RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Joe Black has revealed he was only told that he could make a comeback on the show three weeks before filming was due to resume.
Last year, the Drag Race UK production was forced to halt midway through season two as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The queens were faced with a seven-month break in between the fourth and fifth episodes, with Veronica Green having to drop out after testing positive for coronavirus.
In last night’s episode, the remaining contestants had to choose between three of the eliminated queens to give one of them a chance to return to the competition, eventually deciding on Joe, who was the first person to be told to ‘sashay away’ by RuPaul in episode one.
After being eliminated for a second time in episode five, Joe spoke the press about how difficult it was to keep his return a secret.
‘They had seven months – I had three weeks,’ the performer said. ‘As much as I’d love to scream from the rooftops and be like, “Guess who you’ll see soon,” I couldn’t, so I was just sat there at home, like, “Well, I might be going back into the competition”.’
After episode one aired, numerous Drag Race UK fans expressed their hope that Joe would make another appearance on the show at some point in the future, with the drag queen even teasing the possibility.
‘Past episode one, that was particularly hard with people going, “I wish we’d seen more of you, we hope you come back,” and just having to absolutely ignore everyone, and just be like “Oh yes, that would be very nice that would be very nice indeed”,’ he recalled.
Despite being excited about the prospect of his return, Joe admitted that he would have felt ‘awful’ if any of the other queens had been chosen by RuPaul to leave the competition after their seven-month break.
‘Realistically, it would have been awful for them all who have earned their place in episode five, seven months of preparation, and then I walk in having not been there for episodes two, three and four. If someone else had gone instead of me that would have been so, so unfair, it would have been so unfair,’ he said.
Joe added that he ‘likes to think’ that if Tia Kofi had been told to sashay away after their lip sync, that he would have insisted that Tia be allowed to stay in the competition.
‘I think it would have been so unfair for anyone else to go so I’m glad to have played my little guest appearance,’ Joe stated.
While being critiqued by the judges on the main stage, Joe received heavy criticism from RuPaul for wearing a pink velvet dress from H&M in a now-iconic rant, with the head judge stating: ‘I don’t want to see any f**king H&M. What say you, Joe Black?’
Nonetheless, Joe said that he would ‘wear that H&M dress again in a heartbeat’, adding: ‘Clearly it’s an emotional piece! Very moving. I didn’t realise pink velvet could evoke such drama!’
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK returns next Thursday at 7pm on BBC iPlayer.