FINALLY! The premiere of Drag Race UK2, and boy did it blow away my expectations. For those that don’t know, this season started filming literally a year ago, and was stopped mid-production by the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic. (The pandemic plays a major part in how the season plays out, as you will see.) I am so glad that these queens finally get their international debuts, because they certainly are stars.
I won’t bore you with my thoughts on each queen, but I will say that overall, I was very impressed by this cast. Going into the episode, I had two concerns: 1) How could the producers possibly live up to the impeccable UK1 cast? And 2) the official promo looks were really not great, so I was worried about this crop’s fashion chops.
Those fears were totally unfounded. Within five minutes of Lawrence Chaney walking into the work room I had laughed more than I had at two full episodes of Drag Race Season 13. And every queen that followed enchanted me immediately. The personality this season is off the charts — even more low-key queens like Tia Kofi, Sister Sister, and Cherry Valentine are endearing.
As for the fashion — gagged. The entrance looks were largely solid, but these queens slayed that two-look maxi challenge in which they had to serve a gay icon and then a look related to their hometown. SPOILER, so if you haven’t watched the episode yet, make sure you turn away:
The fact that Joe Black was the first queen eliminated, and she wore THOSE stunning outfits, and it was a fashion challenge, really tells you how stacked this cast is. Joe is a UK drag legend and I thought both of those looks were beautiful. The judges argued that they missed the mark of the challenge. I think that was a stretch, especially regarding the Bowie look (“Life on Mars” is plenty iconic, Michelle Visage). But I also don’t think anyone else did worse, besides Bimini, who fairly saved herself with that lipsynch. Perhaps Tia Kofi in that very loose interpretation of Alan Turing…
Speaking of, lipsynchs were hands down the weakest part of UK1. Jury’s out on whether that will be different this time. Bimini was definitely giving us something in “Relax,” but was hampered, I think, by those very heavy boots. It seemed like Joe gave up midway through the song, so that’s a bummer. Perhaps she took “Relax” too literally? But trust me when I say it’s going to be a crazy season. Stuff is going to happen that has literally never happened on any Drag Race. So stay tuned.
What did you think of the episode? What are your thoughts on the new queens? Drop a comment here or over at the Facebook pool group!
Speaking of the pool, here is the UPDATED SCOREBOARD, thanks to data master Michael Schwarz. See how you’re doing and MAKE SURE TO GET IN YOUR PICKS FOR EPISODE 2! Those will be due by Wednesday, January 20.
How did we come up with those Toots and Boots? Check out this week’s episode of Bird Watch, our UK2 fashion review edited by the very talented Curtis Creekmore (thank you, Curtis!). This week I was joined by Brett Chin, one of our regulars from our Drag Race Canada videos last summer. Check it out below and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more original content!
Speaking of Canada, in Drag Race news, Canada 2 was officially announced last week, and RuPaul and Michelle flew down to New Zealand last week to start filming Drag Race Down Under, the Australia/New Zealand/Oceania edition of the franchise. So for 2021 you’re going to have: Season 13, UK2, All Stars 6, Espana, Canada 2, UK3 (filming as soon as they wrap Down Under), Down Under and allegedly a new Asian-based spinoff. The devil works hard, but RuPaul Charles works harder…
See you next week! Tati byes!