Drag Race UK season five’s most gag-worthy moments, according to the finalists

Drag Race UK finalists Michael Marouli, Ginger Johnson and Tomara Thomas.

Drag Race UK season five will draw to a close on Thursday night (30 November), with either Ginger Johnson, Michael Marouli, or Tomara Thomas taking the crown.

Fans of the show have been fawning over season five since episode one, falling in love with its contestants, including trans icon Cara Melle, and witty comedy queen Kate Butch. So much so, that there has been an outpouring of upset and fury after each and every elimination.

Drag Race UK season five has given us one of the very best roasts in Drag Race herstory, an impeccable panto Rusical, a stream of iconic looks, and, of course, a lot of drama – who can forget Bankie storming out of the werkroom?

Speaking exclusively to PinkNews, finalists Tomara Thomas, Ginger Johnson and Michael Marouli revealed the season five moments that had them gooped and gagged.

Michael Marouli lip-syncing against Cara Melle in the bottom two

In episode seven, the “Melodrama-Rama” acting challenge, fans were shocked when Michael Marouli landed in the bottom alongside Cara Melle. Two fan favourites with strong track records had to go head-to-head, and no one wanted to see either go home.

Cara Melle ultimately sashayed away, and now, Michael Marouli has revealed how “emotional” she was at having to send Cara home.

“I would say the gag for me personally was being in the bottom two with Cara. It was just so emotional,” she shares.

“We all collectively as a cast had Cara in the finale from day one. She was such a strong force as an entertainer, as a queen, as a person.

“We worked so well together and to do that challenge together and then be in the bottom two, it was just a moment that I was like, ‘Oh my God’.

“It rocked me to my core, thinking I could go home. I was just not ready to go home. Cara didn’t want to go. It was it was definitely a moment for me.”

The stellar pantomime-themed Rusical

Episode five saw the remaining eight queens tackle the much-loved Rusical challenge. It was panto-themed, and after how good Drag Race UK season four’s Rusical was, there was a lot to live up to.

According to fans, the season five cast succeeded. Ginger Johnson, who went on to win the Rusical, says that was the challenge that had her wholly shook.

“I think for me, one moment would be in the middle of the Rusical, with my head up a cow’s bum, sweating away waiting to come out and do my song and listening to everybody absolutely smash it out on the stage,” she tells PinkNews.

Ginger explained that Drag Race UK‘s Rusicals are particularly good for several reasons – but mainly because UK queens are famously good singers (Charlie Hides was right).

“I don’t really lip-sync at all. Voice is a big part of the performance. A lot of your character comes out and your voice, all of the emotion for the scene comes out and your voice, and I think that makes the UK musicals really special,” Ginger adds.

“I think the musical this year really just boiled all of that down into a really special moment. To get to educate RuPaul about what pantomime is, and for it to go down so well at the same time – because pantomime is something really close to my heart – that was a big moment.”

The insane line-up of guest judges and special guests

Drag Race UK season five saw an impressive roster of guest judges, including British music icon Alexandra Burke, Doctor Who‘s Yasmin Finney, Alyssa Edwards stan and trans ally Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Vigil star Suranne Jones.

Yet the one special guest who gagged Tomara Thomas the most was former British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, who arrived in episode two to offer advice during the design challenge.

Edward Enninful and RuPaul on Drag Race UK season 5.
Edward Enninful and RuPaul on Drag Race UK season 5. (BBC)

“What gagged me was when Edward Enninful walked through the door,” she tells us.

“That’s when I was like: ‘Oh, b*tch! Wow.’”

The support the queens received from a very eclectic group of British celebrities

The Drag Race UK finalists were anticipating love from the fandom, and even expecting some support from their fellow Ru Girls. But being noticed celebrities – especially some very random ones – took them by surprise.

“Babes, bloody Tracy Beaker followed me on Instagram. I was gagged,” Tomara Thomas gushes, referring to The Story of Tracy Beaker actress Dani Harmer – who is a long-standing Drag Race fan.

Yesterday, (28 November), Tomara found out that Hollywood A-lister Cameron Diaz is a fan, too.

“Joel Dommett sent me a message,” Michael Marouli reveals. The Masked Singer presenter Dommett was a guest judge on the acting episode this series, when Michael had to go head-to-head with Cara Melle in the lip-sync. 

“Then, I bumped into him in the street yesterday,” Michael adds.

For Ginger, it was a British soap legend who got in touch. “Lisa Riley from Emmerdale messaged me and asked if Mandy Dingle had inspired my sewing challenge look,” she laughs.

The fact it’s an all-North East finale

For the first time in Drag Race UK herstory, no queen from the south of England is in the finale. In fact, Ginger Johnson, Michael Marouli and Tomara Thomas are all from the North East.

“It means everything,” Michael says. “We’re all from working class backgrounds. We’ve all experienced varying forms of homophobia and stuff like that growing up, and now to be celebrated – it’s just incredible.

“We’re so patriotic in the North East. We like our own doing well. The fact that I’ve done it with these two, who I love and adore with all my heart, just means the world.”

“I’ve experienced some things like [at] stage school and things like that growing up, where you’re told not to celebrate the northern,” Tomara adds.

“This is a time to say, look, if you celebrate yourself and celebrate that northern grit, it can get you quite far, just like us three ladies.”

Ginger Johnson notes that she “didn’t know any queer people” when growing up surrounded by fields and cows in rural County Durham.

“Out in that environment, at least back then, it was a while ago, it wasn’t something that people openly talked about. I felt very alone in that at the time,” she says.

“So that’s my hope that having [us] three there reaches out to those kids out in the north east out in areas where maybe it is harder to be an out and proud queer person, and says that there’s a future for you – and it’s fabulous.”

The Drag Race UK season five finale will stream at 9pm on Thursday 30 November on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.

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