Previously on vs the World the BBC kindly hosted the inaugural United Nations of Drag battle royale, featuring finalists, robbed icons – looking at you, Lemon and Chez – and even a mother tucking host. And let’s just say, things got wilder than Jimbo flinging bologna at Ru pretty quickly. In addition to the lunch meat, there were gaggy eliminations, gaggier lip syncs and for consistency’s sake, a Jujubee appearance in the finale. Sadly for her, the crown went to the UK as Blu Hydrangea snatched it from Mo Heart and took it home to Northern Ireland.
But that was then and now we’ve changed out the Curry Chipz for poutine as we return to the northern part of North America as Rita made their triumphant return to the Canadian Werk Room. Well, mainstage, as is apparently the tradition for the International battles. In any event, she looked stunning in a glorious green gown before Stephanie Prince joined her, ready to rectify the robbery of her being eliminated on her first season. And while I love her, girl, nope, it was not a robbery. Though she was cute as the green fairy. Kendall joined her fellow Canadians looking perfect in a regal blue superhero number, followed by former mother tucking winner herself Icesis and damn, you can tell she has the money. That lilac look was glorious.
And her Season 2 sisters – and even Rita – were not happy about her presence.
Representing us south of the equator, Down Under’s Anita was giddy, delightful and ridiculous and ugh, I love her and know she will make us proud. They were joined by Brooke’s sister, the one with the good milk, Silky and ugh, I love her and can’t wait to see her dominate again and earn our love like her run in All Stars 6. Speaking of queens who got rudemption and then some on All Stars 6, purple queen Ra’Jah arrived and ohhh-hhh my go-ooood, crown her now. Whether she is concerned about Icesis or not. Vanity arrived from across the pond and well, she was stun-ning in orange. Dirty rice, indeed. Thankfully she also assured us she won’t be serving Baga Chipz, which is important for all contestants to clarify TBH. Rounding out the cast is the iconic first cis female cast member of any Ru franchise, Victoria Scone and well, she is still as gorgeous and stunning as I remember.
Brooke soon dropped by to welcome her cast and announce that their first maxi challenge would see them split into groups of three to form Girl Groups. Rita, Anita and Victoria formed the first band, Kendall, Icesis and Stephanie kept it in their season while Silky, Vanity and Ra’Jah would no doubt dominate together. Each band would have to write and record a verse on the new single Bonjour! Hi! with the top 2 lip syncing for the right to eliminate one of the bottoms. Again, as is tradition.
The dolls ventured backstage to get to know each other and find their place in the Werk Room, where Team USA vowed to be the Top 2, which feels right. Anita meanwhile was loving how kind everyone was and as such, read Silky for absolute filth every chance she got. Rumail interrupted their de-dragging experience to welcome them to the competition – despite Brooke already telling them what was happening – before they split up to work on their lyrics. Silky, Ra’Jah and Vanity agreed on calling themselves SRV while Victoria was thrilled to be on team nana, despite her literally being the youngest on the cast. Stephanie meanwhile was super confident and assumed her band would be the top three before talk turned to how obvious a target Icesis is. And well, I love her admitting that she knows everyone will come for her, so she just plans to destroy and never give them the chance.
Dripping winner’s energy all over the stage.
Vanity was busy tackling racism within the fandom in her verse before Brooke dropped by with Anjulie to see how they were going, with Anita glad to say g’day to the duo. Rita was charming and Victoria was thirsty and ready to show Anjulie a soggy bottom. Icesis meanwhile was silly and fun on her verse while Kendall was a little repetitive and Stephanie was straight up not interested in getting feedback from an actual popstar. SRV were up next with Brooke excited to see her sisters and well, it was clear that they are the team to beat despite Ra’Jah looking like she was about to drown in her lyrics like Toto have before her.
Team Nana – aka Touche – dropped by the mainstage to work through the choreography with Victoria taking the lead and despite keeping it simple, poor Rita got stuck in her head and spiraled. Stephanie assumed power in team Season 2 and filled Icesis with nerves, given she and Stephanie were in the bottom two in their girl groups. SRV meanwhile were perfect from start to finish and ready to slay.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls giddy with nervous energy, before talk turned to how everyone intends to eliminate people. And while everyone agreed they wanted to play fair, Rita knew it would be different when the moment actually happens. The dolls split up to get ready with Ra’Jah talking to the UK girls about the scene back home, with them agreeing it is quite segregated and they need to open themselves up more. Kendall praised Vancouver for always pushing for diverse lineups in their clubs before Miss Silky spoke about the horrors of racism in the US but how hopeful she was for things to change. Eventually.
Brooke and Anjulie took their places on the judges panel alongside Traci – donde esta, Brad?! – before Touche debuted their version of Bonjour! Hi! and well, it was just as camp and infectious as I hoped. Anita was a delight, Rita was a damn star and Victoria was so stupid and fun and ugh, I love it. Maple She-rups – a name Icesis earlier tried to kill – were up next and despite her sisters being way more confident, it was Icesis who owned the song and hit every piece of choreography. Oh and then SRV molly whopped the girls with Vanity stamping her place on the competition from the very first line. But that does not mean her sisters didn’t slay as they served all the charm and energy possible. It’s just that Vanity was THAT good.
On the Queen of the World runway Anita was glorious in a fuschia, frilled gown, despite it not really fitting that well. Rita served pineapple queen realness and well, it was stunning. Victoria paid homage to her name, covered in jam and cream and well, she was stunning. Kendall gave superhero glam in white, Icesis was glorious in a shimmering silver gown while Stephanie was stunning in a traditional Filipina look. Vanity was full Victorian realness in a golden quilted number, Ra’Jah was glorious in a purple pantsuit dripping in roses while Silky was glorious as the sexiest widow before revealing a stunning jeweled ball gown. And ugh, it is a toot.
Victoria, Icesis and Silky were sent to safety before Anita was praised for being high energy and sticking to herself, though read for blending into the background. Rita meanwhile received universal praise for everything she gave this week, before Kendall was read for being stuck in her head rather than bringing the fire to her performance and for looking good, but not on theme, on the runway. Stephanie explained her runway was an homage to her grandfather whose funeral she couldn’t attend due to COVID and while the judges loved it, everyone was nervous about her dropping the pot on her head. Including her. And they felt her performance was just going through the motions. Vanity rightly only got praise, with Brooke rightly announcing she murdered the entire challenge. And then she did that on the runway, so yeah, she is in the Top 2. Ra’Jah too was beloved, despite Brooke missing some of her lyrics.
Despite Ra’Jah doing that though, it was Rita that joined Vanity in the Top 2 while Kendall and Stephanie found themselves up for elimination.
Backstage the dolls congratulated the Top 2 on their performances, with Rita praising her bandmates for raising her up. Vanity meanwhile praised Silky and Ra’Jah for being such delightful role models for her and making her feel welcomed and able to slay. This led to Silky giving a beautiful speech about how welcome she feels and how grateful she is for her new sisters and ugh, I love it. Victoria checked in on the bottoms with Kendall admitting she knew she is better than how she performed, while Stephanie is heartbroken to potentially end her rudemption run already. Rita kikied with Kendall who admitted she was super nervous, though assured Rita she will do better and have her back, should the tables be turned. Stephanie meanwhile stuck to the task at hand, pointing out she did better in the challenge and as the only Asian queen on the cast, she wanted to represent her heritage.
The safe girls meanwhile were busy gossiping with everyone agreeing it would be a close call and as such, Ra’Jah was thinking the decisions could get competitive. Kendall meanwhile was checking in with Vanity, telling her how disappointed she is and how she is super focused on turning it next time. With her worried she would be Pangina’d, which, no. But bless. Rita meanwhile told Stephanie that she loves Kendall, but eliminating her as a threat is still an option. Which obviously made Stephanie very nervous, given Rita gave her nothing.
After selecting their lipsticks, Vanity and Rita returned to the mainstage and took their places for the first lip sync of the season. And well, duh, Vanity was perfection from start to finish of Brand New Bitch by Anjulie, despite Rita leaning into her ridiculous drunk ‘80s diva character. As we saw in the performance, Vanity knows how to perform, splitting and flipping and hitting every lyric and well, it was great to watch her triumph and prove just why she made it to the top four of UK 3. As such, she rightly took out the first win of the season – with a cash prize to boot! – and promptly sent poor Kendall Gender home as the first boot.
Backstage Kendall was obviously disappointed, but given she is so kind, chill and literally made the finale less than a year ago, she quickly perked up and was glad Stephanie would get more of a chance to show what she can do. I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her that becoming a First Boot on an All Stars season is iconic and outside of winning, that is the way to do it. I mean, when you are in the company of Lemon, Pandora, Coco, Thorgy – on a technicality – Jasmine Masters, Derrick Barry and THE Serena ChaCha it is hard to be disappointed. As such, we laughed, toasted to her ongoing success and smashed a healthy and delicious Kendall Gendircher Muesli.
I know, I know – how can muesli be comforting, you ask? But I challenge you to try this and not fall in love. Fresh and light, while packed full of flavour, all while being healthy, it truly is the ultimate way to start your day.
Kendall Gendircher Muesli
1 apple, cored and quartered
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup apple juice
½ cup natural or Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
¼ cup flaked almonds
¼ cup walnuts
2 tbsp pepitas
Grate the apple and mix it in a bowl with the rolled oats, juice, yoghurt, cinnamon and honey until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge to infuse overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, add half the almonds, walnuts and pepitas to the muesli and stir to combine. Divide the mixture among the bowls and sprinkle with the remaining almonds, walnuts and pepitas, and some extra yoghurt. Then, devour.
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