This week's makeover challenged ru-vealed the long established production teams monopoly over who wins the show.
***SPOILERS FOR RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE UK EPISODE 7 BELOW***
In this week’s episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race UK, Baga Chipz kicked off by backtracking on her attitude towards last week’s lipsync for your life. She claimed she would’ve slayed it, knew all the words, and wouldn’t have been sent home – big words coming from someone who had clearly given up and practically packed her bags. This editing to make her look bad continued throughout, alluring to the infamous RPDR ‘elimination edit’.
Once this chat died down, the queens got to do one of the most awaited mini-challenges: puppets! Baga obviously picked The Vivienne, in which she pretty much just put on a thick scouser accent and nothing else. Cheryl got Baga, in which she started with an accent but went back to her Essex roots, and ended with “very very ‘arsh” in true Baga style. Vivienne pulled out Divina, which seemed somewhat staged as she mocked the “tacky red wig and chalky make-up” as Cheryl summed it up. Then finally, Divina won with her Cheryl, piling on the Essex jokes and doing a death drop. Though there was no reward for winning, Cheryl took this as a mini-win and achievement by association.
RuPaul then announced the main challenge to be the make-over challenge, this time on the queens’ mothers and sisters. Both Baga and Vivienne had their mums and were a little bitter of Cheryl and Divina who got their sisters – younger, confident and able to do more impressive choreography. Cheryl’s sister Gina has definitely binged Drag Race, and was ready to brag to all her friends about her appearance, quoting things like “showgirl”, “hello hello hello”, etc.
To continue the ‘elimination edit’, Baga’s worst moments were put on display. Whilst everyone enjoyed catching up with their family members, Baga came across as a bratty child, constantly cutting over her mum and worrying that she’d “embarrass” her. She even stated that she’d never before done someone else’s make-up, meaning edit aside, it looked like it was going to be goodbye to Baga.
Compared to previous make-over challenges on the US version of Drag Race, none of the UK queens failed so miserably. Vivienne and The Mother were praised for their regal realness, and Michelle noted there “there’s something special about a mother and her child”. Divina and Delicious looked like “two very sexy patio heaters” according to Alan Carr, and their “British vulgar shit”, as exclaimed by guest judge Michaela Coel, saw the pregnant queens win this week’s Ru Peter badge. That left Baga and, controversially, Cheryl in the bottom to lipsync. Baga’s and Sacka Spudz attempt at a Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner look didn’t particularly flatter either of them; and after Baga’s insults towards her mother, she was destined to be in the bottom. Calling her mum, Joe, old, shy, fat, ugly – you name it, she said it! Cheryl, however, made her and sis Sissy look near-identical in their shiny bodysuits, with flawless, “stimulating” choreography to match. Leaving Sissy saying she’d “never felt more confident”.
Now for the lipsync… not only was it totally staged for Baga to win, but it was completely lackluster – something that wasn’t helped at all by the song choice. Lipsyncing to Amy Winehouse’s ‘Tear’s Dry on Their Own’, a song that evidently was chosen for Baga, she pulled the same old faces, and pretty much won by standing on the spot the whole time. Even though the song wasn’t her forte, Cheryl still gave it her all, putting in far more energy than Baga and proving that if the song hadn’t been so specifically selected, Cheryl could’ve beaten Baga in any lipsync. Though leaving, she kept up the comedy and love, self-titling herself as “no badge Chez”.
This lipsync result not only forces us to question the politics of Rupaul’s Drag Race, but UK morals as a whole. Though the judges tried to make excuses for why Baga was so horrid to her mother, she went to the extent of telling her to stop crying as it would “ruin the make-up” that took her hours. These excuses then feel somewhat unjustified. Yes, they may have an estranged relationship, but this is where the American input in this UK show can most be seen – all the queens showed it, as have British fans, you can’t get away with talking to your mother like that in Britain. However, the edit Baga had could have been emphasized in order to ensure she wasn’t likeable. Being the biggest competition for The Vivienne, who was practically crowned the moment she walked in, perhaps producers were just trying to ensure this win for the Scouser queen?
All will be ru-vealed in the upcoming finale, and perhaps my speculation and outrage are unjustified, but I feel Baga did not deserve to shantay this week. Whether she stayed to avoid backlash of a 0 badge holder beating a 3 badge holder to the final, or more likely that it was staged for Baga to make the final regardless of her shabby runways throughout, we will perhaps never know. But my prediction is, Baga can’t be allowed to win after how she spoke to her mother this week, even if she just scraped through the chopping board this week. The Vivienne is now set to win, with her greatest competition given the ‘unlikability’ factor needed to ensure Viv could smoothly sail to being the UK’s first Drag Race queen superstar.
In the finale, the queens are set to do an all-singing, all-dancing performance, as the eliminated queens of the season return. Could this be an All-Stars 3 moment where the eliminated queens vote for the two finalists? Or maybe a Season 7 twist where they had to walk the runway conjoined to a previous queen? Fans are speculating, and whatever happens, Blu sipping on her cocktail in the preview suggests that it’s going to be SHADY.
Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK episode seven is available to watch on BBC Three via BBC iPlayer now.