Drag Race UK disappoints with ‘worst challenge ever’


Danny Beard on Drag Race UK. (BBC)

Drag Race UK’s top five remains intact as the claws come out in the fight for the crown – but fans are getting frustrated.

With a double shantay, a questionable acting challenge and mounting tensions, episode eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season four proves that the show continues to gag viewers – even when it feels a bit off the boil.

Supermodel and celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale joins RuPaul as this week’s extra special guest judge alongside Michelle Visage and Alan Carr as the queens fight for their survival in the acting challenge: The Squirrel Games

The queens return to the werk room following Dakota’s elimination last week, and none of them have taken her departure lightly.

Jonbers says: “Everyone is sad because Dakota has been our little sister here – such a sweetheart” and Pixie adds that this elimination “has been the hardest one yet”.

The queens this season have not been as, shall we say, direct, as previous casts have been – and while that’s all very British, it comes tumbling down this week.

Through her tears, Danny says: “I just don’t think [Dakota] was the worst tonight”, clearly targeting Jonbers, who asks for clarification. She then repeated: “I did think you were gonna be in the bottom”.

The shade continues to roll in the next day, developing into a fully-fledged thunder storm.

Pixie decides to rile up Jonbers by saying: “I don’t know that I necessarily believe [Dakota] should have been in the bottom last week.”

With the rattle-snake sound effect being used to within an inch of its life, Jonbers doesn’t take the hit lying down, arguing that her drag is being invalidated.

“People in Untucked said to me – what’s my USP? Well what’s your USP? Do you wear Pixie wings every week to the gig?” she asks.

It’s a cracking line – and one that makes Danny nearly crack with laughter.

It’s a tense moment – ​​saved, as ever, by Ru announcing that this week’s acting challenge is a cross between – wait for it – Big Brother and Squid Gamecalled The Squirrel Games, Give that writer a raise/paycut, depending on what you think.

The queens are challenged to overact as not-so-loose parodies of famous Big Brother contestants and hosts in the Big Mutha house – yes, very clever Ru – including Danny as not-Divina McCall and Pixie as not-Kim Woodburn.

To be honest, the rehearsal is giving us flashbacks to season seven’s famously bad ‘ShakesQueer’ acting challenge, with none of the queens able to find their flow. Of course, it could just be the editing, but Michelle’s visage looks stony-faced and unimpressed throughout filming.

Fans have been similarly less-than-impressed with both the rehearsal and the end result of The Squirrel Games,

In the werk room, the queens discuss their relationships with their parents. Peppa speaks about her friends in Birmingham (Featuring the icon Yshee Black), and how a queer, chosen family is just as important as blood relatives.

Backstage this week, the queens each receive a tear-jerking call from home, including from Jonbers’s (very fit) brother.

The queens all receive generally positive critiques this week, with Cheddar and Danny once again standing head, shoulders and wig above the pack, though Ru gives special props to Jonbers’s runway lewk, calling it one of her favorite looks ever.

Cheddar snatches her third win in a row, joining Bimini Bon Boulash and Ella Vaday in the ‘four-wins’ club.

Peppa and Jonbers face off to “Some Kinda Rush” by Booty Luv, and after some kicks, tricks, splits and a lot of bicep-pumping (?) from Jonbers, it’s announced as a prestigious double shantay!

So the top five remains a top five, with an impending roast challenge due next week. As mother Ru would say… we can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Drag Race UK airs on BBC iPlayer, Thursday evening at 9pm.

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