Previously on Drag Race France the top three competed in an epic final challenge which involved learning languages, lip syncing, dancing and kiki-ing. In addition to stomping the runway in a gown, worthy of a crown. Aka the usual set-up. While Paloma struggled through rehearsal, she turned it out when taking the stage, embracing her charm and living her best life. Soa slayed literally any and all moment, while La Grande Dame was just so beautiful. And cool.
As has been the tradition of the season, La Grande Dame, Soa and Paloma were all fiercely talented icons. Though tragically, Nicky and Co. had to make a decision and while I already spoiled La Grande Dame as one of our runners-up, she shared the position with the owner of my heart Soa De Muse.
Despite a rocky start after her first win, there was no denying she was compelling as all hell and it was more of a situation of when rather than if she would bounce back. From giving killer, hilarious confessionals and being charming as all hell in the challenges and the Werk Room, she was well and truly the breakout star of the season.
And will make a very worthy winner of Drag Race France vs. The World.
As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and while I wanted to tell her she was the ultimate robbed goddess of the season, I couldn’t do it. Because France’s top three were all iconic talents in their own ways, which made it such a joy of a season to watch.
Instead, I reminded her that she is a star and while she didn’t leave with the crown, the season is only the beginning for her and I can’t wait for the globe to fall in love with her. Just like I have. Then I stopped myself short of calling her the second coming of Ru and simply served her a big, fat Soavlaki De Muse to show her my devotion.
You know I have a passion for sticking meat in my mouth, particularly if there is dough somehow involved. And this one is even more fun than usual. Packing a punch of garlic, you’re hit with a fresh kick of flavour that has you begging for more. Like us with Soa on our screens, you know?
Method Combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, cumin, chilli and paprika with a good whack of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat and onions and stir until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight.
To make the kebabs, preheat the oven to 180C. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers, trying to avoid overpacking them. Arrange the onion on a lined baking sheet before laying the skewers on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Add the haloumi in for the last 10 minutes to crisp up on the outside.
To assemble, smear the pita bread with a little bit of tzatziki, followed by the chips, tomato, lettuce, meat and finally the haloumi. Wrap into a tight cylinder and then devour greedily.
Previously on All Winners Jaida was joyously feeling her oats, out in front with three stars as the girls with only one started to worry about their path to the finale. None more than Monet. In the last Maxi Challenge the dolls acted in the epic scene Santa’s School For Girls, a Christmas, horror, teen movie hybrid. Raja and The Vivienne slayed, Trinity and Jaida were silly and fun while Jinkx did the best she could with the worst part in the scene. Ultimately though it was Raja and Viv who found themselves becoming the top two, with Raja slaying the lip sync and taking out the win. And girl, she was well and truly giddy with power as she joyous blocked former frontrunner Jaida.
Backstage Raja was well and truly feeling her oats, thrilled to not just jag a second star but to claim $10k. While The Viv was glad to finally get her second star on her third win, Jaida arrived and was heartbroken to be blocked while looking so damn cute. While Raja straight up pointed at her and laughed. Like a damn icon. As Trinity asked Jaida if she was happy about learning the secret of the plunger, Raja grew more and more jealous about the fact she isn’t in on the gag. Which obviously lead to Jaida floating the idea of nobody blocking Raja so she can never find out what she is missing out on. Talk turned to track records with everyone but Shea and Monet thrilled to be close to making it to the finale, before it descended into absolute chaos – as it so often does – with the star moment obviously being Shea’s Kevin McCalister impersonation.
Things were decidedly more calm the next day as Monet continued to smart about having only one star. Thankfully before she could get too in her feelings, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be making their own branded viral videos for social media, all to one of Ru’s songs. Because she is nothing if not a smart lady who is going to get those royalty cheques.
The dolls split up to talk through their ideas with Raja being totally relatable, knowing a tonne about TikTok dances but being disgusted by the thought of doing one. Everyone opened up about their brands with Monet starting to feel good about the challenge, which made her nervous, given she assumed there must be a catch. Jaida meanwhile was keeping it simple, Trinity was going to combine her signature three moves while Yvie was leaning into having no bones. That being said, she was super stressed given she hates viral dances and only uses the internet for cat videos. Which is so relatable, except I watch French Bulldogs and Bostons.
Jinkx meanwhile was smashing a peanut butter sandwich into her mouth which WOULD be relatable, except she used smooth rather than Super Crunchy. That being said, while everyone thought she was losing her grip on reality, like Katya before her, she was feeling pretty confident and committing to making a sandwich for her four bars.
Ru made a triumphant return – screaming wagon wheel watusi, no less – to check in with the girls with The Vivienne ready to do a so you can’t dance Viv-eo, Shea would Shea-ke it down to get a star, Trinity was doing THE tuck and Yvie was leaning into the odd by way of Gumby. Jinkx meanwhile was sticking with the sandie-j dance, leaning in to her middle aged mother persona, while Monet was going to be doing the ex-change and while Ru was confused by her explanation, her excitement and energy is clearly going to prove her well. As will Ru’s suggestion to lean into money moves.
When it came to shooting their dances, Yvie was living her best life and so much fun, Jinkx was so damn stupid and I loved every moment, Trinity was in full momager mode with her back-up dancers, Viv was silly, Shea shook it all up, Raja looked stunning, Jaida kept forgetting her lines and Monet thought she lost a nail.
Runway Day arrived with Monet excited to see how their dances turned out and more importantly, grab herself a second star. Finally. Shea meanwhile opened up about dreaming of being a dancer as a child, explaining that she took that vibe into the challenge. Shea and Monet then tried to identify their mononym, which immediately made Jaida want in. Trinity and Jinkx meanwhile kikied about their videos with the latter showing how she clearly understood the assignment, saying the dance was there but whatever, because she truly sold herself. Trinity was also happy with hers. They then spoke about stars, realising everyone either catches up this week or two girls can join Jaida out in front. The Viv, Raja and Jaida were also talking about stars with Raja questioning what she wanted more, another star or to finally learn the secret of the plunger. While Jaida joked about being blocked all the way to the end. And yeah, Raja is totally getting blocked, isn’t she?
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judges panel by Ben Platt as Shea kicked off the What Lies Beneath runway in a stunning, tonal, blue gown, complete with her buns out. Jaida too went with icy shades of blues before revealing a stunning floral gown before serving stripes and a a fiery, floral nude illusion. The Viv went from Wicked Witch to Elsa to Elsa, in pants. Raja was a bright delight, serving hoops, spikes, flamingos and finally, body-ody-ody. Yvie went from a cocoon to a slimily slug, Jinkx was perfect in a Picasso suit to Monet – the artist, not her sister – gown before going Pollack housewife before rocking cubism. And yeah, it was great. Monet went Harriet Tubman, to Black Panther and then BLM and like Jinkx, it was perfect. Trinity meanwhile was a burlesque babe going from mermaid gown to sexy flower.
Shea’s video was hilariously serious giving confused moves and well, she looked fucking stunning. The judges lived for how charming she was in her video and by the fact her dance was totally achievable for a viral moment. Oh and then lived for her runways. They lived for how silly and on brand Jaida was serving the new diva rules. And obviously her outfits were deemed perfect. The Viv gave classic British humour, complete with taking the piss out of internet culture and the passion for repeating the words, The Viveo. And her musical theatre looks were deemed stunning. Aunty Raja gave self-help via dance video and ugh, it was so stupid I lived for every moment. Which is exactly how the judges felt, about the video and her runways.
Yvie gave full Yvie, ridiculous, camp and all limb. And well, I totally see her dance going viral within the next 24 hours. And the judges once again felt her runway was stunning, but her make-up was even better. Jinkx meanwhile stole the show, polished, wild, dumb and hilarious from start to finish. And had Ru nearly wetting her pants. And her art received universal praise for her work of art on the runway. Monet’s video oozed charm and personality as she leaned into Ru’s suggestions and like Yvie, will be viral in the next day. When it came to her runway, they all lived for how great she looked while serving such a powerful message. Trinity rounded out the show serving stupid in her video, being wild, sexy and so bloody fun. And rightly received universal praise for her stunning runway.
Backstage the dolls were loving their turn on the runway, mainly because Ben was flirting with all of them. Everyone praised each other on their looks, gushing over all the details and honestly, once again, I love seeing how much the dolls all clearly love each other. And how the competition has given them the space to show another side of themselves and try new things. Talk turned to their videos and who the girls think will be in the top, with Monet thinking it is down to her, Shea, Trinity and Jinkx. That in turn lead to talking about getting blocked with Raja talking about how fun it was to block one of her sisters, likening it to Monopoly. While Jinkx obviously didn’t like the concept of blocking, though mainly because she is one of two people that have had to do it twice. While Yvie and Monet felt left out, given they’ve never gotten to block.
After a detour about selfies, Ben Platt dropped by to kiki with the girls. And let me tell you, he was just so great as Dear in Dear Evan Hansen.
Ultimately it was Monet who landed in the top two alongside Jinkx before they competed for the ultimate win in a spoken word lip sync to the icnoic scene from Designing Women. Which was every bit as fun and delightful, and wild, as you can imagine. And while I will stan Jinkx until the day I die, there was no denying this was Monet’s moment. Just like the night the lights went out in Gerogia. She was silly, sassy and honestly a star, earning her $10k before she promptly blocked Raja. Who you just know is going to be pissed when she discovers there is no bloody secret next week.
As they were filing backstage, Jaida was shocked as I whispered at her to come and follow me. Given she has the most stars, alongside Jinkx. I then had to explain that Ru hadn’t shared the intel re. the star system before I set this season’s rules and as such, based it on wins. And tragically, she has the least amongst the dolls I have left. Which is a very long-winded explanation she didn’t care for, given she looks so cute in her runway. Which is the most Jaida way to explain that she doesn’t care for explanation and just wants some fuel for the final three weeks. Fuel in the form of some Jaida Essence Halloumi.
Yes, this is just a recipe for making cheese. But as you should know, halloumi isn’t just any old cheese. Salty, firm and gloriously squeaky – whether you like it or not – halloumi is the MVP of any meal. And it is even better when freshly made.
Jaida Essence Halloumi Serves: 1 person and a delightful icon.
Method Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a bowl and leave to cool before whisking in the rennet.
Meanwhile pop the milk in a pot over low heat and cook, stirring, until it hits 36°C on a candy thermometer and try to keep it at that temperature for as long as possible. Whisk in the rennet mixture for a few seconds before stopping the liquid completely. Cover and leave undisturbed for an hour, or until set. You will want to grab a curd and pull it apart, if it leaves a crack, it’s done. Otherwise leave for another half an hour.
When the curds are nice and set – and the temp is still at 36°C – use a bread knife to dice into 1-2cm cubes. Leave to rest for ten minutes before reheating to 40°C. Line a colander with the cheesecloth and place over a pot. Drain the curds from the whey and wrap the cloth tightly to form a block of curds. Pop a plate on top and place a weight on top before leaving for an hour or so to set.
Transfer the whey into a saucepan that is just a little bigger than the block and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 tbsp of salt and scoop any solids that form on the top (this is ricotta), then add the block of curds and poached gently until it rises to the top. Then drain.
To brine the cheese, mix the remaining cheese for 1.5L of water in a sterile jar until dissolved. Pop in the cheese and leave in the fridge to brine for a day.
Then, drain, slice and fry. Or whatever you want to do with halloumi.