Drag Race UK vs The World, Series 1, The Final: Purgatorial Cabaret Scene

Elizabeth I on the 8th of February 1587.

So, how did you find out who won? Was it the premature Spotify posting? Mo Heart congratulating Blu Hydrangea at 21:36? Or did you make it to the end of the episode?

And so it all comes down to this and I have to say, this really didn’t feel like a finale, the queens just had *nothing* to actually do or really prepare for. They didn’t even have the Emotional Trauma Power Hour with Ru and Michelle for a fake podcast episode that never ends up getting released, which is shocking given that much of this episode was just RuPaul using the top 4 queens as live bait while she went BAFTA fishing – truly this season was just RuPaul vs The Global Television Awards Pantheon. She will eventually find a way to get this franchise to BEGOT, so get ready for Drag Race: The Movie Musical!

I think they should have done it a lot like Canada’s Drag Race did their reunion episode, where they brought back all the eliminated queens to have a full reunion chat for half an hour and then did a Lipsync Smackdown for the last half of the show because can you even imagine if Jimbo was given a full 30 minutes when she managed to give her very own, utterly rotten, Peter from Come Dine With Me style monologue in just 6? It was powerfully early Drag Race Season 2 energy

Jimbo was practically built by the Drag Race algorithm to be reunion gold dust and yet they have failed to utilise that *both* seasons she’s been on. I think this entire cast would’ve made for a really great reunion, especially as this is the first “All Stars” season that’s kind of been played with the tactical thinking that the producers have always wanted it to be played with, and I think a more moderated reunion would’ve benefited that.

And yes it’s worth mentioning that the reaction to Jimbo’s “Untucked” moment has mostly been “OMG! Jimbo is iconic!” whereas Mo Heart saying she thought Blu’s hair was crunchy and her outfit “not the most solid” in the premier was met with “Good God, Mo Heart is a mean bitch!” which kind of just highlights the issue that the general Drag Race viewership has with any Black queen being even slightly catty or shady. And the solution isn’t to tell drag queens to stop being catty and shady, but to tell people to stop holding Black queens to significantly higher standards.

The Return of the Queens

In the grand tradition of a finale, the eliminated queens did get to return, which did mean that Lemon got to showcase a little more of that “A lot of money” that she spent on Drag Race

and yeah, if I was returning and had one garment to show off, I would very much have made it the Joshuan Aponte creation too – between this, the dress Alyssa Hunter would’ve worn for her frills runway and Mo’s Vegas lightshow dress, he’s been a very busy boy

it’s very Miss Universe, which I think is what you should always be aiming for with a finale runway. The thing with these big fan outfits, is that you have to take into account what it looks like when you let it down and I think the jagged ridge of the maple leaf at least made it look interesting

if perhaps leaning slightly towards looking like a ringmaster going to a charity gala in the Gossip Girl universe where there’s a charity gala every half a season but you have to raise money for orphaned clowns somehow.

She was of course followed by Cheryl, who had obviously spent a hot minute googling the national flowers of the UK as she very clearly read “Northern Irish Flax Flower” off a piece of paper in the confessional booth

I do really love this dress though, I think there’s something very operatic about it and reminds me of Evelyn Nesbit, who was the original American “It Girl” and famously spent an evening with some rich dude playing what her biographers describe “spontaneous games” on a red velvet swing in his New York mansion. She could maybe have done more flowers, but the fact she had stoned them, I don’t blame her for only having the modest trickle

and I think her makeup is very underrated because it looks simple, but it’s always elegant.

Jimbo followed and was suitably dressed like a Disney villain that’s about to ruin a party

this fabric is gorgeous and I’m glad it’s on a dress that isn’t too gimmicky, because it would be very easy to have used it to remake one of Mugler’s infamous dragon dresses, which there are certainly elements of here, but the fabric was the dress’s statement and then of course there was the moose skull crown

I mean, you don’t come in wearing the skull of an animal to play nice, do you?

And then of course Pangina just completely slayed

I will always love me an Elizabeth I costume, so this was catnip to me and I love the way she fused it with obvious Thai inspirations like the headpiece, the shape of the shoulders and skirt and of course the theatrical Kohn style makeup twist that she put on the iconic whitened Elizabethan face

and my God, the wig! It’s just top tier, high drag and I cannot stress enough how much I love it – it’s just so beautiful.

And of course Janey had to try and follow Pangina and while Lemon rose to the heights of Miss Universe, Janey’s was a little more Miss State Fair

it’s always going to be dangerous wearing a dress in that specific shade of blue and putting clouds on it, because I will instantaneously start humming The Simpsons theme tune. I think the sun on her chest is the most successful part of this costume, the flowers at the bottom are a little… sad looking, but it certainly read as a Holland inspired dress, so… at least there was that.

And then of course came the Top 4, lead by Baga Chipz in what is absolutely the best look Baga Chipz has ever worn on the runway

it doesn’t surprise me that in order to get an actual, fashionable looking runway outfit from Baga that she did have to literally just do Elizabeth Taylor cosplay though

but I did also actually like Baga’s makeup – the green and purple duochrome glitter she used was really pretty

and I feel her pain of everyone only being able to see it when you blinked – hooded eyes be damned!

Blu was next in her *checks notes* Northern Irish Flax Flower blue outfit

I think this utterly beautiful, I do wish there a little more variation in colour between the ruffled capelet and everything else, just to give it all a bit more depth – just a slightly lighter blue, nothing major, I think it would have helped the look not feel so overwhelming, because I was very distracted by how small her head looked even with the Coneheads wig on

but I did really like the look and I loved the statement about the ridiculously stoned dove carrying the Irish and UK flags


it was a strong finale look and I think leant very much into what the franchise wants this whole “Vs The World” format to be.

The first of the American contingent was Jujubee, and I think we all waited with bated breath to see what Jujubee would walk out with for the finale runway given her track record this season AND THEN WOW

I don’t love these puffy peplum dresses in the main, but I think in this fabric it manages to hold a lot more of its shape and it looked a lot more structured than they usually are, and I think it is genuinely very flattering on Jujubee, she’s never looked so tall! And of course her mug was beautiful, the wig was correct and I loved her choice of jewellery

but that’s to be expected with Juju.

And lastly Mo Heart came barrelling down the runway looking the grill of the most fabulous lorry

I like this, I think she did a great job with matching the nude illusion to her skin tone. I do think she could have worn this in the first episode and saved the massive great big fuck off green dress for the finale, the fact the first runway theme was “I’m a winner!” was very weird, wasn’t it?

Lipsync Smackdown

It was of course a Lipsync Smackdown finale with The Wheel of Drag Fate making its dramatic return, and apparently they’ve got their money’s worth out of it because they only spun it once, landing on Mo Heart who go to choose her opponent, and the very life left Baga’s eyes

Head empty, no vibes.

And sure enough, wisely… strategically… she chose Baga Chipz – it really wasn’t a finale format made for Baga, was it? She did however get to select the mystery box containing their song, which is absolutely not really a choice but ok, and by the look of the reaction she was hoping for the Duran Duran number

which probably would’ve suited her more comedic styling better than Domino by Jessie J.

The Domino Effect

I do love that after a season of mostly praising Mo Heart’s Werk Room outfits as being Drag Race runway worthy looks, that for this lipsync she was essentially just reprising her casually fabulous Big Bird look from the Snatch Game episode

meanwhile Baga Chipz was going to be doing the Liza Minnelli bit that Jujubee stole from her during the Rusical Challenge

and really the fact Baga was dressed like Jessie J once she reaches 50 and is therefore banished to the purgatorial cabaret scene was the only thing working in her favour because comedic performances never go down particularly well in the final of an All Stars season, as Ginger Minj will testify to. So while Mo Heart maybe didn’t do anything particularly spectacular during this lipsync, her musicality and rhythm was definitely more appealing than Baga standing there doing this every time the lyrics said “dirty dancing” or “strum me like a guitar”

I’m mostly shocked though that we only got one pratfall

and a singular failed attempt at reviving the classic Tia Kofi knee slide – there is nothing a British drag queen loves more than absolutely demolishing their kneecaps

and while they could have easily edited this in Baga’s favour, because she *technically* did more, the fact none of these moves were followed by RuPaul just about falling out of her seat in a fit of hysteria was very telling about how this lipsync was going to go, and yes Mo Heart did win

so if you hadn’t been spoiled by Spotify posting the songs hours before the finale went out or Mo Heart sending out congratulations tweets 18 minutes into the episode, you could finally relax that we weren’t living in the timestream where Baga Chipz won, apologies to that alternative universe, did your Mo Heart slip on her banana skin outfit a la Maddy Morphosis’s banana burlesque TikTok

Maddy’s TikTok is amazing, just a treasure trove of nonsense, I love her.

Bit of a Reflex

This was a slightly more interesting lipsync, mostly because Jujubee is a great lipsyncer, there’s a reason she won 5 lipsyncs over the course of Season 2 and The All Stars Season We Must Never Talk About, which were mostly quite dramatic ballas, but she won the Toy lipsync this season so she’s got quite a broad range, and she certainly had the more controlled performance in this battle and I really loved her outfit

it has been well established that Jujubee looks great in orange and I was mostly just relieved it wasn’t another black mini dress when it so easily could have been. But I also loved Blu’s sentient car seat of an outfit

there’s a very strong Power Rangers villain vibe to it, with the bold pauldrons and the slight puffiness to everything. As for her approach to this lipsync, she was certainly doing a lot and she did pull out the good old power move that is just blocking your competition from view

but I’m not sure Blu moves how she thinks she’s moving, there’s an almost entrancing inelegance to it all, the closest thing I can think of is the dance Abigail Breslin does in Little Miss Sunshine

which I find very endearing and for someone who isn’t a choreographer, she does very well and you could really see how hungry she was for this win, meanwhile Jujubee was just there for the vibes and fun, and so Blu does very much deservedly win

I think a Blu vs Mo finale was the best outcome we could have hoped for – prior to the season starting, I really hadn’t expected Blu to last more than a few episodes but if this season has been nothing else it’s been a lesson in not trying to predict what’s going to happen – truly it’s just been 6 collective hours of chaos.

Never Say Supernova

And so it all came down to Blu vs Mo Heart with a lipsync to Kylie Minogue’s Supernova and I am VERY relieved that we’re getting at least 1 good Kylie Lipsync this year after Maddy Morphosis only just narrowly survived the slow and painful physical decomposition of June Jambalaya set to Kylie’s “I Love It”. I also really loved that they both had *great* outfits for this lipsync, with Mo looking like toxic waste Godzilla

and Blu looking every bit like an intergalactic princess in an outfit that I’m going to assume was made by Abraham Levy because he tends to make a lot of these very metallic, geometric performance outfits – he’s almost as prolific a Drag Race designer as Joshuan Aponté and Diego Montoya

and I love that she obviously left the back flat, because she was going to be shablaming herself at some point

I just wish they had maybe made the knickers at the back slightly more cohesive

especially given that they were going to make her prance up and down the runway when she was crowned.

Their approaches to this lipsync were very similar to their earlier ones, Mo didn’t really do a lot but still felt very connected to the song but I think the fact Blu was doing so much, and while I would normally find doing The Robot in the middle of a Kylie Minogue lipsync to be an unforgivable act of violence, I think it’s the best series of dance moves that Blu Hydrangea has ever executed

and while Blu may have occasionally fallen into that very literal interpretation of lyrics that makes you look like you’re in a school talent show number, she was certainly the more captivating of the two, even if it was sometimes in horror as she did what I think was meant to be vogueing

see what I mean about The Robot being her best moves?

And while I was massively rooting for Mo Heart to take the crown this season, I think that ultimately, Blu did win this lipsync and is a very deserving winner of the season

she’s had great challenge performances, some very underrated runway looks and just a great personality – she’s certainly made the season a very interesting one, and finally gave the producers the drama that they’ve wanted, so hopefully they got that out of their system and we can rethink the All Stars format.

And so, we have our first Global Drag Race Superstar!

And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of the Drag Race UK vs The World Finale and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.

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