Words: Alastair James; pictures: BBC
Drag Race UK’s Ella Vaday says she feels like an imposter as she heads into the series finale and despite winning four maxi-challenges, the most of any contestant this series.
The top three finalist has stormed the show’s third series winning both the Snatch game for her ICONIC Nigella Lawson as well as a raucous performance in the semi-final’s comedy roast challenge.
As she joins Attitude and Tia Kofi for Tea Time, in association with TAIMI, the world's largest LGBTQ+ social and dating app, Ella says having to get ready for the show in the middle of a pandemic brought the series’ queens together.
Counting her Snatch Game performance and the comedy roast as among her highs for the series Ella says the whole experience has been "mental" questioning: "How can I enjoy the most stressful situation of my whole existence on this planet?"
Asked if she thought she’d win Ella tells Attitude: "I had a feeling I would do well; I didn’t necessarily think I’d make it to the top because you just don’t know how things are going to play out – things like snatch game and a comedy challenge scared the living daylights out of me.
"If it was a dance or singing – something I’m used to, I’ll be fine with that. Also, you don’t know who you’re up against until you get there."
But going into this week’s finale Ella reveals she feels some "imposter syndrome", adding: "Even though I’ve watched it on the tele after so long, it feels so surreal. It’s almost like I’ve been watching me on the tele but not registering it’s me."
Discussing how the queens of series three have remained close since competing on the show Ella says they're a family.
"I think what we went through in such an unusual time as well to get ready for Drag Race in the pandemic,” she added. “We had to get everything together after a year of not really working in 2020, to then find things with no shops open, I think it really brought us together."
"To have 11 people that have shared the same experience is just such a nice thing to have."
On people saying she’s either hot or boring, Ella says it’s been "annoying," as people come in all shapes and sizes. But she notes: "I was told I’ve got no personality and I’m not funny and then I won all the challenges that required a personality and being funny."
So, she gets the last laugh. Literally.
As for people thirsting over her: "I’ve never had so many compliments in my whole life."
On the topic of thirsting, Ella also reveals she has spoken to Russell Tovey since his guest judge appearance where commented he got a “woody” after seeing Ella dressed as an Oompa Loompa, but that nothing else had happened.
But, "It’s alright to window shop," she admits.
The Attitude December issue is out now.