Drag Race UK’s Dakota Schiffer on controversial elimination and judging decision she disagreed with

A promo photo of trans woman Dakota Schiffer for RuPaul's Drag Race UK . (BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Drag Race UK’s Dakota Schiffer on the mantle of “robbed queen”, trans representation and the new gay icons – the Queen Team.

This week on Drag Race UK, the queens were tasked with the make-or-break makeover challenge, marking the first time it’s been seen on Drag Race UK since season one.

While Cheddar Gorgeous snagged her second consecutive win, taking her badge total up to three, Dakota Schiffer was placed in the bottom two.

Dakota ultimately sashayed away – though many fans don’t believe she should have been in the bottom to begin with. But Dakota says she is proud of her work, and feels “affirmed” by the “insane positivity” coming from fans.

“No one likes to feel like their time was cut short, no one likes to feel that they were mistreated, especially in the eyes of the fandom,” she said.

“I’m just so grateful that people enjoyed what I did on the show, and I’m glad that I left doing something that I was really proud of and feeling accomplished in what I did. There was nothing I felt like I could have done more – so at least I didn’t go out bombing a challenge.”

Dakota and Bridgitte Schiffer in the makeover challenge (BBC Three)

Ultimately, Dakota thinks the judges were splitting hairs.

“I think everyone[‘s looks were] really even – there could have been critiques given to one person that could have been given to the other person. I think that the nature of this challenge, where it’s really hard to judge … they decide that they want something different every year to fit their narrative.”

Throughout the competition Dakota has been warned not to rely on pretty, a claim that followed her right to the end.

“I think getting the critiques I did on episode one about not understanding who I was, I was so conscious the rest of the competition, I was like: ‘You will know who I am by the time I leave!’

“That might have been a reason for my demise towards the end, but I’m very grateful that at least I went out in a look I’m proud of and that was signature to me.”

She also – quite rightly – think that her Pete Burns Snatch Game should have been in the top:

“I feel like the judging this season has been really, really fair in most cases. Apart from Pete Burns. But I’m biased.”

Us too, Dakota. Us too.

In this week’s Drag Race UK, the queens gave makeovers to “the Queen Team”, production staff assigned to look after the contestants’ wellbeing.

(BBC Three)

Dakota was paired with Lucie, who she says helped her through the majority of the competition.

“They have never got the flowers they deserve in the way they did in this episode,” Dakota said.

“And I think they helped us so much – the amount of picking me up, peeling me off the floor crying about musicals, or crying about lip synching for the fifth time.

Dakota also revealed that Lucie was very happy with her transformation – they texted just this morning – and this reaffirmed Dakota’s love of finding the femininity that was kept from her as a trans woman.

“To make someone else feel beautiful – that’s the reason why I do drag in a sense,” she said.

“I was always trying to find femininity and beauty that I could never have access to. I never felt that I was beautiful. So to make someone else feel beautiful, it’s a magical gift.”


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As the first trans queen to appear on Drag Race UK, Dakota also had some firm words on the need for more trans representation moving forward, on the show and elsewhere.

“I was the first but I hope there’ll be a long legacy of trans people as representatives on Drag Race, or any other British media.

“It’s daunting but I’m very grateful that there’s people who send me messages because they may have someone to look up to now, and that they feel represented and that’s just the reason why I did in the first place.”

Teasing her future projects, Dakota had plenty to say – no musicals, though. Or All-Stars… for now.

“I always thought even going into the show and applying for it, that I wanted it to be kind of a one and done – but who knows! I’m not gonna be rigid about it; if the offer comes, I’ll see what it is.”

“If the winds change in a few years, maybe, but I only got eliminated 12 hours ago – I’m not thinking about going back into that traumatic pink room.”