The new RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season is finally here and we are more than excited to see the twelve fabulous drag queens competing for the coveted title of The UK’s Next Drag Race Superstar. Anyone can admit that it is very difficult to predict who the crowned-to-be queen will be, but it is not early at all to get in love with them.
We have to admit that one of the YASS’s all time favourite is none else than Sister Sister, the Liverpool queen who is here to stay and to represent the best that the UK drag scene has to offer! We spent one socially-distanced evening with her and this is everything you need to know about Sister Sister.
First of all, how do you identify?
My pronouns are he/him and they/them when I am out of drag. When I am in drag my pronouns are she/her, because she looks like an absolutely gorgeous woman.
Where are you from?
I am from Liverpool. Just like Vivienne, who is my hometown sister, which is very funny, as she sent me a message the other day saying “Hello girl, I finally found that we’ve never met”. I actually started drag in London and I relocated back to Liverpool about half-way through my drag journey and I have been there the last 3-4 years. So, I think I have taken a lot from the London drag scene and have applied it to my personal style. There is a lot of influence in cabaret from the London drag scene that has influenced me. The Liverpool drag scene is very interesting and diverse on its own way. You have the gay town where they gay bars are and where the queens perform, and then you have the queer scene about half a mile down the road where you can find the cabaret and punk queers scene. I saw there was a gap in the market for Sister Sister, who is punk but a little more friendly as well.
Why did you choose this drag name?
First things first, I am a virgo, which means I change my mind every day. I have used so many different drag names, like Killer Whale which lasted a couple of weeks. For a while I was just Sister, feeling like everyone’s favourite sister. After a chat though with my comedy partner, she suggested doubling my name! And that was it! It is catchy and cheeky and it has a little relationship with everyone!
How would you describe your drag persona and your drag style?
My drag persona is very dry. She is a story-teller, she is a comedian and she is a bit of a hungry hippo. I love being able to make an audience laugh, by making them uncomfortable first. I have a degree in interior design, and by the way, my house is impeccable, it feels like an absolute trash but with some gorgeous furniture and feng-shui it around 3-4 times a month. I love being able to set a scene in everything I can do. It is a skill that I also learned to apply on stage. I am a story-teller and a joke-teller, apart from all the else.
Why did you decide to participate in Drag Race UK?
Because I wanna be rich! I did not apply for season 1, I wanted to take a back seat and see how it would roll out. When I saw the BBC trailer drop, I was sat in a chair in my living room and I was feeling pure jealousy. But, one season later, and I made it!
How was this experience?
Filming in itself was all the emotions, you experience every single emotion on that show, from pure happiness to trauma,. If you are mind, body and soul there you feel everything. Mix that with filming during a global pandemic and it becomes like escapism on set, which was a beautiful queer bubble, and I was feeling we are in safe hands being taken care of. It was lovely, a lot of fun.
What was the most challenging thing while being in the show?
Not having my phone during this period. I might sound like a millennial, I know. At the same time, this was good to avoid any distractions and to be 100% on the show. One of the fun things was learning to take the critiques and transform them to motivation instead of feeling insulted. This is the whole point of the competition! You have to keep going and growing and get better and better. The people giving them are experts in their fields, you would be an idiot to disregard them. There is one moment in particular, where I took a critique to heart, you will see this soon.
Was the experience of being a RuPaul queen different to what you imagined before entering?
Yes, I think it is like the case of expectations versus reality. When I applied for the show, we didn’t know we would be in lockdown and now I am managing to learn how you can be a queer performer and a drag queen under a pandemic. This is the most important thing that I had to learn and I could not foresee!
Also, it Is strange to see in person the people you idolise and watch on TV and see that they are real human beings! RuPaul is such a perfectionist!
How different will Drag Race UK season 2 from season1 and from the American format?
I think people will be shocked season 2 to find out the level the queens have stepped up compared to season 1! The contestants also seem to be a bit more competitive and they are in it for the win. It is so bloody fun and filled with drama, from the beginning till the end. It is going to be crazy.
Compared to the American version, I think the British have a ore self-deprecating sense of humour, which is more dry. It is something that makes us stand out!
Who are the drag queens you look up to and who are your inspirations?
I take inspiration from various things in life. When I do comedy I incorporate a lot of British humour. My looks are varied and very high camp, and I take inspirations from several things. One of those is Gemma and the holograms, where the girls looked so perfect all the time and had abstract make-up on all the time looking unhinged and incredible! This is so fascinating and so me!
When did you start doing drag?
I started doing drag about 4 years ago when I moved to London. I used to work in an antique shop in Mayfair that was selling expensive antique furniture to famous people. The look for the BBC trailer was inspired by a side table I sold to Samuel E. Jackson. I am also deeply inspired by the Memphis group.
What shall we expect from you in the future?
Graham Norton I am coming for your job. I can’t wait to get out of the lockdown and be again a clown on stage. I am writing my one-woman show and just expect more ridiculous outfits, shenanigans and high-class beauty, as always!
New episodes of BBC Three series RuPaul’s Drag Race UK can be streamed exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 7pm every Thursday.