Drag

Drag Race UK vs The World just crowned a winner, baby

Reiss Smith March 8, 2022
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RuPaul in a pink dress and light blonde wig looking shocked

RuPaul. (BBC)

The first-ever Drag Race UK vs The World winner has just been Ru-vealed. Warning – spoilers.

After six cut-throat weeks of conflama and controversial eliminations, RuPaul has crowned the first-ever “queen of the mothertuckin’ world”.

After an emotional final runway, a tense reunion (Pangina confronted Blu, and was then read to filth by Jimbo), and surprise appearances by Elton John, Billy Porter and Naomi Campbell, the Drag Race UK vs The World finale culminated in a classic lip-sync smackdown for the crown.

Mo Heart was up first, wiping the floor with Baga Chipz to Jessie J’s “Domino”, before Blu Hydrangea beat Jujubee to “The Reflex” by Duran Duran.

And, after throwing it down to “Supernova” by Kylie Minogue, it was Blu Hydrangea who was crowned the winner of Drag Race UK vs The World.

Blu Hydrangea
Blu Hydrangea. (BBC)

The finale capped off a controversial first season for the international All Stars spin-off.

Ever since the RuPaul empire went global, fans have been pleading for a series which pitted queens from different countries against each other.

When, finally, they got it, the reception was somewhat mixed. It certainly wasn’t down to the casting – RuPaul invited back a brilliant mix of genuine heavyweights, like Mo Heart and Jujubee, and fan favourites who had something to prove, like Lemon and Jimbo. Having Drag Race Thailand co-host Pangina compete – the first time a host has crossed the judges’ desk – was an inspired move, too.

The Drag Race UK vs The World cast. (BBC)

But then came the eliminations. All Stars rules were in effect, with the queens given the power to cut their competitors. Immediately, when week one winner Pangina sent Lemon packing (after an admittedly poor talent show), there was upset. Cheryl Hole’s exit in week two, though saddening for fans of the Essex queen, felt fair enough. And then, all hell broke loose.

Pangina booted Jimbo in week three, triggering a wave of hate towards the Thai queen. A week later, she was kicked out herself by Blu Hydrangea, producing some of the most uncomfortable scenes the franchise has ever seen.

Frankly, the queens were set up for failure from the beginning. We’ve seen queens use All Stars rules to eliminate competition before – to stunning effect – but this time around it felt like less of a gag. The competition was tough, meaning some weeks it was a genuinely tough call. But there were weeks where, frankly, RuPaul’s judging felt off, and where different queens should have been in the bottom two.

Many fans have said it’s perhaps time to scrap All Stars rules and for RuPaul to take back responsibility for sending queens home – and we’re inclined to agree. We love shade and drama, but we also want to see the queens being given a fair crack at the competition.

Does any of it matter? Yes, in the sense that the controversy has spilled into toxicity from viewers, including death threats, which is absolutely abhorrent. Many would be wise to remember that it’s just a TV show. But in the context of the show’s next moves? Well, ultimately, the Drag Race machine will keep whirring, fans will keep coming back, and any claims of riggory will die down before you can say “let the music play” (and certainly before RuPaul breaks out the big guns for the fabled All Winners season, aka the worst kept secret in Drag Race herstory, later this year).

All episodes of Drag Race UK vs The World are streaming on BBC iPlayer now.

More: Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race

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