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Vinegar Strokes reveals how long the Drag Race UK queens are given to get ready: "It really is a race"

The Drag Race UK series one star tells how long the queens get to look runway-ready.

Vinegar Strokes
Published: Friday, 22nd January 2021 at 9:14 am

Drag Race UK is known for its outrageous challenges and campy queens but also the phenomenal looks turned out by contestants, who appear runway-ready in a matter of minutes thanks to the magic of TV.


But how long do RuPaul's Drag Race UK queens actually get to transform into fierce glamazons?

In an exclusive interview with, series one queen Vinegar Strokes revealed that RuPaul's Drag Race UK contestants aren't given as much time to get ready as viewers might think.

"I think people think we've got hours to get ready and it's a nice leisurely day; it really isn't.

"You get an hour-and-a-half to get ready and, for some people, it takes them three hours to four hours to just get make-up on, so they really have to condense it into one."

She added that, in episodes where the contestants must fashion more than one look for the judges, as seen in season two's premiere episode, queens are given even less time in between outfit changes.

"When there's two looks you literally get no time at all to go from your first look into your second look. Sometimes if you're doing really dramatic makeup for your first look, you've only really got maybe an hour to get from that to your next look.

Series 2 queens preparing in the work room
Series two queens preparing in the work room BBC

"So I think that's the one thing the public don't realise, that actually when they say it's a race, it really is a race. You've got no time to do drag the way you would do it at home.

"You'd spend four hours, three hours to get ready [usually], where here you're like, 'Right, I've got an hour-and-a-half, how am I going to get this face on – a tiger or a landscape or something ridiculous that I want to paint on my face, and also get a costume on and a wig?' It's a lot. It's funny how there's no time but actually you've got a lot to do."


Last week's season two debut saw Brighton queen Joe Black become the first contestant to leave the competition, with 11 wannabe drag superstars now remaining.

New episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season two will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer on Thursdays. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV Guide.

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