‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ 2 episode 8 recap: To reach the final four the queens must ‘Make Em Gag’ in a live standup comedy show

Last week on “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” the top 6 queens faced their second design challenge of the season. Fashion girl A’Whora was determined to Rudeem herself with a challenge win this time and that’s exactly what she did with a stunning hand-sewn blue supershero gown. Her Rumate Tayce didn’t fare so well, falling to the bottom 2 for the second time. But the stage is where Tayce feels most comfortable and so she handily defeated Sister Sister in the LSFYL.

RuPaul Charles is back again to host the second season of the UK series alongside her longtime friend and collaborator Michelle Visage. They’re joined on the panel by entertainment legends Alan Carr and Graham Norton, as well as a collection of guest judges throughout the season. Read below for our recap of episode 8 to find out what happens when the queens turn themselves into “Lockdown Supersheroes”:

With the field narrowed down to five, all eyes were on making the final four. Lawrence Chaney felt comfortable with her three badges for challenge wins, but A’Whora, now with a second of her own, was chomping at the bit to take her spot at the top. Bimini Bon-Boulash also holds two badges and Tayce the one, leaving Ellie Diamond playing catch up without a challenge win to her name. From that position she was feeling some type of way about the other four seeing her as the easy one to go next, but she vowed to not go down without a fight.

The next morning Ellie was determined to make the other girls see that she shouldn’t be underestimated. As a queen that does her own hair and makes her own garments she feels as though she’s earned her spot among them and that she brings as much to the table as they do. But the point the other four wanted to make is that it all comes down to making the judges see her as a contender and to do that she’d have to get herself a badge this week.

To warm the girls up for the next maxi challenge, Ru came to the werk room to host this week’s mini challenge. In the “Masc for Masc Singer” challenge each of them would deliver their best “butch” drag in a short performance of Ru’s song “Kitty Girl.” Proud femme goddess Bimini was not at all interested in being too masc, but Tayce’s take on a Mick Jagger type, A’Whora’s leather daddy, and Lawrence’s pin stripe suit creeper were all steps in the right direction. But Ru’s fave was Ellie’s androgynous 80s inspired rocker, her first win… even if it was mini.

And for this week’s maxi challenge, Ru asked the queens to put on a comedy night centered around love and romance. For the night they’d each prepare a stand up set based on their observations of love lifes to perform live on stage in front of the judges, guest judge Dawn French, and an audience of inanimate objects.

As the winner of the mini, Ellie was tasked with deciding the order in which they’d all perform. Going with a bit of strategy, Ellie placed A’Whora first, herself second, Bimini third, Lawrence fourth, and Tayce as the closer. The order seemed to piss all the girls off, but mostly Lawrence who felt set up by Ellie to fail having to follow the other strong comedy queen Bimini. Lawrence was miffed because she thought Ellie was a friend and couldn’t understand why she’d throw her that curve ball. Ellie also named A’Whora and Tayce as the weakest ones going into this challenge and putting them on the ends set them up to massively fail in the most prominent spots.

At the end of the day, Ellie was making it clear that she designed the order to put herself in the best position and admitted to thinking that she gave herself the best chance at earning a badge by going after A’Whora. It was a cold move that she was willing to own, but fair game for the rest of the queens to come out guns blazing as well. But Ellie dug herself further in a hole when she asked them all if they’re OK in their placements which Lawrence took offense to because it was just Ellie dangling her power in front of their faces once again. In Ellie’s defense, Tayce challenged them all to “take it like a drag queen” and just go with it and not be so upset about it. She also privately gave Ellie props for doing what she had to do and playing it like the competition it is.

To help guide the queens down the right path, Alan met with each of them privately for a little mock set on the main stage. A’Whora made Alan laugh with a arsehole/grandma joke, but not in a good way. Alan was more on board with the “Dirty Diamond” persona that Ellie had created for her set and stressed that in order to win the badge the order doesn’t matter, she just has to shine. Bimini had quick quips in her set and got chuckles at the right moments from Alan, while Lawrence struggled with her timing and an “absolutely terrified” Tayce switched up her set on the spot.

The next day, with love on the mind, Lawrence wanted to know more about Tayce and A’Whora’s relationship to one another, but they shut it down quick and said (again!) that it was only a fling prior to the show. Instead Tayce opened up about an experience in her past with a guy that proved untrustworthy and how scarred it made her to putting any faith in men to be honest. Lawrence was surprised to hear that Tayce struggles with self-esteem, showing her that the two of them had shared experiences that she didn’t expect to have.

For the comedy show “Make ‘Em Gag,” Ru was joined by Alan, Michelle and Dawn, as well as a few rows of blow up dolls that were categorically not fans of Michelle. A’Whora came out first in a buxom blonde look that matched her unabashedly sex-forward set comparing intercourse to stepping into a hot bath and, of course, her gag-worthy grandma joke. Ellie came next, fully prepared and well-rehearsed with her Dirty Diamond character that had Ru rolling with laughter. Toward the end of her set Ellie seemed to be running out of breath and gas as her jokes began to land not so well with anyone other than Ru. Bimini was up next with her on-brand sex appeal (“not a joke, just a fact”) and goal of upsetting the patriarchy, delivering a pretty run of the mill but very solid set about her own experiences in love. Lawrence, originally scared to follow Bimini, followed Bimini with what started as a perfectly self-deprecating set, but quickly turned into an overlong, punchline-lacking story about her coming out. And closing the show was Tayce, confident-as-ever, but whose decision to run off-the-cuff with her set may have stretched her too thin outside of a giggle-worthy beans on toast bit.

After the comedy show, the queens walked the catwalk in a “Stoned on the Runway” category. A’Whora entered as a diamond-clad hospital patient dripping with diamonds from an IV bag, Ellie returned in her favorite silhouette with white fur and rhinestones, Bimini took a creative leap turning red diamonds into scars and zits on her body, Lawrence was her own whole pink diamond as a B movie alien creature, and Tayce finished in a Mugler-inspired armor and diamond look.

During judges critiques A’Whora was cautioned by Michelle that she may have relied too heavily on gutter jokes in the comedy set. Alan thought her physical comedy was stronger and was just undermined by the vulgarity. On the flip side, Dawn actually applauded her for being so revolting and Michelle called her runway look stunning. Michelle thought that Ellie’s funny moments petered out by the end and Dawn couldn’t find the rhythm in her character outbursts, but they unanimously adored her runway look. Alan loved the “femme fatale” attitude of Bimini’s presentation and Michelle liked that she bridged the gap between filthy and storytelling, but it was her uniquely creative and boundary-pushing runway that won the panel over. As expected, Lawrence took dings for how long it took her to get to the punchline in her set, but Dawn still called her the most natural comic of the group. They also liked that her runway look was different from anything she’s done before. Michelle told Tayce that she expected her to suck in the comedy, but they were all impressed at how she exceeded their hopes. The only advice Ru gave her is that eye contact is an important aspect of connecting to the audience, but they had only praise for her runway look.

Backstage A’Whora opened up to Ellie about being so angry at her for the way she ordered them to fail in the comedy show, and Ellie responded by saying she felt horrible about it. Lawrence didn’t let Ellie off easy though, saying that she can’t say she felt horrible after having already gone through the act of it knowing how hard of a time she gave each of them. Still, Tayce wasn’t having it and thought that A’Whora and Lawrence should just suck it up and keep their heads in their own space rather than worrying about what Ellie’s motives were. To Ellie’s credit, she was completely owning it as a strategic move!

After some deliberation with her judges, Ru named Lawrence and Bimini as the top two, but gave the badge to Bimini as this weeks’ winner! That gave Bimini a third badge, putting her on par with Lawrence headed in to the final four. From the bottom three, only Ellie was declared safe, leaving best friends A’Whora and Tayce in the bottom to go head to head. For their performance of Dusty Springfield‘s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” both girls kept the judges’ heads darting from side to side, unable to focus on either of them for fear of missing out on something from the other. They were both fully tapped in to the emotion and desperation of the song, but only one of them could be saved. After three trips to the bottom you might guess that it was Tayce’s time to go, but she’s established herself as a legitimate lip sync assassin for the ages and sent A’Whora home with an arguably premature “sashay.”

NEXT WEEK: The final four bring back their acting skills for a stint in “BeastEnders” and Lawrence is still fired up about Ellie’s antics.

You can catch RPDR UK each Thursday at 11am PT / 2pm ET on WOW Presents Plus in the US and select territories worldwide, day-and-date with its airing on BBCiPlayer in the UK. This season is paired with the 13th season of the US version which unveils a new episode each Friday night at 8 pm ET on VH1.

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