Drag Race UK, Series 3, Episode 9: Cold, Dead and Shark-like

The auditions for the school nativity play were really hotting up.

Are you ready for the actual semi-final and possibly the most redundantly obvious episode of Drag Race?

The Great Badge Tallying

Of course because there’s no mirror message to read and no eliminated queen to talk shit about now that they’re not there anymore, we’re treated to a lengthy consultation with BenDeLaCreme’s All Stars Abacus and a discussion about badges while everyone proceeds to talk shit about Vanity anyway, which mostly involves being very dismissive about her single badge that she got in a group challenge and everyone completely ignores that 1 of Ella’s is from that same challenge. And you know it’s definitely not getting to Vanity

You tell yourself that Ellie Diamond.

And while Ella celebrates her 3 badges and Kitty justifies a sash in the Drag Race economy, Krystal is DEAD SILENT, knowing full well that she peaked in episode 2 and kind of couldn’t keep the momentum going and yet she will absolutely win the entire series, mark my words – they’re shipping her straight to the WOW Productions Basement to film a show called Krystal’s Kloset which maybe 20 people will watch and learn an awful lot about Morph Suit customisation.

Taking the Comedic Angel

For the Maxi Challenge this week the queens had to take part in a comedy roast but it wasn’t just any comedy roast, it was the very snappily titled Pearly Gates Roast. I’m still trying to work out of there’s a pun there or if they just needed a reason to make them wear the pre-packaged angel costumes they had to bring in

the distinctly school nativity play energy from Ella Vaday’s is delightful but my God is she lucky Angelic Delights wasn’t a mainstage runway theme.

Seeing as Dawn French guest judged the last comedy challenge, they had some pressure to keep the whole British Comedy Icon run going, and so this year they had invited Kathy Burke along and there were two very different reactions to this news

not even a little “woo” from Krystal or Vanity, just blank stares. Could have just left the shot on Ella and Kitty freaking out guys.

Due to the fact Ella won the previous episode, it is up to her to decide the running order of the show, which lest we forget turned into a full 3 episode long blood feud between Ellie Diamond and just about everyone else as she plotted The Roast From Hell and then proceeded to just be thoroughly weird on stage and curse the energy of the entire production. In retrospect, kind of iconic, she should have won.
Ella did want to be tactical and then in true Ella Vaday style just kind of caved in and gave everyone the slot they wanted, it did help that Krystal, like a nihilistic lamb to slaughter, volunteered herself to go first, which gave Ella an in to putting herself second, Vanity third and Kitty as the show closer.
Had she wanted to be truly tactical she should have just switched Vanity and Krystal – the thought of a comedy show opening with Vanity’s barely cobbled together comedy roast with large chunks of “IMPROV AUDIENCE INTERACTION HERE” fills me a cold, dreadful, curious glee. And yes, they had seemingly learned their lesson from last year’s roast which was only watched by the judges with the haunted, echo-y laughter from 4 people making every joke sound like it had bombed. Instead this time the eliminated queens would be returning as the audience – it genuinely took me a while to place Anubis, she looks SO FUCKING GOOD

there’s something very Miss Fame about that paint, I just hadn’t expected it considering we last saw her dressed like a piece of fried chicken

curious to know if the high glam look is because of that.

And in no surprise at all, Veronica Green had shown up looking like a randomised Sim

again, I don’t know why but I just get Jess Glynne vibes.

Having the queens back really did make all the difference, it gave the show much more energy and I think actually made Krystal’s set better than it probably was. I didn’t actually mind Krystal’s whole bit, sure she kind of just told 2 jokes in 6 different formats but when it came to the other queens roasting Krystal, that was all the material they had on her – which probably speaks more to Krystal’s 2 dimensionality than anything else.
I do think she deserves some praise for managing to cope with the heckling from both Ru and Veronica, she certainly handled it much better than Vanity who rose to the bait while Krystal leaned in and essentially used it to poke fun at herself

I certainly never felt uncomfortable watching Krystal, no matter how much the show tried to make me feel it when she made a joke about not knowing who Kathy Burke was as though Kathy Burke wasn’t there, completely in on the whole thing and ready to have jokes made about her.
They also really tried to make out that she was bombing but she was hardly Blair St Clair scrabbling through her notebook of jokes while calling Jane Krakowski a hag


but the funniest thing about Krystal’s entire set was indeed her heavenly nip slip

Not sure that’s going to fly past Saint Peter.

While Krystal kind of went with the flow, Vanity fought against it which proceeded to only encourage more of the heckling. It’s funny because in her interactions with the queens in the Werk Room, she’s always very funny and quick but as soon as it’s a required necessity she just completely seizes up and you can see the cogs turning and the mental fires burning as she frantically tries to think of something funny to say, only to then realise she’s about to repeat the one funny joke about Krystal, Kitty and Ella looking like The White Supremes, briefly shutting down and then just telling Charity Kase that “she’s sitting there like a green bitch!” which you know, to quote Bimini Bon Boulash “Not a joke, just a fact”

I’m amazed and impressed that not a single soul made the very obvious joke about Michelle Visage hating green – I thought Drag Race queens were kind of pre-programmed to go for the lowest hanging self-referential fruit! Of course obscure reference Queen, Kitty being the exception

if she doesn’t come out on that main stage in the final wearing a tiny sailor’s hat with a veil I’m going to be very mad at her.

Vanity and Krystal were the clear weaker queens in this challenge while Ella and Kitty dominated it, which I think we had all expected would be the case and deciding the winner was a real case of splitting hairs – personally I found Kitty the funnier of the two, or at least the most “Roasting” – that joke about Michelle Visage’s Vogueing on Strictly fully made me scream. It’s not exactly going for the jugular but it certainly felt like the most roast-worthy joke. Also, her whole bit about Krystal not being born to do an acting challenge, Snatch Game, a sewing machine, line learning or choreography was a pitch perfect skewering of both Krystal and Ru’s obsession with her runway looks. And props to Scarlett for then adding “Comedy!” to end of the list, not sure the editors then needed to repay her with a close-up of her lipstick smeared teeth though

A little rude.

Ella on the other hand had a much better, more comfortable stage presence – mostly because she wasn’t constantly reading out of her notebook. She had really good interactions with the other queens too, her opening bit about Anubis was a delight

Ana Boonie for Season 4!

My only issue with Ella’s set was the fact some of her jokes felt distinctly like that brand of Drag Race joke that was clearly pre-written prior to the show with the intention of just hopefully making it fit for one of the queens in the cast during either a stand-up comedy challenge or the reading mini challenge, but hey, at least they were funny? Olivia Lux is never going to get her comedy set refund.

Good Goddess!

In keeping with the roast’s heavenly theme, the runway category for the week was Oh My Goddess, which I imagine they had to leave until this late in the season because I think we’d have had a good 4 more vaguely Incan inspired outfits and the rest would all be some iteration of Aphrodite. I’m mostly just annoyed not a single person did do Cristal Connors cosplay, put that breastplate to good use Krystal FOR GOD’S SAKE. Instead Krystal was very much Sexy Kuzco

it’s not not a Morph Suit?

It’s a great look, the draping of the velvet is very well done and I love that she went for that brown velvet and not a red which I think would have been a more obvious choice, this feels much more rich and tonally cohesive. I just don’t know if I like all of the fringing, I think it’s crapping it all up a little bit and detracting from a very striking look.
I do want to know if those are contact lenses or if her eyes have always looked this cold, dead and shark-like though

also, curse her porelessness.

Ella was next and mostly just very proud of herself for wearing a human hair wig

and the hair very much is the best part of the outfit but she could have… you know… styled it a little? It just feels a little flat and with a Goddess, you kind of expect a little more volume and intricacy, which you certainly weren’t getting from the outfit. The colours just aren’t very exciting here and the wispy scraps hanging from her arms didn’t exactly read as ethereal opulence so much as they did laundry day.

Third up was Vanity wearing a bra that was at least 2 sizes too small

I do quite like this outfit, as a performance outfit, I think it would look STUN in a music video under better lighting – there’s a lot of beautiful, intricate work on that corset and the headpiece was my favourite of the night

But as a look for a Goddess themed runway, I’m not really buying it – no deity, no matter the pantheon is wearing those elbow length gloves that Vanity is apparently married to, they’ve had more airtime on this season than Pandora Boxx go throughout All Stars 6. And I do have to slightly wonder if her roast look was her original Goddess look.

Closing out the runway was Kitty, in what I fully believe might be one of the best outfits of series 3

I just really, really love it – the colours go together superbly, her face was beautiful, sure there’s some weird draping issues with that particular fabric BUT THE HAIR

I could talk about this wig for days, it’s so intricate and well styled – kind of exactly what Ella was missing from her look. Kitty really smashed this runway.

An Oh My Goddess Runway Ranking

  1. Aphro-Kitty Scott-Claus
  2. Krystal Versace as Sexy Kuzco
  3. Vanity Milan’s Music Video Goddess
  4. Ella Vaday’s Human Hair Wig
  5. Ella Vaday’s Star-spangled Catsuit

The bottom two was clearly going to be Vanity and Krystal, which sure enough it absolutely was. As for the winner, it seemed to come down to the fact Ella felt like the more natural onstage because Kitty kept looking at her notebook, which is a decision I can hardly begrudge them for other than the fact Ella is going to be insufferable about those 4 damn badges.

Duelling Lipa

Krystal and Vanity found themselves lipsyncing to Hallucinate by Dua Lipa and I’m not sure either of them came out particularly well in this lipsync which could have easily been a double elimination. Granted it didn’t help either of them that they were having to both lipsync and wrangle metres of fabric that threatened to KO them at any moment which I think did prevent Vanity from really going all out in this. Not that it’s particularly easy to go “all out” to a Dua Lipa song but her spin into a panicked synchronised split certainly didn’t quite live up to the ones she knocked out during her Scandalous lipsync

as for Krystal, her tactic was mostly hair flicking, which certainly entranced Alan Carr

and when she wasn’t doing that she was… mostly just walking glamorously and rubbing her stomach whenever the song went “mmmmm”

they never were going to let Vanity survive 4 lipsyncs or not have Krystal in that final and so ultimately the obvious decision came to pass and Vanity was eliminated

she got significantly further than I thought she would have after the first two episodes and I think she’s more than proved herself on the show and I look forward to her inevitable All Stars 74 glow up in 2 years time.

And so we have our Top 3:

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2 thoughts on “Drag Race UK, Series 3, Episode 9: Cold, Dead and Shark-like

  1. Miriam

    Have you come across the ‘Sissy That Pod’ podcast? Irish Drag Race podcast. Their guest to discuss this week was comedian Alison Spittle and she described Ella Vaday’s runway as ‘glamorous varicose veins’ and I can’t unsee it…

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