Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Instagram/@tiakofi/@awhora
A new Drag Race UK annual from Penguin is hitting the shelves this week - and it looks set to rewrite herstory, by offering behind-the-scenes tidbits and a reevaluation of all the performers so far.
One section titled 'queen of talent' sees series one and two queens rank the most talented among the sisterhood... And finally, Joe Black is getting the recognition she deserves!
In this exclusive excerpt, stars including A'Whora and presenter of Attitude's Tea Time, in association with Taimi Tia Kofi answer the question 'which queen had it all and made sure everybody else mutha-tucking knew about it?' - thus u-vealing all about the T in C. U... yeah, that.
"In season one, I’d say Divina de Campo had the most talent. She can really entertain a group. She’s got presence. She can actually dance, she can do the splits – which is good for a girl of her age. From season two, I’d say A’Whora – I hear she’s very talented. Seriously, I’d say Bimini. because she’s literally an all-rounder. I mean, the talent to get four badges is very impressive. And her chair work is impeccable."
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"If I don’t say Divina I think she’d punch me in the throat. I mean, the girl can sing in eight different languages in five different octaves, while doing the splits. She can dance, she’s a magician, an actor, a model. She’s done everything and will tell you 20 times a day that she can do it all. I actually do believe she is very talented, as in the Frock Destroyers she’s the only one of us who can hold a note, so it’s great. The season two queens were all talented, but I’d have to choose Joe Black. She may have been eliminated first, but she’s a great cabaret performer. Her old-school cabaret shows take you back to a thirties German bar, which is really camp. I knew of Joe prior to the show and I honestly said to him before he went in, ‘You’re going to make it to the end. There’s no way in the world that you won’t!’ Then I got a message a few days later saying, ‘Oh well, that didn’t happen.’"
"I thought Crystal was extremely talented when it came to sewing and making her dresses – they were beautiful. The Vivienne is like an all-rounder. She is funny, she can sing, she can lip-sync, she can act, she can do stand-up comedy, she can make dresses, she can do her own wigs, her makeup is impeccable – she’s a full package, she can do everything. She may not be able to do the splits and all that, but she can... do the rest of it! Yeah, even more than me!"
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"In the first season, we were spoilt for choice, but Divina and The Viv, they just had so much to offer – singing, dancing, comedy, acting; they did it all. In season two I reckon Lawrence and Bimini had the most talent, but in different ways. Lawrence was hilarious and had some great looks, and Bimini… well, she was an amazing dancer and really pulled off some amazing looks in the later part of the series."
"I think everyone in season one was talented in their own way, but to answer your question … singing in five and a half octaves, it has to be Divina De Campo. Pure talent right there. From my season, I would say Tayce. That finale dance-number challenge – I was like, ‘Did Tayce win the series?’"
Extracted from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK by Christane Guiltenane (BBC Books, £14.99)
The Attitude Awards issue is out now.