Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, the queens were split into duos and while everyone was thrilled to work with their bestie, Ru gagged them with the fact they would actually be forced to battle against them. In the ultimate who wore it best. While some people lucked out to be partnered with weaker fashion queens, Tayce and Ellie were unluckily in the bottom five due to how strong A’Whora and Lawrence were, as the latter took out her first challenge of the season. Ginny meanwhile took up the judges’ challenge to go sexy, while Tia bombed and Asttina was read for being basic. As the latter two lip synced for their lives, Tia pulled out all the stops and saved herself, booting Asttina from the competition.
The queens returned to the Werk Room with the girls still shell shocked by Asttina’s departure from the competition. Particularly A’Whora, who was mainly concerned that she was eliminated by none other than her nemesis Baroness Basic. Meanwhile Tia was hoping to use the moment to remind herself that she is a sickening performer, given she survived against such formidable competition. Ginny grew tired of Lawrence Chaney constantly talking and interjecting in their support of Asttina, telling her to shut up and leading to some awkward fighting. Add to that A’Whora joking about being ready to wash Tia’s message off the mirror and ugh, the girls are ready to fight. Not necessarily in the competitive way.
Tensions appeared to have died down the next day as Ginny led the queens in congratulating Lawrence on her first victory. Tayce spoke about being shocked that Tia survived over her bestie Asttina, leading to more drama, as Veronica stepped in to defend her friend, reminding everyone that Tia did step it up. In the lip sync, which is why she is still here. A’Whora then interjected, encouraging Tia and saying that she has noticed growth since the start of the competition but given Tia doesn’t really care for her opinion, it was clear it meant nothing.
Is this some COVID related stress coming through? Because it. Is. Tense. SO tense.
They were thankfully interrupted by Ru and the Brit Crew, who wheeled in a table full of cakes. And baked goods too, which the queens needed to promote as their own goodies. Tia kicked things off listing acronyms and lusting after Ru, crawling across the floor selling sex. Ellie was awkward in the most charming way possible, Bimini was hilariously aggressive about Brexit, Ginny was a smutty delight, Tayce fingered herself with a Vienna Finger, Sister did Carrie, Veronica was demented, on brand and glorious, A’Whora focused on Ginny Lemon and Lawrence, well, she was charming, funny and focused on scat. Rightly so though, Bimini took out victory proving sometimes, smut isn’t always best.
Ru then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the queens would be hosting their own morning shows appealing to the broadest range of demographics possible. As the victor of the mini challenge, Bimini would be able to select her role while the rest of the queens would fight over the scraps. Oh and to make it all the more difficult, the performance would be live. The queens ventured to the couch to go through the roles, with Bimini electing for the Gen Z party animal co-host opposite Tayce, Ginny was cast as the hippy weather girl, Lawrence and Ellie went with pre-school hosts, A’Whora and Tia decided to work together for once as the Essex girl financial experts, leaving Veronica and Sister to land as goth party planners.
Talk turned to their backgrounds in improv, with Sister concerned about Veronica’s decided lack of experience. Meanwhile A’Whora and Tia vowed to be besties while picking out wigs as Bimini and Tayce immediately tried to find complementary outfits. Ru arrived to chat to the girls, with Ginny feeling very confident about the weather role and urgh, I hope she wins and proves us right. Ru was worried about Sister and Veronica’s ability to sell goth, with the latter explaining she deliberately took the dregs of the roles to show her versatility and damn, please don’t fall flat, Veronica. Ellie made Ru awkward by asking why she doesn’t say her name in a Scottish accent like she does Lawrence and girl, you in danger Pearl. Ru was charmed by Tia and A’Whora’s concept before casually stirring the pot, with the girls admitting to not being close or having the desire to ever interact.
The girls ventured to set to be coached by TV legend Lorraine Kelly. Wait, no, there was a pep talk and then girls were sent live in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …
Bimini and Tayce got things off to a charming, vapid and energetic start as the hosts, with Lorraine particularly proud of Bimini’s attention to detail and her ability to serve lots of funny moments. After the break Veronica and Sister were less prepared making their anti-birthday cake, with Veronica tragically showing her first sign of weakness as Sister tried to bring the funny and cover the fact they were both scared. In that commercial break Lorraine had nothing to say, while poor Veronica immediately commenced beating herself up.
We returned to the hosts who continued to charm before Ellie and Lawrence arrived and ate it up as the Dragony Aunts. Caller Michelle asked how to avoid resting bitch face, with Ellie literally painting a smile on Lawrence’s charming bloody face. No doubt on their way to the win. Tia and A’Whora were up next, hilarious as the most demented branches of Cheryl Hole’s family tree and proving that A’Whora really is there for that crown and ready to prove she is funny as well as gorgeous. Rounding out the show was Ginny who was demented and hilarious as she was pummeled by the weather, even if it was a wee bit confusing for Lorraine and the girls.
Elimination Day rolled around with Sister nervous about being brought down by Veronica’s performance, while the rest of the queens were really happy with what they delivered. A’Whora and Tia were shocked to have slayed together as a duo, while Veronica jumped on board and agreed that she felt like her performance was so bad that it brought down Sister’s performance. This annoyed Lawrence, who was sick of Sister blaming other people every time she fell flat. Before any drama could explode, Ginny reminded them they have a runway to prepare for and as such, they needed to align their chakras and get to bloody work.
She and Sister then kikied while getting ready, with Sister Sister sharing that she always feels like she is holding back and trying to be polite, rather than letting go. Add to that her inner saboteur and she admitted that she is really struggling under the pressure of the competition. Ginny gave her a delightful peptalk and told her to start believing in herself before they hugged and pledged their love for each other. Meanwhile A’Whora and Tia continued to bond over their insecurities, with the former sharing that what goes through her head is always worse than anything she could hear from the judges. A’Whora then admitted to trashing Tia in the last untucked, apologising for what she said before sharing that she has always pushed others away and put people down due to her insecurities and ugh, their bonding session is so sweet and nice with Tia promising that A’Whora has a circle of sisters now. They then both apologised for everything they’ve done and said, hugging and making up.
Again, I love all of the UK queens so damn much.
On the Monster Mash-up runway, Veronica was somehow glamourous as a piggy Medusa, Sister Sister was glorious as a mummy werewolf, Bimini slayed as a demonic Playboy bunny, Tayce was a gorgeous corpse bride vampire while Ginny was a neon, acid delight. Lawrence was a mash-up of horror movie murderers in the best way possible, while Ellie was glorious as a Goblin-Werewolf, Tia was gorgeous as a voodoo Medusa and A’Whora continued to slay the week as a zombie-Elvira doing Cher on vegas. Damn, let’s just say it was a good episode for A’Whora.
Ultimately Veronica, Sister Sister, Bimini, Ginny, Lawrence and A’Whora were deemed the tops and bottoms, while Tayce, Ellie and Tia were sent to kiki backstage. My sweet Veronica was praised for her glorious runway, however was read for absolute filth for her Camden Goth Party Planner as she didn’t go far enough. Veronica agreed that she was in her head, apologising for bringing down Sister. Speaking of Sister, she was read for not standing out and trying to take her moment, though the judges were ok with her outfit though admitted it could have gone further. My dear Bimini received universal praise for her performance and commitment to the character, while Michelle wished that the details were in her runway to take her over the edge.
Ginny was praised for being good at improv, though the judges felt it didn’t go far enough and gave no light and shade. Ru challenged her to take it to the next level, which is something that Michelle thanked her for doing on the runway, despite still feeling she could take it further. The judges once again loved literally everything Lawrence gave them, particularly the fact she is versatile and they never know what to expect from her on the runway. Lastly A’Whora was rightly given universal praise for her killer performance on the morning show and once again the judges loved her outfit, though Michelle wished that she could let herself be uglier.
Backstage the safe queens were thrilled to be such, with Ellie asking who they all felt did the worst with she and Tayce naming Veronica and suggesting she should be the one to go out. As did Tia, after much deliberation about admitting that about her bestie. The tops and bottoms joined them with A’Whora disappointed that her outfit fell flat before Ginny broke down about being called one-note, feeling the judges just don’t get her as she started to just shut down. Sister Sister spoke about how disappointed she was to not actually step up in the challenge when she really needed to, with Veronica encouraging her and saying that the critique was mainly about letting Veronica overpower the scene.
Talk turned to who the safe girls thought should go, with Ellie admitting they unanimously thought it should be Veronica. This obviously upset Veronica, with Tia quickly clarifying that she thought she would be in the bottom but knew she would slay a lip sync. This led to Veronica warning them that they underestimated her once and they really shouldn’t do it again. A’Whora tried to give her a pep talk, pointing out Tia was underestimated and used that to kill the lip sync. Which only upset Veronica more, telling them she knows what to do and is going to serve it, thank you very much.
The queens returned to the runway with Bimini and A’Whora sent to safety, handing Lawrence her second victory of the competition. Ru then gagged Veronica by sending her to safety, leaving besties Sister and Ginny to battle it out in the lip sync to You Keep Me Hanging On by Kim Wilde. Or so we thought. As Ginny promised to be punk, smirking as the song started, walked to the back of the stage and chuckled as they quit the competition. As Sister Sister slayed, serving the lip sync as she desperately tries to keep herself from getting eliminated. Completely unaware that that had already happened. But let’s be honest, it was great to finally see her have her break-out moment, as I love her.
As the judges and Ru laughed away, they saved Sister Sister from elimination while backstage Ginny was laughing it up at refusing to face off against their friend and going out on their own terms. Given Gin was positively feeling their oats, I quickly pulled them in for my final pre-COVID cuddle and congratulated them on showcasing how wonderful a performer they are. While the rest of the girls were hearing the siren announcing that they too would be heading home to wait out the pandemic, Gin and I laughed it up as we smashed a Ginny Lemon Tart in honour of a short yet memorable run.
This glorious little number is a classy take on the lemon tart. The herby notes of the gin perfectly cut through the tart of the citrus and sweetness, giving you a delightfully gossy dessert that feels just a little bit posher than usual.
Ginny Lemon Tart
260g salted butter, at room temperature
450g raw caster sugar
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Combine the butter with 200g of the sugar in a stand mixer and cream on high speed until just together. Add two of the eggs, and mix again until just combined. Reduce to low and slowly add in the flour and mix until it just comes together. Transfer to a floured service and lightly work into a ball.
Roll the pastry until a few millimetres and press into a large perforated tart tin. Pop the tin on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to chill for five minutes or so. Once the dough has firmed up a bit, prick the base of the shell with a fork and then pop in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until gloriously golden. Remove from the oven and leave to chill on a wire rack while you get to work on the custard.
Pop the remaining sugar and egg in a saucepan with the gin, zest and juice, and stir until well combined. Place over low heat and stir constantly, cook until it reaches 75C. Strain through some cheesecloth into a jug and remove any bubbles from the top. Gently pour the mixture into the cooled shell and return to the oven to cook for ten minutes, or until the centre of the tart is still jiggling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about half an hour before transferring to the fridge to set.
And once it is set, devour. In a punk fashion.
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