RuPaul’s Drag Race season 3: when does it start on BBC, who are the queens - and is Michelle Visage a judge?
RuPaul made history at the Emmy Awards in September by becoming the most awarded black artist in Emmys history
and live on Freeview channel 276
Following in the footsteps of Lawrence Chaney, 12 new drag superstar potentials will attempt to sing, dance, model and perform their way to becoming the next big drag act.
Series one and two of Drag Race UK have been streamed more than 35 million times across the UK, so who could be in with the chance of etching their name in herstory?
This is what you need to know about season three’s fabulous line up and when the show begins.
When does Drag Race UK season three begin?
RuPaul and his impressive lineup of guest judges will return to BBC Three from 7pm on 23 September.
BBC Three content is available exclusively on iPlayer. Each episode will be released on Thursdays at 7pm.
Who are the judges?
Regular judges Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and Graham Carr are set to return to the show in 2021. Other judges confirmed for this year are:
- Kathy Burke
- Emma Burton
- Alesha Dixon
- Judi Love
- Nicola Coughlan
- Nadine Coyle
- Leigh-Anne Pinnock
Who are the season 3 queens?
Victoria has been taking part in drag acts for three years and describes herself as “camp, Cardiff, cabaret, disco diva, with a lot of spunk…”
Victoria is the first cis-female queen - born a woman. Though she admits she doesn’t feel the need to stress what gender she was born as she prefers drag acts to all be treated as the same.
Before taking part in drag, she told BBC Three that she hadn’t found “the right outlet.”
Asked what her strengths are, she told the BBC: “I’m everything a drag queen should be. I embody a lot of traditional British drag. I am the whole entertainment package. I have been performing since I was a child. I was thrust into dance school from the age of three by my mother. She was a ballerina and was on The Benny Hill Show. It wasn’t easy at first, but fell in love with entertainment, it was a kind of Stockholm Syndrome for me. I fell in love with my oppressor. That is theatre for me. I live and breathe it. I need to do it to survive.”
She is “a caricature woman” with her acts consisting mainly of “high cabaret” and “utter nonsense.”
Veronica originally applied for season two of the show and took part in the early part of the season, however when the show commenced filming after the pandemic hit she had tested positive for Covid and was not allowed to return.
Now, she hopes that the prior experience of the show will serve as an advantage but she admits she’s nervous as it is a whole new batch of queens.
Veronica stole her sister’s name and revealed to BBC Three that her sister is the motivation behind her outfits and her act.
Asked how she has adjusted to the fame of briefly being on season two, she said: “I’ve done a song with Myleene Klass on the piano and she’s going to collaborate on my second song. I also got a DM from Ariana Grande’s brother! And Boy George, my Drag Race UK gay idol - who I paid homage to in one of my runway looks - invited me to be in his music video! It’s been a blast.”
Veronica has been working on her comedy, improv and warned she is a “triple threat,” while joking (or not) that if Ru doesn’t crown her this time then she will return again.
29, South London
Vanity is not holding back, describing herself as “sophisticated, sexy and savage,” and told BBC Three she is “serving unapologetic blackness”.
Vanity is South London born and bred and said her drag is very much a representation of her South London origins.
She warned that she “dances like no one else,” and is not a one size fits all act, but also refers to herself as “just a humble, performing drag queen serving high octane performances with extra spicy flavour.”
Vanity has only been participating in drag for one year, but admitted she is very competitive and believes she could still be this year’s queen.
26, East London
“She’s like Danny Dyer in drag,” admits Scarlett, “moviestar looks, with a proper cheeky cockney accent.”
While the drag queen said she isn’t one to brag, she revealed she’s got bounds of TV experience which will set her above the other girls.
“I think I’m going to kill an acting challenge. I’m not one to brag, but I’ve been an extra in films like Rocketman, the Absolutely Fabulous film and I’ve made a fool out of myself on a couple of TV shows,” she revealed.
However, she admits she can’t dance and instead opts for making people laugh by fooling around.
Asked why she should be the next Superstar, she said she’s come from nothing and hopes to fly the flag for those with big dreams.
Musical theatre loving River has taken her name from her hometown of Medway, Kent.
“I am 50% white British, 50% Singaporean and 100% a cross dresser,” she told BBC Three, as well as describing herself as a beautiful butterfly.
River has been dressing in drag since she was 15 and began taking it more seriously at 18, going out to pubs and clubs in full drag. However, she has only been touring her drag performances for two years.
Asked what she is most looking forward to, she told the BBC: “I’d love to do a Rusical! That’s really my thing. I’m really competitive - I am in it to win it. I want to strut on that runway and show everyone what I can do.”
As for winning, River looks forward to the challenge but revealed that by being on the show and given the opportunity to be a role model for younger drag artists is a gift in itself.
Confident Krystal describes herself as “a sex goddess...supreme...a god.”
It’s the legs, the body, the hips, the waist. High, feminine glam. Super fierce. She is just the ultimate moment,” she added.
Having used makeup since the age of 13, Krystal said drag was the natural progression for her when she reached 17 years old.
“My first time in drag was so overwhelming because it was the first time I’d been around other queens, but I just felt like I’d fallen into something so magical,” she reminisced, while arguing that while she is young, she is also “the full package.”
Krystal’s strengths are that she is a perfectionist, so she will work incredibly hard to be the best at anything she turns her hand to.
Kitty admitted she was the odd one out in her “normal” Brummie family, as none of them were into performing and she went to Drama School to study Musical Theatre.
She said Kitty was born from a drive to be sassy, “I wanted to be Elle Woods in Legally Blonde,” she recalled from her years studying musical theatre, which led her onto an early career in pantomimes.
Kitty has now been participating in drag for four years, revealing that in her first show she was a “hot mess,” but admits that at the time she thought she was “God’s gift”.
Asked how she came up with her purrfect drag name, she said: “Madonna Kebab, then I thought about Chelsea Bun, or Burger Queen, but nothing landed. But one day it just hit me.
“I have a large array of funny catch phrases and funny voices – and I realised that whenever someone was being a bit catty, I always used to say ‘ooh saucer of milk…. This kitty’s got claws!” And so that’s how Kitty Scott-Claus was born.”
29, Dagenham, Essex
Ella admits she’s very British - a little bit moany, but also classy, sarcastic, dry and a bit sarky.
While her name now relates to her hard working life, she revealed she used to be called Ella Vanass, “but everyone thought I was saying Elephant Ass, so I scrapped that.”
She has been acting her whole life, as a male actor, but Ella has only been a part of her career for the past two years.
While she has acted in leading roles for West End performances, she said Ella is the feminine side of her job, which as a male actor she had never been able to explore.
Asked why she should be the next RuPaul Superstar, she said: “I’m bringing all the skills that I’ve gained for the last 13 years. This competition is testing everything I’ve ever learned. In the short time that I’ve been doing drag, I’ve really pushed myself. I don’t do things by halves.”
Elektra admits her name came from a less professional moment in her life, when a video of her accidentally electrocuting herself on an electric fence went viral.
She does not recommend touching electrically charged fences.
Elektra has been a drag queen for seven years, minus a three year break when she was performing as a dancer.
Asked what her style is, she described it as “Pamela Anderson on the school run”, “camp meets glam with a bit of low-fashion thrown in for good measure.”
She is a trained dancer, specializing in styles such as freestyle, ballet and even pole-dancing.
Asked who inspired her drag act, she said fierce women are her biggest idols, such as Bet Lynch and Jane McDonald.
“But also by strong, glamorous ladies, like Miley Cyrus, Kris Jenner and Madonna,” she added.
Charity’s look is dissimilar to any of the queens she is up against this year, as she revealed her look is her way of breaking free from the “grey, mundane life we live in.”
“I’ve got a reputation for really outlandish crazy looks,” she revealed, “I like to play on the darkness in beauty, break beauty stereotypes and create a fantasy from another dimension.”
Her name comes from her ability to craft stuff on a very low budget and transform the grotesque to glamorous and style both at the same time.
She has been performing in drag for over five years and has performed in Tokyo, New York, Boston, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan and Bologna and most of Europe.
Asked what inspires her, Charity said she is a huge sci-fi nerd and loves to escape reality so anything which gives her an outlet to explore that side of her is something she is interested in.
Choriza describes herself as an “immigrant queen”, telling BBC Three: “I’m Spanish living in Newcastle, and so I am Newcastle’s spiciest, meatiest and silliest sausage.”
Choriza revealed she uses drag to connect with people through her act, as well as making them laugh.
Asked why she got involved in drag, she said: “There were so many artistic things that, as a boy, I didn’t dare to do, but then I realised I didn’t have to fit a standard.”
She also said she sees a lot of similarities between Newcastle and Valencia, as everyone in both cities are tanned - the only difference is in Newcastle it usually comes from a bottle or a bed.
Anubis is originally from Sussex, but moved around the UK a lot before settling in Brighton, which she describes as a place she feels free.
Her stage name is from the Egyptian name of the God of Afterlife, which she said is a tribute to her dad who passed away a few years ago and was from Egypt.
However, she revealed her act is more so a reflection of her grandmother, who raised her.
“My mum and my nan are big inspirations for me. A lot of my drag persona is based on my grandma, she’s an absolute legend,” she said, “she’s really wacky with a really kind heart.”
Anubis has been performing drag for two and a half years, but has been performing since she was a child.