Warning: If you have not watched the final episode of season one of Drag Race UK and do not want it spoilt for you, stop reading and come back once you’ve watched it!
It’s time to find out which of the final three of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will be crowned the queen of season one. So who’s going to be on top? Divina De Campo, Baga Chipz or The Vivienne?
As the top three re-enter the work room after Cheryl Holes’ elimination last week, they have a chance to reflect, have a laugh and take in where their hard work has gotten them. I have been loving these moments all during the season.
While the US version works very hard to construct villains and heroes, that hasn’t been a narrative audiences have warmed to with the UK run, and I’m so here for what we have instead. Performers just getting along and getting on with it.
I loved hearing the top three have a cute go at each other at why they should be crowned, it’s fun to see, even when they’re poking fun at each other. Now all they can do is get through the final maxi challenge and see who the winner is.
The next day Ru lets them know that for the finale they will be performing an ‘all singing’ (he means synching), all dancing performance of Rock it to the Moon. You may remember it, you hear it at the end of every episode of the show!
Anyway, it’s time for the queens to start writing their lyrics, as they reflect on where they could go wrong with the Maxi Challenge. Divina is not concerned at all; she has spent years perfecting her a diverse range of skills as we have seen week after week and is the only one of the top three to have not been in the bottom.
The Vivienne could be in trouble (you can just hear the editors’ delight) because the final challenge is just like the girl group challenge, which was not her finest hour. But that was a different time and I am sure history won’t repeat itself, even though deep down a part of me would like that. While Baga feels the choreography is what is going to be her downfall.
Before rehearsal all the queens get to record a podcast on What’s the T with RuPaul and Michelle Visage. I actually forgot that this was part of the format and was hoping the UK finally would be like the old seasons of the US version, with the queens having to put together multiple looks, but that wasn’t meant to be.
While Baga is interviewed, she talks about her past and childhood with her mother. I’m glad the producers allowed space for this narrative because Baga got hassled not only on the show about this, but online as well. It’s surprising how often people can forget that we are seeing these people through a small lens that is manipulated to be the character they want you to see. So I am glad they gave Baga space to just be themselves, and to talk about the armour they have put up through comedy and drag.
When it was Divina’s turn on the mic, I was just grateful that the serious conversations gave us a break from that laugh. I love how much she dives into the moments and the laughs, but if I’m getting a headache from hearing it on the tele, imagine what it is like in the Werk Room.
While Baga spoke about the barriers they put up, Divina discussed her anxiety and the pressure of it all, which is something that can resonate with many of us. We are so used to seeing drag performers be the life of the party that we forget they are just like us behind the padding, wigs and make up.
Then we had The Vivienne, who has gotten the best edit all season, which at times has been to her detriment because (just like Cheryl) it has made it harder for us to break through when there has been true emotional moments, or we just haven’t noticed when they have happened because that is not the narrative that has been set up.
Like all the top three, Viv is a true professional who does things her way, and it was great to get this side of her, just like last week with her mum. We are seeing less of Viv playing the game and more of her stepping into her stride and that makes for an exciting final.
But now it’s time to learn some dance moves with AJ Pritchard from Strictly and his ‘little’ brother Curtis. Excuse me while I clear out my flooded basement. Except for Divina, dancing has not been a godsend for this top three, so it isn’t looking good for Baga or The Viv. But that’s hardly a surprise to any viewer, and we need this narrative before it gets turned around at the end. These are performers after all, and it isn’t their first time at the rodeo!
When we find out that each queen will be performing a different style of latin or ballroom dancing my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. I mean that takes work and if you aren’t on point it could look a right mess! Baga has the tango and, Divina has the Cha Cha (and is the best dancer in Saint Bernadettes) and the Vivienne has the Samba. Way to cross promote with Strictly, BBC!
— RuPaul's Drag Race UK (@dragraceukbbc) November 21, 2019
This is a lot for them to do and learn in a short amount of time, and before we know it, it’s Coronation Day! I loved watching the queens get ready and having a laugh. They have worked hard to get to this spot and while they are competing against each other, it’s shining in their own right that’s going to give them a win in this competition.
Before we can blink it’s time for the runway with RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton ready to see the top three in their world debut of Rock it to the Moon. My first thought: would it have killed them to have three different coloured spangly flappa leotards, or even just have them all the same colour? Unless there is a moment that makes this work it, I just don’t get it. I immediately feel sorry for The Vivienne, I love her silhouette, but the way they are shooting her just makes us focus on the flesh coloured space in the middle of her outfit.
Baga’s dance is a mess, but in true Baga fashion she makes it her own. This is why she is such a joy to watch, when things don’t go her way, she turns them around and still pushes through. No one is surprised that Divina is eating up every dance moment in the song and giving it all she’s got—but is it too much? Does being so well-rounded and adept a performer mean we don’t get as many high points in your performance? The Vivienne knows how to make her mark and she has the simplest dance moves; she owns the space, her comedy and her moments on stage. It almost makes me want to have seen her in the bottom more just so we could get more of her lip-synching.
Also, the song is terrible, just terrible (and available now on iTunes). I mean I like the chorus, but the rest of it was killing me. It was really obvious when they were all dancing in unison how much Divina had the movement down, but it was very entertaining overall.
And now it’s time for the Eleganza Extravaganza Runway.
Baga Chipz … what are you wearing? It’s like an outfit from The Golden Girls with hair from Saturday Night Fever. I know Baga has an interesting style but was this really your final outfit. It’s cute, but it isn’t a showstopper, and it disappoints me that while Cheryl can get called out last week for being in a spangly leotard, Baga is fine to look like this in the finale.
Divina De Campo smashed it in her final gown, which was a deconstructed union jack. What a fantastic design and an awesome showstopper to have up your sleeve. It’s also the first time I have really loved the red hair on her. I don’t know if it is because of a change in makeup or because it compliments the gown so much, but it doesn’t contrast like it has before and I am here for it.
The Vivienne steps out on the runway looking immaculate. A beautiful soft sparkling style that fits perfectly with her grace and poise. It’s stunning and polished, but something doesn’t quite work for me. Perhaps it is because she has given us such diverse and contrasting looks and tones that I am surprised to see such a gorgeous figure just be on the runway. I want to be clear here, the problem is me, not anything The Vivienne has done. Later on in the episode when we get close ups of each queen I realise that I just kept missing the details. Perhaps it is time for glasses.
It’s the final, so the critiques are always going to be kind, but I must give a standing ovation to Graham Norton. Every bit of feedback was quintessential to who each performer was and the journey we had seen, it hadn’t been tokenistic in any way shape or form.
I can’t go into detail about the moment where they each speak to the child version of themselves, because while the music may make it seem very cheesy, this is a moment that just gets me right in the heart every time. As performers, you walk an emotional road, and as queer people you do the same. It’s beautiful. But now it’s time to say why each queen thinks they deserve it more than the others, it’s always such a hard question to answer.
Baga says pretty much what she has been saying the whole time, that the other two queens deserve it more than she does. Which is great to see. I love that The Vivienne shouts at her in that moment because she is there because she deserves it but recognises that what she does it different to the other two, and that is her charm.
— RuPaul's Drag Race UK (@dragraceukbbc) November 21, 2019
In true De Campo form Divina gives a list of her accomplishments and how hard she has worked to get here, but I love when she says that she doesn’t feel any one of the queens deserves it more than the other. Recognising how hard the artform is and the softness she can bring to it, I thought she gave a great speech that truly represents who she is.
I loved how The Vivienne gave a speech about being humble and relatable, and not about being a performer. While it was a juxtaposition of Divinas’, it is who she is, and it is a shame the editors took so long to show us that.
As the queens returned to the Werk Room they were met by all the eliminated queens, and it was fantastic to see them all having a natter. For a minute I wondered if they would be deciding the top two but thank god that wasn’t the case and they could just be mates instead.
Back to the judging, Michelle brings up the fact that Baga saying she doesn’t deserve to be in the top like the other two is a shame and Graham comes out kicking, acknowledging that this would have been hard for any UK queen compared to the US. Which is another reason why I love the UK series and I STAN WITH GRAHAM. You don’t need to chop another person off at the knees to be the winner, and every one of these queens showed that.
All the queens return to the runway and Vinegar Strokes gets a great entrance and then comedy gold as she tries to get off the runway. I hope that we can get a live final on the BBC in the future, because there’s so much fun to be had with the UK queens.
Just as the top three were spoiled by ITD Events when they announced their UK tour a few weeks ago, I made the mistake of having Facebook open and Karen from Finance posted a pic of herself with the winner. I am not dissing Karen, this is my fault. I’m amazed every finale when people complain about the winner being spoilt on social media, just don’t open your social media or just accept the risk! Also it’s the journey that really matters.
Ru announces that the top two are Divina De Campo and The Vivienne and Baga is fine with it, and then we have the weirdest lip synch all season. As the final two performers in glamourous gowns lip synch to I’m Your Man by Wham. WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? It’s so upbeat and they are in the wrong outfits.
Anyway, it is clear who the winner is because the editor doesn’t give both queens equal time. But I loved watching them working the runway. Divina brought a lot of comedy and The Vivienne had a heap of fun. I just don’t understand this song choice.
But it’s time for the coronation. Congratulations to The Vivienne, who was crowned the winner of season one of Drag Race UK. She has constantly put her all into every challenge with fantastic looks and brilliant characters. We look forward to seeing you when you’re Down Under.
👑 YOUR QUEEN HAS BEEN CROWNED!!!! 👑
— RuPaul's Drag Race UK (@dragraceukbbc) November 21, 2019