Words: Alastair James; pictures: BBC
Drag Race UK's River Medway has revealed that Amy Childs was not even her "third choice" for Snatch Game, and that her preferred choices for celebrities to impersonate had to be abandoned at the last minute.
River jointly sashayed away with Choriza May in last week's episode after both failed to impress RuPaul in the lipsync and after being critiqued over their Snatch Game performances and runway looks.
As she joined Attitude and Tia Kofi for Tea Time, in association with TAIMI, the world's largest LGBTQ+ social and dating app, River said that The Only Way Is Essex star Childs was "not my first choice, not my second choice, not my third choice
“I had a few [choices]", she explained. "Couldn’t do some of them - some of them had been done on season two, which I wasn’t aware of because of timings and airings.
“I actually did alright doing [Amy Childs], to be fair, and also, as you know, they don’t keep everything in. So…"
River was also critiqued for her fruit bowl look on the runway, but the Kent queen says she was held back in the competition by a lack of money, not creativity.
“She didn’t have the money to pay people to make outfits so she had to make them herself. And then they’re acting like I’m a seamstress. I’m not, it’s like no, I didn’t have a choice,” she exclaims.
“To get serious for a sec, I was so upset with that [fruit bowl] look and I never wanted to wear it. And then I left it under my bed for so long and I was like ‘I’m not gonna take pictures of this outfit, I’m never gonna wear it again’, and then last week I was like ‘I better just take nice pictures of it, I’m going to’.
“I look back and I think at the end of the day, I can’t just focus on the good stuff, I have to think about my entire experience.”
River added "never really felt secure" in herself during her time in the competition, and has also addressed the shocking double elimination in the show's latest episode.
Responding to comments that she'd been robbed of a RuPeter Badge in the previous Drag-lexa challenge, River said at the time she didn't feel she'd been robbed but felt differently watching the episode back.
"I thought, 'Oh no, maybe this is like my time to go'. I really never felt really secure in myself in the show at all. Then I watched that episode and I thought 'Oh my god, they could have just given me that win'."
But, she also said she wasn't mad about it given the positive reaction from fans adding, "I feel like I got everything that you would get when you win, I just didn't get a badge."
Asked by Tia Kofi if she was expecting a double elimination River said: "Of course not!"
She continued: "I thought Choriza was going to be saved because I thought she was doing much better than me in the competition and I thought she's going to go all the way. This is just my time to go.
"After the lipsync, I was like yeah, I said to her [Choriza] 'you've got this, you've got this'. Then neither of us had..."
Reacting to her status as a fan favourite, River thought it was interesting adding, "the way I felt on the show is not how people have seen me on the show. It's not like I felt great on the show and now everybody hates me.
"I thought I wasn't going to have a great reaction. I didn't think I was going to make a big impact at all. And now I have it's like, Oh my god! Amazing. Great. Fab."
The queen from Kent also discussed becoming an internet sensation after THAT iconic statue runway look inspired by the real-life Thomas Waghorn statue in Chatham.
"It just feels a bit weird to be honest," she told Attitude. "When I did it, what I did just made sense in my head. I thought 'Oh well, anybody would do this, I'm dressed up as a statue so of course this what I'm going to do'."
Elsewhere River and Tia talked about River opening up on the show about losing her mum to Covid-19 in one of the series' most frank and emotional moments so far. River, who talked to her sister Ella Vaday about struggling afterward, said the moment was "very authentic" and that she was glad it had come across as such.
"They [the BBC] really just gave me the space to speak my truth and I did and I just let it all out. I just said everything [about] how I was feeling and I said what I knew I had to say. I was like, if I'm going to speak about this I need to not hold back at all. And I think I did that."
She also revealed that she and Scarlett Harlett are "best friends" after tension between the two in the last couple of episodes.
"We've had some of the best chats since the show. We're so, so good and I just think people need to remember that, like, that is not a reflection of us and our friendships now. We're really really good. I love Scarlett, I love all of them [The queens]."
RuPaul's Drag Race UK continues on Thursday nights on BBC iPlayer from 7pm in the UK.