Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens returned from their seven month COVID hiatus. Yes, SEVEN. MONTHS. In which time Tayce and A’Whora lived together and Ellie had to work the drive through to make ends meet. Tragically poor Veronica contracted COVID (in addition to her previous case of rat-bite fever) meaning we were down a cast member leading to Joe being voted to return to the competition to complete the second girl group for RuRuVision song contest. And as you would no doubt now have stuck in your head, let’s just say BING BANG BONG both groups were amazing. Though the United Kingdolls killed the show and snatched victory. Over on the other team, Tia was deemed too regional, while Joe made jokes about H&M, leading to an epic Ru rant before Joe was eliminated first. Again.
Backstage the girls were well and truly shook about Joe’s second departure, with Tayce in particular shocked by the fact she kind of just gave up in the lip sync. Tia meanwhile was feeling her oats to be the first lip sync assassin in the UK. Obviously that didn’t last long as talk turned to Ru’s epic H&M tirade, with the safe girls particularly surprised that it was bad enough to require an apology on the runway. Sister opted to get shady and pointed out that Tia got the worst critiques from Ru, with Lawrence stepping in to point out she also was told to step it up and given she compiled A’Whora’s ideas, glass houses etc. Pretty much.
Oh and then the editors spoiled that Bimini wins the episode, given she counted herself as winning two challenges with all the other tallies correct. So congratulations, you icon.
The next day Bimini indeed entered the Werk Room with only one badge, before congratulating Lawrence on snagging three wins in a row. While Tayce just wanted her to share the love around from now on. Ellie meanwhile opted to keep things interesting and asked Tia how exactly she plans to up her game on the runway and when the answer didn’t really say much, things got fiery. Thankfully they were interrupted by Ru who arrived to announce that this week’s Maxi Challenge they will be playing the iconique tiara, Snatch Game.
Much to everyone’s delight.
The queens all split up to talk through their characters with Ellie giving off her best Vicky Pollard, while Lawrence gave out advice like she was the second coming of Ru. Bimini meanwhile was making jokes about A’Whora and Tayce’s past before the latter opened up about being terrified of Snatch Game, though that she was confident in her choice of playing Kath herself, Jane Turner. Ru joined the fray to chat through their choices, with Tia bravely telling Ru that she will be bringing it on the runway from now on before announcing she’d be playing Shirley Bassey in the game. Someone she has never done before. Leading to Ru talking her into playing Mel B instead. Ellie was sticking with Vicky Pollard as she spent her childhood bouncing off her twin brother playing the role. This led to Ellie having a wee bit of a breakdown thinking about how important her brother is to her and ugh, I love them all.
Lawrence had Ru smiling before even sitting down at the table before sharing she’d be playing Miriam Margoles. And then had Ru in stitches, leading me to believe she will slay but since the editors spoiled us, we know she doesn’t slay enough for victory. Speaking of said victory, Bimini dropped by to announce she will be playing the iconic Katie Price – who I hooked up with Peter Andre – and ugh, it makes all the sense now. A’Whora meanwhile will be playing Louie Spence and while I don’t know him, he sounds glorious. Not so glorious is A’Whora getting in her head, breaking down about her insecurities and ugh, I love the broken hearted little villainess.
Oh and then Sister apparently never got to chat to Ru or tell us what she was doing.
Thankfully we cut straight to the Snatch Game set featuring Michelle Visage and THE GC herself, Gemma Collins where we learnt Sister would be playing Psychic Sally. Sadly she didn’t tell Tia that changing to Mel B would be a bad idea because as much as I love her, her Mel B was scarily devoid of spice. See what I did there? On the flipside, Tayce was killing the game from the start and immediately made the upcoming Down Under girls question their choices of playing Kath Day-Knight.
While Tayce was good though, it was Bimini’s challenge from the opening seconds giving one liners, dedicated impersonation and had me in absolute hysterics. Speaking of dedicated impersonation, Lawrence was committed to honouring Miriam but completely devoid of comedy. Rounding out the gang, A’Whora was camp and charming, Sister was fun and Ellie was aggressive and confusing. Oh and then Tayce set herself up to yell at Ru for calling her chooky and ugh, give her the damn crown.
Elimination Day arrived with Lawrence and Tia feeling pretty shit about themselves after bombing Snatch Game, particularly since the former is a comedy queen and the latter is yet to score a win. Lawrence opened up about feeling the need to always be strong for her community and hiding behind a mask, with Tia – of course – reminding her that she is worth it and allowed to feel things. Tayce meanwhile checked in with Ellie and her breakdown the day before, with Ellie sharing how much her brother’s support has meant to her and how it got him through a difficult childhood when he was kicked out of home by her father. Until gag of the season, Ellie’s mum turned around and kicked out Ellie’s dad instead when he gave her an ultimatum.
Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Jesse Ware to witness the Prehistoric Drag runway where A’Whora opened the show in a full on corset of bones complete with fur and ugh, it is amazing. Tayce meanwhile was stunning as a voodoo priestess complete with guttural screams. Sister looked like Peg Bundy if she was on The Flintstones but with Patsy Stone’s wig, Tia showed body – finally – as a slutty pterodactyl. With a baseball cap like she is Boston Rob. Oh and then Bimini was GORGEOUS as the sexiest, floating bacteria and I think this is the moment we will look back on as when we realised Bimini was winning this season. Poor Lawrence had to follow the ultimate slay giving Roseanne as Peg Bundy in The Flintstones before Ellie gave straight up Pebbles Flintstone.
Ultimately Sister and Ellie were sent to safety, leaving the other girls to be critiqued. A’Whora kicked off the show with the judges admitting that the choice of Louie Spence was brave but that they weren’t sure if it paid off. They did love her outfit though. Tayce meanwhile received universal praise for her Snatch Game, with the judges loving how much fun she was clearly having. And while they loved her runway and the fact she gave something different, Ru clocked her hip pads and you could see the moment she thought Ru was going to yell at her.
Poor Tia was read for being one note on Snatch Game and for giving a sub par outfit, despite finally showing body. This led to Tia breaking down about not proving herself to Ru and damn, I hate to see. Next up Bimini received universal praise for literally everything, from Katie’s wisp, the hilarious one liners and the white-eyed amoeba runway, which is head and shoulders above everything else that has ever appeared on the runway. Oh and then Lawrence, she had the judges laughing when they went to her which only made her performance crueler, given it was a total bomb. Lawrence then started to sob as the judges praised her charisma, with her sharing she built up that persona to survive childhood and it is honestly so relatable.
Backstage Ellie and Sister were congratulating each other on surviving the hardest challenge before the tops and bottoms joined them. Tayce and Bimini were clearly thrilled with their critiques, while Tia was bitterly disappointed to clearly be in the bottom again. Talk turned to Lawrence who immediately started to cry again, struggling to accept that she bombed a challenge. Much to A’Whora’s chagrin, who was annoyed that Lawrence is falling apart at the first sign of weakness.
Obviously Bimini took out her victory not just because of the editors spoiling it at the top of the episode but because I watched her absolutely destroy everyone all episode. Tayce was rightly sent to safety, while A’Whora was gagged to join her, leaving frontrunner Lawrence to lip sync for her life against Tia to Touch Me by Cathy Dennis. And oh girl, did Lawrence light a fire under herself. Serving comedy as she hit every lyric, she commanded your attention and while Tia once again slayed and showed off her legs, she was no match for the triple winner as Lawrence sent her from the competition.
Backstage I pulled Tia in for a massive hug and assured her that while she wasn’t able to take out a win, she truly won people’s hearts and as such, is destined for greatness on All Stars. I mean, she was fun, friendly and gave a hell of a confessional. AND kept her hair the same during the lockdown for continuity when Sister Sister literally replaced her entire face. She is the moment (as is Sister, TBH). As such, I toasted her killer, memorable run with a batch of Tia Biscoffi Donuts.
Biscoff is the new nutella in that we’re all eating it out of the jar like it’s peanut butter – the OG, of course – and injecting it into any and all foods. Specifically donuts like this, which are, in a word, amazing. Like Tia.
Tia Biscoffi Donut
60g raw caster sugar, plus extra for coatin’
7g dried yeast
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp kosher salt
125g unsalted butter softened
sunflower oil, for fryin’
2 cups Biscoff spread, for fillin’
200g white chocolate
15 Biscoff cookies, for decoratin’
Combine the water, flour, sugar, yeast, egg, salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer and best on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes, or until a ball forms. Still going, add the butter in 25g chunks and mix until well combined before adding the next portion. Once everything is in, keep it mixing for about 5 minutes or until smooth and springy when touched.
Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with cling, and leave to prove for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size. Punch back the dough, return to the bowl, recover with cling and transfer to the fridge to rest overnight.
When it is chilled and well proven – and you’ve had a nice rest – divide the dough into 16 equal portions, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Leave to prove one final time for a couple of hours, or until doubled.
Combine the rest of the cinnamon in a bowl with about ½ cup of raw caster sugar.
Once they have puffed, place a pot of 15cm of oil over medium high heat and bring to 180C. When the oil is hot enough, cook the doughnuts a couple at a time for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further few minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Toss through the cinnamon sugar and transfer to a wire rack while you repeat the process.
Melt the white chocolate, either in a double boiler or in the microwave and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the Biscoff into a piping bag and pipe a couple of tablespoons into the centre of each donut, dip them in the white chocolate and then top with a biscuit and serve immediately and devour, joyously.
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