The lights came up on the City of Light – well, I assume, I was just whisked from CDG to set, so I’m not 100% sure – as Nicky Doll narrated the triumphant opening of Drag Race France. And well, Nicky is iconic, she is the moment and gurl, she is truly the Ru of Drag Race France. I mean, she even has her own headshots all over the Werk Room! Speaking of the Werk Room, Kam Hugh was the first one to make her debut giving Aquaria and Veronica Green’s love child, but with Farrah’s general vibe. She was joined by La Big Bertha who could have me any way she wants out of drag, serving sexy bearded queen, dripping in raclette and ugh, crown her now. Because I am crowning. Whatever that may mean. They were quickly joined by Elips giving full old school glamour with the fun of Grey Gardens, so obviously I stan.
Though sidebar, I don’t actually think the Edie’s were living their best lives, were they?
Lolita Banana made a loud and proud entry and well, I love her already. And her skills at deepthroating a banana and showing all her man chest in confessionals. So yeah, my basement is flooded. Despite Bertha feeling she was giving off dachshund vibes. Soa de Muse arrived and was giving me Tayce vibes, in all the right ways. And well, she can sit on my face. Alongside Bertha. Le Grande Dame was up next serving beaded sex and well, I live. As much as she was living for herself during her entry. They were joined by Lova Ladiva who arrived giving Stacy Layne Matthews and Porkchop’s love child, so obviously she is destined to vamp her way into icon status in a matter of minutes.
THEN LA KAHENA ARRIVED AND LITERALLY LIT HER HAND ON FIRE and well, this is the energy I need in my life. She also looked like a beautiful gladiator, so yeah, I love. La Briochée arrived giving camp, cakey delight and well, I live for everything she is bringing, like a love child of BenDeLaCreme and Blair St Clair. Rounding out the cast is the iconic Paloma giving red hot, demon sexpot and well, I am ready for the dolls to turn it out because this cast looks strong.
A cock crowed – yes – announcing the arrival of Nicky Doll to officially welcome them to the competition and announce they’re competing for 40,000 Euros, a holiday courtesy of Tinder and make-up from Mac. Which is pretty iconic, TBH. As is the hunky Pit Crew who joined her, decked in navy and white striped speedos and berets, so yeah, my basement is flooded ten times over.
Oh and the zaddies would also be joining the dolls for their first mini challenge, a photoshoot celebrating all things France. Soa was up first and gave full glamour and face while cycling through all the emotions as Nicky kicked out the pit crew and replaced them with cancan girls. Briochée was cute and camp, Kahena was wild, Paloma stayed focused on a killer shot, Grande Dame was fun, Lolita was stupid in all the right ways and Elips was adorable. Bertha lived her best life with both the boys and the girls, while Kam gave full Farrah while Lova was just a delight. Ultimately though there could only be one winner, with Lolita splitting her way to the front of the pack and gurl, I live for her confidence.
Barely having time to recover, Nicky wheeled out the Pit Crew to give her her prize before announcing that their first Maxi Challenge would be a cheeky little Talent Show followed by a Jean Paul Gaultier runway, in front of Jean Paul himself. And well, fuck, that’s a gag. Everyone split up to untuck and claim a space in the Werk Room with Bertha opening up about being insecure about her body in the past and how drag gave her the confidence to take on the world. And again, she can sit on my face. Briochée and Lova bonded with their fellow big queen, given they felt they had similar journeys growing up. La Kahena followed suit and opened up about drag saving her life, giving her and outlet and freeing her from the oppression she has felt from her culture.
We quickly ventured to the mainstage where Nicky was joined by Daphné Bürki, Kiddy Smile, Iris Mittenaere and Jean Paul Gaultier – I’m still shocked – as Lolita opened up the Talent Show with a feisty salsa, complete with wig reveals splits and a sexy zaddy dance partner who easily gives her an extra point. Kam Hugh did a ridiculous banana peel strip before singing a sexy song about how it should be done and well, it was like a less fun version of Blu’s talent show. But I love it all the same. Briochée straight up belted out a song like the second coming of Edith Piaf and it was iconic. Paloma did a little skit about being a hippy and I love it despite it making no sense, because it was ridiculous. La Grande Dame gave sexy golden robot as she lip synced – perfectly – to an original song. And then played the saxophone. No joke. With a champagne flute attached to her head, no less.
Elips slayed a moody lip sync number as she stripped from camo to a flaming bodysuit before Soa stole the damn show with a moody song and well, she is an absolute icon. She hit every note, was camp and delightful and oh so moody and well, I live. I mean, it was like John Leguiziamo in Moulin Rouge! Lova gave an inspirational speech and frustrated her sisters while La Kahena gave a camp, absurd skit and delighted the hell out of everyone followed by lighting her hand on fire again before Bertha shut it down giving a camp little strip, serving comedy and acting, and well, I love it and the pasties flipping the bird and the bare arse.
On the Liberté, Égalité, Jean Paul Gaultier runway La Briochée gave Dita Von Teese butterfly corset in all the right ways and looked like an absolute star. Lolita went with the iconic conical bra, complete with taps dripping in diamond underneath. Lova was perfection in honour of the perfume bottles, Soa gave a conical corset covered in braids and yeah, she looked absolutely perfect. Bertha gave furry conical titties, La Kahena was stunning in a nude gown with red hands around the bodice, Paloma gave biblical realness as a living Madonna before Kam Hugh served icy mint architecture and was absolutely stunning. Elips gave cabaret conical realness made of ties, while La Grande Dame was perfect in a white harnessed look, complete with a keyhole over the butt.
La Briochée, Lolita, La Grande Dame and Paloma were sent to safety before Lova was read for not giving talent, despite being so vulnerable with everyone. Though the judges agreed that they all lived for her runway. Soa received universal praise for everything she served this week, giving camp, stunning looks and absolutely destroyed the talent show. Bertha too was universally beloved, letting them know exactly who she is and for being so damn polished. La Kahena was encouraged to let go and stop being hard on herself because they could tell she was nervous. All the time. Kam’s looks were adored, though her talent show was read for being basic. While they all lived for Elips’ magnetism.
Backstage the safe girls toasted to making it another week, before the tops and bottoms joined them to kiki. Elips opened up about being overwhelmed by the judges liking her, while Lova admitted she kind of just wanted to hide after receiving her critiques. Kahena was just confused, while Kam was simply disappointed in herself. Though bless Briochée, she did give them a sweet little pep talk!
Ultimately Soa took out the first win of the franchise, while Bertha and Elips were sent to safety, with Kam narrowly joining them, leaving La Kahena and Lova to lip sync for their lives. To French Canadian icon Céline Dion’sPrière Païenne and well, it was a show. Though maybe that is because I live for Céline. Kahena was camp while Lova was giving all the emotion and hit every lyric. While Kahena had fire and fought valiantly, wearing a gown kinda felt like it held her back a little, as she couldn’t get into it as much as Lova and as such, she found herself immortalised as the iconic Porkchop of Drag Race France.
Which honestly is the best place to finish if you aren’t going to win any damn season. Which is exactly what I told her as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her how well she truly performed, despite her apparent nerves. Thankfully she wasn’t too hard on herself, taking the loss on her chin and proud to join the international collective of iconic first franchise boots as we smashed a piping hot Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet.
As hot as the fire that she lit on her hand, this chicken puttanesca pizza is breathtaking and iconic. Salty capers and olives pair perfectly with the sweetness of the chicken that by the time you add in the heat, you’re in heaven.
Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet Serves: 2-4.
Ingredients 1 base as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor ⅓ cup passata oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste 1 tbsp capers 2 tsp chilli flakes ¼ cup black olives, sliced 4-5 button mushrooms, sliced ¾ cup rotisserie chicken, shredded mozzarella, to taste
Method Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions preheat the oven to 180°C.
Smear passata over the prepared base and sprinkle with the herbs, capers, chilli, olives and mushrooms, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.
Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serve immediately and devour, careful not to burn your mouth on the piping hot cheese.
Bonne nouvelle, mes amis – I have a base level knowledge of the French language and as per my agreement with Mama Ru, I am going (have) to use it to celebrate Drag Race France!
So get ready for another season of hybrid language recap-ery – do we call in Frenlish? – and buffoonery. Ideally with less riggery, you hear me Nicky?
Will the French girls serve all the fashion (I mean, Jean Paul Gaultier is judging the first episode, so I hope)? Will they give us moments as iconic as the Eiffel Tower herself? And more importantly, will they be able to paint like they were done by Leo in Titanic?
Geddit? You get it right, I didn’t need to add this!
Or – sacre bleu! – will they fall on their faces like Carrie in Dior? Dans les mots de mon professeur de français de deuxième année, soyons fous! Et dans les mots de Ru, soyons écœurants!
Previously on All Winners just after winning her first star in the ball alongside Trinity, Jaida pointed out that since she blocked Jinkx, now Monet was the only challenge winner who hadn’t been blocked. Which was quickly pointed out to be wrong, since she now also falls into that category. In any event, it didn’t matter to either of them as both Jinkx and The Vivienne absolutely dominated as they improved their way through Judge Judy-spoof, Fairytale Justice. Despite Raja once again delivering another strong performance and Yvie being a sexy Big Bad Wolf. After Jinkx and The Vivienne landed in the top two, The Viv demolished the lip sync and while it is unclear how much influence Jaida had, she blocked Monet.
Who was NOT happy about it.
Backstage The Viv was well and truly feeling her oats, thrilled to finally have her star turn, with all of her sisters thrilled for her to get a star. Yvie joked about poor Jinkx not landing her second star, with Jaida adorably singing an apology before Raja rightly called out Ru for not giving her a damn star yet. This was interrupted by the arrival of Monet who was completely irate about the fact that she was blocked though desperately trying to hide it. She then played into Shea’s lie that the platinum plunger comes with a little extra power and I live for the fact everyone is just playing along and adding to the paranoia. The Viv then explained that she only blocked her because she was next in line and well, the other person she wanted to block wasn’t eligible. Which put Jinkx on notice.
Oh and then Yvie got her wang out. Again.
The next day Jaida was jacked up on coffee, though not like Ru on the enema, before Ru arrived to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would write an uplifting commencement address for queer graduates around the world. Oh and Carson and Nikki Glaser would be on hand to help them work through their set AND since Monet was blocked, she would be able to set the order. Adding to the fake-secret that the plunger comes with power. Oh and Ru was in a giving mood, so the winners of this week’s challenge would also receive TWO stars. One to keep and one to give to one of their sisters.
With that, the dolls were thrilled at the prospect of getting two stars as they split up to plan their sets. Yvie was going to lean into her fun side and hoped the judges would laugh along with her, while Jinkx and Raja were brainstorming their ideas. The latter of which was planning to play a mountain top cult leader and while Jinkx was loving the idea, she was worried about whether Raja would be able to turn it out. Trinity meanwhile was sewing away in the corner while Shea was struggling to focus given Jaida was living her best life with a xylophone and generally being loud. As the rest of the dolls were dishing out shade, Monet decided that she was going to work her blockage into a free star, first trying to be kind and asking everyone where they would like to go in the set. And then asking them to consider giving her a star if she followed through. Which she mostly did, giving herself the opening slot, followed by Shea, Trinity, Raja, Jaida, Yvie and Jinkx, while The Vivienne would close the show.
Monet was first to workshop with Nikki and Carson with them living for all her jokes and sass, though encouraging her to add a little bit of heart as well. Shea meanwhile was leaning into the fact she is beautiful, cool and perfect, with a fuck you to society for making her question it. The Viv meanwhile was going to shade her struggles with sobriety, Trinity was just going to have a tonne of fun mocking her struggles with learning growing up while Jinkx obviously delighted them with her set about getting run over in Amsterdam. Or getting a condom stuck inside herself. Then Jaida was just an absolute delight being completely silly and wild. Nikki and Carson meanwhile advised Yvie to add a few more jokes because her concept could be great. But only if she gets out of her head. And then Raja confused the shit out of them with them also advising her to add more funny, despite Raja feeling like it was perfect. Like a fucking icon.
Is this going to be a Katya’s Krisis Kontrol moment? I damn hope so.
Runway Day arrived with Jinkx succumbing to Jaida’s tajin shots while The Viv and Raja were fanging for some wine. As they started to beat their mugs Jinkx admitted that she just desperately wanted to beat The Vivienne, given they truly are each other’s biggest competition and she spends most of her time watching her, wishing she thought of whatever she was doing first. Oh and then everyone shaded Jaida for not being blocked yet.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judges panel by Nikki Glaser as Monet opened the Draguation Ceremony looking stunning in pink and gold. And while she started slowly, losing her comb at the time she praised her Season 10 runways gave her the energy she needed that by the time she channelled James Earl Jones, I was sold. Shea was as stunning as always and slayed her performance, reading her sisters and praising herself for being popular. Trinity was absolutely hilarious as she joked about being unable to read her palm cards before she quickly leaned into the heart before pivoting back into silly fun comedy. And again, she is a star. Raja meanwhile stole the show from start to finish; weird, wacky and oh so fun. And yeah, this is a Katya moment and I am so glad she was smart enough to trust in herself.
Jaida kicked off the second half with a bang, joking about being from Trump University and just being stupid and packed full of charm. Yvie stumbled onto stage and dropped all her cards in a hilarious bit and while her set wasn’t packed with laughs, it was full to the brim with heart. Sadly for her, she was then followed by Jinkx who once again gave a masterclass, having killer framing devices, hilarious jokes and was so smart with all the genuine emotional beats she added. And while The Viv also gave an absolute killer performance, complete with a face plant finish, coming after Jinkx was always a hard act to follow.
On the Veiled It runway, Monet was stunning in an hourglass baby blue bird in a cage number. Shea was a mash of bright pleated fabric and looked stunning and Trinity was perfect in a red widow slash wedding gown. Raja meanwhile stole the show as a literal covergirl while Jaida was the sexiest black widow known to man before Yvie was bright, beaded perfection. Jinkx looked gorgeous dripping in lavender and butterflies, while The Vivienne gave S&M shimmering stunner, complete with ball gag.
The judges loved everything Monet did this week, particularly for serving glamour on the runway. Shea was praised for her zen vibe and giving complete perfection on the runway. Trinity was praised for showing her heart and having fun, and more importantly, for looking glorious doing it. Raja was praised for landing everything weird and wonderful and for serving something different and intellectual on the runway. Jaida was praised for being fun and charming and for the sexiness she brought to the runway while the judges loved Yvie’s look and her pratfalls. Jinkx once again received universal praise for each and every thing she did this week, with Ru even jumping on the joke and suggesting she was the one that ran her over. While they lived for The Viv’s commitment in the challenge and the sex she brought to the runway. Before the dolls went to Untuck, Nancy Pelosi dropped by to thank the queens for all that they do and ugh, I live for Queen Nancy. With Raja thanking her for her shady clap which has become a masterclass in shade.
Backstage Yvie once again received praise from her sisters for her runway and all the details she added to it. Trinity meanwhile was busy making narratives for everyone’s looks, before Shea turned her attention to Raja and how much she killed the challenge. And completely leant into her own brand of humour and ugh, I love to see everyone living for her. The Vivienne praised everyone for sticking to their brand and shaded Monet for giving her the perfect spot to shine. We then got a flashback to when the girls were getting ready, talking about who would deliver their dream commencement speech. Raja then spoke about graduating in ‘92 and hot damn, again, I want to age like Raja as she is perfect. She opened up about how difficult it was in High School at the time while The Vivienne opened up that yes, they have High School in England and honestly, she lived her best life as a queer kid in private school. And then Jinkx gave all the heart talking about how privileged she felt growing up in a queer friendly environment like America. Comparatively. While Shea was inspired by TV to come out and literally exploded her way onto the social scene.
Oh and then Monet brought up Sum 41 as the dolls read her pussycat wig before Nikki dropped by to kiki with girls. And stop them from stealing the dress off her body.
Ultimately Jinkx and Raja took out victory and were told that they will be gifting their extra stars at the beginning of next week’s episode. But first, the lip sync for that little tip and well, it was stunning. In a fun, they are so cool kinda way. As soon as Lizzo’s Better in Color kicked off the girls were straight up living their best lives. Jinkx was serving stupid white lady dancing while Raja was just oh so cool. Ultimately though, it was Jinkx that took out another win and promptly blocked The Vivienne, because obviously.
Backstage Raja was thrilled to finally have a win for what should have been her fourth one and ugh, I love to see it for the icon. Trinity led the dolls in congratulating them on their win and while Jinkx was clearly the frontrunner, she did point out that someone else will have two stars this week when she gives one away. The Vivienne arrived and admitted that she was completely expecting to be blocked by Jinkx and while she explained she did it because Viv is a competitor, Viv was sure Jinkx was just doing it for good old fashioned revenge. Talk turned to who Jinkx and Raja would be giving their stars to, with Yvie trying to play on their emotions, while Trinity reminded them that she was very helpful when it came to design challenges and the dolls best remember it. And Jaida wanted people to give her a star for her perfect nipples. Which is an argument I can get behind.
The next day the dolls returned to the Werk Room where Trinity was ready to be given a star, while Raja was just thrilled to be in the star club. And once Ru arrived, everyone was in said club as Raja gave hers to sweet Yvie. While Jinkx gave hers to Jaida, proving that nipples can get you everything. With that out of the way, Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be serving ‘00s realness for this season’s girl groups challenge, in throwback appearances on TRL. Ideally without Carson Daly. One group would be performing the love song 2getha 4eva and the other would get Titanic, the ultimate break-up anthem. As usual they would be writing their own verses, recording the tune and then performing live on the mainstage. Oh and Ru said they could pick teams however they want, so they just drew a line in the middle of the room and ran with it.
As they sat down to listen to the tunes Yvie was feeling confident in getting a shining moment, while Trinity was triggered by the fact Justin Timberlake would never love her. As everyone tried to select songs, The Vivienne pointed out that she wasn’t thrilled about people selecting their team and then leaving the dregs together. And while Jinkx suggested they all just pick the song they like best and fight it out if that doesn’t leave equal teams, The Viv ending up relenting and sticking with the original groups. And girl, it is tense. And you know she is going to fight.
The dolls split up to work on their songs, with team Monet, Shea, Trinity and Raja forming M.S.T.R. and planned to position their performance about losing the E of their group M.S.T.R.E. The other girls meanwhile leant into their status as the leftovers, calling themselves The Other Girls and planned to frame their band as all the girls that were kicked out of girl groups and were going to be camp and fucking stupid and ugh, I love it.
M.S.T.R. were up first recording their song Titanic, with Raja admitting she hopes nobody wants her to explain Y2K since she partied through the era while the rest of the girls were at school. Monet was planning to channel Britney, Trinity was working through her passion for JT while Raja wanted to sound young. Shea meanwhile was rapping and living her best life and I love it. When The Other Girls took the mic they were totally bonkers and ugh, I love it. Like Jaida’s rap involved fart sounds and Yvie was doing dial-up modem sounds and it was just delightful.
The teams came together for a quick dance battle as they returned to choreograph their performances with The Other Girls continuing to be fun and bonkers. And while they wanted to intimidate their rivals, they were mainly confused about what was going on. M.S.T.R. meanwhile had varying degrees of skills, with Monet and Shea living their best lives, while Trinity and Raja both would have preferred if they showed off sexy, stripping.
Runway Day arrived with both groups ready to slay, with The Other Girls continuing to be wild and ready to be silly, while Raja led her team in some yoga. Everyone split up to get ready with Shea and Trinity talking about being proud of how far they’ve all come before Shea opened up about worrying that she was blending into the back of the group. As everyone beat their mugs, Trinity joked about being annoyed by Jinkx for giving a star to Jaida over her, with Jinkx admitting she was debating between the two of them, not saying she was avoiding Trinity as she is more likely to score more stars. Monet reminded Viv that she was blocked before Jinkx awkwardly pointed out that she would have made a different decision if she knew they’d be in a group together. Oh and Raja encouraged her sisters to look like Michelle Visage in her Season 3 era on stage.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Tove Lo on the judges panel as Ross dressed as Carson Gayly as M.S.T.R. debuted their song Titanic and well, it was a bop. Monet was perfect, Trinity was manic and fun, Shea was sexy perfection and Raja was perfect, like Paris in the Stars are Blind era. In the best way possible. Then The Other Girls arrived and it was completely ridiculous in all the right ways, Viv was self-deprecating, Jaida was just stupid, Jinkx was fun holding on to her youth and Yvie was all fire from start to finish. As a malfunctioning robot.
Then, on the runway we’ve all been waiting for, Monet kicked off The Night of 1000 Dolly Parton’s runway serving glamour in the coat of many colours gown. Trinity was perfect in a shimmering yellow number, Shea served biker Dolly in the best way possible, Raja was iconic in silver as she played her nails down the runway, The Viv was eerily accurate in a stunning blue number while Jaida was the personification of Dolly and I love it. Jinkx meanwhile gave ‘80s fun and ugh, I loved it too. While Yvie was manic and having the absolute best time.
The judges lived for everything Monet served this week, particularly for how she served something unique on the runway. Trinity was praised for such a likeness on the runway and being silly in the performance, Shea was praised for being smart, fun and full of glamour. And for also doing something special on the runway. They loved Raja for being the worst dancer in the group and living the best life, while she was beloved for having far and away the best runway. The Vivienne received glowing praise for being hilariously stereotypical and for literally inhabiting Dolly on the runway. Jaida was praised for being so silly and fun, in the performance and on the runway. The judges loved Jinkx’s old lady and for her simplistic Dolly runway, while Yvie’s robot was iconic and everyone loved everything she did this week.
Backstage the dolls were living their best lives as Raja opened up about how much Dolly means to her, with Monet admitting she didn’t even know about Dollywood. That being said, she loves her as the dolls spoke about how iconic she is. As she deserves. Jaida continued the love, talking about how great her team worked with everyone agreeing they knocked it out of the park. And had so much fun doing it. Talk turned to who they think will be in the top with everyone agreeing that The Viv will be in the top alongside either Monet or Yvie. Though not that it means anything to Viv since she is blocked. Raja then led the girls in a communal scream – as Monet pretended to participate – before Tove Lo joined them and looked to be having the time of her life as she gushed over all of them. As everyone got ready to return to the mainstage, Trinity took some time to heap Monet with praise and remind her how proud she is to be her twinner and ugh, it truly was beautiful. As was Jinkx awkwardly strumming the ukulele at the end.
Ultimately it was The Vivienne and Yvie that found themselves in the top two, lip syncing to my absolute favourite Dolly Parton number, Why’d You Come in Here Looking Like That. And well, it was just as iconic as I want for that song. Yvie was camp, silly and absolutely killed it, but shit, The Vivienne was absolutely amazing as she gave every single Dolly-ism and well, was perfect. Stunning. I love her so much. Someone that may not love her however was the Jinkx as after she took out the win, she immediately returned serve and blocked her teammate.
Since everyone has taken out a win now, I quickly ran the numbers and was shocked to find that Shea was next for a date. As per the last alphabetically, ranked by wins rule which is SUPER easy to follow. After I quickly yanked her aside while they reset the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her how much of a star she is. And while she didn’t take out the win this week, she was just like Beyonce. And since she knows we’re dear friends, that meant a lot to her. As such, I gave her a quick pep talk for the second half of the competition and fed her soul with a nice, warming Shea Vindouleé.
There is nothing better than a vindaloo! Smooth and earthy, yet packing a wicked heat to it, it can wake you up, warm your heart and clear out your nostrils – which is good with flurona rolling around – all while tasting delicious.
Shea Vindouleé Serves: 4.
Ingredients 8 dried kashmiri chilies, stemmed, seeded and soaked in boiling water for five minutes, liquid reserved 2 onions, sliced 6 garlic cloves 1 tbsp minced ginger 1 tsp paprika 2 tsp cumin ½ tsp pepper 2 tsp malt vinegar 3 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tbsp chilli flakes ½ tsp ground coriander seeds 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves ½ tsp kosher salt 2 cups beef stock 800g tinned tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp tamarind paste 1 tsp muscovado sugar 500g diced lamb rice, to serve
Method Pop the hydrated chillies, half the onion, garlic, ginger, paprika, half the cumin, pepper and malt vinegar in a blender with half the vegetable oil and a couple of tablespoons of the chilli water. Blitz until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the sides and re-blitzing or adding more water may be required.
Place the remaining oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook off the curry paste with the remaining onion, chilli flakes, coriander seeds, fenugreek and salt. Cook for about ten minutes, or until nice and fragrant. Stir in the stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, tamarind paste and muscovado sugar and cook for a further five minutes. Fold in the lamb, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour or until the meat is nice, tender and reduced. And you know, cooked through.
Serve with freshly cooked rice and devour, gloriously.
Previously on Drag Race España 12 iconic new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to live up to the hype generated by their first season sisters. As good as they all were, somebody had to go first as the delightful Marisa Prisa stumbled at the first hurdle. My sweet zaddy Ariel soon followed before Samantha Ballentines was felled on her third go in the bottom. Jota was the next to go before Snatch Game took out the immensely talented Onyx. Diamante soon followed before Sethlas was cut on her first time in the bottom before Juriji narrowly missed out on getting to the top.
Since everyone nailed the makeover and were sent through to the finale.
After a gruelling final challenge, Marina was eliminated in fourth place before the top three lip synced for the crown. And while Estrella and Venedita are both stars, Sharonne demolished the competition and did everything she could to guarantee herself the crown. And you know, cementing herself as having the best track record of all time.
Ever the consummate professional, Sharonne was humble as she claimed victory thanking everyone involved in the show and her new sisters for being so kind and supportive. By the time she was dedicating her win to her actual sisters and mother for being the shining queens of her life, I was pushing out a single tear Lisa Rinna style.
As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a hug and congratulated her on such a dominant performance throughout the season. Week after week she delivered a stunning performance, was kind and loving with her sisters and all around was a delight to watch. And as such, I was filled to victoriously guzzle Caesharonne Salad Dressing with her!
Now I know I spend a tonne of time bitching about seafood, but I fell in love with caesar dressing before I learnt what the black chunks were so thankfully have continued to love it. Anchovies be damned! Plus, I have a passion for salty, creamy sauces, so I will look past it.
Caesharonne Salad Dressing Makes: 1 cup.
Ingredients 6 anchovy fillets, drained 2 garlic cloves kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 egg yolks 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp olive oil ½ cup vegetable oil ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Method The fateful day I learnt about the whole anchovy of it all, I was working in a cafe and making a huge amount of dressing. As such, my method is the commercial quantity version using a food processor or blender.
Start by blitzing the anchovy and garlic together with a pinch of salt over high speed. Reduce to low and blitz in the egg yolks, followed by 2 tbsp of lemon juice and all the zest and the mustard. Increase speed to medium and pout in the olive oil a few drops at a time, not rushing the process otherwise it will split. Add the vegetable oil in a very slow and steady stream until the dressing is thick and glossy.
Add the parmesan and blitz further, before seasoning and adding more lemon juice if required. Then either drizzle on a salad, or drink triumphantly.
Previously on Drag Race España the top four made over older gay men from the Fundación 26 de Diciembre. One of whom was famous fashion designer Petro Valverde, meaning the pressure was well and truly on Sharonne to do well. Thankfully she did as the duo formed a tight bond and pulled together a killer performance. Estrella and Marina meanwhile landed in the bottom for not having their details down pat. Ultimately though it was Venedita who won the challenge and went straight through to the final alongside Sharonne, leaving the duo to battle it out for the final slot. The gag of the season however was that both of the girls slayed the lip sync and as such, Supremme had no choice but to have a top four this year.
Backstage the dolls were thrilled to stay as the top four, particularly Estrella who was sure that she was the one being eliminated. She opened up about how she was trying so hard to put on a brave face on stage, so was overwhelmed by the fact Supremme saw something in her that was worthy of saving. Sharonne reminded everyone to focus on the fact they are the first top four in Drag Race España history and that is because they are all icons. While Venedita continued to try and woo the audience to her side by subtly hashtagging in the background. Estrella on the other hand was ready to Showgirls her way to the end, while Sharonne was going to try her best, which is arguably the strongest track record ever.
The next day the finalists returned to the Werk Room feeling nostalgic about the experience and emotional that it is ending. Venedita reiterated that she would love to be the first bearded queen to win, while everyone agreed it is currently Sharonne’s crown to lose. Though that doesn’t mean anyone is going to make it easy for her. Speaking of which, Supremme eventually arrived to announce that for their final challenge the dolls would be performing alongside her in a music video, including writing and recording a verse and learning a tonne of choreography.
Oh and everyone would get to join her for a light lunch, with Venedita first on the guest list, opening up to Mama Supremme about how happy she is to make it to the end and that it was like a dream to her. She opened up about the explosion of social media leading to her starting drag and inspiring her to play with androgyny in her performance. Estrella was next and couldn’t believe she had made it to the end and how much the judges loved her. Hilariously she got her start in drag by befriending three queens in the street when trying to avoid someone picking her up. Which is as wild and iconic as you’d expect from her.
Sharonne opened up about the pressure that comes with going into the competition as an already successful, famous queen, though was proud of herself for continuing to evolve throughout the season. She opened up about being inspired to do drag by listening to her dad’s old records and wanting to perform like them. Marina meanwhile spoke about how drag to her is conceptual and creative and hard to explain, though she was proud of the character she created and looked forward to reflecting on the experience to see just what she has learned and how much she has grown.
With that out of the way, the dolls finally got to work writing their verses with Estrella and Venedita working well together and agreeing it is good to play into their strengths and keep it on the safer side. Marina and Sharonne were being a bit more creative and sensual with their approach and honestly were living their best lives as they bounced off each other. One thing all four of them could agree on is that they all have a massive challenge ahead of them and that this season truly has upped the ante. As has Marina, who the dolls were living for as she continued to drop killer lyric after killer lyric.
The dolls ventured to the mainstage to work on their choreography with Drag Race choreographer Carmelo and a series of flexible daddies. Venedita was feeling the pressure of pulling everything together at one time, while Sharonne was well and truly feeling her oats. Despite worrying about the complexity of the choreography. Marina was encouraged to give more confidence before Carmelo decided that their eliminated sisters should join them for the final performance and well, the reunion was sweet to see. Despite it distracting from the sweats-clad Pit Crew.
Speaking of sweats, Estrella’s had a massive hole in the crotch and well, I live.
It was family only on the panel as Supremme, Ana y Los Javis took their places at the table as Carmen arrived to drop off her crown – please tell me she doesn’t actually have to return it – and kick off the film clip. The dolls all turned it out, though it truly was Sharonne’s show as she gave it her all and hit every damn note. Marina was sensual, Estrella had all the personality and Venedita looked stunning. More importantly, why weren’t the Pit Crew wearing jockstraps?
On the My Best Drag runway Venedira was a sumptuous, blue belle, serving glamour and sex and looking oh so expensive. Marina was a dramatic black flower and was completely stunning. Estrella was full pastel perfection, camp and fun as she went back to the 19th century. And then Sharonne shut it down in a shimmering gown complete with a massive heart on her chest, ready to rebirth and take flight as a phoenix.
The judges lived for Venedita’s versatility and for alway bringing fashion to the runway and looking stunning. Marina meanwhile was beloved for always being smart and thinking outside the box and giving them something different. And for serving some of the most iconic looks on the runway and always telling a story. Estrella was praised for constantly evolving and being present, serving not just comedy but for doing it in the right way thanks to her impeccable instincts. She was fun, warm and smart, and well, the judges clearly love her. When it came to Sharonne, she received universal praise for being a star and being versatile enough to succeed at anything and everything she put her mind to. And for her ability to keep her ego in check.
Backstage the dolls were overwhelmed by all the love from the judges, despite the fact they were all completely exhausted. Estrella was emotional about the fact it was all coming to an end, while Marina shared how proud she was to be sitting alongside her three sisters with Sharonne agreeing that she is leaving the competition with a family she will treasure forever. Talk turned to who they thought would win with Venedita feeling like Sharonne is still the front runner, while Sharonne admitted that they are all stars though that she always felt like Venedita would be a worthy winner. While Estrella praised Marina for bringing mystery.
The eliminated queens walked the runway one final time with Marisa serving red-hot arse, Ariel gave sexy Ariel, Samantha was ravishing in red, Jota gave drama in shimmering bondage black, Onyx gave alien queen, Diamante was a black and white delight while Sethlas brought all the papal drama you’d expect from the Canary Islands while Juriji was sexy in a gorgeous mulberry tulle number.
Ultimately though, the top four were the stars. Well, top three as the judges opted to cut Marina just ahead of the final lip sync to Ni tú ni nadie by Alaska y Dinarama. And well, all three were desperate for the crown and ready to fight. Estrella leant into comedy and gave many a gag, Venedita gave burlesque beauty, though it truly was Sharonne’s victory lap as she hit every lyric and gave drama and emotion. And even a wig reveal, followed by showering herself in confetti followed by exploding her heart in glitter. And well, it was only correct that she took out the win.
That being said, Venedita was impeccable throughout the entire competition and well and truly deserving of her place in the final. From the very frist moment she entered the Werk Room, it was clear she was a star which is exactly what I told her as we caught up backstage. While she was disappointed to not take out the crown, she knew that she had done herself proud so after a big hug from a dear friend like me and a bowl of Liquidita Von Däshcake, she was well and truly ready to take on the world.
Another Milk Bar delight – actually the filling for Jonathan’s bun (pie) – this velvety smooth confection is hard to describe. Packing the flavorful punch of cheesecake but with the texture of custard, this versatile sweet is perfect spread on cookies, baked into a pie, turned into ice cream, or better yet, eating solo, gladly.
Liquidita Von Däshcake Serves: 1 runner-up and her bestie.
Ingredients 250g cream cheese 150g raw caster sugar 1 tbsp cornstarch ½ tsp kosher salt 2 tbsp milk 1 egg
Method Pop the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and beat for an additional couple of minutes and scrape down the sides.
Combine the cornstarch, salt, milk and egg in a jug and whisk together until smooth, before adding to the mixer and beating for another 3 or 4 minutes, or until beautifully smooth.
Pour into a lined square cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until the outside is just setting, but it is still jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven to cool. Then devour, greedily.
Previously on All Winners eight iconic victors of seasons past returned to the mainstage to compete for the chance to be crowned the one, true, Queen of all Queens. After kicking off the season with a killer rumix where Shea and Monet slayed in front of Cameron Diaz, the dolls backed it up with Snatch Game. And not just any Snatch Game, a double dose of Snatch, where each queen was tasked with delivering not one, but two performances. While Jinkx obviously delivered a masterclass duo of performances alongside Trinity, Raja was the surprise package and stole my heart with her hilarious turns. Ultimately though it was Jinkx and Trinity that landed in the top making Shea’s choice to block Trinity a smart one. Well, until Jinkx won the lip sync and returned the favour, blocking Shea the very next week.
Backstage Jinkx was feeling her oats post-win and ugh, I love to see it. She then explained that she blocked Shea this week because she already has a star and given Shea is that good, it is unlikely she will stumble again. And as such, they all need to do what they can. And well, everyone agreed they would have made the same decision, while Yvie would have lingered on Monet to make her shit herself. Which, lol. Shea arrived and started to play mind games with the dolls, pretending the platinum plunger comes with a special power and given Trinity is hilarious, she jumped onboard and well, again, this is the greatest season of all time.
Oh but don’t worry, Inspector Jaida is on the case and she will get all the answers for us. Whatever that means.
The next day Monet welcomed the trio of starred girls, while Trinity was a little disappointed that she should, technically, have a damn star by now. Soooo, Jaida and Trinity are the top in the ball, I’m guessing? Before I could make any more predictions, Ru arrived to play a little game of hung man with the dolls and the Pit Crew. And well, like The Viv, I’m dripping. Or in Ginger Minj speak, my basement is flooded. Jinkx took out the only puzzle with the answer of Vanna White Party. Which led into this week’s Maxi Challenge, the BALL. First category the dolls would be walking the runway in game show hostess glam for Vanna White Realness. The second category would feature Wheel of Fortune’s famous Before and After, like Diana RossMatthews. Or in my mind RuPaul Simon, because seeing that duo would be hilarious.
Closing out the ball the dolls would be rocking Realness of Fortune Eleganza. Aka a garment made from scratch with the dolls spinning a wheel to pick their inspiration city. Jinkx got the lavender fields of Provence, Shea won White Cliffs of Dover, Monet jagged the Emerald Isle, Jaida got the Black Sand Beach, Raja got Gold of the Golden Pagoda, Yvie won $500 and then $1000 before getting bankrupted before The Viv finally won money on the show, $1000 dollars, then $500 and then finally got a city with the Blue Hole of Belize before Trinity got bankrupted. This left Yvie to get the Pink City of Jaipur and Trinity getting the straggler of the Red Square of Russia.
With everyone’s colours sorted, the dolls split up to collect their supplies before The Vivienne admitted she would be playing it safe with the design. Given she doesn’t really wear blue, ever. Trinity meanwhile was slowly making a ruffle and driving everyone mad, while Monet admitted she hasn’t made a dress since the infamous sponge look. Raja meanwhile was feeling a little nervous given this is one of her strengths and she doesn’t have a fat arse blunt or two bottles of wine, which makes up her usual process. Jinkx was in a battle with the sewing machine and honestly was not feeling fortunate. That being said, she was glad to have lucked out by blocking one of the sewers and had settled for the critique of, it’s a dress. Since that would be a step up for her in design challenges. Shea meanwhile was worried how to bring a non-bridal white look, given she already served it in All Stars 5.
Ru dropped by to check in on her daughters with Jinkx outlining her strategy and admitting she is still terrible at sewing. But, she hoped to braid her way into a gown. Monet was feeling her 70s oats and ready to Survivor the competition to the crown. Jaida was ready to pull off a very technical dress, given she made her entire Season 12 wardrobe. Yvie meanwhile was trying to punk up pink, like Pink or the girl from my school that looks like Pink. Allegedly.
After Ru departed, Jaida started to worry she may have been too ambitious with her design, though doubled down on the fact she was here to cement her legacy, not rest on it. And yes, I love Jaida’s entire vibe. Oh and then everyone thirsted over Monet’s booty which, I get it as a fellow booty queen. Shea meanwhile decided to lean into bridal despite having served it once before, while Trinity was continuing to work out a full on gown and ugh, she is so damn talented. Yvie meanwhile made a seam and Raja a vagina. While Jinkx was getting into the Season 5 mindset, stressed about the mess she was in until Trinity dropped by, gave her a pep talk and some ideas and well, I love to see it.
Runway Day arrived with Jinkx perking up after a spank from Trinity before the dolls started beating their mugs. While The Viv was not impressed by any of the doll’s accent work, Trinity and Monet were doubling down on their alliance before Jinkx dropped by to shade their not-so-secret alliance. And then was promptly offered a spot in the alliance and while she didn’t sign up to an official deal, she reminded the girls that she appreciates what both of them have done for her throughout the competition. Given they didn’t get an agreement, Trinity approached Shea to see if she wanted in on the game and well, Shea was not into it either. So when Jaida approached, she outed Trinity’s approach to building an alliance, with Jaida just as disinterested in joining. But also a little confused and just wanting to do her best.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Kirby Howell-Baptiste on the panel as the dolls kicked off the Realness of Fortune Ball with their Vanna White Realness looks with Vanna White watching from the wall, stunning in a shimmering black gown and ugh, I love her. Perfection. Iconic. Again, best season ever. Jinkx was stunning, also in black, gagged to see Vanna on the runway. Shea and Monet were perfect in white, Jaida was adorable in a stunning silver gown, complete with lighting up the letters as she walked along. Raja almost died when she saw Vanna White in her perfect purple gown. Yvie was full Yvie, noticing Vanna at the very last minute while The Viv gave all peach in a velvet gown – completely unaware who Vanna was – and Trinity was a sparkling beauty, giving full pageant perfection.
On the Before and After runway, Jinkx was perfection as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Fonda, Shea was a sexy Gold Tooth Fairy, Monet gave Bob the Drag Queen Elizabeth realness, serving neon paint in the palace. Jaida’s Bag Lady in Red was stun. Ning and ugh, I love her. Raja’s Olivia Newton-John Waters was so damn gorgeous and camp. Yvie was hilarious as Cardi Bea Arthur and ugh, it was hot and oh so golden. The Vivienne meanwhile was amazing as Princess Diana Ross before Trinity stole the show as RuPaul Charles II, which was a dandy delight.
Closing the show with their made looks, Jinkx managed to sew her gown and well, it was a gown. Which is what she wanted. Shea was a sexy New Orleans bride, Monet was having fun as a disco diva, Jaida was insanely talented, serving architectural perfection, Myanmar Golden Pagoda Raja was fucking stunning, Yvie was dramatic in blushing pink while The Vivienne was gorgeous in baby blue before Trinity too gave insane perfection in what she whipped up in a day.
The judges lived for Jinkx’s first two looks for being right in the pocket, while they were glad she was able to pull together the outfit. Which led to her praising Trinity for having her back. Shea received universal praise for the looks, whether the Vanna White look gave Vanna White or not. Monet was praised for giving fun and wit, while Jaida rightly received all the praise for everything she did, but more importantly for making the look she did in the space of a day. Raja too received universal praise for each look, despite the fact they wanted more John Waters in the middle look. Which, lies. Yvie was praised for thinking outside the box for each category while The Viv was beloved, despite not giving much Vanna like Shea. And then Trinity received top marks, bought the vowels and shut it down with each category.
As the dolls untucked Jaida was confident in her performance, though nervous given a lot of her sisters also served killer looks. The Viv was already keen for another ball while Jinkx was just thrilled to see Vanna live, in the flesh. While Yvie caught her ring in her outfit, the dolls praised Shea for giving full wedding glam while they were busy thirsting over Monet’s wig colour. Viv added some shade asking whose outfit they would want to wear, with pretty much everyone wanting to try on Raja’s though Jinkx feeling The Viv was more her vibe. They then gushed over Viv’s make-up before they were gagged to learn Jaida even made her damn boot covers. Which is ridiculous and talented. Oh and then everyone gagged Yvie given they were so proud of her for making her Cardi Bea Arthur look and well, it was too much.
Ultimately it was Trinity and Jaida who landed in the top with Trinity finally jagging a star, meaning she and Jaida are now part of a five person club. As soon as Beyonce’s Green Light kicked off though, it was very obvious that this was Jaida’s for the taking. While Trinity gave all the sex and comedy in the world, Jaida was on point from start to finish, feeling every lyric, hitting every letter and then playing air sax into a split. And yeah, no surprises that she took out the $10k and then blocked Jinkx. Because obviously.
Backstage Jaida was thrilled to have finally shine, once again asserting her dominance in design challenges. She was feeling vindicated, valedictorian and validation. The dolls congratulated Trinity for taking out her first star from two wins, which was the perfect introduction for Jinkx who joined her sisters and was once again charming and hilarious. And fine about being blocked, unless she wins this week and misses out on being the first queen to win two stars. Which totally means she is winning this week, right? As is Viv who is feeling very hungry for the win and well, let’s see if I’m right. Again, for the record.
In any event, we know that Raja will be robbed which is reassuring, only in its consistency.
The next day Jinkx arrived playing Bing Bang Bong on the ukulele and well, it was just as amazing as you’d expect. Though now we’re all going to have it in our head for days. Jaida meanwhile was being shady, pointing out Monet is the only person with a star that hasn’t been blocked. Well, until Trinity reminded her that she now has a star.
Ru dropped by to explain that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be improv-ing their way through the court show, Fairytale Justice. In two teams, the dolls would play out the cases of fairytale miscarriages of justice. And as winners of last week’s challenge, Jaida and Trinity were team captains, with Jaida going with Jinkx, Monet and Yvie while Trinity opted for Shea, Viv and were left with Raja. Team Jaida was covering the case of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, while Team Trinity would act out Goldielocks’ break and enter at the bears’ house.
Team Jaida were all living for their roles, with Jinkx comfortable to take on any and all feedback and make her character as bizarre as possible. Because you know she is going to go for the win, despite being blocked. Over with Team Trinity, Raja was typecast as a sexy granny, while The Viv was ready to turn out her first ever improv challenge. And given she was going to turn Goldilocks into the fucken’ Chuckie girl, condragulations Viv! The one thing both teams could agree on is that their rival teams were going to turn it out.
Blow the House Down Boots was the first case to be argued with Jinkx delightfully demented, and ugh, I love it. She was vapid, she was wild and horny, and it was perfection. Yvie was the sexiest wolf on earth, Jaida was so fun and ridiculous and then Monet arrived and shut it down playing the straight guy of the scene and while it won’t give her a win, she was hella fun. Particularly when she started slapping the hell out of everyone and everything. As soon as The Vivienne skipped into the scene, it was clear she was going to land in the top. She barely uttered her first sentence before Shea started breaking with laughter. Though Shea did play a fun straight guy, Raja was a hilarious and thirsty grandmother, yelling at Michelle before Trinity arrived and was as manic and stupid as you’ve come to expect. Though it was far and away The Vivienne’s scene, as she cycled through the accents and was completely bonkers and well, it was the best.
Runway Day arrived with The Viv still running through the accents as the groups split up to talk through their performances with Raja praising The Viv standing out in their scene, despite the fact they all did so well. As everyone started to beat their mugs, Jaida was offering out Tajin shots as they kikied about their performances. Raja meanwhile spoke about not wanting to do an old lady again, while Yvie decided to not play a man again. They then got distracted by Jaida’s make-up as she was blending black and white, and joking about going on stage half baked and screaming at the judges for not giving them enough time. Oh and then Jinkx pointed out that they usually block the person that blocked the week before, so good luck to ya Jaida!
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman as Jaida absolutely slayed the Spikes on the Runway number in a Grace Jones in Mad Max style look. Jinkx gave the most glamorous echidna known to man while Monet was serving punk Valentina teas and well, it was good. Yvie served sexy scorpion, Trinity was a sexy, staked vampire, while The Viv was perfect in a light blue bodysuit with golden spikes. And it was so stunning. As was Raja’s shimmering mediaeval space warrior. Shea meanwhile was crazed in her hobble skirted purple fairy alien.
Jaida meanwhile received universal praise for all that she served this week, until Jinkx received even more praise for all that she did, and for being such a consummate professional and staying true to who she is. Monet was praised for stealing the show with her entrance, while the judges lived for her runway. They lived for Yvie’s killer runway and was praised for her commitment to the role. Trinity’s interpretation of the runway was beloved for being unexpected and they lived for how much fun Trinity is having this season. The judges had no idea what Shea’s runway was, but they lived for it and the way she made the straight guy Karen-bear role likeable. The Vivienne too received glowing, universal praise, besting even Jinkx with how much the judges lived for her and her instantly iconic runway. Obviously everyone was obsessed with Raja’s runway for the perfection it was and how well she delivered the character in the challenge, with Ru in particular living for her clear rebirth this season.
As the dolls untucked they quickly praised Yvie for looking so stunning on the runway and being so sexy in the challenge. Essentially, they were all horny for Yvie. They were also in agreement about The Vivienne in the top two this week, but weren’t sure who would be joining her because Jinkx, Raja and Yvie all got such good critiques. Which fired Raja up more than anything, given she has slayed each and every week, but has not received a star yet. Talk turned to how grateful Ru is for all of them for coming back before they decided to address the politics of blocking, with Jinkx not wanting to block someone on her team, but also not wanting to block someone without a star, narrowing down the list to Jaida and Monet. While everyone agreed that Monet, girl, The Viv is coming for you. Oh but she was in the bathroom the entire conversation, so who really knows. Jeffrey dropped backstage to kiki with the girls, saving The Viv from actually having to give an answer and well, Jeffrey is so hot, so let’s just enjoy that for all that he is.
Obviously Jinkx and The Vivienne took out victory, robbing Raja of yet another win and leaving us with a 6-way tie with one star. Since Jaida blew it for Jinkx. But whatever, because she was ready to kill Because Love is Gonna Save the Day by Whitney Houston. While The Vivienne also slayed the lip sync and gave all the attitude and emotion, I always have a soft spot for Jinkx’s brand of demented. Sadly for her though, The Viv straight up collected a xylophone from Jaida on the side of stage mid-song and played it to the beat and that was just unbeatable. As such, she took out the win and quickly blocked Monet and it was delightful as they bantered back and forth. Though me thinks Monet was well and truly fuming deep down inside.
As the dolls filed past me to return to the Werk Room, I reluctantly pulled Raja aside and told her that it was her turn. Reluctantly because she arguably should have three bloody stars already and the undisputed frontrunner, but alas, she has taken her sister Raven’s spot as the perennial bridesmaid. I pulled her in for a hug and instantly started ranting and raving about the robbery that we’ve witnessed week after week before she calmly told me that a) I was coming off a bit Tyra (Banks, thankfully) and b) she is having the best time and is just thrilled by the journey, winning be damned. While she was proud to be doing so well and to be performing to a new audience – and in HD – I handed her a big fat blunt and told her that next week WOULD be her week, otherwise I will be forced to key Ru and/or Michelle’s car. A promise I toasted to with a big ol’ jug of Boozy Rajafresca.
In an effort to push her back into the Winner’s Circle, I was inspired by one of her fellow member Aquaria but given Raja likes a tipple like me – and is of legal drinking age, I spiked it! Fresh and fruity with a nice warmth coming through with the addition of chilli (and the vodka, obvi), it is the perfect way to drink away a balmy summer evening.
Boozy Rajafresca Serves: 2 dear old friends.
Ingredients 1 batch Aguaria Fresca ½ cup vodka (or more or less, depending on the size of the watermelon and how strong you’d like it) 2 tsp chilli flakes
Method Combine the Aguaria Fresca in a jug with the vodka and chilli, and give a good stir. Then down, happily.
The other option is to follow Aquaria’s recipe and just pop the vodka and chilli in the blender with everything else and then blitz. It doesn’t really matter how you get there, all that matters is the refreshment.
Previously on Drag Race España 12 new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to slay. Tragically though, not everyone could stick around – this isn’t All Winners, or half of the season 13 and 14 episodes – as Marisa, Ariel, Samantha, Jota, Onyx, Diamante, Sethlas and Juriji exited. At the top four, the dolls madeover older members of the LGBTQIA+ community and while Sharonne and Venedita slayed – with the latter winning her second challenge – Estrella and Marina didn’t shine as brightly and landed in the bottom. Thankfully though, Supremme knew that all four were worthy of a place in the final, keeping both of them around to battle their sisters for the crown. But first, they all had to get back together!
Supremme kicked off the reunion welcoming the dolls back to the Mainstage to talk shit about the season. Oh, and to crown their Miss Congeniality. But more importantly Yara Sofia sent in a video message to send them her love and praise them on a killer season, followed by Samantha Hudson at the salon mid-bleaching, sweet old icon Karina who I sadly hadn’t heard of before the show and Manila Luzon who gave up on speaking Spanish after the first sentence. And well, needless to say all the dolls were touched. Particularly Onyx, who was thrilled by Manila’s message about not needing a crown to win. Because, duh, she is a sexy icon.
We then got a series of recaps of each of the top four’s journeys and while everyone clearly slayed the game this season, if Marina’s full frontal doesn’t take the crown, it has to go to Sharonne, right? Or did I just jinx her? In any event, Estrella was thrilled to narrowly make it through to the final as was Marina, while Sharonne admitted the last few weeks of the competition were truly stressful and emotional, whether you were in the top or on the bottom. Being a humble icon, when Supremme inferred it was obvious she was making it to the end, she spoke about the fact the competition is all about luck and she got lucky that the judges liked all that she had to offer. While Venedita was glad to get a win just before the finale and have that confidence boost going into the final challenge.
That was followed by a filler segment watching the eliminated queens audition tapes and well, the production values were on point but yeah, it was all filler. Except for the fact we learnt Drag Sethlas has a tonne of money because her outfits were on point and looked expensive.
Talk turned to Estrella and Samantha being stupid, fun and/or loud in the Werk Room, and while some of their sisters lived for it Ariel felt they kinda took a lot of air out of the room and made it hard for the quieter girls to shine. And well, Ariel Rec is hot and I love her, so I accept her take as gospel. Despite loving the madness her sisters brought to the show. Everyone turned their attention to Jota’s penchant for lies and exaggeration, with her reading them for saying she lies when she simply embellishes her stories. Though the Lola Flores shawl she said she owns is definitely Lola Flores’, despite what her sisters have to say. When it came to talking about Diamante and her potential lies about having no sewing skills despite turning an epic look, everyone was a little more open to believing her.
We finally turned our attention to the epic feud between Marina and Juriji, which importantly centred on Marina’s penchant for gross farts. While Juriji was happy to talk it through and resolve things, Marina wasn’t really looking to move on given she felt very disrespected by Juriji at that moment and she isn’t sure how to talk about it. Juriji admitted she too felt disrespected during their fight, but even that didn’t seem to make her want to resolve things. Particularly when they had to talk about their feud when Sethlas teamed up with Marina, because it only made Marina angrier at her sister. Despite Juriji explaining that she felt she has never fit in and them telling her she was the weakest was a trigger to her.
Before recapping the looks of the season Pedro ma’tuckin’ Almodovar sent the dolls a message praising them for their runways dedicated to him. And admitted he shared the videos far and wide in the fashion world and ugh. Is Spain the prime franchise, now?
Supremme then tasked the eliminated queens with stomping the runway in a look they couldn’t show with Marisa opting for a killer art look, shagadelic and dedicated to Picasso. By way of the loom. Ariel slayed as a smurf cleaner to a queer superhero, while Samantha rocked a TV, Jota mashed up neon ballet with latex rocker gimp, Onyx was a sexy flapper vampire, Diamante came out of the closet as houndstooth and Sethlas was a showgirl charity pin. Ultimately the queen that won the Best Lost Look sash was first boot Marisa and well, it’s what she deserves.
They then gave another prize for the Hungriest Queen, with this time only Estrella and Juriji eligible for the prize. Though obviously that one was going to Estrella, who found a way to work eating into any and all challenges. Talk turned to who should win the season with everyone pleading their case before the queens voted and were split between Estrella, Venedita and Sharonne. And since this reunion is starting to feel like election coverage, we then finally learnt who the queens voted as their Miss Congeniality of the season – Samantha Ballentines! And well, wasn’t she thrilled to get some 1-on-1 time with the zaddy Pit Crew who delivered the sash!
As the exited the mainstage, I quickly pulled Marina aside to give her some late breaking sustenance and encouragement ahead of the final challenge. How lucky is she to be next in the alphabet after Estrella! While my favourite moment of hers from the season was due to my aggressive thirst – free the peen! – she also slayed from start to finish, giving a polished collection of creative runways and also shining in the roast. As such, I carved her off a chunk of Porchettarina and toasted her success.
There is honestly nothing better than a perfectly cooked porchetta. Sweet and juicy meat, melting away in your mouth with a hearty crust of crackling and a delicate punch of herbaceous garlicky heaven? Swoon.
Porchettarina Serves: 6.
Ingredients 1.5kg pork belly, boneless 1 tbsp fennel seeds 2 tsp black peppercorns 8 cloves garlic ½ tsp kosher salt, plus extra for salting 10 sage leaves, finely chopped 2 tsp chilli flakes 1 tbsp olive oil
Method Start by scoring both the skin and meat side of the pork belly to form a cross hatching.
Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds in a dry, medium-heat frying pan until nice and fragrant before popping into a mortar and pestle alongside the peppercorns, garlic and salt until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl and mix through the sage, chilli and oil.
Rub the paste over the meat side of the pork and then roll to form a log and using kitchen string, tie it along the meat in intervals to secure. Transfer to a roast pan with a rack and aggressively rub the skin with the additional sea salt. Transfer to a fridge for 8 hours or so to allow the skin to dry. I may have cut a corner here, which is why we’re missing out on glorious crackling.
When you’re ready to go, preheat the oven to 220°C and rub the excess salt off the skin. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes before reducing heat to 150°C and cooking for 2 hours.
Depending on how the crackling has gone, you could then crank the oven back up to 220°C for ten minutes for a final crisp, or pop it under a hot grill for five minutes. But ideally, that shouldn’t be necessary.
Rest for ten minutes or so before removing the string, slicing and most importantly, devouring.
Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji, ready to repeat all the tricks of last season. But hot damn did they have more success. Despite tragically losing Jackson before the first immunity challenge, the Ika tribe arrived at tribal council ready to play. Sadly for Zach, that was as far as his game went. More importantly, it also broke Maryanne’s heart as he was the literal embodiment of every white man she has ever loved. We then lost Marya, Jenny and Swati in quick succession, before Daniel blew up his game and set up the demise of Vati post-merge.
Speaking of which, the fake merge cost Lydia her game before Chanelle became the queen of the jury. Ika lost Rocksroy and Tori in a double tribal council before Omar took control by getting rid of Hai and Drea. In turn, that painted a target on his back and got him booted by Maryanne’s epic 3-2-2 play. This then led to Lindsay getting booted before the fire making challenge took out Jonathan, leaving Romeo, Mike and Maryanne to face the jury at final tribal council.
Despite Romeo putting in a strong showing, he came out of the experience with nary a vote while Mike’s subpar performance scored him only one as the jury gave Maryanne a resounding win for not only a game well played, but for dominating final tribal council.
After the cast finished filming the on island reunion, I quickly pulled Maryanne aside to toast her success. While she had a wild yet somehow quiet game at the start, she expertly read the room and was able to reset once she realised how she was being perceived, leading her on a path to greatness. Pulling off some epic moves at the right moments to not only get her to the end, but earn her the win. More importantly, she also was an epic and engaging character that will go down in the pantheon of legends. But for now, we’ll always have Maryanne Picoketchutney.
I always had a fear of the bright yellow pickle that lived in my fridge as a child, but thankfully with time comes wisdom and as an adult, my love affair began. Super tart, a little bit sweet and lightly spice, this is the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. Particularly a win.
Maryanne Picoketchutney Makes: 1.5L.
Ingredients 500g cauliflower, cut into small florets 200g zucchini, cut into a fine dice 100g green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 onion, diced 2 tbsp sea salt 600ml malt vinegar 3 tbsp English mustard powder 1 tbsp coriander seeds 2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp turmeric ¼ cup plain flour ⅔ cup raw caster sugar 2 bay leaves
Method Combine the cauliflower, zucchini, beans and onion in a bowl with the salt. Cover and leave to steep at room temperature overnight. In the morning, rinse under cold water and drain.
Whisk 100 ml of vinegar with the mustard powder, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds, turmeric and flour to form a paste.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the mustard mixture and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add the drained vegetables and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Ladle the mixture into sterilised jars and seal immediately, storing in a cool dark place until opened. Then devour, immediately.
Previously on Survivor after Mike defeated Jonathan in the firemaking challenge and won his spot in the final three, the trio enjoyed one final day in Fiji before heading to tribal council. After copping a respectful grilling, Maryanne dominated the Q&A with equal parts charm and wisdom while Romeo was surprisingly confident in articulating why he deserved to be here. Sadly for him, it wasn’t enough to secure him any votes as he finished in third place.
Jeffrey then read the votes and despite playing a strong game, only one vote turned up for Mike as he took out second place, handing Maryanne a near unanimous victory as the jury crowned her the Sole Survivor.
Once Mike was done smashing pizza on the after show, I pulled him aside to perk him back up after just coming up short. Mike had played such a dominant game, controlling his tribe before the merge and managing to form meaningful bonds that carried him far into the game. Never mind the fact he was smart and knew when to make a move, all while minimising the fact he was super buff and a massive threat.
Really the only major flaw was his game was not owning it and like Sharn in Australia – who suffered her third loss in the recent election – the jury couldn’t respect it and it cost him the game. While he was disappointed at the outcome, Mike being Mike, he was super upbeat and proud of Maryanne. Though it is easy to work through the pain when you’re smashing a Mikaarage Chicken Turger.
Super crispy chicken, velvety mayonnaise and creamy avocado, smooshed between two soft buns, how can you go wrong? Oh and did I mention crunchy lettuce and a punch of kecap manis. It is, so, good.
Mikaraage Chicken Turger Serves: 8.
Ingredients 1 tbsp mirin 1 tbsp soy sauce 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp ginger, minced ½ cup kewpie mayonnaise 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 100g cornflour sunflower oil, for frying 3 avocados, mashed 1 lemon, zested and juiced salt and pepper, to taste 8 burger rolls 1 butter lettuce 2 tomatoes ¼ cup kecap manis
Method Combine the mirin, soy, garlic and ginger and 1 tbsp of the mayo in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat, before covering and popping in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.
Pop the cornflour in a bowl and heat about 5cm deep of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Take the chicken out of the fridge and press the chicken into the cornflour to coat before transferring the chicken into the pot to fry, two at a time, for about 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to some paper towel to drain and repeat the process until the chicken is done.
To assemble the burgers, mash the avo with the lemon zest and juice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Split all the buns in half and toast on a griddle pan. Spread the avo on the base, followed by some lettuce and tomato, then the chicken, followed by a drizzle of kewpie and some kecap manis. Then devour immediately, greedily. Messily. Happily.
Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the lush islands of Fiji where one by one they were eliminated, starting with the tragic loss of Jackson and Zach within the first few days. They were followed out the door – yes, this is happening – Marya, Jenny, Swati and Daniel before three became one as the tribes merged, or so they thought, as once again, the merge was a bit of a gag. That cost Lydia her game before the official merge saw Chanelle ascend to the throne as Queen of the jury. She was soon joined by Rocksroy, Tori, Hai, Drea and Omar before the final five were sent to a new beach to start over. Despite winning an advantage for the challenge, Lindsay couldn’t take out victory and landed on the jury bench before Romeo narrowly snatched final immunity and took Maryanne to final tribal council with him, leaving Mike to earn his place and sending Jonathan from the game to become the final juror.
The final three awoke on Day 26 to watch the sunrise, proud to have made it all the way to the end and to get the chance to argue their case. Though Mike was worried about how he would be able to convince the jury of his game, despite all of them giving confessionals about really needing him to own the fact he is the biggest snake left in the game. Romeo meanwhile was proud of playing from the bottom the entire game, with the jury admitting that his ability to persevere and outlast everyone has been very impressive. Maryanne meanwhile was readying herself to scream all of her achievements from the rooftops and while the jury were thrilled to see Maryanne make it to the end, they worried about her ability to articulate her superior game. And TBH, focus on the task at hand.
With that, the final three arrived at the final tribal council where Probst quickly explained the proceedings for the evening. Omar kicked off the discussion about their social games, praising all of them for making it to the end and encouraged everyone to outline what they did to deserve the win. Tori spoke about Mike’s passion for trust and integrity, while Maryanne was charming and fun while Romeo was quiet, asking how accurate her read was and whether she missed anything. Mike leant straight into his love of trust, while Maryanne countered that she has always taken the game seriously, desperately trying to downplay her threat level as all the young people kept getting voted out when they tried to make a move. While Romeo just agreed that yes he was paranoid, but that he kept throwing hinky votes out to keep people riled up.
That sadly upset Hai, who accused him of gaslighting him and ugh, Hai destroyed him. Despite his attempts to apologise and them ultimately moving on, I still worry for Romeo in this final tribal. Giving him hope, Omar asked Mike about some of the other times he lied that he hadn’t copped to, including the blindside of Drea. While Mike tried to talk around things, Chanelle jumped in to call bullshit on the situation, leading to Mike getting more and more desperate as he tried to explain that he only crossed people that crossed him. Which Hai pointed out was mainly Omar feeding him lies. Jonathan tried to get Mike to fight before Drea cooled things down and reminded everyone that they all lied, but the fact of the matter is that Mike’s social game was just on point.
Talk turned to Maryanne’s sloppy social game pre-merge, with Maryanne admitting she hadn’t realised how much her tribe hated her before the merge but once she realised, she rightly course corrected. Lindsay then gave Maryanne the chance to explain who she pulled in herself, with her highlighting her skills in taking out Omar. And while Jonathan tried to take ownership of the move, she slapped him down and rightly took credit. Because trust and believe, it was her moment.
Rocksroy kicked off the physical portion of the game, with Maryanne talking about her contribution around camp, weaving fronds and prepping the fish. Mike meanwhile highlighted his work ethic, powering along all season to look after his tribe. While Romeo admitted he has never camped and just learnt to swim, and as such, he is proud of himself for persevering and finally snatching immunity at the final four.
Drea kicked off the strategic portion, telling the final three that this is what will decide her vote. She asked each of them to outline their biggest move with Romeo talking about his fake immunity idol and winning the final challenge. Oh and that he took Maryanne because she didn’t have a strategy. Mike meanwhile spoke about orchestrating the blindside on Hai, with him admitting that sometimes his emotions got the best of him before he realised mid-sentence that he wasn’t as honest as he thought. Maryanne meanwhile shut it down, explaining that getting rid of Omar set her up with a bunch of final three combinations she could navigate. She then outed her idol, impressing everyone by keeping the secret and clearly articulating how removing Omar is the thing that took her to the end.
Romeo meanwhile broke down, disappointed to have had to play the game from the bottom and to not show his real self throughout the game. Though he was proud to have never given up and make it to the end, and to finally be able to live his life as a proud gay man. Mike spoke about being proud of himself for overcoming the generational barriers, competing with the younger kids and making the bonds to get to the end. While Maryanne once again dominated, sharing how she learnt to stand up for herself and to not self-sabotage, which is why she voted out Lindsay. She cried about having to turn on a friend, though finally knew that she had to take the risk of getting rid of her, to give herself the best shot at winning.
With that the jury voted and once again, everyone was gagged to discover that Jeff would be reading the votes right then and there in the middle of Fiji. Sadly for Romeo, none of them were for him as he found himself becoming the second runner-up of the season.
As Jeffy pop and co reset to film the reunion, I pulled Romeo aside and gave him a massive hug for all that he achieved throughout the season. And for giving a surprisingly dominant performance in the final tribal council. Romeo perfectly articulated how he managed to navigate the game despite being on the bottom the entire time, while also going on a massive journey to self-acceptance. Which is not bad for 26 days of work! And while it didn’t jag him the win, it was more than enough to win him my heart and a big ol’ ramekin of Romesco Saucobar.
A little bit tangy with a touch of earthiness and punch of sweetness, this Spanish sauce is the perfect accompaniment for pretty much anything. Make it a bit thicker and you’ve got a punchy dip, thinner and it works perfectly with some charred chicken.
Romesco Saucobar Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 150g chargrilled capsicum, drained well ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika ¼ tsp chilli powder 20g flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan 1 lemon, zested and juiced 5 large garlic cloves, crushed 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Method Pop everything into the blender and blitz until smooth.
Decant and either down, dip or drizzle on something and devour – your choice!