The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK are promising one of the best seasons yet.

The queens spoke with Shadow and Act managing editor Trey Mangum about what fans can expect as well as what they experienced as they came to the Drag Race stage for the first time.

Vicki Vivacious said Season 5 is “no exaggeration, just head-to-toe full to the brim with talent.” Michael Marouli also called the season “one for the history books.”

“It’s just full of the most incredibly talented girls, and every girl has something different. So there’s just a little bit of everything that’s made this season so special,” Vivacious said. “It’s just, in my opinion, it’s just perfect casting. It’s just incredible. I’m so grateful. I look around the room at these beautiful girls, I’m in awe of even being up against them. They’re all so good.”

Marouli, who developed their drag style in the Canary Islands, talked about how that drag scene influences what viewers will see from them onstage.

“I think the Canary Islands have got one of the best drag scenes in the world, and it’s very over the top and very well put together and it’s just incredible,” they said. “There’s been a few Canarian queens on Drag Race España. And the carnival that we have with the big drag competitions, it’s just incredible. So it’s definitely influenced my aesthetic, 100%.”

Banksie reflected on what it was like to meet RuPaul.

“We pushed the boat out this season, on costumes and runway outfits and everything, to the point where I was picking up outfits that I could barely move in and it was so uncomfortable for all the time,” Banksie said about being on the runway. “And then you’re standing there shaking, thinking, ‘I’m about to meet RuPaul.’ And he’s actually very supportive and very nice, which was quite surprising because you [expect RuPaul to be] quite a — not a harsh figure, but someone who’s … got a lot of strength to her. And you think, ‘Oh, she’s not gonna be personal with me,’ when she really does give the girls advice. She does give the girls space to, you know, to grow and gives you enough to help you grow as well. Like a good gardener.”

Ginger Johnson also shared how the series showcases so many different styles of drag.

“You know, I think, for me, one of the things about this season I think is so exciting is that we all have very unique styles all very different to each other,” they said. “And the level of the, you know, the level of drag is so high that when you sit and watch the season on TV, and you watch the runway and you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, she’s in the bottom. She’s done really well, not sure about this one. She’ll be on top, blah, blah, blah.’ You go through all of that standing in that room with that group of queens. You could look around and we had no idea what was gonna happen. It was impossible to tell because I think the judges had to work real hard this year to kind of, to split between us, you know, because it was so strong.”

Miss Naomi Carter also said how “surreal” it was for her to meet RuPaul.

“I mean, I think, for me at first it was so surreal because RuPaul is literally like the icon, the only icon in my eyes. So to be actually in her presence, I was like, ‘Who, me?'” she said. “I feel like as the time goes on and you get to know Ru a little better, you start to see [her] obviously more as a normal person. But at first, I was absolutely star struck … I think I was equal parts so excited and the most scared I’ve ever been in my life.”

I think we all kind of knew what we were there to do, like we knew that if we fought and if we were silly, it kind of was all gone out with the wash at the end of the day,” added Kate Butch. “So we weren’t afraid to start some drama, start some jokes, be silly, be feisty, all of the above. And I think it’s very much an unfiltered season.”

DeDeLicious also said that she experienced equal parts excitement and fear.

“It’s like, such a blend because you’re half like, ‘Oh yeah, cute, I’m about to present myself like that bitch.’ But then on the other side of it, you’re like, ‘I will probably projectile vomit if Michelle [Visage] tells me that my eyebrows are wonky. It’s like, nerves, but also, like, totally excitement to hear what they have to say.”

Alexis Saint-Pete said that she was excited about the challenge of expanding her skills with the more intense challenges.

“I would say I was looking forward to [doing] an acting challenge like a musical, something that I could really test myself,” she said. “[I wanted] to do something very different [than what] normally I would do, which is, you know, crazy dancing around to Britney Spears.”

Cara Melle, the first Black openly trans queen on the series, talked about how meaningful it is to her to become part of the group of trans icons she looked up to.

“For me, it means I [am] like one of those amazing trans goddesses that influenced me to be the woman that I am today,” she said. “I was always the only like trans people I saw was Laverne Cox. These trans people influence myself. … I always grew up thinking I have some sort of connection to them. … And then all of a sudden I figured out what that was, and that’s because I connect with them because they have the same story to me, the same journey as me.”

“I’m really happy that I get to be one of those people like Dominique Jackson, inspiring people to be that mother energy, that trans goddess, you know, that entity that is so powerful and untouchable because as a trans person, you go through a lot,” she continued. “To get [my story] on camera and [they] could connect with that, it just makes me so proud, and it makes me feel like I have made it.”

Tomara Thomas also talked about what it was like to prepare for the show.

“You think you are prepared for it — it was just crazy,” she said. “I mean, you never really know if you’re ready for it. You know, I am a confident person and I’m confident in drag, but going into something that big, you’re still like, ‘What the hell is gonna happen?’ So you just got to believe in yourself, and I remember … just being like, ‘I can’t actually believe this is happening.’ … It was just so surreal, but it felt so correct.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK premieres Thursday on WOW Presents Plus.