Drag Race UK is back on BBC iPlayer in September and we can hardly contain our excitement.
Series one and two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK have been streamed over 35 million times on BBC iPlayer, firmly establishing the title as a much loved, highly lauded, competitive reality smash hit for BBC Three.
Queen of queens, Mama Ru has the ultimate say on who shantays or sashays, but each week, Ru is joined on the judging panel by Michelle Visage, an extra special celebrity guest judge and, on a rotational basis, Graham Norton and Alan Carr.
So, without further ado, let’s say hello to season three’s twelve hopefuls.
“From an Anubis show, you can expect lots of chaos! I might do some gymnastics, live vocals, lots of jazz and musical theatre. It’s a camp old time, truly.
“I’d say my greatest strength is my voice. I have a four octave range and I know how to hold a room and perform. That’s always been something I’ve loved. I’ve been a singer since I was thirteen and I’ve done a lot of backing vocals for big stars.
“My mum and my nan are the big inspirations for me. A lot of my drag persona is based on my grandma, she’s an absolute legend. She’s really wacky with a really kind heart. She raised me, and so she is partly responsible for the craziness that is me, Anubis.”
From: Newcastle via Valencia
“I’m Spanish living in Newcastle, and so I am Newcastle’s spiciest, meatiest and silliest sausage.
“As an immigrant queen, I’m someone with a slightly different background to the other queens in the competition, but my drag was born in the UK. There are millions of European immigrants in the UK, and I’m so happy to be representing them as drag queen of the immigrants!
“I love making people laugh. Also, I’m very emotional, and I love connecting with the people through my art. I’m also a graphic designer and illustrator so I’m very creative.”
“I like to play on the darkness in beauty, break beauty stereotypes and create a fantasy from another dimension. I try to transport people from reality into a world where the impossible is made possible, with makeup, crystals, and a hell of a lot of hot glue.
“I’ve performed in Tokyo, New York, Boston, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan and Bologna and most of Europe! I just love what I do and I wouldn’t wish to spend my time doing anything else. It’s my life.
“I am hoping to inspire a whole new generation of fantastical mythical creatures to take to the drag stages all over the country.”
“Elektra is death defying, electrifying and just up for a good time! I love to shock people with my killer dance moves. I’m playful. I’m fun. I’m ready. I’m the Pocket Rocket of drag.
“I am inspired by northern warrior-women like Bet Lynch and Jane McDonald – hence my obsession with leopard print! But also by strong, glamorous ladies, like Miley Cyrus, Kris Jenner and Madonna!
“I’m a trained dancer. I was trained in ballet, freestyle, disco, ballroom, Latin and I can pole dance too! I’ve been performing since I was young, and my biggest career highlight was doing panto with Darren Day. He’s a lovely man!”
“I’m the drag Beast from the East. I’m like a desperate housewife of Dagenham. A yummy mummy – a bit garish, a bit classy, a bit Essex-y. I’m very sarcastic and dry.
“My drag is the feminine side of me, which as a male actor I’ve never been allowed to show, so it’s two fingers up to everyone who has ever told me I must look like a leading man. Now, I am both the lead man and the lead woman!
“I’m bringing all the skills that I’ve gained for the last 14 years. This competition is testing everything I’ve ever learned. In the short time that I’ve been doing drag, I’ve really pushed myself. I don’t do things by halves.”
“When people come to a Kitty Scott-Claus show, you can expect to have the best night of your life. It’s like the BEST hen do – and everybody’s the bride! It’s everybody’s birthday! It’s everybody’s special day! You’ll have a busty blonde bubbly night and it will be fabulous… filled with all the prosexy in the world! It will be fabulous.
“My strength is my personality! I’m funny! I can dance! I can sing! I’m musical theatre trained! And I’ve got a cracking rack!
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t want to waste a single second feeling nervous. I’m going to give it everything.”
“I’ve been doing drag professionally for almost two years since I was 17.I started dabbling with makeup when I was about 13. My first time in drag was so overwhelming because it was the first time I’d been around other queens, but I just felt like I’d fallen into something so magical.
“I may only be 19, but I’m an unexpected surprise. My drag is refined and polished. I’m the full package.
“I’m a perfectionist. I’m never fully satisfied, It sounds bad but it’s worked in my favour, and I’d probably say my greatest strength is my motivation – I always keep going.”
“I am 50% white British, 50% Singaporean and 100% a cross dresser. My drag is camp, feel good and shallow. It’s not that deep! Don’t take it too seriously babe.
“I’ve been getting into drag since I was about 15. Then when I turned 18, I started going to clubs and parties in drag just for fun. I loved it, so as a trained performer, I decided to do drag professionally.
“I love Hannah Montana… I’ve always been obsessed with her and now when I think about it I loved the transformation. By day, she was a schoolgirl, living a completely normal life, and then by night she’s a popstar, with wigs, make up and outfits. That’s drag!”
From: East London
“I’m really proud of my roots and I embrace my working class and cockney heritage in my drag. I was born and raised in East London, I am EastEnders personified!
“I’m influenced by funny, powerful women. I know I’m only 26, but inside, I’m an old codger! I love the old school divas – Joan Rivers, Barbara Streisand and Shirley Bassey are just a few of my inspirations.
“I have come from nothing. I grew up on a council estate and I feel so proud to have landed myself in one of the biggest shows in the UK right now. I want people to know you can make a banquet out of scraps. I am doing this for the Isle of Dogs!”
From: South London
“I’m sophisticated, sexy and savage. I’m not a diva. I’m not a hun. I’m serving unapologetic blackness. Vanity is REAL. I am REAL. I believe if you put your mind to it, and you put the blood, sweat and tears, and, and the hard work and dedication behind it, you can be somebody!
“I dance like no-one else. I give it spice, with me you’re going to catch some twerking, hair flips, splits, dips, kicks, dips, trips. I just go, go, go! Oooh girl, we’re gonna have a good ol’ time!
“I’m nice and I’m real.I always work hard. If I fail, I try and try again, and if I put my mind to it, I can do anything. I’ve worked really hard to be here, and my eye is on the prize…”
“You may recognise me from season two, but if you don’t – where have you been?! I was flying high, and really enjoying competing in series 2, but the pandemic interrupted filming, and unfortunately, I tested positive for COVID just as filming resumed, so I couldn’t return.
“I’m hoping that as I’m not a newbie, the second time around will give me an advantage. I’m having the time of my life all over again. I love it!
“I’m looking forward to getting back on track and getting back into the competition. Being taken out of season two was devastating, I was having so much fun!”
“If you come to a Victoria Scone show, you’re going to get all of the divas. A bit of Barbara, a bit of Donna Summer. My drag is high campery, utter nonsense.
“It feels right [to be the first cis-woman on the show]! I definitely didn’t invent the art of drag for women. I am not the first and I certainly won’t be the last. But I feel very capable and proud to have made it through the application process and be the first on Drag Race UK.
“I love what drag allows me to do. I feel like I can get away with absolutely anything when I’m Victoria. I love drag. I love the entertainment side of it; the escapism, the nightlife, the family. I love that it is a safe queer space.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 3 lands on BBC iPlayer in September.
Read Eleanor Noyce’s interview with Vinegar Strokes.