Pangina Heals says one thing won’t change after Drag Race UK vs The World: ‘I’ll still be a b***h’
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World will see herstory in the making, as Pangina Heals goes where no judge has gone before.
The new BBC Three series will see the Drag Race Thailand icon become the first judge to cross the line and compete in an All Stars edition of the franchise.
“I feel like I’m a reverse Brooke Lynn Hytes,” Pangina told PinkNews ahead of the series premiere Tuesday (1 February).
The Bangkok-born queen will be approaching the competition with a truly unique perspective.
“Honestly, because I’ve judged other people before, I judge myself the hardest,” she explained. “I have this high expectation of myself and I had to remember how good I am and what I can do because in a competition that can really f**k with you.
“So, when I approached the competition I was thinking: ‘How would I approach this if I was judging this competition?’”
“It’s kind of hard because I’ve never competed on this kind of platform… but it’s been really rewarding too because I got to learn so much about myself.”
Although her experience as a Drag Race Thailand judge may give her a certain edge over her fellow competitors, Pangina admitted that in other areas she had a lot to learn.
“I think, for me, because I’ve never competed before I didn’t understand the language of reality TV. I didn’t know where the cameras were, I didn’t know anything so I had to learn.”
There was one element of the competition which had her particularly nervous: “I’ve cried many sleepless nights over preparing for Snatch Game, I’m not gonna lie.
“Because you can be funny in real life, but when it comes to Snatch Game and you’ve got to roll out the jokes, that’s a different thing. You’ve got to make Ru laugh!”
You would be forgiven for assuming Pangina Heal’s UK vs The World stint would encourage her to go a little easier on the contestants next time she’s judging Drag Race Thailand (the spin-off was recently confirmed for a third season), but she insists that won’t be the case.
“If they put me in the place of being a judge again I’m not going to change the way I am,” she revealed. “I’m still going to be a bitch.”
“Drag Race Thailand has been criticised for being runway-heavy when it comes to the judging,” Pangina Heals acknowledged. “And I agree with that, so next season I’m gonna need the whole package”.
— Pangina Heals (@PanginaHeals) January 17, 2022
For any returning queen, there’s always the risk of ruining the reputation they earned during their original season. However, for a head judge to step in front of the judge’s table, there comes an even more enormous pressure to prove she can practice what she preaches.
Pangina said that although she felt the need to prove herself, she also wanted to enjoy the experience as a fan of the UK and US versions of Drag Race.
“I do understand that there’s a lot of pressure, but at the end of the day, I just want to do my best. However well I do, that’s another thing, I just wanted to know how far I can push myself and how much I can grow in this show because I’m such a big fan of all these girls that walked into the workroom.
“It’s a chance for me to not only compete but to meet my idols like, for example, Jujubee. I’ve looked up to her ever since she walked into the werk room on her first season, however many seasons she did.
“I just adore her so it was great to see the humanity of each of these queens. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
And it’s not just her fellow competitors that left Pangina Heals a little starstruck: “For me, Graham Norton is one of my comedic legends and idols, so to get to hear him talk was a dream come true. He’s just so witty and so fast!”
Pangina’s co-star, Drag Race Holland alum Janey Jacké, was also somewhat starstruck. “I love Graham Norton. I see his show all the time,” Janey told us.
“I’m also a huge Alan Carr fan, his comedy shows are really hilarious. Funnily enough, I’m one of the few Dutch people who loves English humour. I mean the whole package for me was already enough, I was so happy I could die!”
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World starts at 9pm Tuesday (1 February) on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer, with new episodes airing every week.