Axed queen reveals ‘pressure cooker' atmosphere backstage on Drag Race UK

This week the south London queen became the third contestant eliminated from the BBC Three show.

Vinegar Strokes has compared the atmosphere behind the scenes on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK to a “pressure cooker”.

However, the south Londoner, 34, said the “ratty and catty” behaviour amongst the 10 queens on the BBC Three show was integral to it being “real”.

She became the third queen eliminated from the show after losing a lip-sync battle to her close friend Sum Ting Wong during Thursday’s episode, with both contestants serving up their best Annie Lennox impressions to Eurythmics’ Would I Lie To You?

Vinegar Strokes on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (BBC/PA)

She told the PA news agency: “You have got to remember, this is a pressure cooker.

“We are stuck in a hotel room every night. There’s no porn and you’ve put 10 guys in there.

“The pressure cooker is real, so as the competition progresses and people are being sent home and people are stressed under all these conditions, people are going to start getting ratty and catty with each other.

“But I think if you are not a bit ratty and catty it’s not drag. You need a bit of banter, a bit of a catty moment with each other to release the demon, as it were.”

Guest judges Graham Norton and Twiggy with regular judges Michelle Visage and RuPaul (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Queens on the US version of the series were known for “throwing shade” at one another, a slang term which means to be insulting.

Strokes starred alongside fearsome judge Michelle Visage, who is currently competing on Strictly Come Dancing, in the West End production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

She said: “Oh my God – she is amazing. I used to salsa with her every night. She was very poised and she still had her big, massive tits then as well.

“She’s absolutely gorgeous and she’s killing Strictly. I think she is going to win it, personally.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Michelle Visage on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

However, she said Visage refused to give her any tips for the show.

Strokes, who describes her drag persona as a “working class slag”, added: “Did she cut me slack? No way.

“When the auditions came out for Drag Race I was still working with her on Jamie. I said to her: ‘I might apply.’

“And she said: ‘Don’t ask me no questions. I’m not going to help you.’”

RuPaul Drag Race Premiere – London
The 10 queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (Ian West/PA)

Strokes added: “Here’s the thing. Her job is to be a judge, and she is also there to help us get better.

“My drag now, compared to eight months ago, is a world apart from what it was.

“And that is from comments from the judges but also working with the other girls and being inspired by them as well, to be like actually, I can turn a cool look.

“It might be very different. It might be outside the box. But it’s what I am enjoying and what works for me. It’s all good.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK continues on BBC Three.

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