Michelle Visage has addressed the gag-worthy twist in the third season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
Spoilers ahead – so continue at your own risk.
This week, the British spin-off returned to our screens and introduced 11 fierce new entertainers to the franchise: Anubis, Charity Kase, Choriza May, Elektra Fence, Kitty Scott-Claus, Krystal Versace, River Medway, Vanity Milan and Victoria Scone, the latter of which makes herstory as Drag Race’s first ever cis female – and lesbian – competitor.
It also saw the return of season two’s Veronica Green, Rats: The Rusical challenge winner, who was memorably disqualified and received an open invitation for season three after contracting COVID in the show’s seven-month break.
After the queens became acquainted and competed in a hilarious mini-challenge, they stomped down the runway in two fierce ensembles: one inspired by their hometown and another inspired by their favourite things.
The amount of sickening ensembles was, in the words of Laganja Estranja, “TOO MUCH!” Krystal, Scarlett and Victoria were singled out for praise, while Anubis, Elektra and River’s runways received mixed reviews; although the latter made RuPaul cackle the house down as she paid tribute to Medway’s statue of Thomas Waghorn.
Later, RuPaul announced the twist – again, continue at your own risk: not only will the bottom two contestants lip-sync for their place in the competition, as per, but the top two queens will also battle it out on the stage for the win.
Yes, it’s a twist that has been introduced in the past – on the 12th and 13th seasons of the US original – but it’s always taken the place of the lip-sync for your life format. There hasn’t been an episode, until now, that has featured both.
Speaking with Michelle ahead of the premiere earlier this week, we asked the judge and Steps’ unofficial sixth member whether she knows about twists such as these in advance, or if she’s as gagged as all of us when Ru makes the announcement.
“I think there’s a bit of both,” said Michelle. “They know me by now, whereas some of the other judges like to know ahead of time. I like to be surprised a lot of the time, so my reactions are real. Then there are some times that I know. So, either way, it’s always exciting for me because I’m never ever bored of drag!”
In our interview, Michelle also addressed the herstoric inclusion of Victoria and how RuPaul’s Drag Race is “evolving” when it comes to showcasing the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of diverse forms of drag.
“The more RuPaul’s Drag Race grows, the more drag grows. We get to represent as much as we can and we encourage everyone to audition,” she said.
“For me, everything is welcome. You just have to be good. Your audition has to be good. That’s what it comes to. Drag keeps evolving, the show keeps evolving. Nobody’s hired because they’re a cis female or because they’re a trans man or woman. They’re hired because they’re good.”
The star then joked: “It’s the first cis female competitor, although I have been there for many years! I try to win in every country, every series, and it just happened yet.”
The first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season three is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.