Drag Race fans should know better than to think RuPaul wasn’t returning with a trick or two up their sleeve.
In the season three premiere, the queens were thrown a curveball, proving that playing it safe will not work this season.
Hey, those RuPeter badges aren’t given out for nothing, are they?
But we feel that the twist was actually far more necessary than the show realises, and could be a massive improvement if it becomes a permanent fixture.
Here’s what you need to know…
What was the new Drag Race twist?
This season, for the first time in the show’s herstory, there wasn’t one lipsync… there’s two.
Instead of RuPaul declaring the winner outright, the top two had to fight for the top spot in a lip-sync battle.
The winner took home one of those prestigious RuPeter badges.
After that, the bottom two lip-synced for their lives, with the loser sashaying away after failing to keep their spot in the series.
It’s not yet official that this is a permanent fixture throughout the series or a one-off. The BBC are keeping schtum to keep us in suspense – but we’re hopeful.
Why is the lipsync so important?
Whether it’s the official new rules of the game or not, the winner’s lip-sync actually serves an important purpose for the queens in the competition.
Firstly, it gives them time to take centre stage within the race, and secondly, it puts them in front of Ru.
Fan favourites are made and broken as a result of their lip-syncing abilities. Sometimes to the detriment of the eventual winners.
For example, season two finalist Bimini Bon Boulash was nearly out in the first episode. But their back-flipping performance in 10-inch heels and a thong leotard to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax saved them.
It showed their star power, and it gave them the opportunity to fight for their position.
Similarly, over in the States, Silky Nutmeg Ganache found her Rudemption arc in the latest All Stars 6, after defeating not one, not two, but a staggering consecutive SIX competitors in a lip-sync smackdown.
It sent her from a week two eliminated queen to the most defining star of the entire season.
Let’s not forget lip-sync assassins like Chi Chi DeVayne and Latrice Royale, who performed such passionate ballads viewers were left in tears.
Dita Ritz performing a high-energy version of Everlasting Love by Natalie Cole, in front of Natalie Cole; Jujubee and Raven breaking down together as the best friends went head-to-head; Yvie Oddly and Brook-Lynn Hytes both surviving after their Sorry Not Sorry performance was too close to call.
These lipsyncs are all legendary, and in a lot of cases, the biggest moment the queens had on their season.
That takes some skill.
But ultimately it’s RuPaul with the badges, and the winners’ crown, in their hands.
While everyone gets a chance for a quick chat in the work room, only a select few get the opportunity to perform in front of him.
The lip-sync is a necessary evil for standing out in a crowd of a dozen drag queens. Because if you can catch someone’s eye with that, then you’re that closer to the win.
We hope the winner’s lip-sync stays for a while to come yet.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK series 3 airs Thursdays at 8pm on BBC Three.
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