With Vicki Vivacious’ Drag Race UK elimination, we can now – in her words – “squash any rumour that the look is 50% of the mark”. While the Cornish queen was unsuccessful in her mission to make RuPaul cackle in the Snatch Game as the late restaurant critic Fanny Cradock – Vicki herself describes the performance as “heartbreaking” – she left the judging panel floored with her Alice in Wonderland-inspired ‘Heart-On’. RuPaul even hailed it as “perfection”. Viewers felt the same, expressing on social media that the runway should’ve saved her from a dreaded bottom two placement.
“If you’re gonna leave, leave looking amazing right?” Vicki tells GAY TIMES the morning after her exit, before admitting that she saw her fate coming as soon as the lip-sync with DeDeLicious to Alexandra Burke’s non-single ‘Heartbreak on Hold’ started. “That wasn’t me giving up, at all. I just knew that DeDe is so talented in that department,” says the pasty ambassador. “I thought, ‘I’m already on the back foot.’ I always knew that, going onto Drag Race, if I was in a lip-sync, I’d be going home.”
In this interview, Vicki Vivacious reflects on her final episode and what it’s like to play the Snatch Game, as well as her equally chaotic backup character. Of course, we had to ask the star about Untucked and her conflict with Banksie. Here’s a teaser: “They can dress up in a lamb’s knitted outfit for their cameos and that’s cute: good for you, sis. I’m not here for it, I’m too old for that drama.” Oop?
Vicki what was it like, watching last night’s episode unfold?
It was really hard. I don’t think any queen wants to see themselves walk out, but I think it’s safe to say that we can now squash any rumour that the look is 50% of the mark, because it clearly isn’t babes.
Hmm. There are some Drag Race franchises where the runway plays a major part in how the queens are “marked”, but it seems like it had no impact on whether you stayed or not. How do you feel about that?
It’s difficult when you put so much love into those runways. Looking back on it, I maybe put too much love and expectation on people’s reactions to my runways. Your drag is so personal, so you take even more offence if someone doesn’t like it online or if your drag isn’t perceived how you think it should be. Well, I was called “perfection” by Ru. What else can you say? I loved every second of it, but it was really hard to watch me leave looking [like that]. Also, if you’re gonna leave, leave looking amazing right?
Snatch Game is the challenge. Did you ever think it would be the one to send you home?
No. I thought that would be the one I would exceed in the most. I got into my own head. I kept to what I thought I needed to do, and the plan that I had, that I wasn’t able to let loose and relax. Even now I’m still going, ‘I think I need to say this and do that.’ I need to chill out, don’t I? I wish I had done that on the show; chilled out a little bit more, enjoyed the process and not cared what people think. It was hard to watch, because I know I could’ve done better. But, it’s one of those shoulda-woulda-coulda [moments]. At the time, you’ve got all those cameras and you’re in front of Ru, and you’re on the set of the iconic Snatch Game, that I think I just froze.
What is it actually like doing the Snatch Game?
I guess it’s a really personal thing, isn’t it? For me, Michael [Marouli] was to my left and they were changing really quickly. I knew something was going on but I was so in my own zone that I had blinkers on. All I could see was cameras in front of me and I could hear Ru’s voice. I knew there was chaos going on around me, but I couldn’t quite… You know when there’s noise and you don’t know where it’s coming from? I’m deaf in one ear anyway, so I do struggle to know where noise is coming from. There was so much going on and I thought, ‘Oh my god, what am I doing here?’ I felt like the walls were caving in on me, which is such a shame because I’m normally so confident. It was a heartbreaking moment, but it happened and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
Do you have any regrets about picking Fanny Cradock?
Listen, Fanny Cradock is amazing. I just don’t think I did her justice. Thank god she isn’t alive to see it, bless her. I did have an amazing backup and part of me thinks I would’ve had more fun with that.
Who was it?
It was Greta Thunberg. Could you imagine? Both characters are crazy for different reasons. I don’t know which one I would’ve been better at. It was a challenge I thought I was gonna be okay on, so it was a real shock to me.
@gaytimes We couldnt not ask @Vicki Vivacious about THAT Untucked drama 👀 #dragraceuk #dragraceuk5 #vickivivacious #rupaulsdragrace #rupaulsdragraceuk ♬ original sound – GAY TIMES
Although you and DeDe demolished the lip-sync, you looked defeated before Ru announced the winner, like you knew you were going to be sent home. What was going through your mind?
I knew before the song started that I was going to go home. That wasn’t me giving up, at all. I just knew that DeDe is so talented in that department. I thought, ‘I’m already on the back foot.’ I always knew that, going onto Drag Race, if I was in a lip-sync I’d be going home. But then the curveball was episode one when I won the lip-sync for the win, which is so strange because I won it against somebody who is notoriously incredible for lip-syncing. My only saving grace was, because [Cara] thought they were going to be in the top that week, they didn’t learn that song. So, I knew the song inside out. It’s such an anthem, isn’t it?
It’s Gina G! Surely everyone knows ‘Ooh Ahh… Just a Little Bit?’
You would hope so, right? So, I knew going into that lip-sync [with DeDe] that I was most likely going home. I have to be honest with you, at that point I missed home so bad. I’ve got such an incredible fiancé that, every second I was away from him on the show, it was like a knife in my heart. The prize for me was going home to him. I love him more than I love drag. It was a win win. If I stayed, I got to episode seven. If I went home, I went home to the man I’m going to marry. I felt okay with whatever decision. Again, I don’t want people to think I gave up because I didn’t. I still did the best I could. I knew the song, but I wasn’t comfortable with the track. I was just trying to get my head around the song and performing it in front of RuPaul. Who does that? And lip-syncing the track in front of the artist, as well. That’s pressure in itself.
You had such a strong showing in the six weeks you were in the competition. I mean, you still had the best runway look in the episode you were sent home. What was your favourite week?
Hands down the Rusical. It was the week I needed to get to. I know some people from exit press think that I should’ve been in the bottom that week. I don’t know if they’ve got eyes and ears, but I know I deserved to be in the top that week. It was so much fun, and the right queens were in the top. In my opinion, the right person won it. I don’t think there’s been a Rusical on Drag Race UK that I think is better? Sounds very biased, I know.
Vicki, I do want to chat with you about one specific week, and I feel like you know this is coming! I need to talk about the drama between you, Banksie and Cara Melle in Untucked. Did it play out how you remembered?
No. It wasn’t how I remembered. Listen, I’m not going to be one of those queens that blames the edit, but there were definitely sections that weren’t shown. That went on so much longer. We saw a condensed version of that argument. I don’t feel like things were properly put into context. Things were said that were said, I will hold my hands up. Again, I have to call her out on it because it’s the truth. Banksie will not stop saying that Ru asked me a question saying, ‘Vicki, how do you think you did?’ and then I just called Banksie out. I’ve rewatched the episode, I’ve recorded the clip and I have it on my phone. Ru says, ‘Vicki, how was it working with the other girls in your team?’ That gave me the door to go, ‘Well, this and that happened…’ I never ever said Banksie’s name for the sake of saying it. I was asked about working with the other girls. I’m not going to lie. I’d rather be hated for who I am than liked for somebody I’m not. That was my mantra going into the show.
I had to be honest and call out how I felt. It was more about me than it was about Banksie. It was just taken out of context. They love the drama and the conflict of it. Good for them, they can have their moment. They can dress up in a lamb’s knitted outfit for their cameos and that’s cute: good for you, sis. I’m not here for it, I’m too old for that drama. I’m almost 40-years-old. But great, if you want to make it a thing, you do it. For me, it was forgotten the second it happened and I apologised. Episode five started with me saying sorry, and I did mean the apology, of course, otherwise I wouldn’t say it. It should’ve been done better on my behalf. That should’ve never happened because I should’ve spoken up in the first place. For that, I take complete responsibility. But, I think it was definitely blown out of proportion and I think they like the fact it’s been blown out of proportion. It’s given them something to lean on and good for them.
In my interview last week they maintained that you threw them under the bus. And in this interview, you maintain that you didn’t. So, I’m not picking a side. I’m not #TeamVicki or #TeamBanksie, I’m #TeamDrama.
We needed the drama, c’mon! Whatever season it is, you need a bit of spice. I’m glad that I could partake in that and help out. You’re under so much pressure on Drag Race that the smallest thing stresses you out. I’m so set in my ways that, being taken out of my comfort zone, I probably was spiky, salty, defensive and argumentative. I will hold my hands up. I’m definitely not a perfect person. At the same time, I would never want to intentionally upset somebody. I was upset that they were upset. And I was upset with myself because I know I’m better than that. Again, I will apologise but I do stand by what I say.
But you’re friends now, though? You’re good? You’re pals? You’re sisters?
That said it all…
We’re what we are. I don’t know what to say to that. I don’t dislike anybody, but I don’t need new friends. I’m fine. I’m quite happy with how I am and we’re very different people. In life, you can’t get on with everybody. Just because you’re on Drag Race together doesn’t mean that you have to be friends. We are respectful of each other’s work. We’re respectful of each other’s lives. That’s all you need. As long as you respect each other, you don’t have to be friends with each other. And that’s all I’m going to say.
I can’t stop, like… smirking, out of awkwardness.
I know! I can feel the atmosphere, you can cut this with a knife. And we’re on Zoom! But it’s true. I think Banksie is so talented. Their eye on fashion and reference to fashion is incredible and something that I will never be able to do. I can separate liking somebody and being friends with them and still be able to uplift a queen and say they’re amazing. Too many people will say, ‘They’re awful! They’re bad!’ just because they don’t like the person, and I think that’s bad. I can say, ‘We’re not mates, but wow, they are talented.’
I’ll change the subject now. Let’s talk about Cornwall…
Let’s! I was about to say, ‘Let’s talk about something I like’ but that’s not very appropriate, is it?
As you said in our last interview, you are the first Cornish reality star since Alex Parks…
I believe so. I said that and then panicked when I said it. I was like, ‘Am I?’ I think so! I remember Alex Parks being on Fame Academy when I was living back in Cornwall and I don’t remember anyone from Cornwall being on a reality TV show from then, do you? Can you recall anyone?
No. After our last interview, someone in the office who’s from Cornwall pointed out to me that Alex Parks is somewhat missing. Do you know anything about that? Do you know where Alex Parks is?
No. They may have been abducted by aliens. I’m not sure where they are. Alex Parks and I were never friends. We would just say hi in a club, so I would never have their number or know how to contact them. But, I don’t know where Alex Parks is. Alex Parks was like Madonna [in Cornwall].
View this post on Instagram
If you find Alex Parks, let me know.
This will be my mission. Forget what I’ve got coming up in the future, my life is now dedicated to finding Alex Parks.
As it should. What has the response been like from Cornwall?
It’s been incredible. From the second I walked into the werkroom I was like, ‘Hi, I’m from Cornwall. Here’s a pasty!’ That sets high expectations. When people said ‘good luck, you’re gonna win, I know you’re in the top three’ and you know you’re not, it’s tough. I had to get my head around that, but from what I’ve seen since last night, everyone has been so lovely. There’s that element of going, ‘Have I let Cornwall down? Have I left myself down?’ but let’s not be too hard on myself and chill. Cornwall has been incredible. I’m still trying to get a deal for free pasties, that still hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know why. They did send 100 pasties to a viewing party for me. Thank you so much, but where’s my lifetime supply?
That’s what I love about the difference between US and UK: the US queens want a lifetime supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills Cosmetics and over here, we want pasties. I don’t blame you, though.
The irony is, I look like I haven’t eaten a pasty in my life. I can eat and eat and eat and I never put on weight. I’m one of those really annoying people that constantly stays snatched and can eat as many pasties as I want.
You have a blessed metabolism. Vicki, what’s next for you? Other than this inevitable pasty deal?
You’re the first person to hear this, are you ready?
Ooh, an exclusive!
This is an exclusive. We waited until today. I’m going to be doing a solo UK theatre tour! The tour will start in Cornwall and then go around the country in 2024. It’s just me and it’s really stripped back. We’ve got some dancers, amazing choreographer, an amazing writer. Everything is so exciting. It’s just me. It’s theatre. It’s live vocals. It’s what I do best. I sing live all the time, but to be able to do it into small theatres… For me, it’s the ultimate. It’s exactly what I wanted to do.
Drag Race UK season five is streaming now on BBC iPlayer.
You can watch our entire interview with Vicki Vivacious here or below.