Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens sang for their lives in Rats! the Rusical. As is becoming tradition, Ginny was bonkers, while week one’s victor Asttina was flat, Tia was hilarious and Veronica emerged as a star. Cherry’s nerves got the better of her while Lawrence was able to power through her’s. Ultimately Veronica took out a very, very well deserved win – that runway, swoon – before Cherry and Tayce battled in the most unexpected lip sync to Memory. And oh God, did they serve emotion. While they both had me covered in goosebumps, one of them had to go as Cherry exited the competition.
The queens ventured backstage, praising Cherry and the emotion of the lip sync, which was so emotive Tayce vowed to never lip sync again. And to not go anywhere. Sister and A’Whora got the group talking on the overwhelming emotions of the day, with A’Whora softening and talking about how you never know what someone else is struggling with and how it is starting to throw her. Tia meanwhile was just thrilled to be whittling down the girls and making it one step further. Finally the queens praised Veronica on slaying the challenge, with her admitting that she is glad she spoke up because if she didn’t, she may have been the one going home. Meanwhile Ellie shared that she now has her eyes on Veronica and vowed to take her out.
We then got a montage of Ellie, Lawrence and Tayce talking about how this will be their week, begging the question, are they our top or bottom three tonight?
The queens returned to the Werk Room the next day, congratulating themselves on making the top ten before they were quickly interrupted by Ru for this week’s mini challenge to go as low as possible. In a quick drag carnivale, limbo battle to the sounds of Jodie Harsh. Soooo, there was not much actual limbo going on, particularly for Ginny who just walked right under it. But then Ru started to lower the bar and while Lawrence was hilarious, Ellie showed full bush, Tia was demented and Bimini looked like a showgirl, Asttina could actually limbo. Until she couldn’t, handing joint victory to Tayce and Veronica.
Despite normally being granted some sort of power, everyone was a winner in the end as Ru told the queens to pair up with their best judy for the next Maxi Challenge. Sister Sister and Ginny Lemon got together, Veronica went with Tia, Tayce and A’Whora continued their blossoming romance, Asttina and Bimini aligned while the Scots, Lawrence and Ellie, banded together. They then learnt that they would be competing against their partner, to design the best outfit out of matching coloured boxes. Oh and then we learnt that Veronica and Tayce did win an advantage, that being the power to divide the colours amongst the queens. Against Michelle’s preference, Veronica snatched green, Tayce gave herself and A’Whora black, Veronica gave pink to Ginny and Sister while Tayce gave blue to Asttina and Bimini, leaving gold for Lawrence and Ellie.
The duos disappeared to de-drag and prepare, with A’Whora very confident in her skills, given she went to the leading design school in the country. Sister too was feeling confident, given she has fun with her sewing machine. Her partner Ginny however wasn’t as thrilled, given her skills go as far making a pillowcase. As everyone delved into their boxes, the were delighted to discover a bunch of sequinseses, sparkles, pleathers and TBH, this is a very fair challenge. Sister was semi-erect at the thought of going against Coco Chanel’s advice and throwing everything at her outfit until it looks presentable. Ellie meanwhile was worried about how she would narrow down what fabric to use while Lawrence hoped to snag a win by leaning on her costume making experience, since she has been doing it since she was a wee lass of ten.
Tia meanwhile acknowledged that she is that queen that doesn’t know how to sew, while Veronica was quickly sketching up another glorious gown. Tayce too was on struggle street as A’Whora continued to go against her delightful villain instincts, giving her a pep talk and some advice on how to test out her designs.
Ru made his return to chat to the queens, with Ginny and Sister both committing to stick with their brands while Ru tried to get Ginny to step out of her comfort zone and serve sexy. Which she vowed to do, for Ru. Bimini and Asttina on the flipside were planning to serve body, with the latter going anime school girl realness. While Bimini was planning to go as a well dressed stripper. Minus balloons, as Ru advised. Lawrence and Ellie meanwhile were super confident, before talk turned to how little girls are paid in Scotland and the sexual tension between A’Whora and Tayce. So, tackling all the important issues really. Veronica continued to be super happy and confident, while Tia continued to be confident in the fact nobody expects her to look good and as such, can only impress. Despite having zero sewing skills. Finally Ru dropped by the burgeoning lovers, with A’Whora going full fashion while Tayce was sticking to her jacket gown. And questioned whether Lawrence would know sexual tension if it punched her in the face.
After Ru dropped the bomb that there would only be tops and bottoms this week, Veronica started to spiral about potentially sending her bestie home. With Tia telling her to get over it and do what she does best because they will always be friends. And gah, I love them. Not fearing going home, however, was Asttina who was very confident in her anime look and was swanning about the Werk Room and given they keep showing it, I am worried for her safety tonight.
We returned to Sister and Ginny chatting about how happy they are with their box before Ginny opened up about her drag character’s penchant for yellow, given it is the non-binary colour. They then had a beautiful conversation about Ginny’s journey to knowing and loving herself, and ugh, I wish Ginny saw what everyone else sees in her. Bimini dropped by to make sure she was ok, bonding over their experience of being non-binary, allowing Ginny to share more about their difficult upbringing and Bimini giving her a much needed pep talk and a big old bom-boulash-hug.
As everyone else continued to work on their outfits, to varying levels of success, Tayce made a sleeve. Until she realised she hadn’t, given there were no openings. Thankfully A’Whora continued her Miss Congeniality campaign and stepped in to save the day. Veronica meanwhile was powering ahead before getting distracted by Tia who completely scrapped her plans and decided to start again with a completely new concept. Which is a bit eeeek for my liking.
Elimination Day rolled around with Asttina still feeling super confident, given some of the other girls’ looks were a total mess. She then decided her look was pretty perfect and as such, was just going to stop there while Bimini suggested that maybe she should embellish it. Sister Sister meanwhile was helping Ginny sex it up with some padding as A’Whora shared that she was overwhelmed by the pressure given she was blacklisted from the design industry because she is a drag queen. Tayce on the flipside was living for her pinned together garment, given she found a loophole to the challenge.
Oh and Tia, well, um, she is just ready to lip sync as she knows it is coming.
On the mainstage, Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by the gorgeous Jourdan Dunn before the duos got to work. Tayce completely sold her architectural Malificent number but proved no match for A’Whora’s head to toe puffy delight. Ginny was hilariously glam as a suburban sexpot while Sister slayed in a tonal ruched number. Veronica was well put together though got lucky to be facing off against Tia, who looked far better than she gave herself credit for. Asttina looked good, albeit very basic while Bimini was stunning in a full fashion moment, serving a tonne of arse. Ellie was glorious in gold while Lawrence stunned in a dramatic gown.
Ultimately A’Whora, Sister Sister, Veronica, Bimini and Lawrence were the winners of each duo, though I’d argue Ellie easily could have won. Which is exactly what her partner did, claiming her first victory of the season. And a glorious RuPeter badge. With that the tops left – a sentence I always hate writing – leaving the bottoms to be critiqued, with the judges praising Tayce for looking stunning and essentially said, she is only here because someone from each pair had to be.They lived for Ginny’s sexpot persona and her ability to put herself into the look, despite the details kind of lacking. Ginny then shared that she struggles with all the compliments she is receiving in the competition, given she has always been made to feel worthless and urgh, I just want to hug her.
Tia meanwhile got to work charming the judges, knowing that is the only way she can save herself. Michelle praised her for having a perfectly beat face before Ru and Jourdan suggested she should be a model, leading to her breaking down about not feeling beautiful like Tayce. Asttina was read for being basic and mixing her influences, with the judges unsure what the point of her outfit is. She too started to break down after Ru suggested she is better than that outfit, sharing that she joined the competition to challenge herself and she hates letting them down. And Ellie? Well the judges thought she was stunning and only landed here because some had to.
Backstage the winners praised Lawrence on her first victory, while Lawrence admitted that she was shocked to win against someone as talented as A’Whora. A’Whora then started to get down on herself, with Veronica suggesting that she could have won if she didn’t focus on pulling together Tayce’s look for her too. Veronica continued to be shady, asking who they think will land in the bottom with the queens all agreeing Tia. And A’Whora going one step further and full-blown willing her out of the competition, given she is bored of her and is sick of sickening people leaving over her.
This irked Veronica who yelled at her for being mean about Tia and saying that she is sickening and deserves to be here. Right on cue, the bottoms arrived with Tia in tears over continuing to get in her own way in the competition. She then shared that she feels like people are just waiting for her to go home. Bimini encouraged her to keep going and get out of her head before talk turned to Ginny’s sexy look, which some girls loved and Tayce hated. Asttina was disappointed to have missed the mark, though vowed to turn it out if she lands in the bottom two. Filling Tia with even more fear.
The queens returned to the mainstage with Tayce and Ellie quickly joining the tops in safety before Ginny was saved by her willingness to take a risk but stay on brand (and deliver some design, in the design challenge). Leaving Asttina to put her money where her mouth is with a terrified Tia to Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now. And oh girl, did they fight. Asttina literally kicked things off, flipping around the stage and selling the song while Tia lent into her comedy skills, having the judges in stitches from start to finish. They then finished with a bit of a duet and ugh, I don’t want either of them to go. But sadly someone has to, as Ru gagged everyone, saving Tia and sending Asttina from the competition as she praised Tia on slaying the performance as the queens and Jourdan all sobbed.
Backstage Asttina was well and truly heartbroken to have been eliminated from the competition, though was grateful she at least had a moment to shine in week one. Controversial jackets be damned. With that we laughed and hugged each other – something we’d soon be questioning as the pandemic started to spread – as we toasted her success the only way I know how. By filling my gob with pillowy buns, in the form of some Astdinner Mandrollas.
Dinner rolls are arguably the only reason to venture to a large scale event or a buffet. Soft, fluffy bread covered in a delicately golden crust, these baby rolls are the perfect size for tricking your brain into the fact you’ve eaten less than you have. While also acting as a perfect butter receptacle.
Serves: 2 dear, zaddy friends.
1 cup milk, warmed to about 42C.
7g dried yeast
2 tbsp raw caster sugar, divided
1 large egg
60g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and left to soften at room temp
1 tsp kosher salt
400g bread flour
To prepare the dough, whisk the milk, yeast and half the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and leave to get frothy for about five minutes. Using the dough hook attachment, mix in the remaining sugar, egg, butter, salt and half the flour by hand. Pop the hook into the mixer and beat on medium until it comes together in a ball. If it is too wet, add more flour ¼ of a cup at a time until you have a soft, easy to manage dough. Not too sticky, not too dry and well, I know you can find the right balance for you.
Once the consistency is right, need for a further couple of minutes before transferring to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling and leave to prove for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size.
Punch back the dough and divide into 16 portions. Shape into dinner rolls formation and pop on a lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for additional rising. Once done, cover with cling and leave for said rise for a further hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Once proved, pop the rolls in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and puffed. Then serve still warmed, slathered in glorious butter.
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