Drag Race UK vs The World, Season 1, Episode 4: A Side Table In Coitus

I have been personally victimised by Fake Billy Porter.

It’s quite something when the show becomes its own villain.

A Chip on Her Shoulder

When we last saw our queens, Baga was quite clearly simmering with rage over the fact Pangina had eliminated Jimbo, and in the 30 second walk from the main stage to the Werk Room, nothing had changed and she was still very angry that the better performing half of Team Bimbo had been sent home. Pangina does her best to justify her reasoning behind the decision and mostly tries to convince everyone that Jujubee did better than expected, which would only be true if you expected Jujubee to perform like someone had set a dumpster on fire.
I can understand Pangina not eliminating Jujubee though, in a recent interview she talked about how the two of them spoke to each other in Thai while on the show and with Pangina being the only queen from Thailand, that must have felt a lot like she was with one of her fellow Thai queens – I certainly wouldn’t expect Baga to ever eliminate Blu, or Blu to… well, I don’t know what Blu would do actually. It is however pretty unignorable that Pangina sent someone home who has been in the top 2 for two out of three episodes (which is equal to Pangina’s top 2 placements…) and was up against someone who is well and truly embracing their flop era. Things didn’t get much better for Pangina when it was revealed that Janey would have sent Jujubee packing

God bless Janey trying to play this game with absolute sincerity and tact while everyone around her goes for the Lord of the Flies approach – there is not a single ruthless bone in that body.

Jujubee does of course have to acknowledge that this is the second time she’s only narrowly avoided being chopped

Oh honey, you could stumble face first down that runway and the queens would still keep you around – this season is just one long Escape Room for Jujubee.

Snatch and Grab

It was of course Snatch Game week, but in true All Stars fashion they have messed with the format and instead it was being done in the style of Family Fortunes (or Family Feud for the 3 (three) American readers) with the celebrity captains being Katie Price and Michelle Visage. First of all – it was a missed opportunity to tell the queens they were playing with Katie Price and then have Bimini Bon Boulash showing up. And second of all, I really hate it when one of the main judges plays Snatch Game, it throws the entire dynamic off and I think ends up hindering the performances of the queens more than anything else.
I don’t entirely get why they always feel like changing the format of Snatch Game, especially when Ru keeps shouting “YOU DON’T NEED TO REINVENT THE WHEEL!” at the queens on Season 14, and this Family Fortunes set up really did just make the whole thing feel more like a mini challenge than it did a Maxi Challenge.

We’ve known all season that Baga has been dying to get to Snatch Game and after having lost Liza to Jujubee last week, I did think that she might passive aggressively do her for Snatch Game. However, Baga’s sights were instead set on doing Kathy Bates, but specifically Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in Misery

I was kind of proud of myself for guessing that’s who she was going to be doing the moment they showed that cursed three seconds of her making out with the mannequin head, which I have of course preserved as a wretched gif

one of my pet hates on Snatch Game is when queens do a specific character from a movie, which I wish they would outlaw like they did queens impersonating other Drag Race queens.

Baga is a very shrewd Snatch Game player, she knows exactly how to play to RuPaul and she did that very well, and at first I quite liked this performance, I could see it building and as far as she could have gone with the crescendo it kind of all just fizzled out? When Raja did Tyra Banks she played the same joke over and over again, each time getting bigger and bigger until she was bleeding from her eyes

with Baga, it was kind of just one note and I think she went in very overly confident that she was going to steamroll everyone and she didn’t come armed with anything other than her having this obsession with RuPaul – her constantly calling Ru just “Paul” was much funnier than it probably should have been. So when Blu started getting bigger laughs than her she started jumping in and interrupting other questions – which is part of the game, but often they weren’t particularly funny and if this was University Challenge rules she would have been deducted 5 points for it.
I did enjoy that Michelle Keegan praised Baga for her bravery to be dowdy when… that’s kind of just Baga.

Blu of course also did a movie character, with her choice being Austin Power credited as Mike Myers and looking like every child comedian that’s been on Britain’s Got Talent

which is quite an easy character to do because all you have to do is whack some fake teeth in (unless you’re Anton DuBeke) and say “Yeaaaaah baby!” every third sentence and you’re good. I know I’ve already said I hate it when queens do film characters, but I do think Blu’s worked better with the METAness of it all and the fact she just kept making jokes about how she wasn’t really Mike Myers – it reminded me a lot of Icesis Couture on Drag Race Canada doing La Veneno and opening with a joke about how her fake Spanish accent was terrible.

Doing Austin Powers did also allow Blu to really lean into the dirty humour that Ru finds very funny, which worked brilliantly for her and I laughed much more at this performance than I did at anything she did as horny zombie Mary Berry

why were the eyes *so* pink?

And then of course she did the change to Dr. Evil, which was a star turn

and nothing brought me more joy than RuPaul losing it over her joke about wanting a Golden RuPeter badge in exchange for Graham Norton’s release and the very life leaving Baga Chipz’s eyes

and in that moment she really was Annie Wilkes.

What helped Blu and Baga so much was the fact they could pretty much guarantee that Ru would get every reference they made because they were riffing off media from the 90s, which is one of the 4 decades RuPaul cares for – anything post-2000 and it’s just a monkey clapping cymbals. This is where Janey become a little stuck with her choice, well that and the fact she had landed herself between doing potential blackface and impersonating an online predator as she chose between Tan Mom and James Charles, ultimately choosing James Charles, who to be fair she did look alarmingly like

so she could also do Dua Lipa, which would also be a terrible Snatch Game option NOBODY DO DUA LIPA FOR SNATCH GAME. My only wish was that she leant more into the terrible foundation matching that Games Charles does, or do everyone a favour and just come as the Flashback Mary meme

Janey got absolutely no laughs from Ru, not a single chuckle and barely a smile which isn’t surprising because Janey was making jokes about YouTube drama and RuPaul can barely work tiktok, so she might as well have just delivered them in Dutch because Social Media is not a language RuPaul speaks. I am also being very generous and calling them “jokes” – they were more vague allusions because Janey clearly didn’t want to be joking about the allegations that are embroiling James Charles’s entire career. Hi, yeah… I watch YouTube drama videos while I fall asleep, they are my bedtime stories.

There were of course some big name celebrities being impersonated with Jujubee taking on the mononymous monolith that is Cher, which is particularly brave seeing as Chad Michaels has perfected the artform, but it was about time someone gave honour back to her name after the season 10 rusical… Jujubee can always be trusted in Snatch Game and I think that was very much the case here – I can’t say I got a lot of the references but the fact Jujubee spoke in Cher-Tweet and looked about as much like Cher as you could hope a Laotian-Thai American drag queen to look like Cher, she did pretty well

and Jujubee was obviously very comfortable in the role because she could wear something short and black. Thaaaaaat’s brand identity!

Cher wasn’t the only big name diva on show, with Pangina doing Mariah Carey which on paper should be a disaster every time and probably outlawed on this show ever since the infamous Church of Mariah episode on Season 11. But I thought Pangina was mostly very good, or at least the mannerisms were there and she had the look down

I don’t think her answers were particularly funny, which is the main part of the challenge, but she did the grunt work and threw out a couple of I-don’t-know-hers. But, and I can’t even really tell why, the image of Mariah Carey deciding whether to write with the prescribed Sharpie or the pink feather quill really made me chuckle

and this is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that Baga didn’t have anything else in her arsenal because everyone else had these silly little moments and Baga just had… staring, which was generously helped by the editors adding a horror sting every time the camera cut to her.

And lastly we have Mo Heart, who was basically just Mo Heart in a church hat

I’m a little sad that Ru talked her into doing Billy Porter, which as far as a performance went, was great, fine, perfectly serviceable. But the fact we were robbed of Mo Heart playing Snatch Game as a Gordon Ramsay whose accent wildly fluctuated between cockney and Jamaican upsets me DEEPLY. I cannot believe Ru didn’t encourage her to do it like she did with Scarlett Harlett and Macaulay Culkin. My favourite thing about this though was the fact Billy obviously wasn’t a prepared look so she had to “make” the look and someone asked her if she was going to sew her outfit

No, she just used that entire bolt of fabric as a scarf.

Overall, a mostly good Snatch Game as far as the performances went, I didn’t find anyone unwatchable, which I usually do in Snatch Game, and I think that makes the format change that much more frustrating because this probably would have been a pretty good normal Snatch Game.

Lucky Charms

The runway theme this week was Luck Be A Lady and so Blu was obligated to go The Full Irish and did it superbly and without leaning into anything a little… stereotypical and iffy

This feels a lot like her polka dot runway from last week in that it’s very theatrical, incredibly intricate and has a very interesting shape to it and just looks *very* expensive. I will say, I wish she had gone darker with her eye makeup, the very lime green just felt a little out of place and jarred with her hair

but I am am obsessed with the little cauldron with the coins spilling out if it – it’s very Judith Leiber by way of the seasonal Halloween aisle in Tesco.

And while Blu managed to avoid dressing like a literal leprechaun, Baga Chipz could simply not resist and came bounding down that runway dressed like Annabelle the cursed doll’s Irish aunt

and fresh off the back of the least nuanced conversation about Cancel Culture in which Baga very much dismissed Monique’s very valid points about punching down at Black and Trans people by quoting a Bianca del Rio line from 8 years ago, she insists that nobody is allowed to be offended by this look because she has Irish heritage. I think people were going to be more offended by the fact it’s just not a great look? It reminds me a lot of Krystal Versace’s girl scout look

it’s not strictly bad, it’s very well made but there’s just a lack of depth to it – everything feels like it’s painted onto one level and a bit like a morphsuit.

Casinos and Las Vegas were another major inspiration for a lot of the queens’ looks, with Janey coming down the runway dressed as Elsa with gambling debts

My only real complaint is that the dress should have been absolutely dripping in casino chips, and not just a pair of belts and what look like a nurse’s fob watches. But I loved the chips she had put in her wig and her makeup is always stunning

and I appreciated that the back of the board she was walking around with was as interesting as the front

I do wish that it was maybe a little cheekier? Use it as a reveal – I think Janey is a great drag queen, but she doesn’t really have that killer Drag Race instinct, I imagine she’s great in a club but on TV she’s just a little too meek.

Pangina also went very literal with the runway and walked around with a slot machine strapped to her torso like a baby carrier and topped with a “WINNER!” sign that’s about to age like Eureka O’Hara’s “The Big Girl WINS!” reveal at the Season 10 finale…

I mean, there’s not much more to it, Pangina pretty much said it all

but unlike Janey she did have a reveal

I do think it was a pity that she she couldn’t easily take the slot machine off because the sort of half-pinstripe suit underneath looked really cool

but I do have to admire her for standing for the entire judging process holding that slot machine while clearly in absolute agony

it’s very Carmen Farala on Drag Race Espana standing in one pose, with her arm held aloft with a giant, incredibly heavy cobra head on it

and it was in that moment that you really knew she was going to win the entire season and it was literally episode 2. If only things had panned out like that for Pangina.

The last of the Vegas looks was from Mo Heart who was bringing The Flamingo Hotel and Casino to the UK in another outfit that only strengthens my desire for an entire episode to be dedicated to telling us how the queens packed for this season

It is of course made by Joshuan Aponté who basically makes like 60% of the outfits you see on the runway these days.
And after years of queens bringing in looks with light effect, the lighting crew did finally concede to dimming the lights to give Mo her moment

but let’s not even pretend that dimming the lights would have saved Ginger’s look from All Stars 2

other than the fact we would have been able to see less of it.

And last but…. well, probably least we have Jujubee who at least wasn’t dressed like she could be working in a shopping centre again

I really like the concept of this look but it really does just look like she turned a morphsuit into a gown – there’s just no detail or depth to it. And we have seen someone do a maneki-neko look before, or you have if you’re a real fan and actually watched Drag Race Thailand because Genie did it for the season 2 finale and fully leaned into camp which I think is the way to go with it

it would have at least made Jujubee doing the rocking paw a little less sad if she’d had a pair of absurd cat paws on

and I do get that there isn’t prize money for this season so I can’t really blame Jujubee for kind of half-arsing the runways and just hoping she’d get by on her charisma and charm in the maxi challenges which is… kind of working? So good for her I guess?

A Luck Be a Lady Runway Ranking

  1. Mo Heart Threatening The Lighting Department
  2. It’s Green Hydrangea Tonight
  3. Pangina’s Slot
  4. Elsa McFrozen in Vegas
  5. Baga, This is a Little Yikes
  6. Jujubee’s Kittiless Cat

After what was surprisingly not a car crash of a Snatch Game, I think Baga and Blu being top was pretty expected – I did think they might lower Baga based on her runway and the fact she didn’t give anyone else any breathing room and then put Mo Heart in the top instead. Which might have given us an at least halfway competent lipsync… But because we’ve reached the halfway stage of the competition, the queens that aren’t in the top are all up for elimination so it’s all downhill from here lads. The bottom 2 should absolutely have just been Janey and Jujubee, for what it’s worth. Jujubee probably still would have survived.

Blu-dy Violence

So Baga and Blu were lipsyncing to Let It Go by Alexandra Burke and NEVER in a million years would I have guessed it was anything remotely like that because Blu is dressed like Pop Punk Barbie from 1995 because it’s likely the only outfit that went with her lime green eye makeup

and Baga looked like Shirley Carter had fallen on bad times and been forced to join the circus

and I genuinely can’t tell if Baga was trying to make this into a serious performance or a humorous one? Because she was moving with such purpose, such dedication and yet… doing what can only be described as a Mo Heartwheel

but it gets worse because it very quickly descends into a one woman re-enactment of SNOWDANCE as she makes like a bacofoil wrapped turkey and barrel rolls for safety

and Blu was not a great deal better with her just piledriving her back into the floor and calling it a death drop

but if I had to choose between Baga Chipz waving her mahogany brown legs in the air like a side table in coitus

or Blu being possessed by the spirit of Joe Black

I would say, let Clara Amfo pick a lipstick because she outsold both of them from behind a desk

however Blu gets to reveal her lipstick and thus begins the most uncomfortable three minutes of television I have ever seen as from her sleeve she reveals Pangina’s name

and Pangina just breaks down, sobbing, crying, apologising to all of Thailand – it was gut wrenching to watch. Blu clearly SEVERELY underestimated the emotional impact that this would have on Pangina. She thought she was just pulling a gaggy stunt a la Naomi Smalls eliminating Manila in All Stars 4 and then it all exploded in her face and she had to stand there with RuPaul and Michelle having the audacity to be shocked and aghast by a decision they absolutely set up

and I do feel for Blu, it was instantaneous regret and mortification

like, she knows she’s now put a huge mark on her back and if she doesn’t land in the top, she’s definitely getting the chop, she did after all just decimate half of the RuPeter Badge population – the only person that might save her is Baga and the chances of Baga winning a lipsync are thinner than her lipsync wig.

I won’t be surprised if this marks the death of the current All Stars format – the reaction hasn’t really even been focused on Blu so much as it has the show itself, a little bit of which is because some fans feel vindicated for Lemon and Jimbo’s eliminations but also the format just doesn’t make for fun television. A huge selling point for Drag Race is the fun and frivolity of it all, which we don’t truly get with All Stars because everyone’s so stressed out by the ever shifting goal posts of the queens deciding who goes, at least when Ru is in charge you kind of know what you’re aiming for.

Anyway here’s to Pangina, she deserved better than to have them mic up her guttural sobbing as Ru gave the episode’s sign off and the queens started joyfully dancing around the stage

She’s an amazing queen and we continue to stan.

And so, 4 queens and the empty husk that is Jujubee remain

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