This season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has seen more twists than – in the words of Anubis – “a cheese twist in a bakery”. There’s been legacy lip-syncs, double shantays, double sashays and medical-related departures, as well as Victoria Scone entering the werkroom as the franchise’s first ever cis female contestant and RuPaul’s decision to withhold a badge from the queens. It’s been bedlam, honestly. This week, RuPaul will crown another winner after the three finalists – Ella Vaday, Kitty Scott-Claus and Krystal Versace – write and record a verse to the host’s holiday anthem, Hey Sis, It’s Christmas. Unlike past seasons of Drag Race, there’s no clear frontrunner for the crown. Each of the aforementioned queens are fierce competitors and have their own individual strengths. Here, we dive into why each of the finalists would be a worthy addition to the UK Hall of Fame alongside The Vivienne and Lawrence Chaney. Start your engines, and may the best drag queen…
Challenge wins: 4
Up for elimination: 0
Although Ella Vaday didn’t land a challenge win until the fourth episode, the self-described “beast from Dagenham East” has since decimated the competition with an additional three badges, statistically making her the frontrunner for the crown. Her Snatch Game of British food writer and cook Nigella Lawson has gone down in herstory as one of the funniest impersonations to date, and her roast of her fellow finalists, the eliminated contestants and the panel – including national treasure Kathy Burke – is one of the most effortless stand-ups the show has ever seen. Even Bianca Del Rio would be proud (we think). With zero bottom placements and one of the best track records for a contestant (including the various international editions), Ella Vaday following in the footsteps of The Vivienne and Lawrence Chaney would be both unsurprising and deserved. In recent years, however, statistics have meant bugger all when it comes to the final hurdle – Yvie Oddly vs Brooke Lynn Hytes, Jaida Essence Hall vs Gigi Goode, Lawrence vs Bimini etc – so it’s really anyone’s game.
Challenge wins: 2
Up for elimination: 0
Almost the Susan Lucci of Drag Race UK season three, Kitty Scott-Claus didn’t land her first badge until episode seven for the Miss Fugly Beauty Pageant – although she almost secured wins with her Big Drag Energy in the girl-group challenge and her eerily accurate impersonation of reality star slash businesswoman Gemma Collins. Like Ella, her track record is stellar – she won the subsequent challenge and has never had the misfortune of hearing Ru declare, “You are up for elimination.” While Kitty doesn’t have the amount of wins as Ella, or the confirmation from Ru that she was “born to be a drag queen”, the Gals Aloud alum has become a firm fan-favourite thanks to her relentless optimism, hilarious one-liners and quintessential British sensibilities. It’s impossible not to smile when Kitty’s on screen and, if she conquers over Ella and Krystal, she deserves to be the first ever contestant to win the crown and title of Miss Congeniality.
Challenge wins: 2
Up for elimination: 1
Never has a queen made their mark so early into their Drag Race run quite like Krystal Versace. The 20-year-old, who is (fun fact) currently the youngest contestant across all series in the Drag Race franchise, made herstory as the first UK queen to win the first two challenges in a row. Her achievements led to RuPaul giving her the highest of praise as she told Krystal that she was “born” to be a drag queen. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it? While she hasn’t won a challenge since, Krystal has proven to viewers that she’s not just another “robotic fashion queen” with impressive performances in the girl-group challenge (the pop diva jumped out!), the Snatch Game (her Charity Shop Sue should’ve been in the top!) and Bra Wars: The Fempire Strikes Back (give her an Oscar!). And, of course, her runways. Out of all the contestants on season three, Krystal is destined for greatness in the fashion industry. While she has the worst track record out of the finalists thanks to her recent lip-sync smackdown, it – like we said above – really doesn’t matter. RuPaul loves her and RuPaul makes the decisions, so don’t count her out just yet.