The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK – S1 Ep5: Break Up (Bye Bye)

A wise man named Mahatma Gandhi once said; “Fuckin’ hell hun, that was a top-notch episode of Drag Race this week!” and he couldn’t have been more correct. Drag Race UK has already had such a huge impact despite being so new. The series has been phenomenal so far with the camp, the kitsch and the cut-throat humour but this episode for me has just pushed the marker even higher! Could it have Ru wanting to Break Up (Bye Bye) from the American seasons?

This episode had everything – drama, conflict, comedy, singing, dancing, innuendo and a fuck-tonne of tears. I’m unbelievably thankful for this UK season and so proud of the queens who are on the show. Don’t get me wrong, the American seasons paved the way but Drag Race UK has been a much-needed breath of fresh air to the franchise.

In the werkroom, the queens were quick to discuss the outcome of the last episode. Cheryl was first to bring up the debate of whether the Snatch Game required 2 winners or not.

Vivienne felt that she deserved to win but couldn’t call who else or whether it would be a double-win. Then Blu jumped in saying she also felt it wasn’t double-win worthy but didn’t say who she thought should have won on their own.

Divina also reiterated her point about not letting queens talk over her anymore. She quickly let Baga and Viv know that they were the two main culprits of her claim.

Do I spot some tension brewing?

“It’s getting to that point where I think friendships are out the window… and now it’s time to whittle out the garbage girls.” – The Vivienne

All this confidence over who’s got the most badges or who is ‘slaying’ is starting to get on the nerves of some of the other queens. Especially those who haven’t won a RuPeter badge yet.

But enough about that drama, to quote Cheryl Hole (who was on fire this week with the one-liners and comments):

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day in the werkroom and I’m ready for another week of me doing… mediocre.” – Cheryl Hole

The Mini Challenge – Reading is FUNdamental!

In the grand tradition of ‘Paris is Burning‘, the queens read each other to filth and the British queens are a lot more direct with their reads. Divina told The Vivienne to “fuck off ‘ome!”, Baga was repeatedly referred to as ‘Baga Shits’ and ‘Baga Shite’ and Divina was called a racehorse.

Break Up (Bye Bye) reading is fundamental

In the end, Crystal was the winner of the reading challenge which gave her grand powers for the Maxi Challenge this week. I actually think all the queens did a pretty good job of this challenge with not a single one flatlining.

Break Up (Bye Bye)

The Maxi Challenge – Break Up (Bye Bye)

RuPaul told the girls a quick story about why she hates girl groups. Not because she thinks they’re not good, but because of the devastation it causes her when they break up and that is the focus of this week’s maxi challenge. The girls will have to create girl groups and perform the first (and last) single as a group about the band’s split. The song in question is called ‘Break Up (Bye Bye)‘ and both teams will be writing their own lyrics and performing their own version of the same song.

Break Up (Bye Bye) Frock Destroyers and Filth Harmony

As the winner, Crystal got to choose her girl group and she picked The Vivienne (as she’s a singer) and Cheryl (as she’s a strong dancer). A wise move to create a great girl group, but I have to agree with Baga, she’s shot herself in the tit because now she’s got the chance of looking like the weakest member of the team.

Determined to psych out the competition, The Vivienne decided to get her girls to scream their team name in solidarity – “FILTH HARMONY!” However, it seems that Baga, Blu and Divina weren’t threatened by their antics and then they came up with the name “THE FROCK DESTROYERS“.

Break Up (Bye Bye)

Baga knew straight away what mind games the other girls were attempting and she knew that her team needed to stay focussed and get shit done. These 3 aren’t going to be scared of a little competition, so they just plod on quietly and let Filth Harmony have their moments. To help get into the groove, the queens would be working alongside MNEK.

Filth Harmony

First up to lay down the track was Filth Harmony and they all came into the room pretty confidently. Viv stated she was a singer so I’m expecting some big things from her…

… she was alright, her verse wasn’t thrilling but it wasn’t too shabby.

Crystal was another one that did a good job but it didn’t look like a great job – could the show be hiding the end results for us as a big surprise? Well… no. Turns out that the real star of the team was non-singing but good-at-dancing Cheryl Hole!

No I’m serious, she really had fun with this challenge and I was howling. Her adlibs were stellar and so Essex it hurt. Good job Chez – who would have thought I’d be seeing her as a comedy queen?

The Frock Destroyers

Next up was the smuttiest team of them all and they were bringing it all. It all started with a turban a hair curl and a dream. Then everything just got more and more fantastic.

Frock Destroyers Break Up (Bye Bye)

Baga started with some great vocals and even better lyrics. Who knew she was hiding those pipes (well, not most of the Brits who have seen her videos or watched her live, she’s a phenomenal live entertainer).

Then we come on to Blu. Not a natural singer, but I cried with laughter for about 2 minutes straight when she got too into character and shouted “despunk my balls!” – Christ on a bike, that was far too much for me to handle. She even had MNEK clutching at his pearls in shock.

Break Up (Bye Bye)

Divina represents me perfectly at this moment because I howled – really loudly – at a public viewing party for longer than I should have.

And then there’s Divina. It’s as if angels flew down to Earth and had their vocal chords ripped out and placed within the body of a 35-year-old drag queen from West Yorkshire. Those whistle-tone high notes were stellar and I’m glad she got to show off her operatic range. (I’ve seen Divina sing live before and it truly is a treat!)

But enough about the rehearsals, let’s watch the performances! First up, Filth Harmony.

Filth Harmony – Break Up (Bye Bye)

Individually, each of the girls looked very ‘girl group’ but there was nothing really that brought them all together apart from some thigh-high boots.

The lyrics each queen performed were cool which was a shame because The Vivienne looked like she was forgetting to say hers. Bit awkward when there was a whole lot of sass and bragging at the start of the episode to what was delivered.

Crystal’s performance was a bit ‘meh’ but it didn’t offend me because she had some okay lyrics. But Cheryl truly became the leader of this girl group. She was sassing every dance move, she was having fun with her lyrics and she looked like she was delivering the best performance of her life on her stadium tour.

The Frock Destroyers – Break Up (Bye Bye)

Cheryl said she felt nervous about the other team, even though she delivered a brilliant performance and Viv said that the best outcome for them would be if somebody on the other team fell and broke their neck. Are we seeing signs of defeat from ‘team confident’?

Undeterred by the mind games, The Frock Destroyers were ready to take to the stage. Well, they certainly looked like a cohesive group with their black attire and blonde wigs and they had the sass to back it up!

They certainly had the goods to back up the packaging. Sweet baby Jesus! This 👏🏻 is 👏🏻 a 👏🏻 fucking 👏🏻 game 👏🏻 changer!!! What a brilliant performance these girls did. Don’t believe me? The majority of the fans would disagree seeing as their version of the song made it to No.3 in the iTunes Singles Charts – no I’m serious! They got higher on the list than Lizzo, Arianna Grande, even Lewis Capaldi!

G’warrrrrrrrn lasses! Now there’s even a petition to get The Frock Destroyers to represent the UK at Eurovision next year (and my Lord I hope it happens)! Of course, this wiped the smiles off the other team’s faces.

You could smell the bitterness and fear. Well… Crystal seemed to impartially enjoy it at least. Anyway, enough about that phenomenal challenge, it’s time for the runway!

Category is: A Day At The Races

A true British tradition of seeing women get tarted up to high heaven. Race days bring in class, trash and a whole lot of big hats! So how did the queens hold up?

The Vivienne – Boot

The Vivienne Break Up (Bye Bye)

Now I want to make it clear, I don’t actually dislike this outfit, I just couldn’t toot it on the same level as others. It’s a nice dress and hat but it read more as a dress you’d get a damehood from the queen in rather than a day at the races. I do like the cut of the dress and her makeup looks great but I wasn’t wowed enough this week. I wish the sleeves were actually gloves and not just cuffs and it would have been nice maybe if we got a bag or details on the hat that match the inside fabric of the gown.

Cheryl Hole – Toot

Cheryl Hole Break Up (Bye Bye)

The judges were harsh on this Cheryl by saying this was ‘too pedestrian’. I actually thought it was the most accurate representation of an Essex girl at the races. Not only that, but the dress wasn’t that bad, the red wig looked great and her accessories were spot on. I actually think Cheryl did a great job this week with her look. Please Cheryl, I hope to see you in some more red wigs soon!

Crystal – Toot

Crystal Break Up (Bye Bye)

This is quintessentially Crystal. If Lee Bowery produced My Fair Lady and had a love child – this would be it! I love the ugly old floral print mixed in with a dominatrix aesthetic, the green ribbons, the giant hat and the binoculars completely sell this look. I can totally believe this is how Crystal would dress when she goes to the races.

Baga Chipz – Toot

Baga Chipz Break Up (Bye Bye)

I don’t know why, but Baga’s look this week gave me such a Coronation Street vibe. Not that Diedre or Rita ever rocked a big floral headpiece, but something about it screams a good old fashioned northern knees-up.I quite liked the colour, the gross dress and jacket combo with the yellow scarf and headpiece – it was all so repulsive that it became utterly beautiful. This is something the queens in Priscilla Queen of the Desert would wear as a mother-of-the-bride look for sure.

Blu Hydrangea – Boot

Blu Hydrangea Break Up (Bye Bye)

I liked that Blu did something different to the other queens. She didn’t come as an attendee to the races, she came as a bloody horse! Even though I applaud her uniqueness in this challenge, I just didn’t get much of a thrill out of it. Sure, it was well executed and all, but I’ve seen other queens on previous seasons wear horses on their heads with a nice outfit. I wish she came dressed more like an actual race horse – that would have killed me.

Divina De Campo – Toot

Divina De Campo Break Up (Bye Bye)

This is how you turn a look! Divina looks SPECTACULAR in this outfit. Like Blu, Divina changed up the game by going dressed as a high-fashion jockey. No, not Dawn the Jockey, a real life racing jockey. The heelless boots look like horse trotters, the riding crop and bedazzled helmet and the entire outfit all looked spectacular. I think this maybe one of my favourite looks of the show (including the American seasons). Divina, you are fierce!

The Results

With very little surprise, The Frock Destroyers were the winning team. But not only that, the whole trio were the winners and each bagged themselves a RuPeter badge! That’s the first time in Drag Race herstory where a whole team has won a maxi challenge. And to think these girls were the ‘underdogs’ this week…

That means that Filth Harmony were in the bottom. However, I’m quite glad that Ru told Cheryl she was safe because she truly deserved that this week, it was a shame she wasn’t on the other team.

That means that Crystal and The Vivienne would lipsyncing this week, I don’t think Viv expected that outcome at the start of the day!

In the end, The Vivienne won the lipsync and Crystal was sadly eliminated. It’s a shame, I’m going to miss seeing Crystal’s runway looks.

How has that affected the scores?

If you’ve not guessed by the way I’ve talked so far – this episode was truly spectacular. I actually think it’s the best episode of the season so far and one of my favourite episodes of all time – you heard it from me personally!

Winner: Baga Chipz, Divina De Campo, Blu Hydrangea – 5 Points
Safe: Cheryl Hole– 1 Point

Lipsyncing: The Vivienne – -1 Point
Eliminated: Crystal– -3 Points

After that phenomenal episode, Tom ended with 7 points and I left with 5 points also. That brings Tom’s total to 26 points and now we’re tying as I’m also on 26 points.

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

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