We Watched The First Episode Of "RuPaul's Drag Race UK" And We Have Some Thoughts
“You’re watching the BBC.” Amazing.
Hey kitty girls – it's Sam, Jeff, and Tom here! We're BuzzFeed's resident correspondents for the brand new UK series of
Drag Race. We're here to spill the tea on everything that's goes down, from the runways to the workroom drama and ALL the challenges.
Sam Cleal / Via Buzzfeed
Below are our thoughts on the first episode. Let us know in the comments if you agree with us!
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Sam: I adore (get it) the American version Drag Race and have watched since 2014. Having watched every season multiple times, I guess you could say I'm a fan and I know it pretty well. I've also seen quite a few queens live by this point. Jeff: I would classify myself as somewhere in between a Drag Race fan and stan. I've seen every episode of every season, but I couldn't tell you every single queen, who lost every lip sync, or what challenge happened in which episode. However, as an American living in London, I was SO excited about this season in particular, to see how the UK drag scene would be represented!
Tom: I’d consider myself a big fan. I could probably name every queen, and have an entire rolodex of love (ly Bianca) for particular looks and lip syncs. I’m also a huge fan of, and I regularly frequent, the London drag scene, so a UK Drag Race is absolutely my cup of tea.
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Sam: Baga came first and nailed it; others who got it right include Cheryl Hole and Vinegar Strokes. The rest were a little less memorable and some were super awks! You have to have a bombastic entrance – it can really bolster you in the competition: see Laganja. Cheryl, Crystal, and Scaredy Cat had the best outfits and that's the tea. Jeff: I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit underwhelmed by the entrances. But I was so excited about the episode I almost didn't even care! Cheryl looked INSANE. Absolutely loved her look. Baga was fine, nothing that original looks-wise, but she is absolutely hilarious. Vinegar Strokes, Sum Ting Wong... try harder!
Tom: “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s body dysmorphia”, floored my soul to the ground. That was amazing. Baga Chipz looked more glitzy than I’ve ever seen her, and Cheryl Hole took blonde bombshell to the next level. Honourable mention to Blu Hydrangea’s nose contour.
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Sam: I meannnnnn, this challenge felt a little awkward and I just couldn't help imaging how much Alaska or Bob The Drag Queen would've killed this! I didn't get the I've just shit myself one at first, but when I clocked the wordplay it made sense why Scaredy Cat won this one. The rest? Off with their heads! Jeff: I 👏 Loved 👏 This 👏 Challenge. I was actually so surprised by all of the different placements of each of their heads; it was nice to see so many of them change things up. Baga absolutely killed me, and now we have some incredible one-liners!
Tom: “You’re watching the BBC.” Amazing. The 21st century monarchy is a high camp experience in itself, so naturally a mini challenge based on historical decapitation is a perfect fit. Scaredy Kat made a poop joke and I guess that’s a sure thing.
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Sam: It was cool to hear the queens getting to know each other and explaining the various drag scenes around the UK. It does seem like we need to up the ante though – come on Great Britain! I liked hearing about different subcultures like "chav", hairy queens, and punk. I hope the US enjoyed it too!
Tom: Gothy Kendoll opening up about her insecurity with her teeth was a heartbreaking and adorable moment. It’s always the most stoic-looking queens who can be the most vulnerable and sensitive – I appreciated that.
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Sam: The runway was excellent! The looks that slayed include: Cheryl's Essex look, Scaredy Cat's Lady of Shalott fantasy, Divina's pantomime Prescilla look, Crystal's military Liz The Second, Blu's penny fantasy, and Sum Ting's stamp. I also thought that a "night of a thousand Queen Elizabeths" was inspired! Jeff: THE STAMP. THE COIN. LICK ME. I have chills just writing this! Those were both such creative interpretations of the Queen, I'm SO impressed. And the LICK ME on the back. Actually iconic. Sum Ting Wong really impressed me in this challenge; I had low expectations after her entrance, but now I definitely think she's one to watch. Cheryl's Essex look was so good, but her queen look was so disappointing. And Poor Vinegar – I heard a rumor that she had an epic TFL outfit planned, but it got cut for copyright issues, so she had to make that costume last minute.
Tom: Cheryl wins this round for me. The Essex girl look was amazing; the fake tan on the dress, the toilet paper on the shoe. Details. The meta-interpretation of the queen on a postage stamp and a £2 coin was genius. I wish someone had come down the runway dressed as a tenner!
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Sam: Andrew Garfield is 🔥 – glad to be reminded of that. But he was being SUCH a teaaaaase. James Charles will be knocking on his door, I'm sure. The judges loved the novelty of Sum Ting Wong and the concepts behind The Vivienne's looks, even though they read her for wearing flats and having a big nose. Another thing – Baga needed bigger hair for Amy Winehouse. Also – we never saw them making the costumes, which was a shame.
Tom: Surprisingly, it follows the classic Drag Race format pretty closely. Alan Carr was a fabulous addition; he brings fun and a velvet blazer wherever he goes! As a self-confessed anglophile, you can see Michelle is so excited to be there, which is lush.
The lip sync:
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Sam: Average, sorry. Nothing remarkable, but I did laugh at Vinegar's wig reveal even though the wig was busted AF. Jeff: This lip sync, I mean, come on. Half of it was as iconic as a finale lip sync (how many wig reveals was that?) and the other half could be the worst lip sync in drag race history. (Congrats Charlie Hyde, your title has now been passed on).
Tom: Vinegar came out with the glitter and the wig reveals and knew exactly what she needed to do. Gothy didn’t stand a chance, bless her.
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Sam: Enjoyed it a lot. Definitely excited for next week! Production was super good but the RuPeter badge was a joke 🤣 I'm really impressed with Sum Ting Wong, Cheryl Hole, Blu Hydrangea and Crystal. I think Divina could be a drama queen and poor Gothy deserved go – even though I got her in the sweepstake FFS. I think Americans will struggle to keep up but I'm also really happy that the ones who continue to watch will learn a lot about Britain and its idiosyncrasies. Can't wait for next week! Jeff: I'm in love with this series already. I think they did such a great job keeping the US format and production standards, while it still feels 100% British. That being said, even though I've lived here for three years, there are loads of references I didn't get, so I do fear Americans will have a hard time understanding this. Even some of their accents are tough, so I'm interested to see what the US reaction is to it. You could tell Ru missed half of their jokes too – I think she needs a Brit with her whenever she walks around the work room or leads a challenge. The prize situation is also just so disappointing. I know it's because it's on the BBC and they can't give prizes, but it feels like such let down.
Tom: I’m so happy this exists. As a gay Brit, this ticks several of my boxes. It’s great to see the grittier, hairier parts of drag showcased from this side of the Atlantic.
Predictions for the next week:
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Sam: Divina will CRACK! The tension between Cheryl and The Vivienne will escalate and all the while, Blu and Scaredy Cat will continue to build in confidence. I'm gagging over the Downton Abbey challenge. I think Vinegar will kill it! Jeff: Next week, I expect the pressure of the show to get to some of the queens. I'm expecting a bit more drama, shit-talking, and tears. I don't have very high expectations for Vinegar, so I can see her being in the bottom two again. I think Cheryl being in the bottom three will give her a little kick and she'll step it up. I don't personally like Scaredy Cat, but they're really leaning into her age and her newness to drag, so I think it's going to be a Valentina-esque storyline, with her pulling little wins for a few more challenges. I cannot wait to see what Baga and Sum Ting Wong bring us!
Tom: I’m so excited to see what comes next. Tensions are bubbling, stakes are high, and smalltown queens are clambering for the first prize of its kind. Let the best lass win!
Did you watch the first episode of
RuPaul's Drag Race UK? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! TV and Movies
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