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Drag Race UK’s Ginger Johnson & Banksie Tease An Epic ‘Talented’ Season Five

‘DRUK’s Ginger Johnson & Banksie Tease An Epic ‘Talented’ Season Five

Pride interviews Banksie and Ginger johnson
Courtesy of World of Wonder

Plus, the queens open up about the moment they were cast on the show, the advice and experience they took from home, and just how gagged fans should expect to be this time around.

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To say that anticipation for the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is high in the lead-up to its fifth season is an understatement. Once again, the queens will gather in the Werk Room for their chance to be crowned the UK’s Next Drag Superstar for their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, and we can’t wait to see what this new batch of artists bring to both our screens and to the world of drag.

When it comes to the holy quadrilogy of C.U.N.T., both Ginger Johnson and Banksie have it in spades and are raring to show the world theirs. Confidence and competence are high, and yet being cast on the show was a surreal experience for both queens. Even now after filming has wrapped on the season, they’re still reeling a bit from the experience of seeing their dream become reality.

Banksie’s aspirations began with her watching Drag Race and playing around with the art of drag in her room until she was ready to head out in the world, where she was adopted by the Gorgeous family (the house that season four finalist Cheddar Gorgeous hails from). Ginger Johnson brings a wealth of experience to the competition, boasting more than 15 years of making the magic of drag happen, and with that comes plenty of comedic (and political) panache.

As for what awaits the audience, well, the two queens promise this is a season unlike any other. The queens competing this season, Banksie warns, are nothing short of “perfection” and Ginger cautions that audiences should get ready to be shook by the caliber of drag on display. PRIDE caught up with the queens about what audiences can expect, along with the experience and advice they brought with them to the show.

Drag Race UK's Ginger Johnson & Banksie Dish On The Advice & …

PRIDE: Congratulations on Drag Race UK season five! Tell me about the moment you learned you’d be cast!

BANKSIE: When I got the first call, I remember I was in my house. I was having a fag off the balcony and I got the call. It’s mad how one phone call changes your entire life. I was in tears, by the way, constantly crying from that point onward. No one was allowed to tell anyone, so I was just running around the house crying like a mad woman. I never wanted to lose the feeling so I wrote a note to myself of how I was feeling.

GINGER JOHNSON: I had literally been sitting staring at my phone for about 10 days. And then when I did get the call, I had to check that it wasn’t a prank first, because I just couldn’t believe what was happening. And then I gave myself about 10 minutes to turn into a bowl of custard and feel everything inside. And then you’ve got to get down to business because you don’t get long and there’s a lot to get ready. And I sew everything that I wear. So I had a big task ahead of me.

Banksie, you come from a famous family. I’m curious if you felt pressure to life up the Gorgeous name and did Cheddar have any good advice for you?

BANKSIE: Well, what people don’t know is that Cheddar also is a loser. [Laughs] No, we have that running joke. Obviously there was a bit of pressure going in. I am the baby. I am the bin baby, the one that was dropped off in a dustbin years ago and found by the family Gorgeous and taken into care. And it was lovely to have such a supportive drag family through all of my drag career. But then something I had to remember was that although I am a family member of the family Gorgeous, I’m also Banksie, I’m my own person. I’ve got my own dreams and my own aspirations.

Ginger, you’ve got a lot of experience in drag under your belt.

GINGER JOHNSON: Yeah I’m old, it’s fine! [Laughs]

Wait, that’s not what I’m saying [Laughs]! I’m just curious about if you see having experience is an advantage on Drag Race?

GINGER JOHNSON: Absolutely! It’s definitely an advantage to have experience behind you going in because I just tried to treat every single day as if it was a gig. I’ve been around the block a few times, lots of the things we’ve done, I’ve done those jobs. So I was very lucky in that case that I didn’t have experience in some of those things. But it can be a hindrance as well because you can get stuck in your ways a little bit. You can maybe think you know everything and there’s nothing like going on Drag Race to let you know that you know, absolutely nothing.

OK, last question! Describe this season in five words!

BANKSIE: Really. Bloody. Talented. Me. Love. It really is the most talented season you will ever see on Drag Race. Everyone at the contender? No one is below perfection. Honestly.

GINGER JOHNSON: I only need four words. You. Are. Not. Ready.

I love it! I cannot wait to see what both bring to the show, you’re both both such exciting queens and I can’t wait to see your journeys on the show!

Drag RaceUK season five premieres September 28 on WOW Presents Plus in the US and select territories worldwide, day-and-date with its local airing on BBC3 in the UK.

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Dread Central, Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Dread Central, Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.