Drag Race UK’s Danny Beard shares RuPaul moment that never made it to air: ‘You don’t say it out loud’
Drag Race UK crowned Danny Beard its next drag superstar after a barnstorming lip-sync – which, it turns out, was Danny’s second ever.
Speaking the morning after she – and the fandom – learned of her win, Danny admits that the first time she’d lip-synced (in her entire career) was during the Drag Race UK girl group challenge.
“I’m a singer, that’s what I do – I sing and tell jokes and call people c**ts,” says Danny. “I had this whole new admiration for lip-syncing when I came off the show. I felt Shirley Bassey’s voice coming out of me – and I never sound that good.
“The second time I’ve ever [lip-synced] was what you saw in the finale… I just felt every moment.”
Danny went head to head with Drag SOS star and all-round drag legend Cheddar Gorgeous, who was the queen to beat this season.
She thought it would go to her opponent, but like a true winner, says the outcome feels correct.
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“I’ve gone between every scenario you can think of times, a billion times. Whether it was a double crowning, Cheddar, but… in my heart of hearts, it felt right. I don’t want to sound cocky… I was literally it’s like someone kicked me in the willy.”
Danny had already made history as the first bearded queen to compete on Drag Race UK – now she’s first bearded winner anywhere in the world.
Drag Race UK’s Danny Beard on taking the competition by storm, the reign of Beard and how her winning lip-sync was the second she’d ever done.
She hopes that her reign kicks open doors for ever more diversity.
“I’d love to see drag kings on the show, I’d love to see more trans girls on the show, trans guys on the show. More non-binary queens, more queens of colour… I know a queen in Newcastle in a wheelchair and she’s just amazing. Hopefully I proved that we don’t all have to be carbon copies.”
Danny Beard also stressed just how important it was for the wider LGBTQ+ community – with an extra emphasis on the ‘TQ+’ – to come together and be celebrated, both on and off the show.
“If you’re confident enough in what you do, you don’t need to be shady or try and bring other people down – there’s always room for shade, but not in a negative way. You should want to bring each other up; drag is about that community of people. We’re part of the LGBTQ plus community as well.”
Of course, the Drag Race alumni are a community of their own, one that Danny’s already been welcomed.
During the episode, crowned queens The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney and Krystal Versace made an appearance, welcoming Danny Beard into the fold – something that she says meant the whole rhinestoned world.
“Each one of those winners – just like our top four – brings something completely different to drag, and it’s weird to think I’m sat with them now. I love Viv – she’s my sister and has been so supportive through the whole of this journey.”
“They all represent something amazing, and it was a nice little boost at that point in the competition to go: I could be sat in one them thrones… it gave us that fire.
Danny adds: “I remember Willam (a legendary Drag Race queen) said to me at a show: ‘Welcome to the sisterhood.’ And I kinda didn’t get it – but there is this weird network of girls around the world that have … let’s call it ‘shared trauma’, and have all gone through the same thing. It’s like a dream.”
Elsewhere, Danny and Cheddar won a shout-out from Shirley Bassey – “Shirley f**king Bassey – because that’s her real name” – but the most important praise, of course, came from RuPaul.
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During her final critiques, Danny says RuPaul gave her a message of encouragement which never made it to air.
“She said : You’re a star, you know you’re a star.'” Ru then asked her why she would get emotional when given praise.
“Because you’re Ru f**king Paul, that’s why. I believe [I’m a star in my head], but you don’t say it out loud, because you’re going to sound like a cocky c**t.”
“[Viewers of Drag Race] fall in love with the whole package and to hear RuPaul say all the things that I believed… you’re gonna listen to RuPaul saying it. It’s different to dinner lady Pam telling me I was a star when I was Danny Zuko in year six.”
Drag Race UK is streaming on BBC iPlayer.
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