EXCLUSIVE: Drag Race UK queens reveal what RuPaul is really like
If we’ve learned one thing from Drag Race UK thus far, it’s that the British queens aren’t ones to bite their tongues – not even when it comes to the grandest dame of them all, RuPaul.
“You do hear stories that she’s very cold,” Baga Chipz told PinkNews in typical blunt fashion, as a worried BBC official looked on.
“But for us, she wasn’t like that. She was so lovely to me.”
“She’s hilarious,” chimed Sum Ting Wong, recalling the time the queens jetted to New York DragCon for their international unveiling.
“Ru was DJing, and when we turned up she started playing this old school British eighties music and waved over to us.”
The queens tell a story at odds with the narrative spun by season seven runner-up Pearl, who once claimed that RuPaul frostily told her: “Nothing you say matters unless that camera is rolling.”
A number of contestants – The Vixen, Gia Gunn and Laganja Estranga – have echoed Pearl’s experience. But for Brighouse queen Divina de Campo, the relationship between judges and contestants is very straightforward.
I don’t go in there to be friends with RuPaul, that’s f***ing weird.
“Of course there is a degree of separation, otherwise it becomes a weird dynamic,” they told PinkNews.
“I don’t go in there to be friends with RuPaul, that’s f***ing weird. If you expect that you don’t understand what TV is about.
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“But [the judges] does exactly what I want them to do, which is be good at their job.”
For Blu Hydrangea, having RuPaul on the panel “makes the show legit.”
“There’s Drag Race and then there’s RuPaul’s Drag Race,” she told PinkNews, throwing light shade at the recently announced (and seemingly Ru-less) Canadian and Australian editions.
As well as Ru, there was one other person for whom the queens had unanimous praise: her right-hand woman Michelle Visage.
“She was so lovely, but when she’s on the show she’s there to be a judge,” Sum Ting Wong said.
“She told us point blank, ‘I’m gonna be brutally honest, if you look like s*** I’m gonna tell you,'” added Baga. “She’s got a reputation to uphold.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK continues on Thursdays on BBC iPlayer.