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UK Hun? We’re doing fine now, thanks to the fact that RuPaul’s Drag Race UK returns this week with a brand new line-up of queens, ready to serve up dazzling looks and major shade.
It’s arriving sooner than we expected, thanks to You Know What delaying the (glorious) second series, which ended up getting us through our January lockdown blues. Thank god, because we’re not entirely sure we could get through the winter without a group of fierce queens sewing garments and lip syncing to Cheryl Cole.
This week the new cast paid their respects to the queens of series two, which saw Lawrence Chaney crowned the victor, by reciting the lyrics to UK Hun in the manner of a TS Eliot Poetry Prize reading.
— BBC Three (@bbcthree) September 21, 2021
As well as marking the return of series two favourite Veronica Green, who was unable to continue in the competition after testing positive for coronavirus, season three also features the show’s first female drag queen. Here’s your guide to the girls you’ll be rooting for - may the best woman win...
Best quote: “If you must know, I identify as a Tony Award”
Cardiff queen Victoria, 27, is the first cis-female contestant on the show. “I definitely didn’t invent the art of drag for women,” she says. “I am not the first and I certainly won’t be the last… Me being here is political but you can just have fun with it.”
Best quote: “If you don’t crown me this time Ru, I’m going to come back again. Another variant of Veronica Green…”
Veronica, 35, is our comeback queen, returning for a second shot at the crown after having to drop out of the last series following a positive covid test. She quickly established herself as a favourite to win last time around - could season three be her moment?
Best quote: “I’m sophisticated, sexy and savage. I’m not a diva. I’m not a hun.”
Vanity, 29, is South London “born and bred,” and has only been doing drag for about a year. “I have gone from 0 to 100 real quick,” she says. Her name takes inspiration from her childhood, when her mum would always catch her “looking in the mirror.”
Best quote: “I’m the best thing to come out of Isle of Dogs since Henry VIII”
26-year-old Scarlett reckons her on-stage persona is “like Danny Dyer in drag.” We can’t wait to see what she makes of the Snatch Game. The East Ender fancies her chances at the acting challenges (she’s previously appeared as an extra in films like Rocketman and Ab Fab: The Movie) but admits she’s “like Bambi on ice” when it comes to choreography.
Best quote: “My drag is camp, feel good and shallow. It’s not that deep!”
River, 22, takes her name from her Kent hometown (“This is not what you’d see normally walking down the street in Medway”) and, as a former performing arts student specialising in musical theatre, can’t wait for the Rusical challenge. Veronica, you might have some competition here...
Best quote: “My drag sisters call me the flying squirrel on stage. I’m literally chaos…”
At just 19, Krystal is one of the youngest queens in this season’s cohort, but reckons her drag is “refined and polished… the full package.” Look out for her “high kicks, flips, cartwheels” - if she has to lip sync for her life, it sounds like she’s ready to go all out.
Best quote: “Originally I was going to be Madonna Kebab”
29-year-old Kitty (her name stems from her catchphrase ‘this kitty’s got claws,’ geddit?) describes a night at one of her shows as “like the best hen do - and everybody’s the bride!” The sewing challenges might prove a bit of an obstacle, though, as she admits she’s “not the kind of gal who can construct a couture garment from scratch.” We’re rooting for you, Kitty.
Best quote: “I’m the drag Beast from the East. I’m like a desperate housewife of Dagenham”
Rusical, here we come: Essex girl Ella, 32, has already had a successful West End career, appearing in shows like The Book of Mormon and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. She’s been doing drag for just two years, starting out “in complete secrecy” before it “really took off [on Instagram] during lockdown last year.”
Best quote: “I’m the Pocket Rocket of drag”
How did Elektra Fence, 29, get her name? She, erm, went viral after her mate filmed her accidentally getting electrocuted by said fence. “I don’t recommend it, as it blew me off my feet and it really, really hurt,” she says. What an origin story. Hailing from Burnley, she’s inspired by “northern warrior women like Bet Lynch and Jane McDonald.”
Best quote: “Expect shock, horror, gore, glamour and maybe a little bit of vomit!”
Representing the alternative drag scene, 24-year-old Charity has “a reputation for really outlandish crazy looks” - and her Meet The Queens ensemble is like nothing we’ve seen on Drag Race UK before. She reckons her “taste level is on a different planet to everyone else’s” - we can’t wait to see what she makes of the sewing challenges.
Best quote: “I am Newcastle’s spiciest, meatiest and silliest sausage”
A moment, please, for one of the best names to grace the Drag Race UK runway. 30-year-old Choriza was born in Spain (hence the alter ego) but lives in the Toon. “Apart from the weather, Valencia and Newcastle have a lot in common,” she says. “In Spain people are tanned and in Newcastle everyone is tanned too! OK, it’s fake, but it kind of feels the same.”
Best quote: “To be on stage twiddling my hair has been my goal since I was about three years old!”
At 19, Anubis might be one of this season’s youngest queens, but don’t count her out: the girl has a four octave vocal range. She named herself after the ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife in a tribute to her dad, who hailed from Egypt. “I’ve got the vocals, I got the dance moves, I got the comedy… so I really think I’m a bit of a threat,” she says.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK returns to BBC Three and BBC iPlayer in September