We spoke to all the new queens of Drag Race UK about what we can expect from season three
‘This calibre of queens is unlike anything you’ve seen before’
I don’t mean to cause you panic or create an excited frenzy wherever you may be reading this, but Drag Race UK season three premieres tonight. Yep, TONIGHT. Even though it’s barely even been six months since we saw Lawrence Chaney take the crown for season two, this drought between Drag Race UK seasons has somehow felt like a millennia. But the wait is over. Drag Race UK season three has arrived, and The Tab sat down with all the queens to spill tea on everything we can expect.
Victoria Scone and Choriza May
First up were Victoria Scone and Choriza May, and both looked absolutely stunning in their looks. On why they chose to apply for Drag Race UK, Choriza said: “It was a great way for me to get myself known not just nationally, but internationally. And it gives us the opportunity to work with so many amazing kings and queens.” Victoria Scone is RuPaul’s Drag Race’s first ever cis-female competitor, and said she applied because she wanted to do something about the fact there hasn’t been an AFAB (assigned female at birth) queen before. “I thought, how can I carry on complaining that there aren’t any cis women on the show when I wasn’t applying myself. I applied for season three and didn’t think I’d get on, but here we are! Be careful what you wish for!”
Victoria Scone and Choriza May are both making Drag Race UK history as the first cis female and first immigrant competitor respectively. Victoria said “I really hope that it opens doors for all drag, not just Drag Race drag. I want it to open doors for clubs to book more diversely. More trans women, more non-binary performers, more people of colour. Not just cis white males all the time, please.” Choriza agreed, saying “Drag Race needs to be a reflection of different drag scenes. Victoria being there for this season felt like a step in the right direction.”
Both queens were infectiously passionate about their native drag scenes, and it was clear that doing their hometowns proud was everything to them. “The most unique thing about the Welsh scene was me, and they should be bloody proud of me,” joked Victoria, “the Welsh scene is very traditional, and I’m working on the diversity. I’m not going to move away from it [after Drag Race]. We’re going to get that scene juicy, delicious and diverse.” Choriza said that she loves the Newcastle drag scene because the older queens and younger queens have mutual respect for each other: “We help each other and love each other and everyone’s part of the same thing. I was nervous about being a Spanish queen and didn’t think anyone would get me but they embraced me. That’s what I love – we embrace all types of drag.”
Kitty Scott-Claus and Charity Kase
Kitty Scott-Claus and Charity Kase talked about what season three has that we haven’t yet seen in seasons one and two. “Well, season three has ME!” Charity laughed. Kitty said that this calibre of queens is unlike anything we’ve seen on Drag Race UK yet, with Charity saying: “After two seasons it has more of an idea of what it is a show now. It’s had the two seasons to try stuff out and see the reactions from fans.” “It’s a well oiled machine at this point”, Kitty agreed.
On who their biggest competition in the cast is, Kitty said: “I remember walking in feeling so confident in myself and saying oh, I’m gonna smash this. And as every single queen walked in following me it was like that bit in The Hunger Games where she says ‘we have to kill them, Peter’. Every single person came to slay.” Charity said that her biggest competition was Krystal Versace: “I’ve known her for a while through the scene and she’s flawless. And Kitty, of course. Kitty is massive competition for me.” “MASSIVE?” Kitty retorted, which was met with a lovingly shady “that too!” from Charity.
Vanity Milan and Ella Vaday
Next up were Vanity Milan and Ella Vaday, who both looked gagworthy in their press day looks. Ella is a trained musical theatre performer who’s had an illustrious career in theatre pre-Drag Race UK and said the most famous person she’s met were “loads of amazing musical theatre people like Rachel Tucker from Wicked.” Vanity is a London based queen, and Drag Race UK has had a lot of successful London based queens in the past seasons. Last season in particular there was a lot of discussion around the split between the East London gay scene and the Clapham scene. Vanity said: “I don’t even think its rivalry this season, it’s more like we know each other and are already aware of what people can do.”
Season three is easily the most theatrically trained cast of queens we’ve ever seen on Drag Race UK. I asked the queens if this brought a different kind of competitive edge to season three. Ella said: “Definitely. I think in season two it was only really Veronica who was a theatre queen but so many in this cast are trained performers. You’re in for some good performances, that’s for sure.”
Of course, the age old question had to be asked… Who is the trade of the season? “I would say Vanity Milan”, said Ella. Right on cue, Vanity said “I would say Ella Vaday.” Watch this space!
River Medway and Elektra Fence
River Medway and Elektra Fence had me laughing all the way through our conversation and their energy was completely infectious. They both stated what surprised them most about their time competing as queens of Drag Race UK season three. “I was surprised by how quick it goes by,” said River. “It really just becomes your whole world when you’re filming.” Elektra echoed River, saying: “You just forget about everything else. And it’s so nice not having your phone!”
Everyone knows the judging can be brutal, and the queens had this to say on how they take the criticism. River said: “Sometimes you have to make sure you can differentiate between constructive criticism and whether somebody is just being a bit shady. We can all learn, and the only way you can is by listening and taking on the criticism and using it to grow as a performer.”
Elektra is northern and proud, and said she was inspired by “northern warrior-women” like Bet Lynch and Jane McDonald. As a northern queer myself, I really related to what Elektra said and wanted to know what it is about these women that northern queer kids are so drawn to. “They’re strong women that take no shit. They wear that leopard print and they own it. They’re in CHARGE of their lives.” River said her drag was inspired by Hannah Montana, and I asked her what Hannah song she’d release a cover of as a single. As she proudly showed me her Hannah Montana bag she had with her, she rightly declared it would be Nobody’s Perfect.
River stated how proud she was to be representing working class people of colour on Drag Race UK. “I’ve realised I’ve become the person I was looking for when I was younger. I didn’t see people who looked like me on the telly. I didn’t see people getting out of their town and getting to do everything they wanted to do. I think it’s really important to see that no matter where you come from you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Anubis and Krystal Versace
Anubis and Krystal Versace were up next, and had this to say on who their biggest competition is out of the other season three queens on Drag Race UK. “I would say my biggest competition is probably myself, because I’m my own worst enemy. I get in my head a lot. But I’m also a threat… so watch out!” said Anubis. Krystal kept it short, sweet and daft: “My biggest competition is Michelle Visage!”
Anubis said this season is way more camp than the seasons that came before. “I’d say it’s the campest season, that’s what separates it from the previous two. We have a lot of camp, a lot of chaos and a lot of crazy bitches! I think diversity is doing really well too, the variety of queens and skill sets are widening.”
At 19, both Anubis and Krystal are the youngest queens this season. These are drag queens who grew up watching Drag Race. “It definitely gave me a guideline,” said Krystal. “It gave us something to look up to. A lot of queens never had that. It gave me a path to follow and something to work towards.” Anubis also said it was an education: “It’s actually so great as an educational tool as well as entertainment. It taught me how to command a room, how to perform.”
On whether their young age increased the pressure they felt on the show, they both had this to say. Krystal remained confident: “Although I felt a lot of pressure, I just reminded myself that I’d got this far and my age will get me further.” Anubis said: “People can underestimate you because of your age. People can see it as a disadvantage. But we’re here to prove that you can be any age, 19 or 99, and be great at drag.”
Scarlett Harlett and Veronica Green
Last up but definitely not least were Scarlett Harlett and returning queen Veronica Green. Veronica said that she felt underestimated as a threat on season two, and that some queens had reached out to apologise for writing her off early. “I’ve had several post show conversations with a few different queens, it’s the nature of the beast. Sometimes you don’t see people coming. I didn’t tell a soul about season two and I wasn’t on any rumoured pages. I kept my cards very close to my chest, and that was a strength. I was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Veronica said it was great to be back, but that returning brought with it advantages and disadvantages, and a different kind of pressure. “It’s great to be back. The fact I get another opportunity to show myself is doing wonders for me personally. There was an open door, and I had the choice to walk through it or walk away. I did have an advantage in certain ways because I knew already how to play the game.
“The disadvantage is that I come from a very working class family who don’t have much money. I had to pay for two full seasons worth of looks, hair and makeup in less than a year. I’m the first queen to do two seasons in a single year, and I don’t think that’s been taken too much notice of. I think people are expecting a massive glow up like I’ve been away for a year, but that’s not the case.”
Scarlett discussed how it was to go straight from national lockdowns to filming with the queens of Drag Race UK season three. “Doing it in lockdown was the hardest time to get ready for a show. Saying it was a struggle is an understatement. I didn’t have two pennies to rub together. But when RuPaul calls, you have to make it work. The opportunity is an opportunity of a lifetime. As hard as it was, as tricky as it was, no matter how many loans you take out, you do it because it’s Drag Race.”
On what queens took them by surprise when they walked in, Veronica said Charity Kase’s entrance is a gag. Scarlett nearly accidentally blurted out why before she was hushed, so expect a gaggy entrance from Charity. Scarlett went on to say: “When Victoria Scone in I was so shocked, amazed and happy to be sharing the season with such a groundbreaking queen. And I was petrified, because she’s so talented!”
Drag Race UK season three premieres tonight 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.