I could go about doing my usual ‘previously on’ joke for the premiere of the newest season of Drag Race, but to be honest, I am just too damn excited to see these Brits slay. Pomp, circumstance and smutty banter has finally made its way across the pond and I have assumed the position. Because I. Am. READY.
The lucky first queen to take advantage of that sashay into the UK Werk Room is Baga Chipz who mentioned a passion for getting coated in cum and therefore, you know I already love her. She was joined by Ireland’s Blu Hydrangea who is an adorable little twink that I want to adopt and make sure is making wise choices. Divina De Campo was next and looks like Robbie Turner if Robbie had a talent for anything other than lying. Plus she mentioned the OG season 1 filter which is enough to win me over. In addition to the fact she is a legit celebrity. Crystal arrived with one of the best entry lines of all time and honestly, is very attractive and I love her.
Sum Ting Wong is my new favourite as she couldn’t get through her entry line without laughing at herself and kinda sounds like Ringo Starr. Cheryl Hole seems like the UK equivalent of Alyssa Edwards and I already love her. Particularly since they look alike out of drag. Maybe it’s the teeth? Gothy Kendoll arrived, filling Baga Chipz and Divina with an overwhelming feeling of senility given everyone is so young. Vinegar Strokes arrived quoting Eastenders, so she too, I already love her. Scaredy Kat was up next and I am a little bit terrified, though given she is bi and has only been doing drag for 11 months, I love that she is bringing something fresh. Rounding out the cast is The Vivienne, who won a pageant to be the UK’s Drag Race ambassador making her an early favourite.
Before they could celebrate their luck at being the cast of season one, Ru arrived doing some majestic accent work to welcome them to the competition. Mama Ru then explained that they would be competing for the chance to be whisked over to Hollywood to star in their very own digital series. Because BBC is a publicly funded network, FYI. She then wheeled out the Brit Crew – and honestly, I am wetter than a London’s day, the Thames and the newspaper wrapping fish and chips all rolled into one – before tasking the queens with the first mini challenge of the season to pose with the aforementioned Brit Crew and their own severed heads.
Baga Chips was up first and flashed her kooch so that her head could be inserted like she is birthing herself. Icon. Blu Hydrangea was adorable and quoted Cher by way of Chad Michaels. Divina was adorbs, Crystal gave herself head, Cheryl was cute, Gothy kicked herself in the head and made Ru lose his mind with the lack of energy. Vinegar Strokes had to explain what her name means to Ru, Scaredy Kat shat herself out and won my heart, Sum Ting Wong tried to prove that breast is best while The Vivienne gave a masterclass in accent work for Ru. Ultimately Scaredy Kat took out the first win, much to her delight and the chagrin of Divina who is shocked that a baby could do that.
The queens were then tasked with the first maxi challenge of the series, to serve their best Queen Lizzie realness on the runway in addition to a look that represents why they’re the queen of their hometowns. When Ru left the queens got out of drag with Baga wandering around to scope out the trade – Crystal’s little tuft of chest hair, swoon – and the group started talking about getting their teeth done. Since the stereotype is that British people have terrible teeth. This made Gothy Kendoll feel super insecure as she doesn’t like her teeth and didn’t want anyone to notice them, and instead focus on her killer looks.
Elimination Day rolled around as the queens panicked to get their looks together. Vinegar Strokes pulled Scaredy Kat under her wing, making the latter feel safe about her first time performing on stage. Baga Chipz, The Vivienne and Crystal got together to talk royalty and Trump while Blu, Divina and Gothy spoke about their small town upbringing and speculated just how harsh Michelle will be with everyone.
Ru and Michelle were joined by Alan Carr and Andrew Garfield on the judges panel for the girls first time which immediately made me jealous, since I’m still yet to have my first time with Andrew.
Crystal’s hometown look served my version of the Zombie film clip realness – you all did it with Christmas beads while decorating the tree, be honest – with chest hair and pits on display, instantly flooding my basement. Cheryl served Essex excellence channelling Paris Hilton. Sum Ting Wong was all bull and full of horn, Blu Hydrangea was beautiful with an homage to the company that built Titanic, neglecting the fact that building a sinking ship ain’t something to be proud of. Baga Chipz was hilarious in Amy Winehouse cosplay, The Vivienne was fierce as Pete Burns, Vinegar Strokes was belted by the Thames, Gothy Kendoll went for cheesy tiger – no joke – while Scaredy Kat was hippy chic, fresh from the marshlands and Divina was a trippy, cartoonish delight.
For their Lizzie realness Crystal served sexy military trooping of the colour, Cheryl served afternoon tea in the gardens, Sum Ting Wong went with snail mail realness, Blu was all about the coin, Baga went Lizzie with a Dolores Umbridge edge, The Vivienne went with hunting in Balmoral, Vinegar Strokes went with a sunny ‘70s look, Gothy went back to the queen’s early years while Scaredy one upped it and went for the Queen when she was just a baby princess. And Divina brought more sex to the palace than Prince Phillip.
Ultimately Crystal, Blu, Scaredy Kat and Divina were classed as safe and sent back to the Werk Room, leaving the tops and bottoms – I know, I know, we’re all bottoms – to stand around and be read for filth by Michelle. Cheryl’s first look received universal praise, while the second one was read for being bland and without Lizzie’s signature bag. Sum Ting Wong received universal praise for both looks, Baga’s Amy Winehouse performance was praised and while everyone liked her second look, any flaws were quickly charmed away by Baga’s wit. The Vivienne confused Michelle into thinking she came out in prosthetics and let’s be honest, is the clear frontrunner already. Vinegar’s Thames belt was read for filth and Michelle was disappointed in her lack of ironing. The judges could tell that Gothy’s nerves got the best of her, with Andrew trying to encourage her to use the nerves to drive her performance.
Backstage Divina was disappointed to find herself amongst the safe queens, before the tops and bottoms joined them to gasbag about the critiques. Cheryl was sure that she was in the bottom, Gothy was nervous and Vinegar was sad that the judges didn’t connect with her looks, breaking down and getting a pep talk from The Vivienne and Baga.
Back on the runway Baga and Sum Ting Wong were deemed safe before The Vivienne took out this week’s challenge. Cheryl narrowly avoided the bottom two, leaving Vinegar Strokes and Gothy Kendoll to battle it out lip syncing – I thought all the girls sang in the UK, Charlie? – to Dua Lipa’s New Rules. And honestly there wasn’t much competition as Vinegar’s West End background helped her slay, while Gothy’s nerves continued to keep her subdued. Vinegar pulled a Roxxxy and was flipping hats and wigs, and while Gothy grew into her performance, it wasn’t enough as she tragically found herself becoming the first queen to sashay away from Drag Race UK.
But not before pulling a Vanjie, backing off the stage chanting Miss Kendoll. Like a damn icon.
After literally backing into me backstage, I pulled Gothy into a massive hug and reminded her that being the first person ever booted from the series is the most iconic place to land. And that her look was definitely worth 60P.
I’ve known Gothy for years, meeting while I was working at a Leicester Cheese factory next to her daycare. I was trying to woo one of the father’s that dropped off there, so I took to stealing cheese to provide toasties for the tots and prove how great a step-father I can be.
While the plan quickly turned to shit when I was eventually arrested for grand theft fromage, I was able to impress young Gothy with a delightful Coffee Cakendoll. Who said giving kids coffee is a bad idea?
Packing a massive punch of coffee, there is something so delightfully nostalgic about this cake. A light fluffy crumb and a thick layer of rich frosting, this is the perfect way to block out the pain of being the first boot.
Serves: 8-12, or you know one sad first boot.
500g butter, softened
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
⅔ cup milk, at room temperature
⅓ cup espresso, plus 2 tbsp for the frosting
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp kahlua
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C and grease and line the base of two 20cm cake tins.
To make the cake, combine half the butter, the raw caster sugar and the vanilla in a bowl and using a stand mixer, cream on medium speed until light and fluffy. And to clarify, the stand mixer is solely because when it comes to hand mixing, I’m unenthused.
Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the batter to become fully homogeneous before adding another. Did this queen just get a thesaurus or did I opt for using the Queen’s English? You’ll never know.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold through the flour and baking powder, followed by the milk and the espresso until it is gloriously tanned. Not Katya in tan with you tanned. Split the batter between the two cake tins and bake for 30 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before flipping out on a cooling rack to get as cool as an English evening.
While it is getting chill, get to work on the frosting by creaming the remaining butter with the icing sugar, remaining espresso and the kahlua. You know, to get tipsy. Beat together until light and fluffy before stepping back and taking in the moment. You’re doing amazing sweetie.
Once you’ve Kris Jenner’ed yourself, get to work assembling the cake by placing one on a serving dish. Generously dollop on some frosting and spread over the top so you have a thick filling. Top with the other cake and dollop on the rest of the frosting, smoothing the top and covering the sides as you go.
Allow to sit for fifteen minutes, if you can wait, before carving and devouring. The latter is really the only necessary part of that equation though.
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