Get your tuppence at the ready…
In October, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK premiered after years of anticipation to universal acclaim and quickly became an international phenomenon. Over the course of eight weeks, the series was requested over 10 million times on BBC iPlayer.
Due to its unprecedented success, it was announced last year by World of Wonder and BBC Three that RuPaul’s Drag Race will sashay, shantay and stay on the BBC for a second season, which is due to air sometime in 2020.
“I want to thank the BBC and all our fans for their overwhelming support of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK,” RuPaul said in a statement. This season’s queens proved that Britain’s got charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent and I want to see more!”
In celebration, we’ve rounded up ten sickening queens we need to see enter the werkroom this year. Get your jush below…
Asttina Mandela has already garnered quite the reputation here in the UK as a member of LGBTQ collective Sink the Pink, one of the biggest queer club nights in the world. She’s also a member of The Family Gorgeous, a drag group comprised of fierce queens such as Cheddar Gorgeous, Lill, Anna Phylactic and TeTe Bang, all of which received their own Channel 4 spin-off series Drag SOS. Astinna is a dancer and choreographer, and while we wouldn’t wish the bottom two on anyone, we’d (really) like to see it for this queen because lordt… she can slay a lip-sync.
Surely it’s time for that RuPaul’s Drag Race meets American Horror Story spin-off that no one’s been talking about? Surely? Since Drag Race UK was announced, Charity Kase has been a name on the lips of most fans, thanks to her batshit, high-concept lewks such as Rotten Ronalds Mcmonster, Gretchen Grundler, Decapitated Nun and A Girl With a Pearl Necklace. She represents the alternative style of drag and in all honesty, there’s zero chance she’d be an early-out. It’s about time for a queen to provide the shock factor, Sharon Needles style.
Professional dancer Freida Slaves is inspired by industry women with complex choreography, such as Janet Jackson, Madonna, Paula Abdul and Beyonce. She only started drag three years ago, but that didn’t stop Shangela (A Star Is Born) or Valentina (Rent Live) from making an impression, did it now? Freida makes her own wigs, she makes her own costumes, and honey, she can perform. Top three? We’d be shocked if she wasn’t.
Herr’s performances often incorporate pop culture references such as American Horror Story, Harry Potter and Girls Aloud (great fucking combo). She won Not Another Drag Competition: All Stars – a big deal here in London – so she’s experienced in a competition environment, and is a member of Gals Aloud (alongside Drag Race UK competitor Cheryl Hole) so commanding a stage and serving lewks comes naturally to her(r).
“Self-described “Piscean Fashion Icon, Drag Queen Imposter, Hot Dog Connoisseur, Peacock Lover, Bridge Enthusiast and Take Away Vixen” is how Mahatma Khandi describes herself on Instagram and that is ENOUGH to put her on this list. We are on board!
Scottish queen Mary Mac is revered in the London drag scene for her cabaret act and powerhouse vocals. She wrote and performed in her one-woman show Glaswegian Beauty at Milton Court Theatre. That’s talent. We love to see it. She’d be a sickening competitor and if the challenges are anything like the first season of Drag Race UK, we can see Mary Mac walking away with the crown and that coveted WOW digital series. Oh, and she can hold her own on a mic (see above). That’s important.
Meth is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known queens in the London drag scene. She was a regular performer at Her Upstairs, a cast member on Drag Queens of London, and is a member of the legendary drag collective Familyyy Fierce. We have no doubt in our minds that Meth is on the BBC’s radar.
When a queen is as stunning as Ophelia Love, it’s easy (and lazy) to label them solely as a “fishy queen” or an “Instagram queen” but make no mothertucking mistake, she’s an entertainer. As a trained dancer and singer, Ophelia would slay any choreo-related tasks as well as that inevitable Frock Destroyers/Filthy Harmony sequel challenge. Like Freida, Ophelia hasn’t been a drag queen for too long (two years) but as a member of Gals Aloud (yes, another one) and after appearing alongside Charli XCX on tour, she’s proven herself already.
That mug. Look at that fucking mug. Wow. Inspired by Grace Jones, London-based performer Tayce has been one of our top picks since day one. Dancing? Check. Lewks? Check. Mug? We’ve just established that it is very nice, so check. Other queens should – and imagine we’re saying with menace – beware.
Unlike other queens on this list, Virgin Xtravaganzah is an actor first and a drag queen second. Her official website reads: “Heaven is boring. Gawd is old. I am a 2,000+ year old virgin and I have had enough! So I came down to earth to be a superstar!” Enough said?