Drag Race UK sends first queen home – and workroom tensions are already boiling over

RuPaul on the judging panel of RuPaul's Drag Race UK season 5 episode 2

The competition has properly begun on Drag Race UK, as the first queen of season five’s crop of drag performers has been eliminated, and fans have a lot of thoughts. Warning: spoilers ahead.

Following the premiere episode last week, in which host RuPaul revealed a surprise twist that meant none of the ten queens were eliminated, the contestants knew for certain that one one of them would be going home this week.

Fashion was once again at the heart of the episode in week two, following last week’s challenge, the “Fierce Impressions Ball”. This time around, the queens had to make an outfit from scratch, using items that would commonly be found in a pet shop. Think dog collars, fish bowls and cat beds.

After receiving advice from RuPaul and the outgoing editor of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, the queens debuted their looks on the runway, with some sinking and some swimming (with the fishes, in one queen’s case).

Manchester’s Banksie was declared the winner and given a RuPeter badge, thanks to her look made almost entirely out of neckerchiefs.

Meanwhile, Doncaster diva Miss Naomi Carter – whose look was lovingly described as “rotten” by Ru – landed in the bottom, alongside Polish queen Alexis Saint-Pete, who delivered laughs with a fish funeral-inspired storyline but was scolded for having a slit in her dress so high that the judges could see her “Triangle of Sadness”.

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The Drag Race UK season 5 promotional photo for contestant Alexis Saint-Pete.
Drag Race UK: Alexis Saint-Pete is championing Poland’s queer community. (BBC)

After battling it out via lip-sync to Charli XCX and Tiesto’s single “Hot In It”, Alexis ultimately became the first queen to sashay away from season fivw, after appearing to have an issue with her shoe coming off mid performance.

As always, there were a lot of thoughts in the Drag Race fandom – and not everyone is happy. 

“I will miss Alexis. Didn’t expect this to happen,” wrote one fan on social media, while another declared that Alexis “won” the lip-sync over Miss Naomi Carter.

“Am I the only person who liked Alexis’s dress?,” another disappointed fan asked.

“Shame Alexis left I thought she had great potential and was unlucky in the lip-sync,” wrote a fourth. A fifth added: “Alexis leaving actually has me raging.”

Alexis’s untimely elimination aside, fans were also gagged to see the tension in the werk room reach boiling point just two episodes into the season. 

Cara Melle, who had been dubbed an early fan favourite in episode one, was left fuming after fellow her competitor – and real-life housemate – Tomara Thomas suggested, in front of Ru and Edward Enninful, that she doesn’t know how to sew.

When the queens asked why Cara was quiet following her chat with Ru and Enninful, she let Tomara have it, explaining why it wasn’t OK for Tomara to show her up in front of people she idolises.

Competitor Kate Butch delivered the best line of the episode in response to the fall out, telling them to get on with their outfits and that they could “call their landlord in the morning”.

The duo eventually worked things out though, apologising to one another later on the runway, in front of Ru.

Still, fans are living for the drama so early on in the season.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK airs on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer in the UK and streams on WOW Presents Plus in the US.