Drag Race darling Blu Hydrangea on unique edge she has over other UK vs The World queens

Promotional photograph of Blu Hydrangea holding a mace and chain

RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs The World is the highly anticipated spin-off series that will see queens from the US, Canada, Thailand and Holland cross the pond to battle it out against each other, and three legendary UK queens, to nab an all-new Drag Race crown.

Fan favourites Baga Chipz, Cheryl Hole and Blu Hydrangea make up the UK contingent of the cast, each making their first grand return to our screens since the inaugural UK season in 2019.

With the show filmed on their home turf and the queens competing before a familiar judging panel of Michelle Visage, Alan Carr, Graham Norton and, of course, Mama Ru, you might think the UK queens are at a slight advantage over their international competitors.

However, when PinkNews caught up with Blu Hydrangea ahead of the series premiere (1 February) on BBC Three, she deftly explained why that wasn’t exactly the case.

“We just didn’t have jet lag, but it doesn’t mean we weren’t tired from preparing for like four weeks before we got there,” she explained. “I think we just didn’t have that initial fear of Ru and of being in front of the panel.

“If anything, they might have had a little bit of an advantage because they haven’t been able to show their drag to Ru and everyone, so everyone that they do there from then on is exciting and new, whereas everything that we do might feel like old news.”

“I have watched the other seasons, which not many other people there had. No one there apart from me had watched Drag Race Thailand. So probably the only advantage that I have is that I knew how epic Pangina was!”

Returning to the show you made your name on always comes with a certain risk of not living up to the reputation you built last time, and Blu Hydrangea admitted to us that she gave the idea some careful consideration before deciding to sign up for round two.

“I feel like I was the only one of the cast that actually waited [before saying yes]. I had to wait overnight before I confirmed. I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m saying yes on this initial call,’ because I was freaking out.

“I was wondering if there had been enough time since my season. I think we got like a good six months to eight months in between, so it definitely felt like I had evolved a little bit, definitely confidence wise which I think was something that definitely held me back in season one.

“I think, if anything, the only people that probably had a disadvantage were the queens whose seasons aired during the pandemic, like Lemon and Jimbo and Janey. They were the ones that I felt bad for, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t bring it!”

After mulling it over, Blu came to the conclusion she needed to seize the opportunity. “They might not call you back the next time, you know what I mean? 

“I think Jujubee said, ‘When you get the phone from Ru, you always answer it,’ and it’s true. Well, it’s definitely true for her because what is this, her fifth f**king time on some kind of drag show?” she laughed.

And it’s not just Blu Hydrangea’s confidence that’s grown since her initial stint on the show – it’s also her bank account after all that touring with the Frock Destroyers. “Obviously money again, but that’s every drag queen’s difference between their season and All Stars,” she pointed out.

Upon returning to the werkroom, Blu set about assessing her biggest competition and there was one queen in particular who she knew would pose a significant threat.

“I think probably, for me, top of the pack initially was Pangina. She just scared me. I think because she was a judge and we hadn’t seen her compete, there was a lot of mystery and unknown there,” she revealed. “What’s going to happen, what talents does she have?”

As Drag Race fans will know, spin-off series often adapt a slightly different format and Mama Ru is known to throw in a number of twists in order to turn up the heat for the competing All Stars, meaning a queen’s social game can be almost as important as what they serve on the catwalk.

“Cheryl is like the most social queen I’ve ever met in my life. She’s like, Oh, ‘I’m just speaking to Priyanka on the phone. I just know this person. I just know that person, I just know Duncan from Blue.’ Every person that came in the werkroom, she was like, ‘Oh, that’s my friend. That’s my friend-‘

“I was like, ‘I am going home first. I don’t know any of these people. I don’t make friends, I sit in my house and troll people online.’ Just kidding!” the Belfast queen joked. “But yeah, I didn’t really know anyone and that was a fear of mine.”

Most queens and fans of the show would agree that the stakes for UK queens have risen considerably since the release of a certain beast who was catapulted to stratospheric heights since her turn on the UK show. We are, of course, talking about Miss Bimini Bon-Boulash.

Blu Hydrangea explained how the success of someone like Bimini influenced her and her fellow UK queens.

“I think Bimini is like the perfect example of what to do after the show. She wasn’t the first person to pave the way but she’s definitely given us like a little roadmap of what we could do post show,” she told us. “We all want to be as big as Bimini Bon-Boulash. I want to be a guest on The Masked Singer!”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World starts at 9pm Tuesday (1 February) on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer, with new episodes airing every week.