From guest judges to Snatch Game: 10 things we want to see in Drag Race UK season 2
Drag Race UK will sashay back onto screens next year for a second season, the BBC has confirmed. Here’s everything we want to see.
With Drag Race UK‘s inaugural season winning blockbuster ratings and critical acclaim, it was inevitable that RuPaul and Michelle would return for a second bite of the cherry.
RuPaul said that the first batch of queens have proved to her that “Britain’s got charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent”.
“I want to see more,” he said. “Here’s to another season of love, laughter and light!”
Casting is already underway for the sophomore run, which will stream on BBC iPlayer in 2020. With details likely to be kept tightly tucked until then, here’s our season 2 wish list.
Perhaps the single biggest criticism of season one was the lack of diversity. Of the 10 queens included, nine were cis men (Divina De Campo identifies as non-binary), eight were white and all but two were English.
Sum Ting Wong and Vinegar Strokes – the only queens of colour to compete on the show thus far – have both defended the casting, saying that producers can only select from those queens that apply. So consider this an open request to all the queens of colour, trans queens, drag kings and bio queens out there: get your audition tapes in now.
We want to see the richness and variety that is found in the UK drag scene, which – despite what season 1 would have you believe – exists in Scotland and Wales too.
2. A more British Snatch Game.
If Drag Race UK has proven anything so far, it’s that British queens rule the Snatch Game. The season one edition was perhaps the funniest Snatch Game committed to tape, with Michelle Visage lauding The Vivienne’s Donald Trump as possibly the best character in Drag Race herstory.
But not counting Bags Chipz’ Margaret Thatcher and Cheryl Hole’s Gemma Collins (and really, who counted Cheryl Hole’s Gemma Collins?) the season one Snatch Game felt as though it could have been on any of the American series.
Instead of Rue McClanahan and Julia Childs, we want to see next year’s queens go full-on British camp: think Pat Butcher, Miriam Margolyes and Jill from Nighty Night. They also shouldn’t be afraid to mine the pop culture history books. Give us Lisa Scott-Lee! Natalie Cassidy! Nikki Grahame!
Above all else, we want season two’s Snatch Game to recreate the high camp drama to end all high camp dramas, and give us Colleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy in Wagatha Christie realness.
3. These guest judges.
One of the highlights of the first season has been the impeccably-chosen guest judges, with Andrew Garfield, Twiggy and Jade Thirwall all proving particular delights (we’re still trying to figure out whether Geri Halliwell was amazing or god-awful).
Really, the only thing we can ask for in season two is for the gold to keep on coming. Joanna Lumley, Kim Woodburn and The C*ck Destroyers are at the top of our wish list, but Vinegar Strokes also has a few good suggestions.
“The brief should be older woman who are very experienced in life,” she told PinkNews. “Like June Brown from EastEnders – she has to have a fag on the go. Or, can you imagine Katie Hopkins on there?”
While we’re at it, lets also bring in some actual LGBT+ judges: Sue Perkins, Sam Smith, Munroe Bergdorf anybody?
4. Better lip syncs.
Of the entire history of British pop music, it seemed incredulous that for the very first Drag Race UK lip sync, producers would choose ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa.
In the weeks since we’ve watched on as queens have shimmied and shared to Bananarama, Eurythmics and Little Mix, but to be honest, it’s all left us wanting something more (side-note, we’ll never forgive the show for not having a Mi Chico Latino lip-sync in front of Geri Halliwell). Where’s the Kylie? Samantha Mumba? Cher Lloyd by Cher Lloyd?
5. No Stacey Dooley.
6. More performance challenges.
And by that, we don’t mean scripted acting challenges like Downton Draggy. As the queens have pointed out several times, British drag is all about putting on a performance. There’s a reason why the Snatch Game and girl group episodes were the best of the season so far – they gave the queens’ personalities a chance to shine, even if those personalities were coming through a thick layer of orange make-up and an American accent.
Next year, we hope to see more singing and more improv challenges. A talent show round a la All Stars also wouldn’t go amiss. And if there is to be a scripted challenge, make it something they gays actually care about: Ab Fab or Gimme, Gimme Gimme knock-offs only, please.
7. No lesphobic jokes.
If Drag Race is going to continue to exclude women from its sugar walls, it needs to cut down on the lesbian jokes. Maggie Thatcher telling Lorraine Kelly “the lady’s not for turning” would be much funnier if there were a few women in the room to laugh along.
8. No stunt casting.
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No offence Scaredy Kat, but there is no room for bedroom queens on Drag Race. A show that calls itself the “Olympics of drag” should be filled with seasoned queens who arrive in the werk room ready to tackle anything that comes their way. Give us polished queens – old and young – that are ready to ascend to greatness.
9. Actual prizes.
It’s been quite funny watching the frontrunners parade around in their Ru Peter Badges. But despite the queens telling us it’s not about the money, we can’t help but wish there was some cold hard cash coming their way.
The American show funds its $100,000 prize through sponsorships, which are forbidden by the BBC as a publicly-funded broadcaster. But if Geri Halliwell’s (and Divina De Campo’s) All Together Now could offer its winner a £50,000 prize, why can’t Drag Race UK?
10. Put it on primetime.
It’s been reported that 6.5 million have tuned into Drag Race UK on iPlayer, suggesting that at least one million are watching each week. This is an amazing result, but imagine how much more impact TV’s boldest, brightest and gayest show could have if it went out in a primetime BBC One slot?
Millions more would have a front-row seat for scenes such as Divina’s emotional recollection of life under Section 28, Blu’s heartfelt speech about marriage equality in Northern Ireland, and Sum Ting Wong’s discussion of growing up as gay and of colour. The queens – and by proxy, LGBT+ people at large – would find themselves at the centre of water cooler discussions up and down the country, giving our community an unprecedented platform.