RuPaul’s hunt for a UK Ambassador for her wildly successful show came to a head — and to London — last Thursday. Now that RuPaul’s Drag Race is finally available on a channel this side of the pond, its host — alongside Jonathan Ross and Katie Price — took over the Café de Paris to assess the finalists on her famed criteria of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.
Part genderfuck, part clusterfuck and with definite elements of WTFuck, this clash of queens was a visually compelling spectacle throughout. Wading through, and adding to, an atmosphere comprised of around 20% glitter and face powder, cross-dressers from all over the UK filled the Titanic Ballroom to witness a battle royale over four rounds. Some in attendance were among the 90-plus contestants who had sent their videos in but didn’t make the final 21. Around the room, the London scene was well-represented by the likes of Virgin Xtravaganzah, Meth, Ruby Wednesday and Baga Chipz.
The first round was perhaps the most brutal. After being given a chance to strut their stuff up and down the runway, nine contestants were eliminated off the bat. The next round saw the remaining twelve lipsync for their lives in batches of three to RuPaul’s Cover Girl. They strutted, they pouted and they sissied their walk every which way, but by the end, only three were selected to go forward.
At only 22, Liverpool dragster The Vivienne was the youngest of the trio; she’s renowned for her looks with features more contoured than a map of the Andes. La Voix is used to hanging out with celebs having been Pamela Anderson’s personal manager, while Eddie OK Adams (aka the Glambassador of Bedford) had more than a few techno-tricks up her sleeve.
After a question from each of the panel to the final three, Eddie OK Adams sashayed away leaving the remaining two to fight it out for the top prize. Despite some fine moves and a more impressive outfit, La Voix’s lipsync to another RuPaul number Glamazon wasn’t enough to win over the judges. As RuPaul’s UK Ambassador, The Vivienne can look forward to a trip to Los Angeles where she’ll be peeking behind the scenes of the next season and recording vlogs as she goes.
RuPaul's bash may have been the night's hot ticket for the drag community, but there were plenty of other fabulous events happening elsewhere around London; the Royal Vauxhall Tavern had Drag Idol 2015, the philosopher king of cabaret David Hoyle was holding court at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and Myra Dubois — the Lily Savage de nos jours — was headlining a night at the Two Brewers. On a night like this, reports of the death of the capital's LGBT scene would seem exaggerated.
See trutv.co.uk for screening details of the next season of RuPaul's Drag Race.