Some might call it oversaturation, but RuPaul's Drag Race certainly is having a mega-moment. With concurrent seasons of the U.S. original (now in no. 13) and UK version (entering no. 2) now underway, the latter took to a locally, globally famous subject: Wimbledon.
As Metro UK framed it, "Similar to last year, after intros the queens are given a photo-shoot challenge—this time inspired by Wimbledon—and all the ball gags write themselves as our Wimbled-huns are thrown onto the court with a racket and two pants-clad members of the Pit Crew." (Get it? Those are the show's muscled, shirtless aides.)
Said helpers lobbed regular and oversize tennis balls at the queens, with the photo moments that resulted bearing facial reactions ranging from frightened to exhilarated.
Hilarious queen Lawrence Chaney, hailing from Scotland but oddly making nary an Andy Murray quip in the mix, won the photo challenge. Her expression says it all:
Fellow contestant Asttina Mandella paid tribute to the Williams sisters with her look, and wrote on Instagram after the episode aired that Serena Williams "is an icon, an inspiration, a role model and reason to be proud of the person I am TODAY."
The show's U.S. iteration has substantially grown its audience since a move to VH-1 a few years ago, and the British take appears on the BBC.
Drag Race herstory, as they say, contains a few shards of tennis-laced wit:
A past U.S. season's guest judge told a contender that she was “the Serena Williams of one-liners,” and another player in the mix, Naomi Smalls, once sported a runway-ready tennis-tinged look. As RuPaul said then, “You are serving us Billie Jean Queen.”
In another past "mini challenge," queens were asked to perfect a celebrity photo-bomb, with their images inserted in famous historical depictions. So-called "comedy queen" Miz Cracker lofted up her wig and inserted herself in an image of Venus Williams hoisting the Venus Rosewater Dish, also at Wimbledon. The image appeared in her Instagram stories at the time:
With a smashing premiere under the belting of their tennis skirts and catwalk looks, Drag Race UK's season-2 queens will seek to game-set-snatch the crown over a few more weeks.