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Contestant sashays away after becoming first queen axed from Drag Race UK

Alan Carr, RuPaul, Andrew Garfield, Michelle Visage on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (BBC/PA)
Alan Carr, RuPaul, Andrew Garfield, Michelle Visage on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (BBC/PA)

Gothy Kendoll has become the first queen to be eliminated from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK following a tense lip-sync battle with fellow contestant Vinegar Strokes.

The show’s creator and lead judge RuPaul told the 21-year-old from Leicester to “sashay away” after she fell flat during a sudden death rendition of Dua Lipa’s hit New Rules.

Vinegar Strokes, 35, from London, was told: “Shantay, you stay.”

RuPaul Drag Race Premiere – London
Gothy Kendoll (Ian West/PA)

Kendoll, real name Sam Handley, failed to impress judges RuPaul and Strictly contestant Michelle Visage during the premiere on BBC Three, as well as guest judges Alan Carr and Andrew Garfield.

She said: “I had the best time. I can’t even put into words how much of an exciting whirlwind it all was.

“I am gutted to be the first person eliminated from Drag Race UK. If I could change anything about my time, I would have come in the door guns blazing.

“I feel like my confidence really let me down. I’m so proud that all the hard work, all the energy that I put into my drag, is the reason I am called a Ru girl.”

Vinegar Strokes (BBC/PA)

RuPaul offered some conciliatory words, saying: “Gothy Kendoll, my dear, remember you are a champion. We are going to hear you roar. Now sashay away.”

RuPaul crowned The Vivienne the week’s winner, announcing that the 27-year-old from Liverpool had earned the first Ru Peter badge.

“Wear it with pride,” RuPaul said.

The queen secured the prize for a tweed outfit, inspired by Queen Elizabeth during a successful duck hunt around Balmoral.

The 10 queens are competing to be crowned the first champion of the UK version of the hit show.

The winner will be rewarded with their own programme produced by the team behind RuPaul In Hollywood.

In the first challenge, called Off With Your Head, each queen took part in a photoshoot posing with their own severed head, using a green screen.

Scaredy Kat, who at the age of 19 is the youngest contestant to feature in Drag Race, came out on top.

“Condragulations,” RuPaul told her.

Contestants in RuPaul�s Drag Race UK
The 10 drag queens (BBC/PA)

The second challenge saw the queens sashay down the runway wearing a look inspired by Queen Elizabeth.

But in a twist, moments before the challenge began, RuPaul announced they would have to create a second outfit based on their home towns.

She said: “Wait. Did you think I flew all the way over here across the pond for one outfit?”

East Londoner Crystal opted for a “military dominatrix” look, adding: “I’m going to crush you with my colonial might.”

Cheryl Hole served an “understated but still classy” take of Queen Elizabeth’s classic block-colour outfits.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK continues on BBC Three.

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