Drag Race UK: Krystal Versace on growing up with sister DeDeLicious and potential All Stars return
It’s somehow been two years since Kent queen Krystal Versace stormed Drag Race UK season three, and won twice: firstly, when RuPaul told her she was “born” for drag. Secondly, when he gave her the crown and sceptre, and declared her the season’s winner.
Autumn has rolled around once again, meaning Drag Race UK is back on our TV screens. We’re unbelievably on to season five, which features British drag legends in the cast including Kate Butch and Cara Melle, plus Krystal’s own drag sister of 11 years, DeDeLicious (who was also recently featured in Krystal’s new TV series, Keeping Up With Krystal Versace).
“We just got f**ked up!” says Krystal of how she and DeDeLicious celebrated when she was announced as one of the season five queens.
Two years on from being catapulted into the upper echelons of drag superstardom herself, Krystal Versace knows exactly how Drag Race can change your life. Ahead of the season five premiere, she chatted to PinkNews about where she’s at in her drag career now, her lifelong bond with DeDeLicious, and whether she’d ever make an All Stars, all winners return.
Hey Krystal! Two years on from your Drag Race UK win and you’ve just starred in your own BBC series, Keeping Up With Krystal Versace. What was that like?
It was a moment! It was crazy. I’m so proud of that. It really just popped off, and everyone loved it. The only critique we got was that it wasn’t long enough, so I can’t complain.
Keeping Up With Krystal Versace is your first big TV return since Drag Race. Would you ever be interested in making TV the focus of your career?
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I’m easy. Honestly, I’m a trick of all trades. I can do it all. TV is fun for me, but I like to be in control, so it’s not about just putting me on a TV show. [With KUWKV] I got to create a show with my girls, I got to direct and produce something that was purely magical and something that was from the heart.
We actually properly thought this out, and put it out there so people would appreciate some good TV.
If not TV, do you have a plan for where you’d like your career to go in the near future?
I’ve always got a plan, and I’m always working towards things. There’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline. My main focus this year was social media and really kicking that off. I’ve been going crazy on TikTok and working on content and giving people my tricks because – I’m the face! That’s what people come to me for.
The big question: would you be interested in going back for a second winners’ edition of All Stars?
I definitely would be interested in going back. You can’t say no. I would want to listen and see what they’ve got to offer and yeah, maybe compete against some fierce girls. That would be fun.
Is there anything about your drag that you didn’t get to show on season three that you’d like to show off on All Stars?
Everything! It would be the look, the performances, my confidence. All of it is so different from what I was then. I went into something so blinded and I was just doing my thing as a little 19-year-old.
I’ve changed completely. If I went back in there, I would definitely fight and have a good time and just be less apologetic and just get on with it and make some good TV.
I feel it would be the adult Krystal instead of the baby Krystal now. I’ve grown up.
On Drag Race UK season three, you gave us possibly one of the best lip-syncs of the UK franchise when you and Vanity Milan performed to Dua Lipa’s “Hallucinate”. Do you remember how you felt in the moment before the song began?
I’ve not heard that before! But sure, I’ll take it. We didn’t have the best lip-syncs [in season three], we didn’t have the most interesting performances. When they put [Vanity and I] together, because everyone knew we were performers and it was at the end [of the season], we were ready to go off. I think everyone just sat down and were ready to watch.
I really wasn’t nervous at all. I remember thinking: ‘If I ever got on Drag Race, and I do lip-sync, I’ll be absolutely sh**ting myself. But I’m a performer, that’s what I do. As soon as that song started, I knew exactly what I was doing.
They actually changed that song last minute, which was interesting. There was something else on the iPods – it was another Dua Lipa song, and it ended up changing.
Your drag sister DeDeLicious is on season five! How did you get started in drag together?
We grew up together and we’ve known each other for about 11 years. We went to school together – we’ve had that hellish experience – and then we went to college together. We both dropped out together and then both started drag together. Everything until now we’ve done together, and now we’re both on TV.
Why should people be rooting for DeDeLicious?
She’s a fierce girl and she’s gonna fight in that competition. She’s got a lot to offer. Even though she’s part of my family, she’s very different to me, and I’m excited for you to get to know what she does best. Because she puts on a damn show.
We’ve always trained ourselves to do it all, and we’ve always pushed ourselves since the beginning together. We do it all, as far as the look, the performances, the outfits, everything.
I think it’s gonna be fun to get to know her clumsy, funny side, which is something that obviously I know very well.
Is there ever any competition between you, or is it all love?
We’re so honest and we fight because we love each other. We are literally brothers and we are sisters. That has never been a doubt. That’s my best friend, that’s my sister, that’s my girl.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season five begins on 28 September on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.
This interview has been condensed for length and clarity.
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