RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 2 – meet the new cast including a former X factor contestant
RuPaul's Drag Race UK has officially made it across the pond for a second season.
The sophomore run of Drag Race UK will be hitting BBC iPlayer today (January 14), in what's shaping up to be a hot month for entertainment.
From shadiness to death drop filled lip sync battles, 12 queens will do all it takes to impress RuPaul, and meet his exacting standards.
Meet the Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2
RuPaul will, of course, be overseeing the competition.
Judges include Michelle Visage, and rotating panellists, Graham Norton and Alan Carr. We can also expect some surprise celebrity guests.
But, who are the new batch of contestants?
Hailing from all over the UK, the lineup includes everything from a former X Factor contestant to the world's very first Welsh queen...
Ginny Lemon describes themselves as the Kate Bush of drag. "I'm very glamourous and reclusive, like Kate, so I like to occasionally come out and bless my fans with an appearance. I've written quite a few hits too," they say.
Ginny is the only non-binary drag queen in the UK, and they'll undoubtedly make waves with their look, which channels 90's daytime TV presenter.
If you recognise Ginny, you're not alone. The singer-songwriter auditioned for X Factor back in 2017, where they performed Liberty X's Just a Little Bit.
Sister Sister hails from the hometown of season one's winner, The Vivienne, and she's certainly not phased by her predecessor.
"Of course, there's so much pressure now, and we touch bases on some things, but mine and the Viv's drag styles couldn't be more different," she tells me.
Sister Sister absolutely loves being creative with her looks. She got her painting chops from art school, and she's gone from painting on canvases to painting on her face instead.
Cherry Valentine describes her drag look as "insidious glamour. I'm like a dark, sexy dominatrix. Really subtle."
She says that drag has been a great outlet while she's been working as a nurse during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"It's been a lifeline," Cherry tells me. "I would come home from a crazy shift, and slap a face on. It's really helped. Being a nurse in 2020 has been absolute madness. I feel so privileged to be able to help in any way I can."
While Valentine has been doing drag for less than a year before she applied to be on the show, she's certainly one to keep an eye on.
Joe Black hails from the world of cabaret, so we should expect high glamour! Naturally, she gets most of her inspiration from 1920's and 30's films, and credits Marlene Dietrich as one of her icons.
Black is especially passionate about showcasing the rich tradition of British drag.
"Drag race is obviously an American franchise, she explains. "But we've put our spin on it, and made it ours.
"The best bit [about the show] was just looking at all of the confused Americans."
Location: London (via Rochdale)
Veronica Green has been a professional singer and actor for the past fifteen years, making her quite the force to contend with.For her, drag is all about "innovation and progress".
She said: "We have to move society forward with different ideas about sexuality and gender.
"As drag performers, it's one of our duties to show people who think in a singular way that the possibilities are endless."
Ellie Diamond is the "baby queen" of the show, being only 21-years-old. But this, she insists, won't hold her back.
"I have a lot of talent that some of the other girls don't have," the McDonald's server states.
"I'm self-made, from Dundee. I didn't really have much money for costumes and looks, but I've learnt how to sew."
What a resourceful queen!
Location: London (via Essex and Nottingham)
Tia Kofi is a self-professed "glam geek."
"I am a massive geek, and I like to think I'm a glamourous one," she says. "So I try to use some of those influences in my drag. Things like Doctor Who have given me that element of camp and ridiculousness."
The comedy queen thinks she'll absolutely slay at the snatch challenge, and because she often performs with a girl band, she's hoping that there's a girl group challenge to boot.
Bimini Bon Boulash
Location: London via Norfolk
"We all love a mouthful," says Bimini Bon Boulash of her name. "Bimini was the name I was going to be called if I was born female-bodied, and Bon Boulash was the name of my first cat. I just like alliteration ."
As to who she will be challenging in the competition, Bon Boulash explains that Pamela Anderson and Vivienne Westwood are her biggest inspirations.
She explains: "That fusion, that crossover, it's just iconic."
Location: London via Nottinghamshire
The fashion queen wants to "bring a lightness and exclusivity to the word 'whore'".
"I was called a whore by an ex because of the way I dressed. [It made me question] why being called a 'whore' is so derogatory. A whore can be many different things. I'm going to brand myself as a whore, but do it in the finest, most glam way possible."
A'Whora also says that she's here to change the game, and she's going to do so by serving up the finest roly-poly. Goodbye, death drops!
East London queen, Asttina Mandella, has performed with some of the UK's biggest stars, including Little Mix, Melanic C, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. But now, she's looking for her own spot in the limelight.
"The only thing I wanted to do was spin around on stage and perform for everyone. So, I made it my career," Mandella says, explaining that she's been dancing since she was just four-years-old.
Her secret strength is ultimately her background, however. "Eastenders don't give a sh*t. We can transform."
Location: London (Via Newport, Wales)
Tayce is the first Welsh queen, and she's proud about it. "I feel like Dame Shirley Bassey," the 26-year-old explains. "I'm here to represent, and show the world what we've got. I'm going to do that by giving [viewers] a bit of camp and a bit of beauty."
And the response back home has been "just lush".
"I've had people from my primary and high school message me. Everyone's been so supportive and sweet, I've had no backlash for now," she adds.
Lawrence Chaney is looking to bring her Scottish heritage into the world of drag.
To her, Scottish drag is, "wacky, bizarre and fabulous. It merges the sense of humour a Scottish person has with glamour and beauty, so you have a dynamic and bold performance. I'm glad that the world finally gets to see a Scottish queen on the show."
However, Chaney does caution: "To anyone who's watching the show, I do apologise. Turn the subtitles on."
Where can you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2?
Series Two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will premiere on BBC iPlayer.
The first episode of the new series drops at 7pm tonight (January 14).