After 13 years, 14 regular series, six All the stars seasons and eight international sequels, has a tried and tested formula to Drag racing opening episode. There will be jokes, murder costumes and heavily decorated entrances – and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and World is no different. But in the show’s first season, we’re watching queens from five different subgroups – from the UK, US, Canada, Thailand and the Netherlands – compete to be named the “global superstars” of the show. RuPaul. It’s not yet clear what that means, but if you want proof that drag is not just ubiquitous but globally – this is it.
With so many queens already walking through those werkroom doors at this point, the pool to choose from is huge. There are American girls back with millions of followers (this is the fourth time Jujubee has been contested by the fan favorite), while other queens have never even met. RuPaul before. But only in essence exists within Drag racing Industrial Complex™, has pre-existing friendships, such as between Jimbo and Baga Chipz (who brand their work station “clown corner”) and Cheryl and Lemon.
However, as Jujubee makes it clear with her quote that “The UK has compared with the world for centuries, honey,” bitchiness makes reality TV better. There was some tension among the Canadians, and after she was read by the queens of the United States, Cheryl asked, “In the words of Mariah Carey, why are you so obsessed with me?” Elsewhere, Blu’s attempt to level the “beef” she has with Mo (which the US queen apparently is completely unaware of), resembles an attempt to force the drama that Blu Talent should not be relied upon.
Challenge of the week is a talent show and the standard is, for the most part, high. Teach the Twitter bot the words “kill”, “compete” and “winner” and it will eventually write these original songs, they are as much a part of Drag Race as the high-breasted patch su and orange concealer. But these are shrewd queens who know how to elevate predictable lyrics. In particular, Pangina showed the judges something new by incorporating Thai dances and the fastest dance in the world into her routine. Meanwhile, Baga’s vocals are reminiscent of a drunken aunt at a wedding, but Ru is clearly so smitten with her that she’s clearly not going anywhere.
And then there’s Jimbo’s performance art number, – with his PVC sperm costume, hollow black eyes and (trophy!) Birth of a stack of ham – simply one of those wonders. Strangest I’ve ever seen. That’s what you see at 2am in the basement at the Edinburgh Fringe. Showing it to RuPaul was a risk, because while Jimbo’s slightly appalling figure was peak drag, it wasn’t at all-Drag racing.
But it paid off. This was RuPaul’s first time seeing the Canadian queen in person and she and Pangina took the top spot. Drag racing it’s formulaic in essence (no one likes to complain about Drag racing more than our fans), but UK vs World open shows that originality prevails over all. All of these queens can do with learning from Jimbo’s madness – though I doubt I’ll eat my hat off before RuPaul pushes out a slice of turkey on TV.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/drag-race-uk-versus-the-world-review-jimbo-b2005099.html RuPaul’s Drag Race Review UK and World: Is Jimbo’s Talent The Weirdest Drag Race Moment Of All Time?