Drag Race UK’s Hannah Conda apologises to queen she eliminated

RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs the World season two star Hannah Conda in a BBC promo picture

Drag Race UK vs the World finalist Hannah Conda has apologised to the queen she booted from the competition just one week before the final in an exclusive interview with PinkNews.

    As the only performer from Drag Race Down Under to appear on season two of Drag Race UK vs the World, Hannah, who first appeared on the Australian spin-off’s second season, had the odds stacked against her.

    She has, however, blitzed the competition, landing in the top in three challenges and making it to the final four alongside Tia Kofi, La Grande Dame and Marina Summers.

    Despite performing well all season long, it took Hannah seven episodes to finally be awarded a gold RuPeter Badge, after last week’s wedding-themed roast challenge.

    Although Hannah had been in the top twice before then (once against Drag Race Philippines star Summers and once facing Drag Race UK‘s Kofi), the badge had always gone to the other queen.

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    Speaking exclusively to PinkNews alongside with fellow finalist Tia, Hannah jokingly explains what it was like to be “edged” by the judges and finally receive her badge, and why she’s happy she didn’t have to eliminated more queens from the competition.

    “Oh yeah, they edged me, they edged me,” she laughs.

    “It was a lovely release,” she says of receiving the badge. “I was so grateful for it. There were times that I thought I could have got [it] but it didn’t matter to me.

    “I was proud of being in the top three times and I count that as a win. The badge is just for doing the lip-sync well, when beautiful mother overlord RuPaul decides that our dancing for her pleasure was good enough.”

    Hannah adds that she is “really content” with her performance on Drag Race UK vs the World, but fans need to realise that a “safe” placement for a queen isn’t exactly a bad thing.

    “I was having such a good time,” she says. “I was proud of what I did. Just because I was safe doesn’t mean that I did a bad job. Why is being safe now a negative? Like, shut up.

    “Safe is actually lovely, especially in this game. You don’t get a target on your back. You don’t have to break someone’s heart and ruin their dreams and ruin their lives.”

    Referencing the contestant she sent packing last week – in what the eliminated queen has since called a “personal” decision, she adds: “Sorry, Scarlet [Envy], if you’re listening.”

    Hannah is also, even if the rumoured Global All Stars cast is to be believed, the first queen from Drag Race Down Under to go global and be judged by RuPaul.

    She paid tribute to her Down Under sister, Anita Wigl’it, who appeared on Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. The World, before saying what an honour it was to bring Aussie drag to a global audience.

    “I don’t take myself seriously, but I take my job seriously,” she said. “It was my job to not only represent myself, but represent the things that matter, and the things that are important about my country and what I love about my country.”

    Hannah’s first runway of the season, walked under the theme of For Queen and Country, paid tribute to the Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia.

    “People were like: ‘You should do the [Sydney] opera house, and you should do this,’ and I was like, ‘First and foremost, the Aboriginal people of Australia are the longest-living culture in the entire world still in existence. That is something I’m incredibly proud of and I love that about Australia.

    “So, I wanted to incorporate something in the piece to showcase that to the world.”

    Hannah also thanked costume designer Paul McCann for the “incredible artwork” on her outfit, which also paid homage to queer classic The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, and says she felt “very, very special” wearing it.

    “It was my love-letter to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia,” she said, and it got people googling and learning more about them, “which is incredible because a lot of people don’t realise these things”.

    Hannah Conda said it was an honour to be on Drag Race UK vs The World. (BBC/World of Wonder)

    And she reckons she’s already a winner, regardless of how the deadly lip-sync battle for the crown turns out.

    “I’ve been overwhelmed, so proud and honoured, to be a part of this,” she said. “I didn’t think I would ever get a chance to go back in, so the fact that I did, and got to be with these incredible people and make some really good TV and have fun [is great].”

    “Honestly, I’m in the happiest state of my life at the moment, just because I get to be with these people. Having these new sisters brings me so much joy, and that’s worth more than any crown, cash or anything like that.”

    The final of Drag Race UK vs. The World will air at 9pm on Friday (29 March) on BBC Three and on BBC iPlayer.

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