Previously on Drag Race UK after the top four slayed the final challenge by putting on an epic show with their eliminated sisters. You know, Just May, Starlet, Copper, Sminty, Baby, Le Fil, Dakota and Pixie! They stomped the runway in Grand Finale Eleganza and despite everyone nailing the assignment, only two were able to continue on in the competition as the four badge queens stuck around, eliminating Jonbers and Peppa to watch on from the back of the stage.
Danny and Cheddar took their places to lip sync for the crown to Dame Shrley Bassey’s This is My Life and well, the entire performance was an absolute slay. Cheddar leant into the emotion, was dainty and ethereal while Danny gave bold, brassy and all the fire to snatch the crown. Both of the queens were in the pocket from start to finish, well and truly proving why this is the strongest top two in any franchise of Drag Race. Ever. And while it should have been a double crowning, sadly Ru opted to stick with only one winner, handing the crown to Danny Beard and relegating Cheddar to the hall of four badge runner-ups alongside the icons Bimini and Ella.
Which honestly, is pretty damn good company.
While Cheddar was disappointed as she found me backstage, she held her head up high reminding me that as she said to Ru and Michelle, she is a star. And the win wouldn’t change that. Which TBH, made me feel a little bit better.
Like many a UK finalist before her Cheddar never really put a foot wrong, giving a collection of perfect runways that always had a message, bringing humour and charm to all that she did and well, to quote Ru, always being so damned polished. As such, I was thrilled to honour her win-worthy run with a big fat bowl of Bacon Cheddar Gorgeous Dip to help dull the disappointment.
This copycat of my favourite dip growing up may not be as classy as Cheds, but it sure as hell is just as delicious. Rich, salty and smacking you in the face with all the flavour, you could eat the entire vat and never regret it.
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 Drag Race France the top four were given one final hurdle before battling for the crown and oh boy, was it a doozy – making over their besties! And while there are normally more than a few questionable choices, the quartet all served it as they stayed true to themselves while looking out for their friends. While that doesn’t help a competition format reality show, Nicky solved the little deadlock with a classic lip sync lalaparuza. As such, Soa defeated Lolita and booked the first spot in the top three. She was followed by Paloma before La Grande Dame narrowly completed the top three as Lolita Banana was tragically felled.
Backstage the top three were well and truly gagged to have made it to the end, before toasting to Lolita’s epic run to the top four. Though they didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, given they had a big week ahead if they wanted to snatch the crown. The next day the top three returned excited and ready to claim their crown. But after Nicky arrived to announce their final Maxi Challenge, they were a little less excited and erring more on the side of nervous. First up they would have to learn the lyrics to RuPaul’sCatwalk, in ENGLISH, then learn extensive choreography and perform it live on the mainstage. Then stomp the runway in front of fashion icon Olivier Rousteing.
Oh and obvs they will be having a little madeleine lunch with Nicky, as the French are wont to do.
After Nicky disappeared, they split up to speculate how painful their choreography would be, with everyone hoping for some camp disco moves. While La Grande Dame was only confident in her old white man moves. Thankfully they didn’t have to wait long to find out as they quickly joined Nicolas Huchard on the mainstage to rehearse. And let’s just say, the performance is going to be very, very detailed and very, very intense. While Soa was in her element, Paloma was feeling super anxious and struggled to get it down and bring enough attitude. While Grande Dame was mildly confident, given she wasn’t the weakest. Well, unless this is a fakeout edit and Paloma is going to absolutely demolish the final performance.
Soa was first to kiki with Nicky, already feeling like a winner to have made it to the end. But hopeful to keep that fire and take the crown in honour of her dear friend Mrs Rose. La Grande Dame was next to drop by, simultaneously shocked to be there and proud of all that she has achieved. She revealed that she came to the competition because she had a difficult time growing up and wanting to show her mother another side of herself after difficult years apart, due to her queerness. Paloma meanwhile spoke about how the competition has made her feel like less of an imposter and that she has a place in the world. And ugh, I honestly love them all.
Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Nicolas and Olivier on the judging panel as the top three took the stage for their performance of Catwalk and while Paloma looked tentative in rehearsal, she hit the stage with a fire and was so damn charming. La Grande Dame served non-stop moody glamour; ethereal and damn fierce. Soa meanwhile had all the energy, hitting every move and giving us sex from start to finish.
The Dragnifique runway was opened by our eliminated queens where La Kahena was a pretty princess in nude before stripping near nude and showing bum. So swoon. Lova gave showgirl glamour, La Briochée was a patchworked voodoo-Dorothy delight, Kam was peach-puff perfection while Elips was so gorgeous in a black, shimmering jumpsuit. Big Bertha went from red vamp, to revealing a bodysuit carving up her meat while Lolita was gorgeous in a gaudy quinceanera kinda way. When it came to the top three, Paloma was perfect in a moody red gown, complete with Bette Midler Hocus Pocus wig. Soa was sexy in a bead and leather outfit, giving structure and skin in equal measure while La Grande Dame was camp as hell in a shimmering lilac gown of frills and ruching.
Paloma received universal praise for all that she sold on the runway and for the diversity of her performances throughout the season. And for having so much fun. Paloma opened up to the judges, explaining how she wants her potential victory to inspire people to follow their dreams. Soa was praised for looking stunning on the runway, and for kicking off the season in such a strong fashion with her talent show performance. Oh and never mind her killer track record and dominating each lip sync she appeared in. She thanked the judges for their kindness and for embracing her. La Grande Dame meanwhile received praise for giving constantly evolving glamour on the runway and mixing it with such fun humour. And frankly, a whole lot of stupidity.
Nicky then wheeled out the baby pictures, with Paloma encouraging her younger self to stand firm and love herself and trust that everything will work out, despite the trauma and upheaval that is sometimes thrown her way. Soa told her baby self to use the pain that comes her way as fire to make something of herself and to fight. And again, I love her so much. La Grande Dame meanwhile told her even younger self that while life may be strange and confusing at times, to always keep hope and focus on her happiness.
Before they ventured to untuck, Nicky then announced that the queens had privately voted prior to the show with Elips crowned the first Miss Sympathie. Backstage the finalists reunited with their eliminated sisters, toasting to a killer season before Grande Dame shared that watching her sisters leave in tears was the hardest part of the entire competition for her.
The girls returned to the mainstage to lip sync for the crown to Dalida’s Mourir sur scène. And given the dolls are icons, none of them really tried to steal the spotlight from anyone else, calm and confident in their skills as they all turned a killer show. Soa was obviously moody and fierce, Paloma served all the emotion while Grande Dame was stunning and on every lyric. Complete with glitter. Sadly, while everyone nailed the performance (and the season more broadly), Nicky had to pick a winner. And tragically, that was not La Grande Dame who finished as one of the two runner-ups. This is going to become quite repetitive, but the top three were so damn strong that any of them could have taken out the crown and while I’m thrilled for the winner, both La Grande Dame and the as yet unmentioned here other runner-up were worthy.
As soon as La Grande Dame stepped offstage for the crowning, I pulled her in for a massive hug and marvelled how someone so young could do what she did. I then went on a rant about my own fading youth and asked her to give me hers, before I snapped out of it and congratulated her on a job well done with a glorious La Grande Damarretto Cake.
The only thing elegant or decadent enough for La Grande Dame’s aesthetic is this barely-tweaked Nigella number. Rich, dense and velvety smooth, it is essentially the perfect cake. And I’d be willing to fight anyone that disagrees.
La Grande Damarretto Cake Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped 100g unsalted butter, softened 4 eggs, at room temperature 125g raw caster sugar 100g almond meal 2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dustin’ ¼ cup amaretto liqueur 2 tsp vanilla extract
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler until smooth and glossy, before removing from the heat to cool.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, glossy and doubled in volume. Combine the almond meal and cocoa, before folding through the sweetened eggs.
Mix the amaretto and vanilla with the melted chocolate, then fold through the batter until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until it is coming away from the edges and is cracked on the top. It should be dense and moist, but only just cooked through with a few crumbs left on an inserted skewer.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, before unclamping the tin and gently transferring the cake to a plate. Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa before devouring, triumphantly. Despite not winning.
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 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 RuPaul’s Drag Race the Season 14 queens came together to rehash the drama of the season. Obviously most of it revolved around Daya Betty and her bitterness, until Jorgeous stopped punching the ghosts and instead gave her a one-two punch with Jasmine. Not to be outdone by her queer sisters, Miss Maddy Morphosis was a shade canon and ideally, booked herself a ticket on an upcoming All Stars season. I mean, he did win the golden boot of the season. Most importantly of all though, is the fact that Kornbread dressed as Willow’s entrance look which was V important, alongside the fact we are down to five and finally ready to crown a winner.
We kicked off proceedings with a Viva Drag Vegas runway where June was absolute perfection, dripping in gold. Alyssa gave jungle flamenco and was oh so expensive. Kornbread was once again a star as beauty AND the beast, Orion was a glamour dragon, Maddy rocked lady Elvis chic, Kerri came as her iconic, mother-tucking Tranos meme, Jasmine gave full baby Alyssa Edwards realness, DeJa served Alexis Mateo realness and Jorgeous was a classic silver showgirl. Then the top five arrived with Angeria stunning and stopping the show in blue, Bosco was a glamour demon, Daya gave bubblegum burlesque realness, Lady Camden was a perfect pink horse and cart before Willow stole the show in red with a blade for an arm.
Oh and then Ru straight up lowered from the ceiling surrounded by a fan of chocolate bars and the zaddy pit crew. And this, is queer culture people.
Ru opened the show announcing that once again it is chocolate, before getting to the format of this ‘ere finale where the top five would face off in a Showgirl Showdown. First the dolls would each do a solo performance to a song they feel speaks to their vibe. From that, Ru and Michelle – or just Ru, TBH – would select a top two with that duo then lip syncing for the crown. Oh and then Michelle arrived and gave Ru the key to the city in honour of April 22 being declared RuPaul day in Las Vegas. Everybody say love!
Up first was the one and only, the iconic, Angeria Paris Van Michaels! And girl, her original Check My Track Record was perfection from start to finish. She looked perfect, she was silly and camp, she hit every move and every letter. And well, the pit crew in gold lame were just as stunning as I needed them to be. In the Q&A portion of the evening, Angeria leaned into her country charm and was a ball of pure delight. Living for the fame and just loving everything that was coming her way. Oh and then her dad announced she won her first crown in kindergarten and, of course! And then he encouraged parents to just love and support their kids and I love her parents too. We bounced back to Angeria who said that above all else, drag taught her that you can do anything you put your mind to.
When it came to Bosco, her song Devil was creepy and kooky and well, she looked stunning. She slowly revealed herself from being an angel to a full blown – word of the day – demon, complete with bloody mouth and well, I lived for her. She opened up to Ru about how drag helped take her to different places. She shared how shocked she was to leave the race with a sisterhood when she didn’t think that would happen. Bosco’s boyfriend and her dear friend Lucy were there in the crowd and were so silly and cute while Bosco was grateful for drag teaching her exactly who she wants to be.
Daya’s performance was kinda hypnotic, as she emerged from a cocoon to be a full blown blue and orange bug and well, it was stunning. Days spoke about how she grew up determined to take out the win and that Crystal encouraged her to grow a mullet before the show. She told Ru that her passion was to do weird shit and be bold. Her boyfriend Tanner and the third Methyd sister were so proud to see her make it to the finale, before she encouraged everyone watching to always get back up and fight through things.
Lady Camden’s I Fell Down (I Got Back Up) was silly, operatic and well, damn show stopping. She gave high heel ballet, served reveals and well, she needs to be in the top. Camden opened up about her passion for theatrics from her childhood to now and how much she loves Queen. Oh and if she had her time over, she would be herself from the very start. Camden’s mother and drag mother were an adorable comedy duo, bantering with Ru and being cute. Oh and Camden is now vers, or something?
Rounding out the individual performances, Willow’s song I Hate People was wacky and wonderful. And oh so relatable. I mean, who doesn’t hate people? She then revealed two extra heads on her shoulders and a fourth in her panties and well, crown her now. She is a damn star! Her Q&A with Ru was silly, fun and charming, with Ru clearly delighting in her silliness as she introduced the extra faces as Carson, Ross and Michelle in her panties. Oh and she was so proud to have come into the women she is. Her mum and sister were super chill and friendly, giving all the support and I love them. Particularly when the sister read Ru about the H&M disaster. By the time Willow explained drag was just mental illness and rhinestones, there was no way she was losing the crown.
Jaida, Kameron, Trinity, Derrick, Kahana and Naomi – aka the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Las Vegas Live – took the stage to perform losing is the new winning and girl, it was a good ad. Particularly as the eliminated queens joined them. Oh and then we celebrated the iconic Queen of Vegas, Hot Chocolate. And ugh, I love her too! Can they do a legends season with her, Bunny, Coco Peru, Dame Edna and Vanessa Wagner?
The top five returned to the stage where they learnt, via roulette wheel no less, that the top two are none other than Lady Camden and Willow Pill. Which makes me infinitely happier with my choice to go alphabetically with recipes, rather than reverse.
As the top two went backstage to get ready for the final lip sync, the eliminated queens were joined by the iconic Symone who looked PERFECT. She was then joined by Lala Ri who looked stunning in a chandelier looking gown with nary a bag in sight as she quickly handed the Miss Congeniality baton over to Kornbread and ugh, I live, I am so happy for her.
But now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Lady Camden and Willow Pill took the stage for their final lip sync. Willow wearing a hilariously oversized pinstripe suit for, no doubt, some reveals. While Camden’s were far better hidden in a royal ballet outfit. As soon as Cher’s version of Gimme Gimme Gimme kicked off, both the queens played into their strengths. Camden was emotional and gave all the clean lines while Willow was stupid and fun, shaking off her jacket and revealing her outfit was just massive pants. She then duck-walked the stage before her final reveal while Camden tried to repeat the Freddy Mercury reveal, this time sadly getting the wigs caught. In any event, they both fought valiantly, bouncing off each other and having the most damn fun.
Sadly though, there can only be one winner – well, except for our twinners Monet and Trinity – and despite a strong showing from Camden, it was Willow Pill who rightly took home the crown.
Despite losing the competition, Camden was an absolute delight backstage. Though since the runner-up now gets cash, I guess that makes sense. Oh and the fact she has won more money than every Drag Race UK winner combined, probably doesn’t hurt. Plus, she had an epic, iconic run and while she started off quiet, once she came out of her shell, she stole the damn show. Making her not only the perfect runner-up or future All Stars winner, but recipient of a congratulatory batch of Crumbed Lady Camdenbert.
Crunchy and crisp on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, this is the ultimate comfort food. And more importantly super easy – a couple of cut, a quick crumb and fry and you’re in heaven.
Crumbed Lady Camdenbert Serves: 4.
Ingredients ⅓ cup plain flour 2 eggs, lightly whisked 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 200g camembert cheese, cut into 12 wedges vegetable oil, to deep-fry
Method Pop the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into their own bowls. Coat the camembert in the flour, skating off the excess before dipping in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Pressing firmly to coat, before popping on a lined plate.
Pour about 6cm deep oil in a medium pan and place over medium-high heat, and once hot, cook in batches for a couple of minutes, or until crisp and gooey. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process until they are all done. Then devour, regally.
Previously on Australian Survivor 24 people were dumped in the middle of the Australian bush, with a single loved one. Who they were immediately separated from and forced to compete against for 47 days. After battling it out on the edge of a cliff for final immunity, Shay took out the challenge leading to Josh’s demise before Chrissy, Shay and Mark argued their case in front of the jury. Despite all playing markedly different, deserving games, the jury weren’t a massive fan of Shay’s challenge beasting her way out of the bottom and she was left without receiving a single vote and finishing as the co-runner-up of the season.
Alongside queen, icon, legend Chrissy Zaremba.
Despite not knowing anything of the game before landing in the bush, Chrissy’s personality overcame every obstacle, winning hearts until she found her feet and became an absolute power player.
While I would have loved her to flip on alliances sooner, that only would have made for exciting TV, rather than really serving her game and as such, I was shocked to see her miss out on picking up any votes at tribal council. I mean, she routinely was making decisions on who to vote out, set herself up well with everyone and eliminated people that were threats to her game.
And more importantly, she articulated it perfectly at final tribal council. As such, I pulled her in for a massive hug, apologised she didn’t get the respect put on her name that she deserves and toasted her success with a piping hot Chipsy Zarembutty.
There is nothing I love more than a hot-chip sandwich. I mean, fresh soft bread, butter dripping down your fingers and gorgeously seasoned chips are the ultimate combination. Add in a little smokiness – thanks, Masterchef! – and you’re in heaven.
Chipsy Zarembutty Serves: 2.
Ingredients 4 slices bread 200g butter, softened 50ml buttermilk smoking gun and smoking chips, to taste 2 cups thick-cut Jud Beerza Battered Fries, still nice and warm and heavily salted
Method Preheat the oven to 60C.
Combine the butter and buttermilk in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until soft and fluffy. Cover with cling and fill the bowl with smoke from the smoking gun. Set aside for five minutes to infuse before repeating the process again, twice if required, depending on desired taste.
Cook the chips as per Jud’s recipe, though thicker.
To serve, smear the bread with the smokey butter and generously heap the chips on the bottoms. Close the sandwiches with the remaining, thickly butter bread, and devour. Like a queen.
Previously on Australian Survivor the final four met Jonathan on a cliff over a watering hole in the middle of the outback, ready to hang over the edge for their final immunity challenge of the season. Because surprise, as we’ve expected, there was going to be a final three this year! As everyone has speculated throughout the season, Shay took out the final endurance challenge of the season, leaving the boys and Chrissy at risk. Despite assuring Chrissy that she had her back, the boys tried to run interference and confusion. Or at least Josh did, as Mark quietly joined the girls to eliminate Josh as the final juror AND Fourth Place Robbed Goddess of the season.
The next day Chrissy was heartbroken to discover that she had burnt her socks while trying to dry them on the fire before Shay interrupted her bickering with Mark to pull them aside for a walk. Mark admitted that he is proud to have made it to the end though is super grateful to Sam, given she played a massive part in him making it all the way. And PREACH, because she was an absolute powerhouse this season. Mark then opened up about his time in the military and how tough it was and that living in the bush had reminded him of some of the situations he had encountered, leading to him breaking down.
And again, congratulations Mark. But damn, Chrissy was so sweet as she told him that he will now have memories of his time on Survivor when he sees a creek, rather than the trauma of war, and helped him process his emotions. So he can win the competition and Chrissy just gets our hearts, I guess?
The trio headed back to camp where they discovered a huge basket of food for the traditional final three feast as we heard from Shay, who was proud to show that women can be strong icons and ugh, I love her. While Chrissy was just completely shocked to have made it to the end, she reminded us that her name has never come up and that proves that she has played a strong game, though the fear is that a jury may not value it enough to reward her with a vote. Though trust and believe she was ready to tell Khanh how bloody good he has looked, rocking his fashions on the jury.
The final three arrived at tribal council where Jonathan introduced the jury and ran through how this evening’s proceedings would go. Each member of the final three would get to make their pitch, followed by the jury asking questions followed by an open forum. Oh and then they will vote for a winner.
Mark kicked things off talking about how stepping out into Samoa changed his life, though lost the game of Survivor, making him and Sam enter this game with a steely focus. He highlighted that he has been playing a strong strategic game from the very first tribal council by taking out Andy as a threat. He then chose to stay away from Sam at the swap before ruining the season for me by taking out Sandra. He then praised Khanh for playing such a strong game which is why he blindsided him at the merge before praising Jesse as one of the biggest threats, which is why he had to go. He then continued the praise game, explaining he has been pumping Josh up all season to have a meat shield at the end of the game and as such, his departure is why he is sitting there.
Shay meanwhile spoke about how she has fought hard throughout the entire season, losing her allies before merge came and at her lowest after being sent to Purgatory. She then fought her way back and has pushed herself all season. Oh and she also won the most immunities throughout the season. Chrissy went a different route, telling the jury that she has played a far stronger game than any of them even realised, relying on her biggest strength, her personality. One by one she formed bonds with everyone in the tribe, before she went against Croc to save Jesse post-swap which ultimately cost him his place in the game, leading to her taking out Ben. She then said that while she loves Josh and sees him as her family, getting rid of him was her big move.
She then finished it off by praising the jury for being icons that taught her a bunch too, just for good measure. And damn, may she will actually take it?
Jonathan then opened the floor to the jury with Khanh questioning Mark over how he felt about screwing his wife over to get to the end with him admitting that they were always playing the game for one of them to win and they had to do what they had to do. Jordie jumped in to question why he made Jordie feel like shit for sending Jesse from the game when he did the same thing, which led to Mark apologising for making him feel a bit shit to get himself further. KJ meanwhile asked Chrissy whether putting the needs of those she loves in the game ahead of herself ruined her game with Chrissy explaining she did end up turning on Josh. In no small part thanks to her kids.
Michelle asked Shay how she would rate her game with Shay giving herself a solid 8 – no 8.5 – explaining that she always played from the minority and as such, she couldn’t pull the big moves like everyone else but she fought tooth and nail to get to the end. Josh meanwhile cussed out Chrissy for voting him out despite the fact he voted against her too. She explained that things felt off with him after the immunity challenge and as such, she knew he was making a move against her. He then asked Mark why he also turned on him with Mark essentially giving him the, too bad so sad, it was what I had to do to give myself the best shot at the win. Since that is why he is here, for his family.
Speaking of family, Sam was up next, who spoke about how much the jury loves the game and while it is obvious she is voting Mark, she wants to know what winning would mean to Chrissy. She opened up about coming into the game having zero clue about the journey she was signing up to and well, yeah, the jury didn’t like it. Jesse followed it up asking Mark how managing his threat level got him to the end, with Mark opening up about trying to make as many friends as possible and then essentially laying as low as possible. And then when Jordie identified him as a threat, he just agreed that he was so that it kind of disarms the issue. Leading to Jordie praising him for being a role model to him and his brother and damn, they really are telegraphing this win, no?
With that the jury voted before Jonathan wheeled out a TV to Skype with their loved ones with poor tired little Harry just wanting to go to sleep while Sam and Mark held back tears over how much they missed their son. Jonathan then wheeled out his dad and stepmother in the flesh before the tears really started flowing. Shay’s parents and Ben arrived on the scene with her mum rocking pink hair like an icon and well, her dad is adorbs, so I love them too. Chrissy’s daughters were then wheeled out and once again, I am crying. I’m also crying to see Croc again, given he was the iconic alpha male winner that we deserve. Most importantly, her daughter Lulu is a Jonathan stan too and well, I love her. Particularly since she felt sad for Chrissy having to sleep in the dirt for almost 50 days.
Chrissy admitted that it is what it is at this point, while Mark was grateful to have his parents here while Shay would be honoured for the jury to crown her as their winner. Sadly for her though, they did not, as the votes all piled up on Mark and handed him the win.
As soon as she wandered out of tribal council, I pulled Shay in for a massive hug and congratulated her on a job well done. While the jury clearly didn’t appreciate her gameplay, there is no denying that she dominated physically and when nobody is willing to play with you on a strategic level, what else do you do? As such, I toasted her success and celebrated her with a piping out Shayelle Larbjoie.
Piping hot and packed with flavour, there is nothing quite like a perfectly cooked larb. And while I may not be perfect (at cooking larb, at least), this is still a glorious punch of flavour. Hot, salty and sweet, it fills your palette with joy. Basically.
Shayelle Larbjoie Serves: 4.
Ingredients ¼ cup jasmine rice 2 tbsp vegetable oil 6 shallots, sliced 500g chicken mince 1 tsp muscovado sugar 2 tbsp fish sauce 2 limes, zested and juiced 1 tsp lemongrass 2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced ¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped ½ cup mint, roughly chopped salt, to taste
Method Place a wok over low heat and toast the dry grains, stirring frequently, for about five minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, grind and set aside to cool. Add the oil to the wok and fry half the shallots until crisp. Scoop out and transfer to a sheet of paper towel.
Crank the heat to medium and once scorching, add the chicken and cook until browned and crisp. Add in the sugar, fish sauce and lime zest and juice and stir until sticky. Add the ground rice, raw shallots and herbs and cook for a further minute before seasoning to taste.
Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of fried shallots and then devour.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the top four took to the stage to participate in a lip sync smackdown for the crown. With the first round battles decided by Lemon and her wheel of destiny, which doesn’t add much to the story but I think Lemon deserves her recognition. In the first face-off, Mo destroyed Baga and progressed to the top two while Blu and Juju were a far more even pairing, with the young Irish lass ultimately besting the Rob Mariano of Drag Race – conveniently, also from Boston – and eliminating Juju in third/fourth place for the FOURTH time.
Because she’s what? Consistent.
With that, the top two took their places on the stage for the final lip sync to Supernova by Kylie Minogue and while Mo promised to devour Blu, the little lass once again came ready to fight. While Mo was fierce as she felt every damn lyric and moment, Blu left everything on the mainstage, giving cute comedy and all the energy. Which proved to be enough as Blu was crowned Queen of the World.
Having dealt with me each time she has competed, Mo knows to follow the sounds of tears and screaming backstage as like Juju, I am consistent. Consistently enraged when an icon like Mo is eliminated from the competition without a crown. But as always, although she lacks a rightful crown for killer performances, I make up for in culinary comfort in the form of Articho-ke Hearts in Garlic and Wine.
Smooth, creamy, sweet and a little bit earthy, these babies are positively delicious. And the perfect accompaniment to any and all meals. Well, maybe not ALL, but they are great.
Artimoke Hearts in Garlic Cream Sauce Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 shallots, thinly sliced 800g canned artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half ½ cup white wine ¼ cup cream ½ tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp black pepper 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
Method Heat the olive oil in a large pan of medium heat and saute the garlic and shallots for a minute or so. Stir in the artichoke hearts and cook for a further minute before pouring in the white wine. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes or until reduced.
Stir in the cream, salt, pepper and parsley and cook for a further minute before serving, greedily, either solo or as a side. The latter probably makes the most sense. Either way, devour like the icon you are.
Previously on Drag Race UK 12 queens entered the Werk Room for another battle royale of my favourite franchise. While nine sisters were eliminated along the way, it was the quiet achiever Ella that rose to the top. Winning challenge after challenge, after challenge (and challenge) until Vanity was eliminated and she battled for the crown against Kitty and Krystal.
Despite slaying the competition, Ella didn’t end up taking the crown though some would argue what she won was better than that anyway. My heart!
While underestimated by her sisters at the beginning of the competition, I knew that someone that could come up with a name like that was full of talent and from start to finish, she shon.
Like Bimini before her, she showed versatility, charisma and so much talent and while she may not have finished with the crown, her career can only go from strength to strength.
Which is what I reiterated to her through gritted teeth as I pulled her off stage to toast her with (a kinda ugly, sorry Ella) Hot Nutella Vaday.
What my photography skills don’t show is how damn near perfect this drink is. I mean, sure, we all love a Hot Choc – or Coco – but when one has the opportunity to go with nutella, they should take it. So take it.
Hot Nutella Vaday Serves: 2.
Ingredients 2 cups milk ⅓ cup Nutella whipped cream, for topping (which I forgot to do, I assume, because we’re all bottoms)
Method Like most of my drinks and salads, this one is a little bit difficult to process.
Pop the milk and nutella in a saucepan, whisk until well combined and pop over low heat until cooked through.
You could also do it direct in a mug using your meek-ro-wah-vay, though that always runs the risk of getting dirty, dirty, dirty.