesn’t usually bode phenomenally well. And with her boasting about winning the whole Miss F.U.G.L.Y. pageant, I was a little bit hoping that the prize would just be the sash

the show suddenly realises they didn’t order enough RuPeter Badges from BadgeMaster with the whole group win and they have to make a very embarrassing apology to her.
And while Kitty celebrates her first win, Krystal gets to sing her own praises about being the youngest Queen to reach the Top 4 and then quickly has to specify “IN THE US AND UK” because evidently nobody could be bothered to fully fact check the international series. But given that prior to Krystal (and Anubis who is also 19) the youngest queens in the franchise were Scaredy Kat from season 1 of Drag Race UK and Morrigan from Drag Race Thailand both of whom only lasted at least 3 episodes, I think we can safely say she’s the youngest Top 4 queen ever.

Making a Scene

The Maxi Challenge this week was of course an acting challenge with the queens filming for Bra Wars, which was championed as a parody of Star Wars but also works as a university’s panto society’s production of Spaceballs. In the grand tradition of Drag Race acting challenges, none of it is particularly funny but at this point that’s the point – was anyone really expecting big laughs from lines such as “They are 21 inches of pure metal trade straight from Planet Girth”? because I hope not.

Of course the queens had to decide on their parts with Kitty being granted the role of Casting Director which she would naturally be doing in the most Kitty Scott Claus way she could

genuinely shocked by the lack of fake teeth if anything.
She immediately took the lead role of Brabarella for herself which is always a brave move in these challenges considering it’s a generally good rule of thumb that the less lines you have to say out loud the better your chances are of getting a win.
As for the other roles on offer, there was the villain Daft Shader, She-3-P-HO Who Is Basically Just Dot Matrix from Spaceballs and Baby YOLO most of whose jokes hinged on burping, farting or both so really should have been a guaranteed win for someone. Krystal very much didn’t want She-3-P-HO because it was too predictable, which begs the question why she wanted Baby YOLO so much considering she’s an actual baby trapped in a big coat

but she couldn’t really take Daft Shader because somewhere along the line they decided that the character had a Scottish accent which neither Krystal or Vanity could do so the role was handed to Ella on a silver platter. And then the Scottish accent very quickly discarded in favour of Space Nigella. What is brand may never die, I guess?
Kitty then decided to not throw Krystal a bone and promptly cast her as She-3-P-HO leaving Vanity Milan to play the role of Baby YOLO and slowly, in absolute horror, realising that to do so would be to go through this embarrassment

I’m mostly disappointed that she didn’t fully Kahmora Hall it despite only needing to film from the neck up

Would it be rude to say that this is some of Vanity’s best makeup?
Given that her character was just a head, 90% of her dialogue being farts and burps and then being absent for the entire middle section of the challenge, Vanity wasn’t *bad* – the part was, good God the part was awful, why were they fighting over this role? HAVE SOME STANDARDS LADIES. I’d have sooner been the chest-burster that weirdly sounded like Serena Cha Cha over Baby YOLO

but she was the only one that didn’t trip over her lines left, right and centre – mostly because as I would like to stress, most of them were belching. Meanwhile Krystal was flubbing HARD and had to have a whole emotional beat with Michelle while dressed as a sexy Maschinenmensch

Calm down Natalie Portman.
but her final performance was… well, it was what the script wanted it to be and her character made the most sense? Kind of? I’m not quite sure why her character description stated she was a supermodel and then all she did was play the role of nanny to Baby YOLO? Expecting these scripts to make sense is probably asking too much, isn’t it? Which is why I’ll not bother asking quite why the chest-bursting Serena Cha Cha scene bothered happening with absolutely no consequences except Kitty having to film every subsequent scene with a bloody hand

I had expected Kitty to maybe make a little more of the character, it was a very capable performance but there wasn’t a great deal of humour to be had with it, which explains the almost constant mugging to camera so I’m surprised she didn’t take the role of Daft Shader considering that’s where all of the comedy beats lay but if the character description had said that I’d have to wear a badly cut bucket on my head and stand next to two very brave production runners trapped in adorably bad Dalek costumes, I might have passed on it too

and of course there are two constants in Drag Race acting challenges and that’s:
A) The final scene must always involve farts
B) Tits are Funny™

what is brand shall never die.
Personally my favourite bit, and the only real laugh of the whole thing, was Ella Vaday being vaporised

it’s my favourite Ella Vaday look of the series.

A Night at the Pictures

This week’s runway was an interesting one, mostly because I’m surprised that it even happened given that Drag Race has some of the worst licensing lawyers known to man – See Gigi Goode being dressed as Daphne and not being allowed to mention Scooby Doo in any way, shape or form. Or that time Vinegar Strokes planned on wearing the London Tube Map

but they couldn’t secure the rights so she had to hurriedly cobble together a map of The Thames that looked like a child’s craft project

it’s no wonder she’s so salty about her Drag Race run.

As for this lot, they seemingly got to dress up as any fictional character they wanted, and it wasn’t even like Disney characters were off limits because Krystal kicked the proceedings off with a superb Cruella DeVil

it’s just damn good drag, could this runway have been a perfect opportunity for her to bring a very different aesthetic? Yeah sure, but this look just has so many of the details that I’ve felt like a few of her other looks have kind of lacks – there’s depth and interest to this and because of that it feels much more fully realised than her accessorised Morph Suits.
And in a complete departure from Cruella’s high octane glam, here’s Ella Vaday as an Oompa Loompa trapped in a polytunnel

this look is delightfully stupid and exactly what I’d like to see more of on the runway – I think we’ve done glamour to death at this point, let’s just embrace nonsense.
Vanity was next and, well this was a little unfortunate

I don’t mind that she’s in orange again, but the fact it’s essentially the exact same look as the one from the Charity Shop runway in the previous episode isn’t great

and isn’t it funny how you yearn for a B.A.P.S look and suddenly two come along at once

but at least Vanity looking good in orange was a new and novel concept for guest judge Russell Tovey who did an admirable job defending her right to aurantiusness.

And Kitty closed the runway doing her best Rose DeWitt Bukater Dawson Calvert impression

another very obscure reference!
I’m torn on it, mostly because I wish the hat didn’t look like it was made out of whatever was left in a Quality Street tin after Christmas and as much as I found the pointless reveal to be as delightfully stupid as Ella Vaday’s Oompa Loompa costume

the outfit just feels like it lacks something – a little sparkle, a little more tailoring would have helped tremendously in this case.

A Scene Stealer Runway Ranking

  1. Ella Vaday Embracing Chaos
  2. Krystal Versace Backing the Correct Cruella
  3. Vanity Milan’s Steadfast Dedication to Halle Berry Authenticity and The Colour Orange
    • Kitty Scott Room on the Door

The judging for this was a little weird because nobody had really done a horrible job in the challenge so ordinarily it would be decided by the runway but it would have been a bit offsides for them to do that because RuPaul, self-declared arbiter of drag fashion, had come dressed in an outfit that would have got a lesser queen eliminated in a sewing challenge

Ma’am, you have millions of dollars to not look like a reptilian alien trying to overthrow Ancient Greece in vintage Doctor Who.
And so because this is The Season That Never Ends, there is no bottom and instead Ella and Kitty have a lipsync to decide the winner.

It’s Not a New Idea

They were lipsyncing to Something New by Girls Aloud, which is a bit of a lob for Kitty Scott Claus, Girl Band Enthusiast and Friend of Cheryl Hole™ who immediately kicked off the whole thing by re-doing her reveals

absolutely the best thing about this lipsync was just the absurdity of having an Oompa Loomp lipsycning against Rose from Titanic, it’s very Super Smash Bros Brawl and I think we should have more of that energy on Drag Race.
It was at least a chance to get to see both Ella and Kitty’s lipsyncing styles, with Ella going the more expected do-a-couple-of-splits-and-play-sexy-to-the-judges route

and Kitty, probably even more unsurprisingly, pulling a full Ginger Minj and doing everything Ella did but mocking it

and I don’t blame her for switching to that style after her stomping around like Kaiju Shirley Temple didn’t exactly receive resounding applause from the judges

I was both surprised, delighted and genuinely scared when she finished the whole thing off with the sort of death drop that I thought only Rosé was capable of

is she ok? I’m genuinely concerned about her spine.

I thought Kitty won this lipsync hands down, for most of it I kind of forgot Ella was even on that stage – crawling around on the floor is a risky move. But RuPaul being RuPaul and completely incapable of making a decision decides that they’re both winners!

which does mean that Ella is our front runner going in to the what-I-believe-to-be semifinals, which is a roast so I would think both Kitty and Ella are pretty much secure finalists.

And so, we’re still here with our top 4

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