Skip to content

‘Demolished’ is an apt word for Hannah Conda and Tia Kofi’s performances on this season of Drag Race UK vs the World. With a respective three and four challenge wins, the Australian and British duo will make herstory if one of them wins the grand prize this Friday (29 March).

A Hannah win would mark the first time a queen from Down Under takes home an All Stars crown, while Tia would become the first queen of colour to conquer a UK series. Again, either of their names being attached to the ‘Queen of the Mothertucking World’ title would be justified. Hannah has proved that she is – as she tells us – “just too good at Drag Race” – with her second Snatch Game win and surprising status as a choreo queen, whereas Tia has redefined ‘glow-up’ by demonstrating her signature brand of comedy and musicality, never once placing below safe.

“Feel the rain on your skin, no one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in,” is an iconic lyric from Natasha Bedingfield. It’s not relevant to the above, but you’ll understand why we quoted it in due course. So, read ahead for our chat with Hannah and Tia, where the duo shower each other with love, straighten out a certain online fan “narrative” once and for all and reflect on their UK vs the World journeys.

GAY TIMES: Hannah! Tia! How are you both?

Hannah: Oh babes, can’t complain at this early hour of the morning.

Tia: I can! I can complain at this early hour of the morning.

Hannah: There’s not too many men I’d get into drag for at this hour, but hey, you’re one babes.

Tia: I would like to address something that you said in your previous episode of Snatched, with one Miss Scarlet Envy. Where you said, and I quote, “I thought some of your jokes were funnier. You made me laugh more than the people who did better than you.” The only people who did better than her are me and Hannah. So, say it to our face Sam! What did you mean by that statement?

GAY TIMES: I think Scarlet was funny because of how much dead air was in the room. I laughed because of how awkward it was!

Tia: You thought Scarlet was funny because she was bad?

GAY TIMES: I am sometimes guilty of, when a queen does bad, laughing. This is why Monica Beverly Hillz [in the children’s TV show challenge] in season five is one of my favourite Drag Race moments ever. I’m sorry! I love it.

Hannah: You like watching the downfall of other people. I see. It’s fair.

Tia: I just wanted to get that out of the way because it hurt me.

GAY TIMES: Tia I was going to embrace you tomorrow when I see you with a cuddle and a kiss. Will that be reciprocated?

Tia: Yes, but it’ll be a cheeky finger. I won’t tell you where.

GAY TIMES: That’s fine. I will accept that.

Hannah: Do I get one as well, please?

GAY TIMES: Well Hannah, where are you right now?

Hannah: I’m currently in Haringey at my friend’s flat, so I’m in London. And I will be at the finale [party] tomorrow with Tia. So, it’s going to be very gay. I’m excited.

Tia: We will be holding hands like we did at the end of that lip-sync last episode.

GAY TIMES: Hannah, if there is another finger there somewhere in this situation, it’s absolutely fine with me. I don’t mind.

Hannah: I’m giving you full consent to finger whatever you feel.

Tia: All fingers for Sam!

GAY TIMES: Congratulations to you both on making top four. How do you feel, heading into this finale?

Hannah: I’m over the bloody moon. Honestly, going into vs the World I was ready to just have a good time and enjoy it. Where I would place, I didn’t really think about it. But the fact that I’ve got to the finale again, I realised I’m just too good at Drag Race, so woo-hoo!

Tia: I feel great. I am the only person in the top four who didn’t make the finale of their original season, so I feel very blessed to be there with three people who came second. Well, one person who officially came second and two other people who, in my opinion, came second. It’s absolutely gag-worthy that I’ve entered the top four with no wins on my original season… and now four wins! Because top two does count as wins, just FYI everyone. Badges are for the lip-sync.

Hannah: That part!

Tia: It’s crazy. It’s wild. It’s amazing. I’m very, very grateful.

GAY TIMES: Yeah, I’m a bit confused with people claiming that if you don’t win the lip-sync, you don’t win, full stop. It did on every single season of All Stars?

Hannah: It’s the bastards on the internet. Calm down, if we’re in the top two then we’ve clearly won the challenge and then the badges are if you won the lip-sync. I mean, calm down!

Tia: Yeah that narrative has mysteriously started from a particular post, and I think it’s very silly because, I mean, Trixie Mattel must have won All Stars with no wins, then?

GAY TIMES: Or Katya had no wins on All Stars 2.

Tia: Yeah. Famously everyone always says, ‘No wins Katya.’ That’s what they call her.

GAY TIMES: Well Tia, you have won four challenges. The first time a queen has done so on a vs the World season. What changed for you this time around, besides an aesthetic glow-up?

Tia: You say ‘aesthetic glow-up’, I’m literally wearing my season two entrance look right now! It was definitely the mindset. Going into this season, having months before been dealing with some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with in my life… I lost my mum, went through a breakup, lost Cherry Valentine only a few months before getting the phone call for this season. So, it’s been a really difficult period of time, but it felt right. It was almost like getting that phone call gave me something to focus on. That really spurred me on to want to fight for it and do my best, and succeed in whatever way that meant. I felt like I succeeded on my first season. I was bad at everything, objectively, but I succeeded by being part of it, being there and being authentically myself. That’s what I wanted to do this time, to show that I always had what it took. It just took a bit more confidence, a bit more self-assurance and better outfits!

GAY TIMES: Since season two you’ve memorably reclaimed the title “Baroness Basic” but I think that can go now?

Tia: I appreciate that, but my basic t-shirts are still available. Dya know what, I saw nothing wrong in gaining that title at that period of time. I don’t care about it. I don’t see it as a negative. I almost wear it as a badge of honour because now I’m like, ‘I’m representing people who maybe don’t want to serve glitz and glamour all the time and want to march to the beat of their own drum.’ I will forever be queen of the nerds, Baroness Basic. Just a good time gal.

GAY TIMES: And Hannah, like Tia, you have performed insanely well. As the first Drag Race Down Under queen to appear on an All Stars… Wait, I’ve got that wrong, haven’t I?

Hannah: No, Anita Wig’lit was on Canada vs the World. But does that count? I don’t think so. I’m only joking, I love my Anita! Well, the first Australian queen to represent Down Under on an All Stars franchise.

GAY TIMES: So, as the first Australian queen, have you felt obliged to be a good representation of Australian drag?

Hannah: Absolutely. For me, going into the vs the World situation, it was my chance to showcase what Australian drag was a little bit more. There’s some things that the Down Under franchise hasn’t really got to showcase about what Australian and New Zealand drag is. That’s why my mission to bring things… Like my lizard with the Aboriginal artwork on it, it did exactly what I wanted it to do, which was to encourage people to understand what Australia’s first nations people are all about, and that we have the longest living culture in the whole entire world still in existence. People didn’t realise this, so to put it on a global platform with a costume is really exciting and powerful. Shoutout to Paul, who did the artwork on that. Also, Priscilla, being our bible in Australia… I’m just so surprised that hasn’t been tapped into more in the Down Under franchise. That’s iconically Australian. For its time, being so queer and crazy is insane. I just really wanted to make my country proud and, most of all, make myself proud. I lost a little bit of faith in myself and I’ve definitely found it again. I’m just really over the moon with how everything went. I think it came down to the fact that I really just let go of any sort of hesitation and nerves. I just had fun, and that’s what all I’m about.

Tia: “Feel your inhibitions!” Very that.

Hannah: “Feel the rain on your skin!”

Tia and Hannah: “No one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in. No one else, no one else, can speak the words on your lips. Drench yourself in words unspoken…”

Tia: That was very gay.

GAY TIMES: Have you guys seen Anyone But You?

Tia and Hannah: What?

Tia: What’s the question?

GAY TIMES: The Sydney Sweeney rom-com?

Tia: Oh…

Hannah: [Shakes head]

GAY TIMES: Never mind.

Tia: We’ve only been watching RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World season two, available on BBC iPlayer and WOW Presents Plus, depending on your territory.

Hannah: And Stan and Crave.

Tia: And I stan and crave you, mama!

Hannah: The house down with your boots on gaga, yes queen!

GAY TIMES: I mentioned that because they pay homage to Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’, but you did a much better job. Hannah, a lot of viewers were sad and angry when you revealed how ‘fans’ have treated you since Down Under season two. Who the fuck is walking past Hannah Conda at a meet-and-greet?

Hannah: Bastards! Bastards. And you know what, the reason for telling that story is because I am 150 per cent not alone. There’s a story, I believe it was Asia O’Hara when she was doing a Werq the World tour and people would ask her to step out of the photos. That is sometimes the brashness of the fandom that is just not needed and not acceptable anymore. I’m not going to take it. I think some people really find joy in bringing us down, when all we’re trying to do is make a really fun TV show. If we didn’t have drama then they’d be like, ‘It’s boring’. If we have drama, then everyone’s upset.

We can enjoy the show for what it is without having to shit on somebody else. I’m so done with it. We get told to not engage with it, but we see it. When I refresh my Instagram, it sometimes pops up and you see it. If they have the right to say that to us, then I have the right to respond and defend myself. That is what it is, being a human, it’s talking to each other and challenging people’s perceptions of who you are. I have every right to defend myself, and I will now. If that happens to any one of my sisters, I’m absolutely going to call it out, because it’s time to stop. We’ve got enough attacks coming from outside of our bubble that we don’t need it coming from inside the house. I do not stand for it anymore. Period, point, blank, done.

Tia: Same. Retweet, retweet.

Hannah: We’re so much better than that. Drag’s supposed to be joyful and fun. Look at us, we get to be fabulous and make people laugh. That’s what it’s meant to be! Yes, it can be serious and make you feel different emotions, but one emotion we shouldn’t be feeling is sadness because of what people’s opinions of us are. You’re allowed to have those opinions and not like someone. That’s fine, we don’t like everyone. You just don’t have to push it onto them or make them feel terrible because you don’t like them, because of a TV show.

Tia: It’s so easy to just go show love to your faves, rather than try and bring other people down. If people are tagged in things, it’s very likely they’re gonna be able to see it. No one’s scrolling through the comments trying to make themselves upset. I totally agree with Hannah, people should have the right to respond. Also, when you’re on a season with people who are going through the same thing, or might not be experiencing the same thing but can see what you’re going through, it is nice to support each other and feel supported. I will say, some of our cast have made me feel supported.

Hannah: I’ve got your back, little Tia.

Tia: I’ve got your back!

Hannah: I’ve got your back, your front, your side, your hair, your… whatever you need.

Tia and Hannah: “Feel the rain on your skin! No one else can feel it for you…”

Drag Race UK vs the World is streaming in the UK on BBC iPlayer.

Watch our full interview with Hannah Conda and Tia Kofi here or below.