RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Meet the queens of season five
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season five is just weeks away, and the BBC has now officially announced the names of the 10 queens set to battle it out for the crown.
Following in the footsteps of British drag royalty The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney, Krystal Versace and Danny Beard, the next batch of queens are ready to sashay into the iconic werkroom, and fight for a spot in the final.
All 11 queens will put their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent on full display for judges RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton. They’ll also face scrutiny from a plethora of British celebrity guest judges, including Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney, trans ally and music icon Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and The X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
Here’s your newest batch of Ru girls vying for the crown. God save the drag queen.
Hailing from Poland but living in the UK, Alexis Saint-Pete describes herself as an “international dancing Slavic sex bomb”.
A quick scroll of her social media and it’s not hard to see how she earned the title – Alexis is a hair-whipping, floor-rolling glamour puss who knows how to put on a show.
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She’s also a literal drama queen, revealing to Spill The Tea Mag that she’s been a theatre performer and ballet dancer from the age of four. Her drag name is based on Jessica Rothe’s character in the 2016 musical film La La Land.
As she’s explained before: “A lot of people think I’m a b***h because of how I paint but really I’m the easiest, most understanding, calm and loving person.”
Speaking about her appearance on the show, Alexis shared: “I’m so excited! It feels unreal to be the first Polish drag queen on Drag Race. I have dreamed about this moment, but I never thought it would happen and yet here I am!
“I want to inspire people to dream big, never give up and show that if I can do it, you can do it too! Let’s go.”
Banksie is a Manchester queen, much like her Drag Race UK season four sisters Cheddar Gorgeous and Sminty Drop (Cheddar and Banksy are actually from the same drag family). The latter two both became instant Drag Race fan favourites, so Banksie will no doubt be hoping to have a similar impact.
The non-binary performer, who uses they/them pronouns out of drag and she/her in drag, calls herself a “seven foot supermodel” and “visual performer”, and if her social media posts are anything to go by, she’ll likely be one of this season’s very best fashion queens.
Describing why she started drag in the first place, Banksie shared: “I was watching RuPaul on the telly and I thought, I want to do that! So, I started dabbling with drag in my bedroom for two years and then once I turned 18, I went out and I just flourished.
“Drag has opened my mind to a whole new world. I met a whole new group of people who are now basically family to me.”
London legend and trans icon Cara Melle sees herself as an “international drag goddess” and “Amazonian warrior”, so you know she has truly come to slay the competition. She’s also a phenomenal lip-syncer, serves body-ody-ody in bucketloads, and is a Beyoncé impersonator – could this queen get any fiercer?
Saturday night TV lovers may also recognise her for her appearance on the 2021 drag edition of ITV show Celebrity Karaoke Club.
In a statement, she shared exactly why it’s her time on Drag Race UK: “I serve amazing looks, I perform the hell out of anything and I bring main character energy to the game.
“I want to show the world who I am. It’s very important to me because when growing up, I never saw any Black trans women on TV, and now I get a chance to represent Black trans women. Although, I’m seriously shaking in my boots at the thought of performing in front of my idol RuPaul ! But hey, I’m mostly fearless, so let’s do it!”
A Kent queen, DeDeLicious is the BFF and drag sister of Drag Race UK season three champion Krystal Versace, as the pair started out together. Most recently, she was seen alongside Krystal on the latter’s new BBC reality series, Keeping Up With Krystal Versace.
While she, like her drag sis, is a hair-flicking performance queen, she’s also a seamstress – which always serves a contestant well on Drag Race. In fact, three of Krystal Versace’s best looks from her time on the show – her green, “Red Carpet Show-Stoppers” gown, her Cruella de Vil “Scene Stealers” look, and her gold “Oh My Goddess” garment – were all created by DeDeLicious.
“You can’t keep your eyes off me,” DeDeLicious shared in a statement, explaining what her shows are like.
“I like to be camp and stupid. I’m all about the facial expressions and jumping around. I want to be up in the crowd dancing and having a great time! I’ve done gigs in LA, Ibiza and the iconic London Palladium. I just can’t get enough. The stage is exactly where I belong.”
Another London queen (via County Durham), Ginger Johnson says that she’s a writer and theatre maker – but, if her online activity is anything to go by, she’s also a comedy queen. Her instagram bio describes her as “helium balloon in the shape of a woman,” while one tweet from during the June heatwave this year reads: “TOP TIP for drag performers working in this heat: get a proper f**king job.”
It appears that Ginger knows how to act, sing, write stage shows and cabarets, and do comedy. She’s a quadruple threat, and could put the other girls through their paces this season.
When asked what fans can expect from a Ginger Johnson show, she replied, witty as ever: “Well you wouldn’t get a refund!
“I love to create a fun space, so you will get songs, sequins, silly stories, and maybe a little bit of sausage meat in your hair. In my drag, I like to take quite serious subjects and present them in a really ridiculous way because I think that open up the audience to think and talk about their experience.”
Put the crown on this queen’s head for that pun name alone, we say. Yes, she’s yet another London queen (via Derbyshire), but she’s also a bit of a legend in the capital.
She’s another hilarious theatre queen, having performed on stages from the West End to Edinburgh Fringe Festival – in August, she spent most of the month at the Fringe performing her show, Drag Queens Vs Vampire.
Renowned for her Peppa Pig impersonation and one particular lip-sync in which she did a skin reveal – literally pulling off a layer of skin to Britney Spears’ “Toxic” – this is a drag icon of many talents.
“I’ve penned my own plays, comedy sketches, and stand-up routines and taken shows to the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond and received some fabulous reviews,” Kate shared, revealing why the Drag Race UK season five crown should be hers.
“I’ve even performed on London’s glittering West End – for one night only, but it still counts!”
We’re finally moving away from London, and we’re going up to Newcastle Upon Tyne, where Michael Marouli is from. Considering half of Drag Race UK winners (The Vivienne and Danny Beard) are from England’s north, Michael’s chances could be quite high.
Factoring in what Michael can do – cabaret, singing, hosting, and comedy, according to her Instagram bio – it seems likely that she’ll go far. Plus, a quick browse of her YouTube videos show that she knows how to perform, too – that includes jumping into the splits.
Those with eagle eyes or exceptionally good memories may also remember Michael from the time she auditioned on ITV’s The X Factor nearly 10 years ago, in 2014.
Michael has been doing drag for 17 or so years now, and reflecting on her first time all dolled up, she shared: “I was about 22 when I started in drag. I started off with chapstick and mascara. I look back at the pictures and I just cringe, but we’ve all got to start somewhere and this gorgeousness didn’t just happen overnight!”
Hey, Miss Carter! Doncaster’s drag darling Naomi Carter is a self confessed gobby Northern gal whose drag revolves almost exclusively around music. While her drag forename comes from modelling legend Naomi Campbell, it’s of course Beyoncé who lent her that Carter surname.
Plus, she’s a party queen – catch her performing to classic camp anthems, but she can also turn her hand to R&B, Afrobeats, bashment, drum and bass, or a good rap song. This is one queen who can put on a show.
“I can DJ. I can rap. I can lip sync. I can dance. I can act. I’m fierce. I’m funny, and I’m really nice as well,” she shared, modestly might we add, in a statement.
“I just cannot wait to get into that competition – I’m ready for it baby!”
Tomara Thomas, from Hartlepool (now in London) is potentially one of season five’s best known queens. She’s good friends with Drag Race UK season two fan favourite A’Whora, recently featured on GK Barry’s Saving Grace podcast, and back in May, she even performed as part of the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals.
So, she’s a proven performance queen, splits and tricks included, but her social media pages show that she’s also a pretty accomplished look queen. Plus, that mug? Beat. She’s one to keep an eye on.
Explaining exactly why she’s a true contender, Tomara said: “I’m more than this gorgeous dancing diva. I’ve got funny bones in my body so I want to win a comedy challenge!
“I’ve idolised RuPaul for years so the fact that they’ll be standing in front of me in the flesh is amazing – although they probably won’t understand a word I say!”
Cornwall queen Vicki Vivacious is another performer whose reputation precedes her; she’s known as one of the best cabaret queens in the biz. Outside of the queer scene, she’s probably best known for her raunchy Simon Cowell-themed burlesque performance on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent 10 years ago.
Revealing how she first got into drag, Vicki shared: “I’ve been doing drag for 15 years. I know that’s crazy, because I’m only 18. I fell into drag through my love of musical theatre.
“I moved from Cornwall to London to go to drama school and this is what happens when you get government funding and a scholarship!”
Drag Race UK season five premieres on BBC Three, BBC iPlayer and WOW Presents on Thursday 28 September.
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