The race to find the UK’s next drag race superstar began pre-pandemic with 12 queens vying for the crown, but after a seven month lockdown break and a strong finish to the season, RuPaul Charles and her team of expert judges have narrowed the field down to four: Bimini Bon-Boulash, Ellie Diamond, Lawrence Chaney, and Tayce.
Tonight, “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” season 2 came to a spectacular conclusion with the finalists performing the house down with their own version of RuPaul’s hit song “A Little Bit of Love” and only one of them being named the Queen’s top queen. Read our recap below to see how it all shook out in ‘Grand Finale’:
To get to the final four, Ru shocked Ellie by awarding her the first and only double shantay of the season after her first time lip synching. She went head-to-head against Tayce, the season’s assassin who triumphed for a fourth time to earn her own spot in the top. They joined Lawrence, with three challenge win badges, and Bimini, with four challenge badges, to create a top four that together represented all of England, Scotland and Wales.
As the two Scottish queens, Lawrence and Ellie began the competition with a shared experience that spawned a friendship. Ellie nearly ruined that bond when she took up the opportunity to get strategic a few weeks ago, setting Lawrence up (in her mind) for failure, but tonight, with the stress of making it to the finale behind her, Lawrence decided it was time to put it fully behind her and congratulated Ellie on making it to the end… and deserving it!
For the final maxi challenge, Ru asked the queens to give their “most dragtastic” performance of their life by writing a solo verse to her song “A Little Bit of Love” and then learning choreography to perform it on stage with the other queens. For Tayce, Bimini and Lawrence, all of whom helped create the superior “UK Hun?” song as the United Kingdolls earlier in the season, lyric writing should have come fairly easily, but Lawrence was struggling to find a new way to show off her personality while also having fun.
In addition to preparing for the performance, Ru also asked the finalists to sit down with her and Michelle Visage for a tic tac lunch spilling of the tea and to dig a little deeper into their journey in life and on the show. Tayce explained that coming from a supportive family allowed her to always explore her weirder side and that she has never shied away from owning her desire to perform whether on the street or on the stage. Ellie’s mother was also supportive, backing up Ellie’s love for drag that she first realized after seeing Adore Delano be so freely herself on season 6. Lawrence told Michelle that her heart is in Scotland because it’s the country that taught her to embrace her humor and turn it into a career and that she does not plan on ever saying goodbye to the country. Bimini opened up her struggle with deep depression and substance abuse following the death of a friend, but that realizing that their return to the show from the lockdown fell on the anniversary of the death was a sign that she really could achieve her goal of winning and she hasn’t taken her foot off the gas since.
After the goss sesh with Ru and Michelle the queens marched back to the stage for their choreo training with Jay Revell. Both Ru and Jay referred to their moves in this performance as the toughest choreo of the season, striking the fear of god in Lawrence who cried the last time Jay worked with them. Tayce, of course, was living her best life despite an absolutely wicked blue wig and Bimini was keeping pace as well, inspired by Jay to retain a lot of her trick moves in her solo. Ellie came to the stage fully rehearsed and with a clear plan of where she wanted to go which only stressed Lawrence out even more being the odd one out as the struggle bus. Lovingly, the other queens cheered Lawrence on and gave her the support she needed to pull it together and eventually get a solid rehearsal in.
The next day, Ru assembled her judge avengers Michelle, Alan Carr and Graham Norton to bear witness to the finale performance and to help decide who would be crowned. The finalist rendition of “Little Bit of Love UK” was a fast-paced, hard-hitting performance that allowed each queen to shine in their own right. Bimini’s acrobatic moves showed her agility, Ellie towered above the others in a flawlessly rehearsed verse, Lawrence charmed her way through missteps with a huge personality, and Tayce brought energy, sex appeal and attitude with effortless movement. By surprise, all the eliminated queens joined the finalists on stage at the end of the song as backup dancers and to showcase the whole breadth of talent that the cast brought to the season.
Following the performance, the queens walked the stage for a final time in a “Final Four Eleganza” category. Bimini entered first in her take on a wedding gown which was a corseted body suit and a gorgeously painted pale face. Ellie went way big with a huge ruffled hoop skirt and a monochromatic blush head to toe look. Lawrence wore her favorite hourglass silhouette in a signature purple drag racer gown. Tayce closed the runway in a nude suit adorned with black ostrich feathers dripping from only the parts of her body that mattered.
In their final critiques, the judges praised Bimini for her growth throughout the competition. She was in the bottom two the first week, but rebounded to a finale performance that explored her confidence and sense of high fashion to peak perfection. With Ellie the judges stressed how deserving she is to be among the finalists and complimented her once again on how impeccably she paints and styles herself especially as a 21 year old. The panel thought Lawrence nailed the performance with fun lyrics and always commanding attention with her presence on stage. And with Tayce, Michelle reinforced her status as the unbeatable lip sync assassin of the season and for being so mesmerizing when she moves on a stage.
While the judges deliberated among themselves, the finalists returned backstage to reunite with the eliminated queens who were also wearing their finale worthy looks. It was a welcoming back for Veronica Green who was removed from the competition after testing positive for coronavirus (and has a promised spot on season 3!) and for Ginny Lemon who had walked off stage in a gag-worthy quit. A’Whora had her moment to bring up Ellie’s strategic play that lead to her elimination at the final five, but as someone who truly grew throughout the season she forgave Ellie for it and made it clear that there’s no hard feelings at the end of the day.
After a parade of all the queens on the runway, the judges brought the final four back on stage to reveal Ru’s final decision. In the first reveal, Ru announced that Bimini, Lawrence and Tayce were the top three, sending Ellie to the back of the stage with the other eliminated queens as the third runner-up. That set up the season’s last lip sync with the top three batting it out to Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.” Each of them held their ground and showed exactly why they were a finalist: Bimini used her big fluffy gown as a prop to work the stage like Madonna’s iconic “Like a Virgin” performance, Lawrence incorporated comedic elements into every movement and lyric of the song, and Tayce covered every inch of the stage with seamlessly fluid and gorgeous movement. But when all was said and done, having left it all on the floor and giving the competition everything she could all season long, the only queen still standing by the end of it and the season two champion is Lawrence Chaney!