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“I think I fell over,” says the UK’s number one Gemma Collins/Cilla Black/Jane McDonald impersonator, Kitty Scott-Claus. “Because in my head I was like, ‘I’ve not won. I know I’m not going to win.'” The beloved Drag Race UK contestant is speaking with GAY TIMES about the season three crown, which ultimately went to Krystal Versace, and how she embraced her inner pageant queen for the unaired moment it was plonked on her head. “Do you know in Miss Congeniality when she’s sobbing?” continues Kitty. “It really went like that.”

For the grand finale of Drag Race UK season three, Kitty, Krystal and their fellow finalist Ella Vaday were tasked with writing and recording lyrics to Ru’s fan-favourite holiday anthem Hey Sis, It’s Christmas, before strutting down the runway in their final three eleganza. Although she didn’t sashay away with the crown and sceptre, Kitty won the hearts of viewers around the world with her relentless optimism, hilarious one-liners and quintessential British humour. And with her excellent track record – two wins, zero bottom placements and not one bad critique from the panel – Kitty has already been touted as a frontrunner for All Stars.

Here, we speak with Kitty about her incredible run on the Emmy-winning series, the GC’s response to her Snatch Game impersonation and why she never thought she’d take home the crown. Kitty also reveals the queens she wants to see on season four and the moment that gagged her the most when re-watching the series.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Kitty Scott-Klaus: The UK’s Next Next Drag Superstar.
Next, next, next, not quite the drag superstar! 

How has life been for you over this past week since the finale?
Mad. Wild. So exciting. I’m loving every second. Can we just for a second talk about Dani Harmer, Tracy Beaker, being there. Hell! I was not expecting that at all! But, I died. I was literally the biggest fan in the world and I was like, ‘Do you mind if we get a little picture?’ I was so not cool!

I was in the elevator with her and I didn’t even realise it was the Dani Harmer until I got out…
No! She was pregnant as well. I was like, ‘Tracy… You’re only young Trace!’ She’s actually not, she’s older than me but go off Dani Harmer!

I was that annoying fan because I went up to her like, ‘Bog off!’
I was like, ‘Where’s Justine Littlewood? Where’s Cam’s car now? Down the scrap heap I bet!’

Take me back to the moment the top three were sat watching the finale and Krystal’s name was called…
Heartbreaking! No, I’m joking. Growing up as a fan of the show, you watch the videos of the queens finding out who actually wins because we do all the alternate endings and things. So I remember watching it and saying to the girls, ‘I can’t believe we’re here. I cannot believe we are sat in this room, the three of us.’ We held hands the entire episode. We were just squeezing each other, crying with each other, laughing with each other. It was so gorge. I was thinking, ‘This is wild that we are here. This is madness.’ But it was incredible, it was so lovely to be with Krystal and with Ella. I love them both so, so dearly, I hold them in such high regards and to even be up there with the two of them, and Vanity Milan in top four, was such an honour. It was just so gorgeous to be in the room with them.

I’m not sure if you can tell me this, but what happened in the version where you got the crown?
I think I fell over. Because in my head I was like, ‘I’ve not won. I know I’m not going to win.’ Do you know in Miss Congeniality when she’s sobbing? It really went like that. I think it’s common knowledge that they do alternate endings because it keeps the mystery alive. No one knows who’s won. It was weird to do the endings then go back and do the next one. It was so bizarre.

Why didn’t you think that you were going to win? You were incredible this season.
I remember being in the moment and it was when we were waiting to find out who was lip-syncing, and it ended up being all three of us. Bear in mind, I was completely delusional the rest of the series because I was like, ‘I’ve won this, I’ve got this in the bag!’ Really misplaced confidence there! But when it got to that moment, I thought it was the time they’d be like, ‘Kitty, thank you, you’re third place.’ That’s where my brain went, so when we came round to finally lip-syncing I was like, ‘Oh hell. I don’t know the words! I don’t know this song!’ The fear of god! Me and my friends have this running joke, because I love that song but I don’t know the words. I always go, ‘You don’t know me!’ But it’s ‘own me’. We watched it back and my friends were like, ‘You did the wrong words!’ It was a miracle I got them out in the first place. 

I have to tell you my personal favourite moment from the season, which I think is quite underrated. It was during Snatch Game when you responded to another queens’ answer like, ‘I don’t get it.’
[Laughs] It was Scarlett when she went, ‘AHH!’ That was all Scarlett [Harlett] did for every answer and I just remember being like, ‘I don’t get it.’ Just a throwaway moment, so silly! I feel like that’s one for the elites. If you know you know. You’re elite, babes. 

Some people are born elite. Some people are not.
They want to be, but they don’t get it. No, honestly, this is my favourite thing about watching Snatch Game back. I haven’t watched many of the episodes back, but for Snatch Game I have, because in my head I’m like, ‘I’ve lived it.’ I went back and was just howling at it. They don’t tell you when the cameras are on or off, so Krystal is sat there turned off and River was openly laughing at everyone. It just kills me! Whereas I was just like, ‘I’m going to stay in GC the whole time. I’m gonna be doing my makeup and my bronzer and everything.’ So funny. It kills me.

Has the GC said anything about your Snatch Game?
Yeah! I’ve actually just recorded an episode of her podcast! She got in touch after the Snatch Game episode aired and she was like, ‘Smashed it, honey, you looked amazing!’ That is so funny. If I could go back in time and say, ‘It’s okay, Gemma will approve!’ So wild. Obviously when you’re in the room and Ru is like ‘Who are you going to do?’ I’m still like, ‘I would have loved to do Cilla Black.’ Cilla would have been such a scream, I think. I had so many lines ready to go! I was going to be so stupid and try to take over! Cilla was my first choice, then Jane McDonald was my second choice. I was going to do loads of cruising puns and Northern accent jokes. I was going to be so funny but I am glad I went with Gemma, I had so much fun as the GC.

There’s always All Stars…
I wish someone would have told me, ‘By the way it’s Nadine Coyle’ because I would have gone up there and literally just been Nadine. I didn’t have any outfit or anything but I would’ve made it work.

That’s not been done since Jessica Wild did RuPaul in front of RuPaul!
Yeah! And there’s so much of Nadine, because remember they had all the Girls Aloud TV shows and everything. What was the one when they were in the car… Oh my god. Imagine if I did every member of Girls Aloud, like Nicola then Cheryl. I feel like if they’d told me, I would’ve done Nadine.

Fun fact for you, Kitty: did you know you are one of the only contestants in herstory to have never had a negative critique from the panel?
Is that true?! Yay me! Wild. That is mad. I actually didn’t know that was a thing. But no, I remember coming away from it and knowing me and Ella never lip-synced. That’s the thing we took away from it. Obviously, we lip-synced for the win, we did that for episode eight and episode 10, but we never lip synced for our lives. That in itself I was like… That is wild. And for two of us in a season? I think Gottmik and Rose never lip-synced for their lives. There’s only been a couple of other times when that’s happened, when two people get to the finale without having to lip-sync for their life.

How does it feel lip-syncing for the win? Do you still feel that sense of urgency that comes with a lip-sync for your life, or do you just have fun knowing you’ve done so well?
I remember feeling both. I remember in episode eight it was such a gag. Nobody realised that was going to happen, there was no word of warning. Thank god it was a Girls Aloud song! But when it happened, I remember thinking of all the things that had happened in the previous episodes, because it had been a rollercoaster up until that point. There had been a double save, a double shantay, a double elimination, people going, shock eliminations. I remember waiting to start the lip-sync and thinking, ‘I need to kill it,’ because Ru could still turn around and say, ‘Actually, I wasn’t that impressed. You’re going home now.’ I remember thinking, ‘I need to kill it, I need to do something new,’ which was why, when we did Something New, I was death dropping. I was falling to the floor. It didn’t make the cut but I dropped into the splits next to Ella. I was taking the piss! I was pulling out all the stops, all the stunts, everything.

As a contestant and a major fan of Drag Race, what was it like for you witnessing all these twists and turns first-hand?
I remember watching back episode one, when we were on the main stage walking the runway thinking, ‘This is the most weird thing in the world’ because I could almost see myself and what I was doing. You have years of watching the show where you think, ‘This is how I’d do it.’ When it actually comes down to it you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I’m here. It’s happening so quickly.’ But I remember watching back the lip-syncs from episode one and you could tell in my head I must’ve thought I was just watching the TV, because I’m just there dead behind the eyes just watching it play out. It’s so weird! It’s like I’m in the TV, which is what it is! I clock on though! I clock on. I start living in the lip-syncs. I start singing along and dancing along. When we filmed, it was in a lockdown so there were no clubs or anything open and it really felt like being in a club for like three minutes, like ‘Woooo, come on!’ 

We can obviously see the contestants’ faces as they lip-sync, but contestants can only see the back of them. Can you tell who’s doing better in that moment?
No! The other thing is, because the set is so big, you can’t hear what Ru and Michelle are saying. Maybe I’m just old and hard of hearing but I remember thinking, ‘I can’t hear what they’re saying.’ So all the elimination lines I was like, ‘Who’s going? Who’s going?’ There were a couple of times when I’d be watching the lip-sync – it was the River and Choriza one – and I’m stood next to Krystal guessing who was going home. I remember saying to Krystal, ‘This is River’s. River is staying.’ And then they both go! We’re seeing from behind and a way back, but it’s like we’re not seeing the whole picture.

What gagged you the most when you were rewatching the show?
For me, it was River’s point in episode one, when she did the statue. We couldn’t see what was going on, we couldn’t see the runway or anything. I remember being stood, waiting to go on, and just hearing the judges just piss themselves. I was like, ‘What is she doing out there?’ Bear in mind you can’t hear them talking, but you can hear them absolutely wetting themselves. I did not know that point was a thing until we watched it back. I was like, ‘I get it now. I get it.’ 

There’s been a bit of a debate in recent years over statistics and whether a queen should win based on how many wins/badges she’s collected. Where do you stand?
Do you know what, I could not call it. After living the show, and being a fan of the show, and being on the show, I still couldn’t call it. I don’t know what it comes down to. It’s Ru’s show, at the end of the day, and Ru will have final say over who the winner is. In my head, that’s how it works. I think until that point, and with the UK as well, when there is no prize money and all you have to go off is a badge or a sash – that no one else got but me! – the badges become everything to you. It’s like bragging rights in the room. It’s like, ‘How many have you got, how many have you got, how many have you got?’ I remember, I got my first badge in episode seven and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to be next to go. Everyone else has a badge, Charity went and she didn’t have a badge so I’ll be next to go.’ But that also spurred me on because I was like I’m going to prove them wrong.

What are your hopes for the fourth season of the show? Are there any queens you’d love to see sashay into the werkroom?
Yeah! I’d love to see my Gals Aloud sisters Ophelia Love, Herr The Queen and Lydia L’Scabies. But I’d also like to see more diversity, more colours, more creeds, more genders, more everything. I’d love to see Cara Melle on, BABY, Yshee Black, not just London queens – we want queens from all over! Drag is for everyone so it should be everyone on Drag Race. 

All 10 episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 3 are now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.