‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ 3 episode 9 recap: Top 4 play devil and the angel in ‘The Pearly Gates Roast’

“RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” continued this week with another installment of the hit spin-off from across the pond. In last week’s eighth episode, RuPaul Charles was so over the moon with the top four’s performances in the space-themed parody film “Bra Wars” that she couldn’t bear to send any of them home. That’s why this week all of the top four are back with another chance to crawl their way into the final three.

On Thursday’s ninth episode, Kitty Scott-Claus, Krystal Versace, Vanity Milan and Ella Vaday take to the stage in a roast of themselves in a heavenly-themed comedy challenge. Read below for our recap of episode 9 to find out what devilish things the top four had to say about Scarlett Harlett, Choriza May, River Medway, Charity Kase, Veronica Green, Victoria Scone, Elektra Fence and Anubis in “The Pearly Gates Roast”:

Following the non-elimination, the top four were publicly happy to still be the top four, but also dismayed that one of their group is still around as competition. The talk of the room was back to the fact that Vanity was still behind the others with the least winners’ badges, and Ella was happy to point out that she was looking like the frontrunner with the most on her own chest.

The next morning, Krystal was not feeling well, but she remained determined to rise to the challenge of advancing to the top three. For that challenge, Ru announced that they’d be stepping on to the stage for a stand-up comedy roast, aiming their jokes at themselves. But, to make it a little more hellish, they must also roast the judges’ panel, including the special guest judge Kathy Burke, and do it in front of an audience of the eliminated queens.

As the one with the most winner badges, Ru gave Ella the task of assigning the order of performance for the roast. Before deciding the order, the girls gathered to hash out the fact that none of them have experience with stand-up, but Kitty felt comfortable enough because of her hosting gigs. Ella decided to be “slightly tactical” in her line-up, asking each of them where they want to be placed, but opted for putting the weakest person first with herself following and the strongest at the end. That landed her with the order of Krystal, Ella, Vanity and Kitty as closer.

During the writing process, Kitty was laughing at her own ideas while Vanity was struggling to find the right roasts for the judges’ panel and Ella became aware that she’s better at improv than writing down and planning out her jokes. Kitty confidently warned the other three that they should be prepared for her set because she’d be holding nothing back.

Later, on the main stage, Ru was joined by guest Kathy as well as series regulars Michelle Visage and Alan Carr to see if any of them were ready to hear what the queens had to say about them. The eliminated queens, all decked out in the best villainous garb to balance the angelic costumes of the performers, were also in attendance. First to take the stage was Krystal, beginning her roast on an age-basis, noting her youth and virginity compared to Michelle, Ru and Kathy. Michelle’s reactions to Krystal’s jokes were flat, underscoring how expected the punchlines were, and Ru’s laughter seemed aimed at Michelle’s reactions rather than the jokes. At one point, when Krystal levied an ageist joke at Veronica, Veronica countered with “the only thing getting old are these jokes.” That sent everyone spiraling with laughter, as did Ru’s comeback “not anymore!” when Krystal said Ru thinks she’s “good at everything she does.”

Ella opened with a good joke about Michelle’s self-identification and then just kept upping the ante with every joke after it. She was on such a roll that it may have been one of the most impressive roast performances we’ve ever seen on any season. She got deep digs in on Krystal toward the end, like how she was typecast last week as a “robotic fashion girl,” that may have put the nail in Krystal’s coffin this week.

Vanity was up next and, as Ella predicted she would be, proved to be on the weaker side of the comedy gates. When it came to roasting herself, Vanity actually just defended her repeated use of orange on the runway in a way that wasn’t a joke at all. When some of the eliminated queens started heckling Vanity she came out of her script and started railing in on their looks in a way that was more cringe than creative.

As soon as Kitty took to the mic, her confidence faltered and it was apparent that she was reading from a script rather than performing organically. Thankfully, she recovered on the strength of her jokes, like another aimed at Krystal’s underperforming in so many aspects of the show despite Ru saying she was “born to do drag.”

After the roast, the girls walked the catwalk in the “Oh My Goddess” category. Krystal opened in a fitted gold body suit covered in chains and a huge sun-crown on her head. Ella was next in a jeweled sheer bodysuit to serve as a map of the stars. Vanity was not in orange this week, choosing gold “Queen of the Damned” vibes for her look instead. And Kitty walked last in a Greek goddess-inspired toga and armor look.

In the critiques, the judges clocked Krystal for only making age and slag jokes instead of veering into different subject matter. Michelle and Alan did acknowledge that Krystal is so charming and that it helped her. As always, they loved her runway presentation. Michelle said she was proud of Ella’s comedy and Kathy was impressed with how sharp she was. They pulled back a little on the compliments of her runway look because of the unexciting hair that made her look a little old. Michelle clocked Vanity for repeatedly taking the “safe route” in the roast and Alan thought it was a lack of confidence. That being said, they thought both of her looks for the night were gorgeous. Kathy opened Kitty’s critiques by calling her a “superior” to herself, but Michelle and Alan were happy to point out how often she looked at her notes. Ru agreed that her energy would have been better if she had. They liked her classic look for the runway and Alan noted that she always picks outfits that suit her body.

Once backstage, Kitty and Ella were both overconfident about their performances again, setting Vanity and Krystal aside as the likeliest to fall into the bottom for elimination. Vanity and Krystal were rather impressed with by their performances, knowing that it wouldn’t be a strength of theirs and they still persevered. The girls nerves were shattered when the siren went off, thinking a twist was in the works, but instead they were delighted with video messages from their loved ones back home. Ella heard from her boyfriend, Kitty got a message from her parents, Krystal saw her parents and siblings, and Vanity was greeted by a message from her husband.

Once back on stage, the girls learned that Ru had picked Ella as the winner of the challenge, extending her frontrunner status with four badges. Next, Ru gave Kitty her deserved spot in the finale with her as the other safe queen of the week, and leaving Vanity and Krystal to lip sync to claim the last spot in the top three. During Dua Lipa’s “Hallucinate,” Krystal took on an ethereal quality to her movement while Vanity kept her energy more intensely focused. Two different approaches, two great performances, but after three previous trips to the bottom the only thing that could have saved Vanity a fourth time was Krystal flopping… which she didn’t. Therefore, Ru had no other choice but to give Krystal the spot in the finale and deliver the “sashay away” to Vanity.

NEXT WEEK: Krystal, Ella and Kitty are in a Christmas-themed “Grand Finale” where they’ll have to prove they can sing, dance and entertain their way to the crown.

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 local airing on BBC3 in the UK.

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