RuPaul's Drag Race UK: Blu Hydrangea Defends Cheryl Hole Amid Fan Backlash

She also explained why finishing in fifth place is not to be looked down on.

This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

The first ever RuPaul’s Drag Race UK semi-finalists have now been revealed, with Baga Chipz, Cheryl Hole, Divina De Campo and The Vivienne all making it through to the penultimate episode of the series.

As a result, fans had to say goodbye to Blu Hydrangea – just a week after watching the Northern Irish queen thrive as a member of the Frock Destroyers.

Speaking to HuffPost UK the morning after her final episode debuted, Blu weighed in on the biggest row of the series, stuck up for her pal Cheryl Hole amid a fan backlash and explained why fifth place isn’t too rough a position to finish in...

The final five queen of Drag Race UK
The final five queen of Drag Race UK
BBC / World of Wonder / Guy Levy

Congratulations on making it to fifth place, how are you feeling?

It’s been fine – I thought it would be like falling through a trap door, but it hasn’t, it’s been great.

You’re joining the ranks of Katya, BenDeLaCreme and Alyssa Edwards, who also came in fifth...

See that is pretty iconic. Those are some of my favourite Drag Race girls, so hopefully I can have even a quarter of the career that they’ve had. I don’t think I’m quite in those ranks, but it’s not a bad place to be. I remember The Vivienne on the first day said “if I don’t win this whole thing, I want to come in fifth place, because that’s where the people with the biggest careers come”.

Blu Hydrangea
Blu Hydrangea

Did you anticipate when you first entered the competition that you would make it as far as you did?

I thought I’d last a few episodes and that Snatch Game was going to trip me up. But as soon as I got there, I started to freak out. I had my moments where I was a little Nervous Nellie, during the acting challenge. I’m just glad that I got to stay through that, and not only be safe but win a challenge.

The first two to go home were the other youngest queens, Gothy Kendoll and Scaredy Kat – did any part of you worry it would be you next?

They are both so talented, it was just the luck of the draw with them – like, if Gothy hadn’t been sent home in the first episode I wonder how far she could have gone. I do think it’s really down to the challenges and down to who you’re lip-syncing against. I did kind of worry it’d be me [after Scaredy], but then the third episode was the sewing challenge, so I was like, “I got this”. That was the first time I felt properly comfortable in the work room.

At the beginning of this week’s episode you were riding high after the Frock Destroyers won the girl group challenge. How did that feel?

Oh, it was fabulous! But it’s always a blank slate when you go back in the work room. Even though I did well, you never know what they’re going to throw at you next, and at that point, I was feeling confident, but also knew something could easily throw me off. And it did!

How did you find this week’s challenge, because you told RuPaul that comedy wasn’t really your forte?

I did as well as I could, I wasn’t awful. I’m pretty proud of my little advert… I just didn’t trust myself enough. After Ru came round with his walk-through, I changed my idea straight away and kind of threw it together. I should have spent more time refining it.

Blu films her Blu Hydration ad, directed by Graham Norton
Blu films her Blu Hydration ad, directed by Graham Norton
BBC / World of Wonder / Guy Levy

Do you wish you’d stuck to your original guns? It was RuPaul who encouraged you to change your plans, but then it was RuPaul who put you in the bottom...

I mean, he said he wouldn’t want to drink my blood, sweat and tears, but then he said he’d drink Divina’s piss-water and Baga’s water [laugh] I should have gone with my gut but I mean that’s the way the game works, isn’t it?

A lot of fans have suggested that you shouldn’t have been in the bottom two, and that the judges put you there to save Baga. What do you think of that?

Who doesn’t want to see Baga on their TV every week, you know? She is hilarious, and it would have been a sin to get rid of her. There’s no way she could have been in the bottom. Before we went into the lip sync, I was expecting it to be one of myself and Cheryl against Baga in the bottom, but looking back on it, there’s no way they could have got rid of her, at all.

Would you have put Baga in the bottom two?

No, because she made me laugh. In a competition setting, I was like, “girl, she should have been in the bottom”, but no, she was way more entertaining than me, so I can’t say anything bad.

Blu in her final runway look
Blu in her final runway look
BBC / World of Wonder / Guy Levy

You mentioned on the show not wanting to be in the lip sync with Cheryl. How was it lip syncing against her?

I was just sad, because I knew that I wasn’t going to be saved – it was a Cheryl Cole song, in front of Cheryl Cole, and I was up against Cheryl Hole. But I would have been sad either way, because I love Cheryl [Hole], I wouldn’t have wanted to see her go, she was my closest person in the competition. But at the same time, I didn’t want to see myself go, and that’s why I had to put up a fight, even if I kind of knew what was coming.

Do you think the right queen went home?

I think so. It was my time, no one wanted to see Baga leave, and Cheryl had a lot to prove with that lip sync. So I think it was my time to go. The people I would still want to see on TV are the people that are still there.

Blu at the Drag Race UK launch in London
Blu at the Drag Race UK launch in London
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Divina and The Vivienne went toe-to-toe this week, what was that tension like to be around in real life?

It was hilarious. I mean, I don’t really cope well in situations where there’s confrontation, but I just thought it was really funny. I do feel like Divina had a point, though, because people were underestimating her and she didn’t deserve it. She’s a hard-working queen with many talents, and she was being overlooked – but she’s not anymore.

With all those big personalities around, did you sometimes find it hard to make yourself heard in the work room?

Oh, absolutely. The first few weeks that was my biggest problem. I think it’s what threw me off, and where I found myself in the work room, [my station] was beside Vinegar, beside Baga and beside Vivienne, so I was worried that I was going to be overpowered and overshadowed. Luckily, I stayed long enough to prove that I could stand out.

Did your Mary Berry in the Snatch Game help you do that?

Yeah, I don’t think people expected that from me. I think Crystal and Sum Ting both said that they were shocked by what I did and what I said, which is funny.

Blu played Mary Berry in the Snatch Game challenge
Blu played Mary Berry in the Snatch Game challenge
BBC / World of Wonde / Guy Levy

What are you most proud of about your Drag Race experience?

I think not only making it to the top five, but the Frock Destroyers charting in the UK – when I can’t even sing! But also being able to pay homage to the Cock Destroyers on a big platform like that – they are ambassadors for the community, so they deserve that attention. People were like, “why did no one do the Cock Destroyers for Snatch Game?” and I was just thinking, “wait until they see what’s coming up neeext!”.

It must have been amazing to be representing Northern Ireland on national TV at the same time the laws around marriage equality were changed?

It was, yeah. It was nice to be able to highlight that conversation and represent Northern Ireland. I’m really proud of where I come from, I just feel like the government doesn’t quite reflect the people or the place fully. So it was perfect timing. I hope that Northern Ireland is proud of me, and all the wee LGBTQIA+ people there have someone to look up to now.

In last night’s episode, you were talking about how small the scene is in Northern Ireland, are you hoping that both marriage equality and you being on Drag Race can help it grow?

Absolutely! I think morale and stuff in Northern Ireland will be a lot better than it has been, and I’ve seen that for myself. Hopefully it’ll have opened a lot of people’s eyes seeing me up on TV, and that alongside equal marriage, it’s just a great time to be gay in Northern Ireland. And if you’d asked me when we were actually filming Drag Race, it wouldn’t have been a great time for gay people in Northern Ireland. But it’s changed, and that’s great to see.

Blu Hydrangea, Baga Chipz and Divina De Campo as the Frock Destoyers
Blu Hydrangea, Baga Chipz and Divina De Campo as the Frock Destoyers
BBC / World of Wonde / Guy Levy

How did your Drag Race experiences compare to what you had expected as a long-time fan of the show?

It was kind of what I’d expected, because the girls say “expect the worst” and “expect to be put through the ringer”, and I prepared for that, and it’s kind of true! At the time, it was the most horrific, scary experience that I’ve ever been put through. It’s almost like a Saw trap, if you’ve seen the Saw movies, like, “what Saw trap are they going to put me in today, that I have to get out of?”. But in retrospect, it was one of the best experiences of my life and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Watching the show back, is there anything or anyone that has surprised you with how they’ve come across?

Cheryl. Because I had told everyone, Cheryl is a sweetheart, she’s so amazing and she’s going to be the most loveable person on the season, she’s going to be a fan-favourite. And reactions have been slightly different to what I expected. Not for me – I’m watching her and enjoying her and laughing every time she says something, but I know a lot of the fans have found her a bit hard to watch, which is sad because I know how talented and amazing she is. She’s getting a bad rap, I think.

How is Cheryl finding that?

I know it’s been hard for her, but she’s a strong person, and she got to make it up last night, show her talents and her abilities. I hope things turn around for her – not in terms of her experiences, because she doesn’t need one, she’s done amazingly but a turnaround in terms of the audience reaction to her.

New episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK are available to stream every Thursday at 8pm on BBC Three.


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