You can’t say a goddamn word about Just May’s commitment to Geraldine Estelle Halliwell. Not a word! With Ginger Spice departing Spice Girls first, it was important for the world’s “premier” impersonator of the Scream If You Wanna Go Faster artist and Sum Ting Wong supporter to follow in her footsteps and be the first to sashay away from season four. “Good things come to those that leave early,” she tells GAY TIMES. “I’m making it work.”
This week’s incredible premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK introduced 12 fierce new contenders for the title of Britain’s Next Drag Superstar. For their first mini-challenge, the cast paid homage to the Spice Girls’ iconic entrance at the 2012 Olympics before strutting down the runway in two looks: one celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the BBC and another that told the panel – and audiences – exactly who they are.
While Just May’s tribute to the scene-stealing Eastenders character who ended the tyrannical reign of Archie Mitchell, the Queen Victoria bust, was undeniably a highlight of the episode, the “triple no-threat” received mixed reviews from the judges – including special guest star Joanna Lumley – and exited the series after lip-syncing against Dakota Schiffer.
“I mean, you know what, choices were made, decisions were had and it’s out of our control,” they say of their performance to Let Them Know by Mabel. “We’ve got to take the cards that are dealt and dealt with it how it is. I mean, do I think I should have gone? No. Did I potentially not know the words to some of that song? Yeah, but do you know what? If it didn’t come out before 2005, how am I supposed to know it?! It was an unfair advantage to Dakota!”
Here, GAY TIMES speaks exclusively with Just May about her experience on Drag Race UK, who she would’ve impersonated for Snatch Game and plans to make the Spice World sequel we’ve all been waiting for since 1997.
May, how are you doing? Tell me everything.
Great, Sam, how are you?
I’m happy that we’re speaking because I love you, but I’m sad we’re speaking so soon.
Do you know what, babe? Good things come to those that leave early. I’m making it work.
First of all, how has Geri Halliwell responded to your Drag Race UK stint? She obviously watched last night’s episode.
[Pretending to be on phone] Hi Geri. Yeah. Oh, we’re in court next week. Great. I can’t wait. I’ll see you then. Perfect. [Hangs up] She said she can’t wear white.
Obviously, with Geri Halliwell leaving Spice Girls first, that’s what you aimed to do with Drag Race? This is all a stunt. It’s a tribute to Geri?
Hun, do you know what? I actually only turned up with the looks that you saw in a plastic Tesco carrier bag and I thought to myself, ‘This is all I need. If I bring any more, I’ll be wasting money.’ I was like, ‘I’m here to come in first, to leave first, to get the job done.’ And you know what? I’m Just Like Geri because you know what? Shameless plug, that’s my single title, out now!
Also, she became the first British female solo artist to achieve five number one singles in the UK.
Until Dula Peep came and ruined that. I think it’s Dula Peep?
It could have been. It could have been Dula Peep or it could have been Rita Ora, it could have been one of them. Wikipedia! We’ll do it after this.
We’ll find out. We’re going to find out. [Looks at phone] Oh, that’s Geri again! Dula Peep.
I’m so sad to see you go. Your sense of humour, I love. You make me laugh so much. After watching the episode, do you think you deserved to be in the bottom two?
I mean, you know what, choices were made, decisions were had and it’s out of our control. We’ve got to take the cards that are dealt and deal with it how it is. I mean, do I think I should have gone? No. Did I potentially not know the words to some of that song? Yeah! But do you know what? If it didn’t come out before 2005, how am I supposed to know it?! It was an unfair advantage to Dakota!
I mean, I don’t know that song very well, and I would say I’m a very big pop music fan. So, you know…
I mean, I now know the back catalogue of Mabel extensively. Also,fun fact, Mabel is actually Neneh Cherry’s daughter. So I was like, ‘At least I’ve got a buffalo stance in a buffalo boot.’
Yeah. What song do you think you would’ve beaten Dakota to? Other than Geri’s back catalogue.
I mean, I don’t want to let on to any of the lip-sync songs that might be coming, but I definitely think anything by Billie Piper. Anything by Piper.
Day Or Night, Because We Want To.
Day or Night, Something Deep Inside, Because We Want To, Girlfriend. It’s basically a musical that’s written about fisting.
And you’re going to star in that musical.
I’m going to star in it, I’m going to write it, I’m going to direct it. [Pretends to be on phone] Billie? [Hangs up] She wants me to stop as well.
I mean, are you going to have time? Because you’re going to be starring in the inevitable Spice World remake, right?
Yeah, I’m going to be the alien in part two. It’s less the alien that you’ve seen from the original and more the alien from Mars Attacks.
Right. Is this an exclusive?
Yes. Is it going to be me and Juno Birch as the aliens from Mars Attacks coming in to pretend to be the Spice Girls? Obviously, I’ll be Geri and she’ll be Baby. We’re up for casting the others, so if you know anyone… Or maybe we’ll just take the girls as they get eliminated now.
This sounds Academy Award worthy.
I mean, I thought it was.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, we’ll talk more about this when the film comes out. Oscar season, we’ll have a red carpet, ginger carpet, whatever you need.
Ginger carpet. Because the curtains match the carpet.
Exactly. Just May, I need to talk to you about your tribute to the EastEnders bust, a.k.a. the character who put a stop to… What was the character’s name? You know, you remember when Ronnie used it to kill…?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Oh my god, I actually do watch EastEnders. So this is where it gets deep cut. It was Sam, Chrissie who was Den’s wife at the time, and Zoe because it’s why Zoe could never come back to the Square.
Yeah. So you did a homage to one of the most memorable EastEnders moments of all time, which to me was honestly one of the most… I was bursting with laughter and tears when I saw you come out on that runway. Were you surprised that it got mixed reviews from the panel?
I mean, it got mixed reviews from me. I love a good top, but the bottom could have been better. It’s actually the review that I’ve got for the two that are behind this curtain from last night. They could have done better.
As is the case with any elimination, fans are demanding to see more from you. I mean, you showed so much personality in just one episode than some of the queens have in, you know…
I’ve got more personality in my little finger than… I’m not going to finish that sentence. Nope. I’m going for Miss Congeniality. I’m not being the bitch.
We’ll cut that out. How does it feel having that amount of support online, seeing everyone kind of demand justice for Just May?
I mean, you know what, I have a feeling All Stars might be calling. [Looks at phone] Oh, wait! No that was actually not All Stars, that was Scary Spice seeing if I was available.
God, you’re popular today.
Very popular. I’m also doing this – fun fact for you – from a hotel room balcony. And if anyone in Shoreditch looks up right now, they will see me. They’re like, ‘Why is there a cross-dresser in the window?’
Oh, come on, it’s London, they’re used to us by now. May, are you willing to reveal who you were going to impersonate on Snatch Game?
Now who do you think I would have done?
Sporty Spice, obviously.
Well, my top one is a ginger. She is older and she might be the weakest link.
No, stop it! Okay. Give me a bit of it now. I’m going to need a bit of it.
Oh, no, no. You push me now. You’re pushing me now.
Okay, I’ll do the RuPaul, where I go ‘CHAKA KAHN!’ and then you’ve got to respond to that.
That’s literally what I was going to do! For one of my answers, I was going to do a whole set up and then the answer was just going to be Chaka Khan. And the best thing is, you can guarantee RuPaul will not remember doing that. I don’t know if RuPaul will remember doing it and I think that it might have been a … Until Michelle or whoever doing the questions would be like, ‘That was you, you said that, you said that remember?’ And my other one is someone who is actually very like me and he is from Essex. Well no, he’s actually London via Essex. He is originally a ginger but now has jet black hair. ‘It’s me. It’s Rylan.’
Wait, he was ginger?!
Rylan’s a ginger, yeah. ‘Oh, it’s me. It’s Rylan, yeah. Oh, babe, I don’t like people knowing that I’m ginger so I just put mascara in my beard.’
Please tell me you were going to have, like, really white teeth.
I had bought the worst teeth that would not stay in my mouth and it would have been more flapping gums than is going on in this conversation right now.
Okay. You need to upload these to YouTube or to TikTok or something. We need to see all of this, because I’m pissing myself just hearing you talk about it. Put that into the world!
I’ll put it into the ether.
What else do you wish you could have shown the viewers this series? I know you planned to go in the first episode, but I mean, you know…
Well like I told you in our little interview the other day, I am a triple no threat and I wanted to show that you can go into that competition without a single talent and make it work. Because people always say, ‘What do you do? Are you a lip-syncer? Are you a live singer?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t lip-sync because I don’t like words but I will sing.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, are you a good singer?’ I’m like, ‘Absolutely not but I own it and I make it work.’
Well, you’re a hostess, you host. That is a talent.
I’m great on a mic, I give good hea- woah. Oop. [Looks behind curtain] Can you verify that? I can’t get verified on Twitter, but they will verify what I just said.
Yeah, okay. Twitter’s watching this. I know they are. They have to be.
[Looks at phone] I’m verified.
Yeah, we did it. Fine.
We did that. We made that happen.
We made that happen. So what’s next for Just May? Other than starring in the Spice World remake and your Oscar winning film, what is next?
Well, at the minute I have a single out. It’s called Just Like Geri because I really am. You can listen to that on Spotify, YouTube, all of that shit – oop – jazz. And then after that, the world is my oyster but you know what? I think there might be more music in the pipeline, because with an exit line that iconic I have to make a song about it, don’t I?
I think you do, that was a great exit by the way. It’s classic Just May to end with that kind of line. Can you do it again for me please?
Do you want it?
Yeah, I want it.
Are you sure you want it?
I need it now.
RuPaul said, “I wish every month could be May,” so you say that and then I’ll pretend to walk off and I’ll give it to you. You ready?
Okay. “I wish every month could be Just May.”
I just realised I can’t do RuPaul. I don’t know what that was. May, if you could summarise your Drag Race UK experience using a title of just one Geri Halliwell solo single what would it be?
Oh. You know what? It’s got nothing to do with it, but I’m dropping this title because the viewers should go to YouTube, Google this song and look for the version that features Sean Paul.
Sean Paul and Geri? Okay…
Lovey Dovey Stuff.
Are you telling me that there’s a song out there by Geri Halliwell featuring Sean Paul?
Geri Halliwell. It was never released but it was made. And we all remember Geri and her Spanish rap in Mi Chico Latino. But If you want to hear that ginger lady rap in English look for it.
I think I might need to.
I mean, I think that now I’ve told people about it, that song on YouTube might have an expiry date.
This is a deep cut. Also can I just say that one of my favourite moments from the whole episode was during your photoshoot when you just randomly said, “Mi Chico Latino.”
Mi Chico Latino.
Because that video was one of my sexual awakenings.
May, on a more serious note, we are speaking today just as the news broke about the incredible Cherry Valentine. So I would just like to ask if you would like to say anything about her in tribute?
Absolutely. I mean, it’s a massive loss to not only drag, but to everyone. And, you know, she was a kind and talented person and, you know, what happened is absolutely devastating. Rest in peace, Cherry.
The latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 4 is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
You can watch Just May’s interview in full on Snatched! below or by clicking here.