‘Bing Bang Bong’: How series two of Drag Race UK is breathing life back into the franchise

‘Bing Bang Bong’: How series two of Drag Race UK is breathing life back into the franchise

‘Bing Bang Bong’: How series two of Drag Race UK is breathing life back into the franchise

‘Bing Bang Bong’: How series two of Drag Race UK is breathing life back into the franchise


ooking back on the year 2021, historians will ponder many important questions. What impact did lockdowns have on the British national psyche? What was the best piece of art to come from the pandemic? And what on earth does “bing bang bong” mean?

If you’ve been watching series two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, chances are you’ve not been able to get those three little words out of your head. Appearing in the track “UK Hun?” from last week’s “RuRuVision Song Contest” episode, this incessant earworm has been the latest highlight in a truly outstanding series of Drag Race. Reni Eddo-Lodge said it best when she tweeted that the cast of Drag Race UK were currently “doing more for Britain’s reputation on the world stage than the British government”.

This series couldn’t have come at a better time for Drag Race. Last year, I shared my concerns that the show was in danger of burning out its loyal fans with back-to-back US, All Stars and international seasons airing concurrently. But while Drag Race fans love nothing more than slagging off the show, I’m thrilled to have been proven wrong by Drag Race UK. It’s a breath of fresh air that has left me excited for new episodes for the first time in years.

What is it that makes series two just so good? It’s the underlying sense of silliness laced throughout the episodes. We’re still given the feuds, sexual tension and drama we want from reality TV, but the queens seem less conscious of the fact that they’re making a show and more open to having fun. “RuRuVision”, the first episode filmed following a seven-month break due to the pandemic, proved this more than ever.

If you’re going to try and cheer up a group of drag queens who have lost their livelihoods, there are few better ways to do it than by parodying Eurovision with a song featuring the nonsensical chorus: “Bing bang bong / Sing sang song / Ding dang dong / UK, hun?” The version performed by the winning team of Lawrence Chaney, A’Whora, Tayce and Bimini Bon Boulash has topped the iTunes chart and has prompted calls for the group, the United Kingdolls, to actually represent the UK at Eurovision.

The verses penned by the queens are impressive – special mention has to go to the Grammy-worthy line from non-binary vegan performer Bimini: “Gender bender, cis-tem offender / I like it rough but my lentils tender” – but it’s those ludicrous bing bang bongs that are stuck in fans’ heads. “I’d love to know how many times I’ve sung BING BANG BONG today,” Nick Grimshaw tweeted on Friday, while RPDR alumni Kim Chi added on Sunday: “It’s 3:31am here and I can’t fall asleep. All I hear in my head is bing bang bong, over and over again.” Is it the fact that, nearly a year into lockdown, our brains feel like they’re the wobbly consistency of Angel Delight? Who can say?

When The Independent’s Louis Staples reviewed the series opener, he wrote that Drag Race UK was “innocent and chaotic enough to parody its polished American cousin”. “UK Hun?” is much of the same: it’s messy, camp and totally ridiculous and would feel totally out of place on the US show. While the talent on US Drag Race will always be undeniable (and season 13’s Symone is still yet to walk on the catwalk without making me gasp), they give off totally different vibes.

The United Kingdolls


Twelve seasons in, US Drag Race contestants know what’s expected of them. It seems ridiculous to suggest that Drag Race, a show so steeped in drag history and self-referential humour, could ever become monotonous, but there’s a self-produced sheen to the series. The UK queens obviously want the crown, but don’t take themselves so seriously. Moments that would have been cause for major drama on most reality TV shows, such as two queens wanting to dress as Naomi Campbell or A’Whora being partnered with Tia Kofi after consistently insulting her, are diffused using humour rather than descending into a screaming match.

Series two of Drag Race UK has recaptured the unselfconscious fun of the earlier US series, showing that the contestants don’t need to turn everything into an recognisable reality TV “moment” to make great television. When Bimini last week suggested that Lawrence should have a “PMA” (positive mental attitude) going forward, she was told to “get f***ed”. Sometimes, stupidity really is the answer.

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