Rita Ora ‘pulled out of Drag Race UK’ at the last minute forcing behind the scenes scramble
Rita Ora was reportedly supposed to feature on Drag Race UK last week, but had to be replaced with a mannequin when she failed to show up.
The episode, which aired last Thursday (11 March), saw contestants star in BeastEnders, a parody of BBC soap EastEnders.
A source told The Sun: “Everyone on set was anticipating Rita’s arrival but, when she didn’t show up, producers had to use their heads and came up with the idea of decorating a mannequin.
“Surprisingly it worked out OK and became a running joke.”
The producers dressed up the mannequin – which they named Mickey – to look like Danny Dyer, who has played Mick Carter on EastEnders since 2013. Of course, there were many, many memes.
Ahead of the episode, the BBC team teased “the most iconic guest judge in Drag Race herstory” on social media. Fans were both angry and very confused when Mickey was revealed.
The mannequin both flirted with Bimini from the judges’ table and guest-starred in the BeastEnders performance.
The soap opera parody included larger-than-life versions of the original show’s characters: Skat Slater, Thot Bottom, Karen Bitchell and Phyllis Bitchell. Yes, really.
Rita Ora, who was previously a guest judge on All Stars in the US in 2018, has not yet publicly commented. Allegedly, there was a disagreement about her entourage prior to the episode filming.
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But she hasn’t abandoned the gays completely. Earlier this month she performed at the 43rd Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney.
She performed wearing a trailing cape made out of a giant Pride flag and thigh-high boots decorated with 120,000 rainbow Swarovski crystals. The look was designed by Vrettos Vrettakos and Dennis Kolpodinos.
She commented: “It was an honour to perform at such an important event last night! I can’t put into words the love I have for the LGBTQIA+ community and last night will remain a special moment for me forever!”
Rita Ora also posted on Instagram the day the episode aired to announce her acoustic EP, Bang, which was released on Friday (12 March).
The final episode of Drag Race UK season two will air on BBC Three this Thursday (18 March), which will see the final four queens battle it out for the crown. The final four queens are Bimini Bon-Boulash, Ellie Diamond, Lawrence Chaney and Tayce.