Ellie Diamond, Asttina Mandella and Ginny Lemon from Drag Race UK season two. (BBC)
The Drag Race UK season two queens are finally here.
After feverish anticipation, frustrating delays and the small matter of a global pandemic, Drag Race UK season two is ready to spread its tuppence all over your screen.
Returning 14 January on BBC iPlayer, the new season will see RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton preside over a diverse new cast of queens, including the franchise’s first Welsh and Scottish contestants.
Expect glamour, spook, vocals, veganism and a whole lot of regional dialects for RuPaul to smile and nod at.
The twelve competing queens are: Tayce, Joe Black, A’Whora, Tia Kofi, Ellie Diamond, Sister Sister, Veronica Green, Bimini Bon Boulash, Ginny Lemon and Asttina Mandella.
Also announced Wednesday (16 December) was Drag Race UK: Queens on Lockdown, a mid-series special uncovering how the queens spent their time during the long, pandemic-mandated break in filming.
Tayce, 26, from London via Newport.
Drag Race UK’s first Welsh queen is a “girl on the go” who describes her drag as “modelesque, very villainous, dark, punky, edgy… a sexy owl here to peck your face away with my claws”.
Well-known on the London drag scene, Tayce is “here, queer and ready to let these girls have it”.
Like a few girls this season, Tayce has an aversion to the sewing machine, but doesn’t expect that will stop her from making it to very end “by hook or by crook”.
Joe Black, 30, from Brighton.
Joe has been performing for 13 years and comes from the world of burlesque and cabaret – “all ostrich feathers and glitter and strippers”.
She is bringing “all the eye shadow and the wonky eyebrows of the traditional seaside drag, with a bit of haunted glamour”.
A’whora, 23, from London via Nottinghamshire.
A’whora is the “fashion queen of the London scene” determined to prove that she’s a lot more than just her incredible looks.
“I wanna walk into a club and people be intimidated”, says the plastic surgery enthusiast, whose next procedure is getting her “fingers done”.
Tia Kofi, 30, from from London via Essex and Nottingham.
Tia Kofi is one-third of drag girl group The Vixens, but is entering Drag Race UK to “Beyoncé myself”.
Proud to be representing British queens of colour, Tia Kofi is bringing you “end of the pier Blackpool”.
“She’s live singing, she’s all dancing, she’s camp, she’s glamour, she’s also a mess.”
Ellie Diamond, 21, from Dundee.
Standing 6’4 out of drag, Ellie is “a really big queen – literally – in a tiny little pond”.
She joins Drag Race UK season two having performed outside of Dundee only once before.
She currently works in a drive-thru, and describes her drag as a “cartoon character came to life”.
Sister Sister, 32 from Liverpool.
A Sister Sister show is about “wacky monsters going for it”, inspired by old-school, Victoria Wood-style British comedy.
She can sew, turn a look, dance – although “not well” – and is here to represent a unique part of Liverpool’s drag scene
“You have the gorgeous queens of Dragtown, you have the queer scene who like to get down dark and dirty, and then you have me just plonked in the middle.”
Veronica Green, 34, from London via Rochdale.
“Gorgeous, goofy and professional”, Veronica Green has been in the industry as a theatre and opera singer for 15 years.
Although her dream of singing in Wicked hasn’t come true (yet), she’s ready to take the Drag Race UK crown.
“I am the most competitive person I know, and I will fight you on that if you disagree.”
Bimini Bon Boulash, 26, from London via Norfolk.
“East London’s bendiest b***h,” Bimini grew up in Norfolk but is now a staple of the capital’s “diverse, vibrant, colourful” drag scene.
Incredibly, Bimini invented veganism “about seven years ago”, and fancies herself the dancing queen of the season.
“I wanna show that you don’t have to be shady, be super b***hy to prove that you’ve got something.”
Ginny Lemon, 31 from Worcestershire.
Fancy a slice? Ginny Lemon is the “hairiest woman in showbiz” and “the only non-binary drag queen in the UK… with a sense of humour”.
Her ideal look is a “90s daytime TV presenter on acid”, she’s bringing you a “down o earth, working class sense of humour”.
“You’ll get high energy, madness, the unplanned.”
Asttina Mandella, 27 from London.
A backing dancer for the likes of Hercules and Love Affair, Pussycat Dolls, Little Mix and Kanye West, Asttina is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, vogue, whacking, hip-hop and street dance – but she’s also “a big geek”.
“Now it’s my time to be on the poster,” she says.
“I’m Serena Williams and Naomi Campbell if they had a baby, plus Azealia Banks at the same time.”
Cherry Valentine, 26 from Darlington.
Cherry Valentine only started doing drag a year ago, but tells her haters: “I’ve been doing it as long as I need.”
“She’s glamour, she’s club kid, she’s dark, she’s gothic,” she says of her drag.
When she’s not serving body and face, Cherry is a qualified mental health nurse, something she credits with helping her on her drag journey.
Lawrence Chaney, 23 from Glasgow.
Inspired by Lady Gaga, Madonna and Michelle McManus, Lawrence is “every single stereoytpe you are thinking right now of what a Scottish person is”.
“I’m almost the fat b****d of drag from Austin Powers,” she says, and is here to represent the big queens.
“I really wanna show that a big girl can enter the competition and really showcase the inner beauty and the outer beauty that we all heave. Not wear leotards with fringe on them.”