On the latest episode of Drag Race UK, Bimini Bon Boulash, Tayce, Lawrence Chaney and Ellie Diamond showed off their acting chops in an EastEnders-themed soap opera challenge, channelling their inner ‘Skat Slaters’ and ‘Phyllis Bitchells’.
In the end, their impressive performances in ‘BeastEnders’ and their delightful pantomime-inspired runway looks resulted in RuPaul announcing that all four had made it through to next week’s final.
Numerous Drag Race UK fans couldn’t contain their excitement over the introduction of EastEnders and panto to the show, describing the episode as ‘iconic’ – but viewers from countries outside the UK were understandably confused.
After all, how do you explain pantomime to someone who’s never shouted ‘He’s behind you!’ during a Christmas production of Cinderella, or EastEnders to a person who’s never heard of Albert Square?
‘Okay, I’ll bite. WTF is EastEnders? #DragRaceUK,’ one viewer tweeted.
‘Watching #DragRaceUK and I had NO idea what a panto dame was, so i had to google search it,’ another said.
Someone else wrote: ‘I’m needing to Google a lot of things during this episode of #DragRaceUK wtf is panto?’
Meanwhile, another fan was clearly won over by the hilarious fun of panto, tweeting: ‘Thank you #DragRaceUK for introducing me to Panto Dame Drag, I’m obsessed!!!!!!’
One Drag Race fan added that they were having to ‘explain and translate EastEnders, Pantomime and Steps to the Swedes’ that they watch the show with, stating that it ‘wasn’t an easy task’.
During the episode, the semi-finalists were treated to a surprise video chat with EastEnders icon Natalie Cassidy, who first started playing Sonia Fowler on the soap in 1993.
Several Drag Race fans pointed out the parallels with the US version of the show, which recently featured a special appearance from Oscar winner Anne Hathaway.
‘Is Natalie Cassidy the British version of Anne Hathaway?’ one person tweeted.
‘UK getting Natalie Cassidy after the US got Anne Hathaway a few weeks ago, sums up the excellence of British Drag perfectly,’ another stated.
They’re both bona fide legends in our eyes.
The RuPaul’s Drag Race UK final airs next Thursday at 7pm on BBC iPlayer.