The judges of Drag Race UK tell us what we can expect from season three
‘There are incredible highs and howling lows where RuPaul is not a happy mama!’
Drag Race UK season three is upon us, and within a slither of days we will finally see what gagworthy looks, laughs and moments the queens have in store for us on this new season. Drag Race UK has gone from strength to strength so far, with season one finally arriving in 2019 after fans have hoped for it for years and proving that we could bring something completely different to the main stage with our unique sense of humour. Then came the rip-roaring season two – a force of nature that made everything great about season one even better and the drag was some of the best the entire franchise has ever seen. There’s been one constant through the Drag Race UK evolution, though, and that’s the judging panel.
Now back for their third season as regular judges, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton spill the tea about what we can expect from this season!
‘One thing you can count on is you will LOVE it’
At this point, Michelle Visage is as integral to the core of RuPaul’s Drag Race as her drag queen host best friend is. Michelle and Ru are the duo that make Drag Race feel like Drag Race. It’s no secret that Michelle loves the UK, and when asked what she thinks is the secret to Drag Race UK’s huge success she said: “I think it’s because there’s finally a show where marginalised people can see themselves reflected and the reflection is positive. For so many years, these stories weren’t told from the victor’s standpoint. It’s inspiring for queer kids to know that they aren’t alone, they matter and they can be anything they want to be. These queens inspire me daily.”
Drag Race UK season two was a saviour for so many in lockdown, and Michelle says that makes her so happy. “There’s nothing more rewarding than a parent or sibling reaching out to tell me how our show has helped them understand their LGBTQIA+ relative in a way they couldn’t get their head round before.” Season two especially brought a lot more conversation around non-binary people via Bimini and Ginny Lemon to the mainstream.
Michelle said the following on her fave moments from the season: “When we stopped production after four episodes due to the pandemic, I was intrigued to see which queens would use the time to progress and I think we saw that all unfold. “For me, Bimini was the biggest surprise of season two. They used their time over lockdown so wisely. When they came back it was mesmerising.”
Michelle also said that there’s one thing that really separates season three from the other seasons: “The queens – full stop. You really can’t compare seasons because the talent is so different. It’s amazing. I’m so excited to go on another rollercoaster with a new crop of queens vying for the crown!”
‘Drag Race was a lifesaver for me, too’
Alan Carr was always a great signing for the Drag Race UK judging panel because for many of our generation, he was one of few out and proud camp TV personalities that was beloved by so many. Alan says he believes Drag Race UK has got so successful because you can enjoy it on so many different levels. “You can watch it on an emotional level, a bitchy level or on a really shallow level. Whether you come to watch the heartwarming journey of the queens or just enjoy the theatricality of drag, there’s something for everyone.”
Like for so many of us, Alan says that Drag Race UK was a lifesaver for him as well. “It was obviously a lifesaver for me, too! Filmed in lockdown when the country felt in such a slump, wondering if the pandemic was ever going to end. We all needed escapism and to get away, if not physically but mentally. For me, Drag Race UK was on the green list. No hassle, no paperwork and no queues at Heathrow.”
Alan spilled some tea about how Drag Race works for him on the judging panel: “I only get to see the runway looks. I’ve got no idea what’s going on backstage. I only judge the outfits I see, so I only see 10 per cent of what the queens are like. I didn’t ‘get’ Tia Kofi until after the show went out and then I saw her in her entirety and realised she wasn’t just a depressed dinosaur. People assume I have inside information, I don’t! I watch the series like everyone else.”
Alan says that nobody needs to worry about Drag Race UK running out of steam anytime soon. “Obviously I can’t give anything away, but if anyone is worried we have run out of drag talent in the UK then get ready to hold on to your wigs!”
‘There are lows where RuPaul is not a happy mama’
Having Graham Norton join Alan Carr on the Drag Race UK judging panel is such a joy, especially because they both do similar jobs and were so often on rival shows. Graham echoed Alan’s opinion on what makes Drag Race UK so special: “It’s funny, fabulous and fierce, but comes with more heart than I’ve ever seen in any other reality competition.” Graham also discussed Drag Race UK’s healing powers as a public service. “Providing service through entertainment of any kind is great, but I think what made Drag Race UK more important was it could remind audiences of a time where they could go out, dress up and be in that bar or club with their favourite queens.”
Last season was full of standout moments, but Graham says his favourite was a no brainer. “Do you even need to ask? No more fucking H&M! I was on the panel that day and it was epic in every way.” Graham also said that his predictions for who would triumph in season two were accurate. “I always knew Lawrence would do well, but for me, the biggest surprise was Bimini. They seemed very rough around the edges at the start of the season and then transformed into an absolute superstar. It was great to watch.”
Graham weighed in on the evolution of British drag today by saying “British drag is getting much harder. You used to be able to get by with a wig and a couple of frocks, but now after Drag Race UK the expectation is much higher and audiences demand more.” When asked if we’ll see that in season three, Graham said: “Season three is extreme. There are incredible highs and howling lows, where a certain RuPaul is not a happy mama! This season is the greatest variety of queens we’ve ever seen. Not just in ages and styles, but in other surprising ways as well!”
Save the start date because Drag Race UK season three premieres 23rd September on BBC iPlayer. For all the latest Drag Race memes and Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.
Featured image courtesy of BBC.