Drag Race UK vs The World’s Lemon on the judges, Jimbo and how she really felt going home first

Lemon Canada's Drag Race

Unless you’ve been living under one of RuPaul’s old wigs, you’ll know that Drag Race UK has gone global.

In the BBC’s new UK vs The World series, all-star queens from Drag Race shows across the world are competing against each other for the first time. Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea and Cheryl Hole are representing the UK against queens from Canada, Thailand, Holland and the USA.

Episode one was a fascinating spectacle, giving viewers a teaser of the wide variety of drag that will be showcased over the coming weeks. The first challenge was a good old-fashioned talent show, featuring some hilarious lip-syncs and much-memed costumes.

The first queen to be eliminated was Lemon, who finished in fifth place in the first season of Canada’s Drag Race. This time, it wasn’t meant to be. But it also wasn’t without controversy: on social media, fans were not happy about Lemon’s early exit.

PinkNews caught up with the queen herself to find out her take on all the drama…

PN: Hi Lemon! What has it been like watching the episode back and seeing the fan reactions on social media, after all this time?

Lemon: It’s crazy! Honestly, it’s my dream come true. We found out about this a long time ago, so waiting for this experience to be public knowledge was really, really taxing. So you kind of get this thing in your head of being like: “If I go home first, no one’s gonna want to book me!”

But really, I feel like, if anything, this just made everyone want to book me and come to my shows! And as a drag artist, that’s the dream. So I’m very happy.

What was it like representing Canada? It must have been quite an honour to be one of only two Canadian queens?

I think Canada honestly produces some of the best artists in every field. I’m a dancer, and the dance education and the dancers that come from Canada are some of the most talented in the entire world.

But something that is really interesting is that we have to sometimes leave the country in order to kind of get the recognition and get the bookings and get ourselves taken seriously.

And so, I think, what I really wanted from this series and what I really wanted from this journey is for people to see me and see Canadians as being at the same level, as being just as fierce as the Americans and the UK queens. And I think, even though I did lose, I think I still did that.

Lemon and Jimbo.

Lemon and Jimbo. (BBC)

What was your favourite piece of British slang that you learned on the show?

My mum is Scottish, so I feel like I grew up in a half British household. There was no slang that I heard for the first time.

You know, my mum will still say things sometimes that I’ve never heard! But one of my favourite phrases UK people do, is saying: “Y’alright?” In North America, if you say: “Are you all right?” You’d be getting into a big conversation about how you are, but for you guys it’s just a greeting.

Who are some of your favourite British drag queens?

I love UK drag! I think Drag Race UK is absolutely amazing as a series. Maybe I’m biased, but I’m going to have to go with Ginny Lemon. I mean, there’s just something about the name Lemon that’s so perfect! And she is always in such beautiful colours.

You’re a trained dancer, were you looking forward to the dancing challenges?

Well, I’m very excited for everyone else, because isn’t it much more fun watching people not pick up choreography?! I think so. It makes better TV.

Are you a queen who was dreading Snatch Game or looking forward to it?

I love Snatch Game. I love Drag Race. I’m not afraid of any challenge and I know that I’m funny.

I know I’m pretty. I know I can dance. I know I can rap. So, bring it on, motherf**ker! So I wasn’t afraid of anything!

Who would you have been for Snatch Game?

I was going to do Tim Gunn from Project Runway, I was very excited about it.

What did you learn about drag across the world from the different queens in this series?

The most interesting thing about drag is that it can be so different, but it is also a universal language. It’s, at the end of the day, typically queer people getting up on stage and showing their heart and trying to entertain!

When you go see a drag show, you feel joy, you feel love, you feel fun, you feel all these things. So it was cool getting to see each person’s drag. But me and Jimbo are both from the same country, and you would never be able to pick two things that we do the same.


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Do you have any advice for anyone watching who was inspired by your drag and might want to try it themselves?

Well, my advice is: don’t start drag to get on Drag Race. You should want to do drag because you love drag and you should have a love for drag that is not related to trying to be famous, because that never works.

And then my second piece of advice is I would just say, the true best way to get booked and to keep yourself working forever, is to be a nice person! People want to work with people that they enjoy spending time with, because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re doing when you’re working with someone, is spending multiple hours working with them.

Did you think your elimination was fair? Should someone else have gone home?

I mean, I think, the term “fair” is… I signed up to be judged by the four judges and their opinion is what goes. So yes, I think this fair in that regard.

Do I agree with the decisions that were made? No, I don’t, I personally don’t think that I had the worst performance and I really don’t think I had the worst runway.

I think there are a few contenders for people whose runways didn’t read as well, at least to me. I think I was judged pretty intensely for someone who they’ve never seen before. It was not my not my choice, but at the end of the day, I signed up for them to make the choice

Who are you backing to win the show now?

Jimbo – team Canada all the way!