“Drag Race UK vs. the World” Season 2, Episode 3 Recap

February 24, 2024

BY Eric Rezsnyak

This week the queens had to tackle branding in the form of the green-screen “infomercial” challenge. These can be absolute death, as seen in the “UK3” “Draglexa” challenge that was so awful that literally nobody won. So I was frankly dreading what we would be getting out of “Drag Race World,” in which the queens were split into three groups of three to create immersive drag experiences for their fans. Ultimately I thought the results were…fine. I didn’t particularly love any group’s video from start to finish, although some queens at least made an impression. But I have to say that between a fairly mediocre challenge and a largely uninspiring runway, I think I need to lower my expectations for this group of queens. I love most of them individually, but I’m just not seeing enough star power coming through by Episode 3. And that genuinely surprises me.


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I’ll go over my thoughts on each group’s “Drag Race World” video, and then my general thoughts on the “Ruveal Yourself” runway.

Team 1: Marina Summers, Keta Minaj, Tia Kofi. I thought overall this was one of the more successful commercials, with one glaring exception. The girls decided to take the “World” part of “Drag Race World” very literally, and gave their video a tourism spin, as customers jetset from Holland to the Philippines to the UK, taking part in drag activities from each culture. Keta’s Holland portion was a mess. Her attempt at branding was to push the term “Ketamorphosis,” which I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say on the show before, and then do a painting bit with a Brit Crew member in a nod to Van Gogh. The judges said Keta had too many ideas and needed to edit, I think it was just forced and missed the whole point of the challenge. As someone who was very impressed by Keta in “Holland” S2, I’m shocked she is struggling so badly here. Yes, she was Top 2 in the ball, but both her Talent Show and this episode were so off the mark. It’s frustrating. I thought Marina did well as both the hostess on the airplane, and in her Filipino rice field drag boot camp segment. While Keta was pushing too hard, Marina made her bits seem effortless. Tia was the only one in her group who understood that branding on “Drag Race” comes down to iconic references from the show, and she incorporated that into her bit. It wasn’t as natural feeling or as funny as Marina’s, but it was the most successful at the branding element.

Team 2: La Grand Dame, Hannah Conda, Jonbers Blonde. Awful. I’m sorry, this was a slog. For what was supposed to be a 2-minute commercial it felt like it went on for 10 minutes. There was some drama in this group, as LGD burned through most of the group’s allotted time as she struggled through her French fashion icon segment. And even after spending all that time, it was still terrible. LGD has been acing the competition thus far, and this was her first real stumble. I think the concept was funny, but the execution was lacking, and I’m not sure if she did enough to tie the branding element to her specifically. Hannah was the sole bright spot here, as her Hannah’s Cove bit delivered the commercial’s only laugh, when the parrot programmed to mimic Hannah’s signature cackle was thrown into the air and just plummeted to the ground. She said she had to cut a bunch of her prop-based sequences due to lack of time, but it was still the best. And then Jonbers. Jonbers took us on a multi-destination tour of Ireland, I guess, throwing in a bunch of jokes that weren’t at all funny, “Drag Race” references nobody remembers (I think that dog puppet was from one of her season’s acting challenges), and weird tangents that made no sense. It seemed like it went on forever, which is funny because she allegedly had no time due to the LGD issue.

Team 3: Scarlet Envy, Choriza May, Gothy Kendoll: This group presented the tightest commercial with the clearest connection to the branding part of the challenge, although I don’t think it was particularly funny. Scarlet put her advertising degree to use presenting a clear pitch to the audience, and kept the bits directly relating not only to “Drag Race” but also their individual experiences on the “Race.” So Gothy had a moment where it looked like she was jerking off over the Brit Crew, but was actually giving them her signature tiger make-up from her original season. Scarlet gave us her “I’m the drama” bit. Choriza referenced crying in “Untucked.” Etc. None of it was side-splitting, but they understood the assignment and they delivered.

On the runway, the “RuVeal Yourself” prompt gave us a few notable looks. La Grand Dame gave us a first, as she allegedly peed herself on the runway (I’m assuming it was a joke) so that her gorgeous white pageant gown revealed “World Piss” through the sheer, wet fabric. She flopped the challenge but nailed the runway. Marina Summers gave us an incredible volcanic rock dress that she ripped chunks off of, revealing glittery lava strands beneath. Then she cracked the whole thing open and gave us a glowing lava-like dress. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: whatever happens, these two will end this season as “Drag Race” superstars. I thought Jonbers looked gorgeous in a rainbow cover-up that was quickly discarded to give us a pot of gold underneath, and I was living for that wig with the crown on top of it — when she nails a look, she really nails it. Tia gave us three different RuPaul-inspired outfits, and I will always support a queen blatantly sucking up to the head judge — it’s just smart gameplay. The remaining queens didn’t make much of an impression on me with their looks, and someone pointed out that Scarlet had already worn hers — which was just a coat that opened to a dress underneath, hardly a “RuVeal” — before in the competition.

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Ultimately the Top 2 of the week were Scarlet Envy and Tia Kofi, who got to lipsynch to “Future Stars Now” in front of the singer herself, Kim Petras. It’s weird to me that the show did not make a bigger deal of Kim Petras, whereas Season 16 made it seem like it was a huge get to secure Becky G, a person I have barely heard of. Kim Petras just released one of the great bathhouse soundtracks of our time, Slut Pop Miami, and this show can’t be bothered to celebrate her more? Rude. The lipsynch was…adequate, but I did think that Scarlet won it, and she was ultimately given the choice between sending home Keta Minaj or Jonbers Blonde. Keta already had one Top 2 under her belt, while Jonbers had been Safe, Safe, Bottom 2. And despite Scarlet’s public statements that she would send home the biggest threat, she made a big show of proving to the other girls that they could trust her by eliminating the weaker performer, Jonbers Blonde.

I’ve read some interviews with Jonbers, and it’s clear she thinks that was incorrect. She has said explicitly that there were others in the challenge that were worse than her — debatable, although certainly LGD and Keta were both really bad, and Gothy was stiff and brought very little to the table. Jonbers went on to say that she felt that she was being taken out before Snatch Game, which she was certain she would have smashed. And this is the part where I say, Jonbers is deeply delusional. She thought she would kill the Snatch Game against La Grand Dame and Hannah Conda, who won their original Snatch Games? She didn’t even win on her original season. She never won ANY maxi challenge on her original season. She claims that when you consider her original season, she had one of the best track records. She was only ever Safe in Bottom 2 in “UK4.” Like, where is this coming from?

I blame this on the judges, who kept telling her in Season 4 that she was funny. I don’t see it, I never have. She’s gorgeous and has a great sense of style, but her sense of humor just doesn’t resonate broadly, as we saw this challenge. She also made a big deal about being the only finalist among the UK girls in this season, and never having been eliminated by RuPaul herself. OK, but you came in 4th Place on a two-queen season. Let’s be honest. It was ALWAYS Danny or Cheddar, and none of the rest of that cast were ever really in the mix. I’m all for self confidence, but let’s also try to balance it with at least a touch of self awareness.

Next: It’s Snatch Game. Which obviously Jonbers Blonde would have won. Obviously!

Did you miss our previous recaps? Find them here:

Episode 2

Episode 1

We’re also recapping U.S. Season 16 and “Espana All Stars.” You can find those recaps by clicking here!

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