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RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK Versus the World premiered on Tuesday night, Feb. 1, and we’re still gagging over the insanity that was episode one. In fact, few episodes in Drag Race herstory have inspired as many memes, reactions, and hot takes as this one. If, like us, you haven’t had enough of the drama and conflama, here’s a little treat for you. Here, we round up some of our favorite reactions from the episode.
But First… A Ru-cap
Before we get to the memes, let’s ru-cap that episode. UK Versus the World puts a new spin on the usual Drag Race format by gathering nine Drag Race alums from around the world to compete to be the global glamazon. Representing the UK were season one queens Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, and Cheryl Hole, while Jimbo and Lemon served as Canada’s bets. The Netherlands’ Janey Jacké was the sole contender from Drag Race Holland, while the US was represented by fan favorites and All Stars veterans Jujubee and Mo (Monique) Heart. Rounding out the list is Thailand’s Pangina Heals, who co-hosts Drag Race Thailand and is competing for the very first time.
As for the judges, we have Mama Ru herself, Michelle Visage, Drag Race UK judge Graham Norton, and extra special guest judge Mel C., who served a lot of shade towards her former Spice Girls members.
As with past All Stars seasons, the first episode kicks off with a talent show. Baga, Blu, Cheryl, Lemon, Monique, Jujubee, and Pangina all did some form of song and/or dance number, while Janey Jacké attempted to shake things up with a five-outfit reveal performance. But, as anyone who’s spent enough time on Twitter will know by now, it was Jimbo who stole the show with an off-kilter horror/comedy pantomime involving sliced ham. It was pure camp.
And just like previous All Stars seasons, the top two queens got to go head-to-head in a “Lip Sync for the World”, with the winner bearing the responsibility of sending one of the bottom girls home. With Lemon and Janey Jacké in the bottom, Jimbo and Pangina had their work cut out for them having to decide which of their sisters they had to send home.
After a killer lipsync to Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There” (of course) but Pangina inevitably proved that, despite having no experience competing, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Our Favorite Memes, Reactions, And Reads From The Episode
Any RPDR stan knows that you can’t watch Drag Race without tuning into the reactions of the folks at Twitter dot com. And so, here are some of our favorite reactions from Tuesday night’s episode:
The Winner Of RuPaul’s Drag Race Takes Home…
Well, okay, not nothing. But because Drag Race UK vs. the World is broadcast on BBC Three, which is funded by the public, winners aren’t allowed to take home a cash prize. Instead, challenge winners get a RuPeater badge, while the season’s winner gets the title of International Drag Race Superstar and gets the chance to record a song with RuPaul.
Still, folks online couldn’t help but feel for the girls, especially the ones from the US and Canada, who’ve competed for much bigger awards before.
— Ryan (@_rybear) February 1, 2022
Jujubee Is Back, Back, Back Again
Back for the sixth time, prompting memes about how Jujubee will likely be on pretty much every other iteration of RuPaul’s Drag Race for eternity.
The year is 2083. The downloaded consciousness of RuPaul has just launched the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race The World vs The Galaxy. Jujubee is there again.
— JustifyMyLee (@JustifyMyLee) February 1, 2022
And of course, someone had to make a callback to one of Jujubee’s best lines:
— Ty Sunderland ? (@TySunderland) February 1, 2022
But that wasn’t the only thing people were paying attention to. Eagle-eyed fans caught this shot of Jujubee taking notes of her sisters – showing that she did not come to play this season.
— SMH ? (@Algemini13) February 2, 2022
Finally, this brutally honest line cements our collective love for Jujubee, who doesn’t hold back on giving us a little history lesson.
— SHANE REACTION (@imshanereaction) February 1, 2022
Is She Gonna Jump From There?
Lemon may have gone home on the first episode, but fans won’t forget her jaw-dropping stunt at the talent show. Dropping several feet from the air into a “lemon-crushing” split, Lemon’s performance had us all holding our breath like Morgan McMichaels did during Aja’s talent show performance on All Stars 3.
— SpectreSaunders (@SpectreSaunders) February 1, 2022
Jimbo Being The “Drag Clown” That She Is
Most Drag Race contestants choose to lip sync to one of their original songs during the talent show. Others, like Jujubee, sing live. But Jimbo showed up with something we have never seen on the show before – and likely never will.
— Ariadne ? (@Ariadne_Reviews) February 1, 2022
Dressed in what can only be described as a pregnant iteration of the Luna Ghost from Scooby-Doo: The Movie, Jimbo pranced onto the stage with a gold box labeled “talent”, only to reveal that it was empty. Disappointed, Jimbo’s pregnant ghost stomped around before pausing to give birth to… slices of uncooked ham? It’s one of those things where you just had to be there, okay?
— SHANE REACTION (@imshanereaction) February 1, 2022
The absurdity sparked many a meme and confused reaction online. Fans particularly loved the cutaways to Jimbo living her best life in the sidelines as she watched the other queens perform.
— eliot ? (@elioxts) February 1, 2022
In the wise words of Trinity the Tuck Taylor:
— Ryan ?? (@RyanS_UK) February 1, 2022
Mel C Throws Shade
Between comparing Baga’s bad lip syncing to Posh Spice’s and remarking that Blu Hydrangea’s cheerleader puppet performance was a great “way of keeping Geri (Halliwell) in time), Mel C was the certified queen of the roast that night.
— Dame Dot CottonCandy, Duchess of RoystarWayco ?? (@comagirlx) February 1, 2022
Lemon’s Crushing Elimination
Despite her zesty performance, Lemon was the first queen to get sent home in a shocking elimination by Pangina Heals. Fans were unsurprisingly crushed by the decision, even going so far as calling it “daylight robbery”.
— James Hughes (@JamesH_Sings) February 1, 2022
Some fans called “rigga morris” on the elimination, with some joking that if they were Ru, they probably wouldn’t want to have to share the spotlight with such a talented wordsmith.
— Reece ?#TeamWillow #TeamMoHeart (@FirkinDavis) February 1, 2022
Even queen Priyanka shared her crushed reaction online.
— queen priyanka – stream taste test (@thequeenpri) February 2, 2022
But Lemon herself will be the first to say that she doesn’t think she was “robbed”. In an interview with Digital Spy, she says, “ I get it. It’s part of the Drag Race culture – robbed this, robbed that. But I never had it, so how was I robbed of it?”
She also stepped forward to defend Pangina Heals, who became the recipient of undeserved hate and racism following her decision.
it’s never deep enough to send hate to my friend yall!! i love pan and she had to pick someone!! if you disagree just send me a dollar and stfu ?????? https://t.co/cMFojDD8iC
— lemon (@thatbitchlemon) February 2, 2022
The Bottom Line
After such an eventful and meme-worthy first episode, we can’t wait for the next episode of Drag Race UK Versus the World!