“RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” came to a conclusion this week when RuPaul Charles crowned the third UK drag superstar. 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 final episode, Kitty Scott-Claus, Krystal Versace, and Ella Vaday rang in the holiday season with their own verses to Ru’s new holiday song “Hey Sis, It’s Christmas!” To find out which of the three proved they have all the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, talent and holiday cheer Ru was looking for read our recap of the “Grand Finale” below:
Re-entering the Werk Room as the final three, Kitty, Krystal and Ella compared notes and declared that by all counts the rightful three had made it to the finale. Ella’s four badges compared to the two apiece of Krystal and Kitty made them the winningest on the season. Shortly after Vanity’s elimination, they were joined by all of the eliminated queens for one last surprise bitch sesh. Yet instead of hurling shade back at the finalists, the eliminated queens were very supportive of what they did in the roast and congratulated them on their deserved spots.
The next morning Ru arrived to present the queens with their final challenge to impress the judges. They would be singing and dancing to new holiday single “Hey Sis, It’s Christmas.” They’d be learning choreography and writing their own verses for the song and then will perform it in front of the judges. That performance and their final walk down the runway would help determine which of them wins.
With the theme of holiday season, the girls contemplated how Christmas-y they’d make their verses compared to referencing their experience on Drag Race. Kitty said she’d straddle the two, giving an example of Santa pulling her knickers down as lyrics she was writing. Krystal and Ella thought she might be pushing the boundaries a bit too far, but were more hesitant and nervous about how well they’d be doing themselves.
As part of the preparation for their final presentations, each of the queens got to “spill the tea” with Ru and Michelle Visage. In her chat with Ru and Michelle, Kitty shared her experience training in musical theater school and how it taught her to always push herself out of her comfort zone. She explained that was her goal in coming to the competition and she thinks she maintained her confidence even when unsure of herself in some of the challenges. She also spoke to how influential her upbringing was in her positive outlook on life and how big of a support her family has been.
When Ella sat down, Ru immediately asked if she’s surprised by how successful she’s been this season. Ella said that she is in fact surprised because so many of the challenges were things she’s never done before, but she believes she rose to the challenge of each of them and it paid off. She also talked about how her budding drag career has been a way of proving people wrong that didn’t believe in her at first. In that regard, winning would be an inspiration to anyone that doubts themselves and give them the confidence to succeed against all odds.
As the youngest queen, Ru wanted to know how Krystal came into drag. Krystal explained that she’s always loved drag, even since being a child, because she remembers being mesmerized by the glamour of women. Michelle asked if Krystal was afraid to talk about her virginity, but Krystal said that even though it’s an insecurity of hers because of the sex that surrounds the drag scene she’s able to be comfortable with knowing what she wants for herself and how that’s not a sex life.
Next, the queens joined Jay Revell on stage to learn the choreography he envisioned for their performance. Instead of giving them pre-planned moves, Jay asked each of them to show him how they’d like to move for their verse and then worked with them to create specific moves to speak to their own vision. Krystal’s concept for herself was sexualized, Kitty’s was standardly comedic and stagey, and Ella’s amped up the sass with a diva attitude. After settling on their own verses, Jay showed them the moves he choreographed for their group moments. Once again Krystal struggled the most with picking up the moves, but Kitty reminded that she always figures it out in the end.
On Coronation Day while they got ready for their final runway, the queens shared their first impressions of each other. Ella said that Krystal was immediately intimidating because of her youth, beauty and seeming diva persona. But then went on to say that Krystal is the opposite of that. Kitty said she was personally threatened when Ella entered the room because she looked like direct competition as another confident blonde, but added that Ella has proven how much she can really do. Krystal was sure Kitty would be tough competition because of how lead she is, but that she showed herself to have such a warm personality throughout the show.
For the final runway Ru was joined by Michelle, Alan Carr and Graham Norton. Prior to walking the “Final Three Eleganza Extravaganza” category, the queens unveiled their live performance of “Hey Sis, It’s Christmas.” Ella’s verse was first up in the song and her lyrics merged sexuality and holiday puns perfectly, serving a couple funny lines and solid diva choreo. Kitty’s was surprisingly less racy than Ella’s and overall her lyrics didn’t tie into the holiday theme as much either. Still she managed to bring her comedic personality to the performance which livened up her words. Krystal was just as sexual as she promised, strengthening the brand she’s brought all season. Outside of their solos, there was a lot of group choreo for them to have learned, but each of them kept pace and performed the moves well. The performance ended with all the eliminated queens coming on stage as backup dancers.
On that final catwalk, Ella walked in a shining purple gown with a big bow on the backside and hair bigger than she’s ever worn before. Kitty came next in a silver ruffled gown that made her feel like a fairy. Krystal closed with a tightly fit black velvet dress covered in gold jewelry, differentiating herself by not wearing a ball gown.
In their final critiques, the judges liked how Ella’s verse channeled the right mood and energy in a way that made her shine. Graham dinged her runway look for having gold jewelry with a silver shoe, but overall she looked great. When it came to Kitty, they said she has a gift of drawing attention in with her personality and her voice was as tongue-in-cheek as they’d expect her to be. On the runway they said she looks gorgeous and over the course of the season her looks have improved. Alan thought Krystal’s choreography was really energetic and Michelle said that she delivered by putting so much of herself into it. They agreed that she did the same on the runway, always looking stunning and interpreting everything in her own glamorous way.
Ru also asked each of them to send a message to their younger selves and to make the case for why they deserve the crown. Ella said that she has put her whole self into each challenge despite them being outside her comfort zone and that if crowned she would be try to be the best ambassador of UK drag. Kitty said that she embodies British drag and she’s a total package for everything she brings to the table. Krystal pitched that she represents the new generation of drag and wants to inspire the young ones looking up to drag now so that they can believe they can do it, too.
Retreating backstage one last time, the final three were greeted by a cheering group of eliminated queens dressed in their own finale gowns. It was a nice last moment for the girls to congratulate the finalists and to compliment them on really great performances in the song. Without the opportunity for a proper reunion, they also ran through their favorite and most iconic memories from the season. All in all everyone had good humor about how they did on the show and seemed to have a positive outlook on their experience and future.
Before Ru could make her final decision, she asked all three girls to lip sync one last time. For this final test they performed “You Don’t Own Me” all at once on stage. The dramatic ballad was perfect for Kitty’s comedic style of drag performance, but Krystal managed to create her own moments with exaggerated facial expressions while Ella kept to a very reserved energy in a dress that was likely hard to move in. Taking all into account, Ru declared UK’s next drag superstar to be Krystal Versace!
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