It was another week in the Werk Room as the drag queens continued in their bid to be crowned The UK’s Next Drag Race Superstar on BBC Three’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
In last week’s episode, Dakota Schiffer, 22 from West Sussex became the latest queen to sashay away from the competition. After receiving negative judges’ critiques for her family resemblance look, she found herself in the bottom facing Pixie Polite as they lip synced for their lives to Miss Me Blind by The Culture Club.
Singer and songwriter Boy George, Graham Norton and Drag Race alumni, Raven were on the judging panel this week, with Michelle Visage stepping in to reside over proceedings in the studio, as due to unforeseen circumstances, RuPaul was unable to join the judging panel in person.
Boy George said of Dakota Schiffer’s runway look: “[The look] reminds me of Ready Steady Go and Bride of Elvis. So beautiful.”
Michelle Visage added: “I love the peach [dresses]. I think my issue is that you are beautiful, you are talented but you can also do more than what you’re giving me. I know you can because I feel like every time, it’s the same silhouette. You’re dreamy. I just want more, can you blame me?”
At the end of the lip sync, Michelle consulted with RuPaul and declared: “Dakota Schiffer, you fabulous woman you. You put the super in supermodel. Now, Sashay Away.”
Dakota Schiffer said: “Thank you for the most incredible experience and letting me finally have confidence in myself. Thank you.”
She continued: “To go out at this moment, it’s impossible to be sad. I’m so proud of myself. I’ve done things I thought I’d never be able to do here. I was the first trans woman on Drag Race UK. To be that representation has been an honour to represent my community.”
In a message to her fellow queens, Dakota left a message on the mirror of the Werk Room mirror, saying: “The Doll may have left the Valley but she certainly left her mark! TRANS RIGHTS!”
The remaining queens go forward to next week as they continue to battle it out to be crowned the UK’s Next Drag Superstar. RuPaul’s Drag Race UK returns on Thursday 10 November from 9pm on BBC iPlayer and from 10pm on BBC Three.
How would you describe your experience in the competition?
My time on Drag Race was wonderful! It was amazing and such a rollercoaster. I couldn’t be happier and I wouldn’t change it. I was so proud to be a part of the competition, represent my community and be the first trans queen to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. It was an opportunity I did not take lightly and I hope I made my fellow brothers and sisters proud.
What were your highlights?
Well of course, headlining at Yaastonbury with “Queens of the Bone Age” and winning the Girl Group Challenge was pretty amazing.
And then, I also won the Sewing Challenge with Baby! I’ve known Baby for years on the drag scene so it was great to work with her and then win the design challenge. Hands down, it was my most memorable experience. After being in the bottom in week one, I never thought I’d get such high praise. It was the best moment – I still have the dress hung up on my bedroom wall!
And during the improv challenge, Catty Man, seeing Alan Carr break character at my Danny Dyer voice was certainly affirming for my comedy skills! I loved that no one was expecting it and being able to surprise people in that challenge was really exciting.
How do you think you changed or grew during the competition?
I certainly learnt to have more faith in myself. I hate that I didn’t give myself the credit while I was there, but now watching myself back, I can feel so proud of how I did and how I persevered in challenging moments.
What have you learned/learned about yourself?
I have learnt that I can’t walk the runway without doing something stupid with my arms! But in all honesty, my self-confidence has grown so much. I think as a trans person specifically learning to love yourself can be such a tricky journey and those societal expectations have affected me massively my whole life. I am so thankful that I can be proud of my journey.
What looks are you most proud of and why?
It has to be my sewing challenge dress as that’s definitely one of the looks I’m most proud of. As much as sewing it was chaos, I am so grateful I got to redeem myself and be the first queen with two badges! I am also really proud of my entrance look, not because it was the grandest or most elaborate, but it was my first custom outfit ever and it holds a special place in my mint green heart!
What was your most emotional moment?
Being able to talk about my twin and my coming out journey in episode two was so important to me. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to wear their amazing knitted creation so I am very glad that when I went back to the Werk Room after being eliminated, I ran to go put it on ahead of writing my mirror message.
You famously said you hate musicals during the Rusical challenge. Does this mean you aren’t planning on a musical career?
Fortunately for Lea Michelle I won’t be coming for her Broadway spot as Funny Girl anytime soon!
What’s next for Dakota Schiffer?
I have got some exciting fashion opportunities coming up and watch out for my creative directorial debut – I have a music video coming out within the week! And bring on fashion week as I want to take activism and the fashion world by storm! I would love to be a community advocate for trans people. Hopefully, people who watched the show can feel represented and find something in common with me. I have got a lot to look forward to!
More Dakota Schiffer:
Meet Dakota Schiffer: https://twitter.com/dragraceukbbc/status/1567432948294492160