RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE UK VS THE WORLD: Semi Finals/Grand Finale

Posted on March 09, 2022

 

We’re a week behind on our recapping, so let’s dispense with the niceties and play catchup, shall we?

 

Last week, Ru engaged in the longstanding Drag Race tradition of forcing the queens to promote her latest utterly horrendous but somehow also instantly forgettable song. We can’t say it was the most interesting episode of the year, but we had no problem sitting through the requisite “Should I write this lyric?” “Can I sing this note?” and “Will I be able to handle the choreo?” scenes, even if they offered nothing new. Here’s how each girl did, according to us:

 

While we’re happy to see Jujubee finally snag a win, we didn’t think she came close to owning that stage. Like a lot of her efforts this season, it felt like her falling back on a talent (in this case, her singing) while giving the bare minimum everywhere else.

 

Baga, like Jujubee, has spent the season hoping his (pun unavoidable) bag of tricks would see him through to the finals. Like Jujubee, it worked. He was just okay but made it through by relying on his natural ability to draw focus and respond well to the spotlight.

 

This was the episode when it felt like it became obvious that Blu might actually have a shot at winning the whole thing. It’s not so much that she was the most talented or even that she gave the best performance; it was how fucking HARD she went through the whole number. We’ve known all season that she’s in it to win it, but this performance made us realize that she’s not slowing down at all.

 

Mo completely dominate the stage and if we were handing out wins instead of making them lip sync for it, we think there’s no question it belonged to her. Somewhere in all that, Janey tried to set herself apart. There’s a reason we have no screencaps of her. She got lost in this crowd.

 

The category was Work of Art and we’re a little ashamed at how the Americans interpreted it, to be honest.

 

Baga’s Van Gogh was funny, draggy and silly. We would’ve liked it more if he’d done something a bit more interesting with the hair and makeup, though.

 

Blu’s was a great, creative take. Our only issue is that the costume looks cheap and craftsy.

 

Janey, as Warhol’s Marilyn, had the best, most sophisticated drag take on the stage. It’s a shame it couldn’t save her.

 

Jujubee and Mo basically did “I’ll just wear something pretty and a little outrageous and say it’s art” thing. It’s fine, but it’s not fabulous.

 

It was great fun watching these two give it everything for the lip sync. We’re not entirely sure Jujubee deserved the win, but they both put on a hell of a show.

 

And with that, the Little Dutch Girl went home, leaving the Yanks and Brits to slug it out for the Grand Finale. Briskly moving on to that…let’s welcome all the eliminated bitches back to the stage for one last eleganza!

 

It’s nice to see Lemon get away from the lemon themed looks, but this is way too drum majorette for us.

 

A cute, pretty take from the self-described mediocre queen, Cheryl Hole.

 

We suspect if he’d made it to the finale, everyone would have gasped at Jimbo’s look for being so off-brand from his usual drag. We’re not sure we like the wig, but we love the moose crown.

 

A pure stunner. If she’d made it the finals, Pangina might have won on this look alone.

 

Cute, but like a lot of Janey’s drag, it never feels like it goes as far as it could have.

And now, the finalists:

Baga does a surprisingly good Elizabeth Taylor; so much so that we’re wondering why she doesn’t lean on that skill more. We just wish the dress had been as elevated as the headpiece and makeup.

 

Blu came with a trunk full of gorgeously eye-popping costumes this season, but this one was easily the best. Just gorgeous.

 

This is the best drag Jujubee has served all season. That’s as it should be for the eleganza extravaganza, but we’d place this look well behind Blu’s and Mo’s. It’s gorgeous, but it’s also very conventional.

 

Mo’s look was incredibly dramatic and you could tell she was feeling it. We love it from the waist up, but we think the skirt felt a little unresolved and looked a little flimsy. Still, it was more interesting than Jujubee’s and miles away from Baga’s Liz drag.

 

Anyway, the queens all went backstage, where Pangina and Jimbo got to yell at the other girls for a little while, then there were all kinds of shenanigans as to how the final lip syncs shook out, with plenty of fun cameos by guest stars ranging from Naomi Campbell to Elton John. Suffice it to say there were spinning wheels and numbered boxes involved.

 

Mo and Baga faced off with Jessie J’s “Domino.” We’ll give Baga credit; she really did give Mo a run for her money, but in the end, the assassin who was better suited to the song, took this one easily.

 

Blu and Jujubee were forced to mug their way through Duran Duran’s “The Reflex,” which is an absolutely terrible song for a drag queen lip sync. Jujubee’s style of lip sync was particularly ill-suited to it and since Blu’s been tearing it up on the stage so much in the final stretch, she took this one easily.

 

This left a final two where it really did feel like it could go either way. Mo is arguably a more seasoned and charismatic queen, but Blu has been so goddamn hungry and focused all season long. The song was Kylie Minogue’s “Supernova” and they were both perfectly dressed and equally suited for it. Incidentally, the previous sentence autocorrected to “Kylie Monologue” and we’re putting that out into the world in case any budding drag queen wants it.

 

Anyway, it was a hell of a fight, but we think Ru made a good call in the end. Blu Hydrangea earned her crown — and she only had to be a total bitch once in the competition.

 

 

Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, a New York Times “New and Notable” pick, praised by The Washington Post “because the world needs authenticity in its stories,” and chosen as one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR is on sale wherever fine books are sold!

 

 

[Photo Credit: Wow Plus via Tom and Lorenzo]

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