Drag Race UK Season 2, Episode 9 Recap: It’s The Semi-Final

It’s the semi-final of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 2 and the four remaining queens are off to the Kween Dick for soap-themed acting challenge.

A’Whora is gone, and even though Lawrence was safe after last weeks challenge, she still felt the need to air opinions about the running order with Ellie back in the werk room — let us be the first to say, GET OVER IT.

On a brighter note, this weeks episode started with a familiar mini-challenge and one of our personal favourites, puppets — because everybody loves puppets. In this challenge the queens have to pull a puppet out of a hole and do an impersonation of the queen the puppet represents.

The queens do a decent job at taking the p*ss out of each other, which is the essence of the challenge, however Lawrence who still appears to be mad at Ellie uses his time to… be mad at Ellie. Again, GET OVER IT.

It’s Bimini who once again pulls ahead, proving herself as a strong comedy queen winning the advantage in the maxi-challenge.

This week the queens have been asked to overact in a parody of BBC soap EastEnders, which has been on air in the UK since 1985. The skit, titled BeastEnders holds parallels to the popular soap; like the fictional pub the Queen Vic, renamed for the parody to the Kween Dick, popular characters given drag makeovers and repurposed famous lines such as “You ain’t my mother”. If you’re someone who religiously watches EastEnders, there were plenty details and jokes to pick up on but for those who don’t the episode is still hilarious, you just may miss a few beats.

Durning filming there were some difficulties, especially with Lawrence forgetting her lines. As in the past, we’ve seen Lawrence “get in her head” and have trouble with her inner self-saboteur and this was no exception. Naturally, the tension between Lawrence and Ellie escalated as Ellie mentioned in the confessional that Lawrence forgetting her lines, was throwing off her timing. While Lawrence said that was no excuse for forgetting her characters name.

Despite this, the queens did remarkably well and the final product was good. The judges even mentioned that it was one of the hardest acting challenges to judge across the UK and US shows and we totally agree! On a personal note, as someone who hasn’t watched a soap in over 15 years this is definitely one I’d tune into on a regular basis.

Each queen brought something to their role and thought about their character profile; Lawrence with her manly voice had us chuckling every time she spoke, Bimini’s overacting and porn-star like posture, Ellie’s old-biddie and Tayce’s non-blended breast plate. In some ways we’re lucky to see the thought process and development in the werk room, because the judges didn’t comment on some of these things but these little details made the whole production come to life. Overall, they definetly took on the advice given in their Zoom masterclass with EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy.

During the interlude, Bimini finds letters addresses to each queen. The curiosity is killing us, where they left by another queen? No, the letters are from their mothers showing support for their sons. Three of the four letters included antidotes of how their sons loved to dress up as girls when they were younger. We are so happy to hear parents supporting their children as they create their own identity. We need more parents like this!

On the runway, Category is… Panto Dame.

Classic. We made a pantomime joke last week and this week they’re walking the runway in pantomime drag. We predict the future. For anyone unfamiliar with pantos, they’re productions typically put on around Christmas, which depict classic fairy tales such as Cinderella or Snow White, with camp character and comedic adaptations, and some audience participation, usually with the likes of people yelling at the actors on stage. The term Panto Dame comes from the fact that often men in drag portray popular characters such as the fairy godmother, or the evil stepsisters.

Lawrence, Bimini and Ellie all take on Panto in its true form which is known for being over the top, camp, colourful. Tayce seems to miss the mark and because we know she sees herself as a fashion queen , she’s almost afraid to take her drag to an “ugly” place which you almost need to do with panto drag. However, as we see with the other looks on the runway, panto drag can be done well, and still be fashionable.

We loved Lawrence and Bimini’s outfits, and the judges had plenty praise for the pair. We did agree with Graham Norton’s comments about Ellie’s outfit, we also expected a bit more from her and the fact that dress didn’t touch the floor is unforgivable.

Performance wise and runway look included, Bimini came out on top again for her fourth main challenge win. The funniest moment, was Lawrence’s face when Bimini was announced this weeks winner. It was the equivalent of telling a two-year-old he can’t have a chocolate bar because it will ruin his dinner. Naturally that scowl faded once he was announced as safe.

Tayce and Ellie were in the bottom two and really the only thing that separates them in one RuPeter badge, which Tayce won in a group challenge… so does that really count? Lip syncing to Steps “Last Thing On My Mind” the queens SLAY in one epic battle for survival and if that wasn’t enough Ru saves them BOTH.

Oh yes. We have four queens in the final. To be honest are we surprised? The U.S finale has had a final four for a few years now, were the remaining queens compete in a lip sync tournament. Maybe we’re about to see the first UK lip sync tournament, or maybe they’ll just be battling it out in the main stage. Either way, we can’t wait to see who gets crowned the winner next week.

Are You…





Candice Farrow

Fashion and lifestyle blogger from North East, England.

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