Drag Race UK star Veronica Green has said that the show is skewing towards an "elitism" that makes it hard for some queens, especially those from working-class backgrounds to compete in the show.
Veronica is the third queen to walk out of the werkroom after being defeated in the lip sync by Vanity Milan, who was also in the bottom two last week. The two queens found themselves in the bottom this week after failing to impress the judges with their two camp-inspired lewks.
As she joined Attitude and Tia Kofi for Tea Time, in association with Taimi, the world's largest LGBTQ+ social and dating app, Veronica said there is an expectation from fans that many queens can find hard to match.
In this week's episode, RuPaul asked the queens to create two looks inspired by camping, with one being made up of camping materials and items such as tents, sleeping bags, and rope.
After being criticised for her look being too much and "not all the ay there" (according to Michelle Visage) Veronica found herself facing off against Vanity Milan, who was also read on her interpretation of the week's theme.
Discussing her exit from the show (her second after having to withdraw from last year's competition due to contracting Covid-19) Veronica told her season two sister, Tia Kofi, that fans often had unrealistic expectations of the queens.
View this post on Instagram
"There is this narrative that you don’t need money to do drag and that is true, you don't need money to do drag. But you do need money to do Drag Race and that’s because of what the fandom has created."
She drew comparisons to some queens who are more angled towards lewks, and others, such as herself, who are performers and not as polished when it comes to their runway presentations. However, she says, everybody gets lumped into the same boat regardless.
"Some of us don’t do runway looks, that’s not our type of drag," she added. "And the fact that everybody expects us to come out looking like a million dollars, some of us come from very hard working-class backgrounds and what that means in this country is we literally can barely afford to pay our rent. And I’m not the only one."
"We do drag for the art, we do it for the passion for the love for the gender expression for the politicism. We don’t do it to look expensive," she continued.
Appreciating that Drag Race is considered "the Olympics of Drag", Veronica, who's openly discussed her financial struggles during the pandemic and after being forced out of Drag Race series two with Covid-19, says the show is now unfairly, "skewing towards this elitism".
"I understand it’s a competition but when you’ve got queens that are so creative and so passionate, they are being priced out of being able to even walk through the werk room doors because of the way they look. Appearances seem to count for an awful lot.
"I was relying on my personality, I was relying on my charisma, my uniqueness, my nerve, and my talent, not my wallet."
View this post on Instagram
Later in the interview, Veronica reveals that she did feel like she was judged, but the other contestants, to a different standard than the rest of the queens, and was often seen as more of a guide than a sister.
She also admitted to being "bit in the bum" by her focus on having a "glow up" rather than focusing on her own ideas and style for the runway.
Following her exit from the show, Veronica explained on social media that "in retrospect" she shouldn't have taken part in the third season of Drag Race UK given her struggles during the pandemic.
She opened up about falling into debt and depression and she was left struggling to pull things together for the third season.
The Attitude Awards issue is out now.