Drag Race UK’s Crystal on changing her name, Brexit and why she doesn’t trust the Lib Dems

Crystal became the fifth queen to sashay away from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK last night.

We caught up with her to chat about expensive preparations, her surprise at the lack of diversity and why she doesn’t trust the Lib Dems.

Happy birthday! What’s the reaction been like?

Thank you! It’s been wonderful. To be honest, I finished my party at midnight last night and haven’t had a chance to look yet. Hopefully the internet’s been kind.

And over the last few weeks?

Amazing. People have been so positive. Maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough for the negativity. I’ve been reading out all the mean tweets I can find at my viewing parties because I think they’re funny. But last week I couldn’t find any.

Maybe it’s a bit too woke of me but I don’t really want to have a name that makes a joke of meth.

Did you have any reservations about coming on to Drag Race UK?

Of course, yeah. Just worried I might not come across very well or I might vomit or just do poorly and not represent myself well.

How much did you spend preparing for the show?

Too much, all my savings. I’m not going to give you a number.

Have you made it back?

Not yet.

Why did you change your name before coming on Drag Race UK?

Because I wanted to. I named myself Crystal Beth when I thought you had to have two names to do drag, but I really wanted to just call myself Crystal. Beth was something tacked on to make it an easier sell. So when I found out I’d have the platform of Drag Race I thought I could get away with losing it.

I’ve never taken meth and think it’s a serious issue. Maybe it’s a bit too woke of me but I don’t really want to have a name that makes a joke of meth.

I said in Untucked – they didn’t show it – if I win this lip sync I’m still going home.

Were you surprised by the lack of diversity in the cast of Drag Race UK? 

Uh, yes. A little bit when I walked in. But I also think the producers have a show to cast based on who applies. It’s not an ideal thing. If you start to treat it as a tick box of all the different groups, every region, every colour, it’s probably going to be to the detriment of the show.

That said, I’d love to see more diversity on future seasons.

Including trans contestants?

Of course. If you feel underrepresented make sure you apply because you won’t get on and make change happen unless you apply.

I know lots of amazing PoC and bio-queens who didn’t apply.

Who should you have done for Snatch Game? 

Oh God, I’ve blocked that out. I did it. It wasn’t very good. I wish I’d done her [Blanche Devereaux] way bigger, changed my voice more, had bigger shoulder pads, done lots of things differently. But I haven’t considered who else I was going to do because I’ve been busy.

Did you think it was your time leave Drag Race UK?

Yeah. I remember thinking I could maybe get to top four but not further. But when I realised I was going to be in the bottom I knew I was going home. The Vivienne had done such a good job. I wouldn’t want to stay over her. I said in Untucked – they didn’t show it – if I win this lip sync I’m still going home.

Really? You would have volunteered to leave?

Yeah. Because at that point I was convinced she was going to win. I didn’t want to stay over that.

You keep trying to make me say b*tchy things.

Do you think confidence corner hurt you?

Oh that was such a non-issue. I never even said confidence corner once. I was not confident! To think I was being portrayed as someone who was confident is laughable.

Were there any other bits that weren’t true to memory?

The only thing I was surprised by was everyone being a bit shady in the challenge last night because we had so much fun. I think it’s a shame I got portrayed as the Poor Michelle of the group.

Drag Race UK queen Crystal

Crystal nearly won with the car-boot challenge. (BBC)

Who was portraying you like that?

Vivienne and Cheryl [Hole], but it’s fine, it’s funny. But that’s why I got so upset in Untucked because I’d really thrown myself at the challenge. It’s a bit disappointing. But whatever. It’s how the game goes.

It looked like nobody gave you the space to say anything in that moment. Was it annoying?

Yeah, it was. But I think Cheryl could tell I was upset and everyone kept asking how I was, so I think she was trying to take the pressure off me. I think she was doing it to be supportive.

I think people were worried that maybe I was going to sell out or not be myself.

Who do you want to win Drag Race UK?

Divina [De Campo] and Vivienne both have the potential to win, they’re both the complete package and they both deserve it in different ways.

Not Baga Chipz?

I love Baga. If it was a personality competition she should definitely win. But her runways haven’t been winners.

Why is East London drag better than the rest?

Not better, just different. We’re more thoughtful with the message we’re trying to send, which can be boring too. You keep trying to make me say b*tchy things!

You’re not wrong. Favourite US Drag Race girl?

I love Detox, Violet Chachki’s career and Alaska’s humour.

Favourite non-Drag Race queen?

Peaches Christ in San Francisco, and Baby Lame is cool.

I think Baby Lame said she was surprised you went on Drag Race UK. What do you think she meant by that?

I think people were worried that maybe I was going to sell out or not be myself. Hopefully I proved that wrong.

You tweeted about Brexit and Boris Johnson. Who are you going to vote for in the general election?

I just want to see what Labour does in the campaign. I live in Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency so it doesn’t really matter who I vote for, he’s going to win. I do really believe in the principles of the Labour Party but I think they have really mishandled Brexit.

But I also don’t know if Brexit is the most important issue of our times, I think climate change is. And Brexit is a real f***er for that. I don’t know. It’s a real mire right now.

The Lib Dems are really campaigning for a Remain stance but I don’t trust them at all. I think they will vote for austerity and policies that hurt people. I’m going to see how campaigning goes.

What’s next for Crystal?

World domination, I think. I’ll make London mine and I’m also producing a show for the Edinburgh Fringe. You’ll find me hanging from a ceiling.