RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has just been Krystal-ized, officially. After ten gag-worthy weeks featuring “more twists than a cheese twist in a bakery” (Anubis, 2021) – legacy lip-syncs, double shantays, double sashays and medical-related departures, to name a few – RuPaul crowned (spoiler alert!) Krystal Versace in a stunning Christmas-themed smackdown for the crown.
The Kent native and her fellow finalists, Ella Vaday and Kitty Scott-Claus, were tasked with writing and recording lyrics to Ru’s critically-reviewed holiday anthem Hey Sis, It’s Christmas, before strutting down the runway in their final three eleganza extravagaaaaanza. Although they all annihilated the challenge and runway, Krystal secured the win after lip-syncing the house down to Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Own Me. With her win, Krystal made history as the youngest ever Drag Race champion across all franchises.
“It feels insane. It feels correct. It feels honestly unbelievable. I honestly can’t even wrap my head around it. I would never have thought I’d take the crown,” Krystal tells GAY TIMES after spending her night celebrating with the season three cast and headlining Porn Idol at Heaven Nightclub. “It means that Ru completely believes in my drag and trusts me to bring it forth. That already in itself means the world. It has just put the biggest stamp on everything I’ve done for the last three years, building my drag career and working really hard until the rest of my life, really.”
Read ahead for our full interview with the UK’s Next Drag Superstar about her time on one of the most chaotic Drag Race seasons in herstory, who she wants to conquer season four and whether she’ll accept an invitation for that long-rumoured winners’ season. Krystal also reveals the unaired moment where she “popped off” on another contestant. You ready for all this T?
Congratulations on winning the crown! How does it feel to be the youngest Drag Race winner ever?
Oh my god. It feels insane. It feels correct. It feels honestly unbelievable. I honestly can’t even wrap my head around it. I would never have thought I’d take the crown.
What does it mean for you, personally, to be the UK’s Next Drag Superstar?
It means that Ru completely believes in my drag and trusts me to bring it forth. That already in itself means the world. It has just put the biggest stamp on everything I’ve done for the last three years, building my drag career and working really hard until the rest of my life, really.
Have you heard from Ru yet? How does that work? Does he call? Does he text?
I sometimes pop over for a cuppa!
No. He’s somewhere.
Take me back to last night. What was your reaction when Ru called your name?
Oh, that was crazy. The suspense they create… I knew that was going to be painfully intense. It was just amazing, we had the best time watching that episode. That was the funnest viewing we had. Then after that, it was just like, ‘Do you know what babes? Whatever happens.’ Before we went onto the show we were like, ‘Girls, whoever gets it deserves it. We don’t care.’ Then when my name was called, I didn’t know what to say. You saw it! I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t even cry, I was literally in shock. Everyone was cheering and I was like, ‘I’ve literally just fell into a dream. I don’t know what’s happening.’
How did your mum react?
My mum was bawling it. She couldn’t even take a breath, bless her! It was so cute. It was so bloody nice to have her there, just witnessing it all, feeling it all. What an amazing episode. What an amazing ride.
Not only were you in the company of your season three queens, but Tracy Beaker was there too! Tracy motherfucking Beaker!
Oh my god, I know! How gaggy.
It really was an amazing evening. How did you feel when you were competing in the final challenge, then speaking with Ru on the stage and lip-syncing for the crown?
Honestly, the competition got so much better towards the end, as well as watching it from the outside. I was saying how genuine this episode was. We could just see each other having fun, just bouncing back, and I could see I was forgetting that I was on camera. It was just so nice. Even talking with Ru and Michelle, there was so much stuff that was cut out, we were just having a right laugh, it was so funny.
Was there anything else that didn’t make the edit this season that you would have loved to have seen?
There were a lot of things, little bits. The only thing that I would have liked to see was the Scarlett [Harlett] drama, there was a lot more said there. Just to say I love Scarlett, me and her are great friends, we all are. We are so close to family, there is no beef, nothing. But back then, even when we watched it, it was so intense. We were all grabbing each other’s hands. But there was a lot more stuff said there, I really popped off at her. Yeah, they kind of cut that out.
So we missed out on an iconic Untucked moment…
Literally. I got the merch ready and everything!
There’s been so many twists and turns this season. Anubis said it best, “There’s more twists than a cheese twist in a bakery.” What was it like for you seeing this play out, as both a contestant and a fan of the series?
Honestly, it’s been great. It’s been such a weird experience watching myself on TV, first of all, and then to see it all pan out. There’s a lot of stuff that I can’t even remember! It’s such a mix of things but it’s been incredible. There has been so many twists, we were all always shocked. It’s just an incredible season.
Not only are you the youngest winner, you are the youngest contestant across all Drag Race franchises. Did you ever feel underestimated in the competition because of your age?
A little bit at the start. I think there was a lot of stuff where they just saw me as a pretty queen, thought I was going to go. I didn’t pay attention to it, I just focused on me and before I knew it they started to actually get pissed off because I was just doing my thing and killing it on the runway. They were like, ‘Fuck her!’
I mean, the first queen ever to win the first two challenges…
Yeah literally, and that as well. It baffles me how many little boundaries have been crossed and achieved. It’s amazing.
You really did prove that you’re not just “another fashion queen” which isn’t even a bad thing, I should add. Can I just say – and I will die on this hill because I have actually interviewed her in person – you did Charity Shop Sue perfectly! I absolutely loved it.
Aww thank you babe! I appreciate it! At least someone does.
I could not get my head around how that was not a top three placement.
It was a bit rough but it was a good impersonation, I’ll give myself that. I had the voice and the look, and the character. I think the jokes just weren’t there, but we move! I got through it and I’m here with the crown so I must’ve done something right!
The US Drag Race doesn’t let queens under 21 compete. Do you think your win is proof that they should now change those rules?
Yeah! I think, definitely. There’s no age to what you can do in the show and how well you can do it, as proven. I don’t think 21 is the least you should be. I think it’s an 18 or over show, so…
How are you making sure you’re preserving your mental health throughout all of this?
Honestly, I’m really good. Obviously, everyone has their up and down days, we’re all human. I have the most amazing girls with me and people around me. My girls in London are incredible and we’re like a small family. Yeah, you probably saw photos of them yesterday in Heaven, all in red! That’s my fam and they look after me.
You opened up about some personal aspects of your life this season, such as being a virgin and having dyslexia. What kind of impact have you witnessed these conversations have on the fanbase?
I’ve had so many messages, I’ve had podcasts reach out, loads of stuff. It’s been lovely to see a lot of really heartfelt messages like, ‘I’ve never seen this representation on TV before, I’ve never seen someone talk about that.’ Because it’s small things, but to me they’re my things. People have connected with it so I can only be so thankful for that, it means a lot, and for those people as well.
What’s been your favourite moment from this whole season?
Oh, there’s honestly been so many. Every episode has been incredible. I want to go back! I loved doing it. I miss the feeling of being excited and terrified and sad, all these emotions all the time. It was just amazing. I think my favourite moments overall were the runway. I loved doing the runway. When I see it back I can remember how I was feeling in that moment, when the music started playing and I just walked. That’s any girl’s dream, you know? Strut the runway in front of the Queen of Drag!
As the UK’s Next Drag Superstar, what are you hoping to achieve with this platform?
I mean, I’m always going to be me. I’m no activist or spokesperson for anything. I’m still trying to learn everyday about myself and about others around me. I’m only going to be myself and I think, overall, you just need to respect everyone around you and just spread love and positivity. Don’t judge anyone, don’t skip the gun, just go out there with an open heart and just appreciate everyone’s art-form. Everyone is trying to work just as hard in life as any other person, so just appreciate that. Everyone is a human being.
I know this is really premature, but if the opportunity ever did arise to be on an all-winners season one day, would you take it?
I don’t know. I feel like it would be rubbish of me to say no because I’ve got so much ahead of me. Yes, I would like to come back and knock them bitches right out and be the winner of the winners. Yes!
Would there be a certain queen you’d be terrified to go up against, or are you ready to decimate them all?
Do you have any hopes for season four of Drag Race UK?
It would be cute to see a few girls there that I know. That would be nice. I really want to see Paige Three. She is next level. I would also love to see Bones. Incredible. Two different people completely, and two very talented individuals.
What’s next for you? I know that some may expect you to slay the fashion industry but I would love to see you embark on a pop career. You slayed each musical number this series and gave me major pop girl vibes.
Oh god, thank you! I liked the Christmas one a lot better. BDE was like a last minute, ‘Werk queen, diva!’ I was watching it back and I was a bit like, ‘Alright love, we get it.’ I mean, maybe one day. Can’t say no to anything at this point, who knows?
All 10 episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 3 are now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.