RPDR S4,E9-Untucking the Candidates

Are all these bitches really drinking this much alcohol?


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RPDR S4, E9: Frock The Vote Top & Bottom

Well, we’re at the point in the race where there aren’t enough queens to have any real drama. So we’re down to extra long product placements; transparently manufactured conflicts and faggy filler. And even with all of that, the producers have still managed to create some of the most compelling challenges yet, imho. I still think this is one of my favorite seasons thus far, but I’m definitely feeling the sag. You know you’re in trouble when even the villain of the series is tepid at this point. We need someone new to hate.

Be careful what you wish for, huh?
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RPDR S4, E7: Dragazines- The Conde Nasties

All right, before tonight’s episode, let’s remind ourselves why the other lady boys should have never gone to press…

You know what? The Queen is actually tired of talking about this episode. The dolls didn’t listen. So instead–let’s just give the future Drag Race contestants some ideas for NEXT season.
Click to see the Queen’s version of the cover girls

RPDR S4,E6: Float Your Boat-Untucking At Sea

Thanks to the Miss Things in the Comments Section for practically writing this post for me. Their astute observations are right on the money. So, of course, I’ll be stealing liberally from them.

“Put It Out There On The Runway Every Single Time”–Willam

So this episode started with the dolls throwing Jiggly under the rudder. Although the Queen doesn’t know if you can call it that. Usually “throwing under the bus” is a conscious form of sabotage. I don’t know if you can consider it sabotage if the queens are really just giving their opinion. And especially when the opinion was glaringly obvious. The float was the worst one on the stage.And Jiggly, once more, was unable to look at herself objectively and maturely. Willam to the rescue. “You have to give the whole show every time. You don’t save any tricks for later.” For the Queen, the blatant immaturity of dolls like Jiggly and Phi Phi shows itself in their inability to hear sage advice. Willam is constantly giving tips for which he could charge money. But these girls just don’t get it.

“Milan just doesn’t have a sense of who she is as a drag queen.”–occasionalblonde

Another piece of constructive criticism Willam put out was for Miss Milan, who like the aforementioned immature lady boys was not able to see the writing on the wall. She just doesn’t get it. As occasionalblonde goes on to say in one of her posts: “To use an grossly overused quotation ‘there’s no there there’.” Milan just doesn’t get the fact that the people she admires are innovators. She is not. And doing poor imitations of them only highlights their talent and her lack thereof. DON’T compare yourself to Kevin, dear. The only thing you have in common with Kevin is your penis.

“Dida Is A Girly Girl”–Dida Ritz

As the queen has said previously, he thinks this doll has potential. She has grown tremendously and continues to transform her look. Now she needs to work on that attitude. Dida, girly girls don’t win RuPaul’s Drag Race. They might get more dollars at Tea Dances, but they don’t win this competition. There are lots of pretty drag queens out there. But there are NOT a lot who are the total package of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. AND who are Somebodies who are about Something and Prance. And they pay attention to the detail of their drag. God bless Willam for his snarky, and accurate comments.

One Girl, Eight Queens

There have been a number of good judges on Drag Race, some are good because they know drag queens, some are good because they know the world of entertainment. Rarely do you get celebrity judges who know both. This little bullet-crowned Diva had it all. What a treat it was to have her interface with the lady boys. I’d like to say that I wish they would do this segment every week, but it takes a moderator who gets those two things in order to make it work.

Let’s talk about her visit…

In the next post.

I’m such a dramatic bitch.

RPDR S4,E5: The Snatch Game-Carol Channing is never there when you need her.

Let’s break down this whole Snatch Game thing and see what it’s all about, shall we?

Scurvy!

Pandora Boxx’s Carol Channing was the Gold Standard. Tatianna was good–very good. But any Drag Queen that plans on being in future seasons needs to use Pandora’s performance as a textbook example of the genre. What a blast it would be to have her–along with other stand-outs from the present, and previous seasons–be a part of a “Fantasy Snatch Game.”

The Queen’s Drag Race Fantasy Snatch Game Cast:

Pandora Boxx
Chad Michaels
Sharon Needles
Willam
Tatianna
Stacy Layne Matthews
Jujubee
Manila Luzon

You know what bothers me about that list? There’s only one FBQ on it. The black lady boys always seem to have a problem with this challenge. As your Self-Proclaimed Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent Coach, let me give you future Drag Race sistahs a few tips:

  • 1. When picking your character, don’t just choose your favorite artist, choose someone that the audience can identify easily–through appearance, vocal and physical characteristics.
  • 2. Find at least three catch-phrases, vocal traits and/or mannerisms your celebrity is known for. If you can’t think of at least three–pick another celebrity.
  • 3. Don’t think that just because you create a flawless visual look you’ve automatically won the game. The top contestants are usually the ones who can also come up with character based answers to RuPaul’s questions. It’s not important that you match the real celebs answers. It IS important that your answers parody the celebrity you are playing.

If you want to get on the show, you should be practicing these things at home at this very moment. If not, you will probably end up in a run down of the also-rans. Like this one:

Jiggly Caliente

This queen could do SO much better in this competition if she would simply separate herself from some of the more lackluster dolls *cough*Phi Phi O’Hara*cough*, and hang with the REAL drag queens in the race. Latrice could help her get a much more feminine big girl shape, and Sharon and Chad could teach her how to define her overall personae. Instead, she probably does what she does in the NYC drag scene: chooses to hang with the girls she sees as “popular.” So her runway looks always blend into generic pretty. I’ve never condemned myself to the Ninth Circle of Hell and watched Jersey Shore, but I have seen Snookie in interviews. It seemed as if she got the look right, but she didn’t use the Queen’s rule about finding identifiable characteristics and interesting Snookie-like answers. Bottom line is that girl has GOT to grow up before she’s ready for this competition.

Milan

I have nothing to say. This is a competition for Drag Queens–not second string Chorus Boys. Milan, read my tips above and get the hell off my TV screen.

Willam

Beeotch was brilliant. From the name card, to the cardboard cutout of Simpson in the out takes, he was the embodiment of the Queen’s tips. Maybe Willam will weigh in (if he can), but the cutout proves that the contestants are given a head’s up of the kind of drag they’ll need to bring. Which means that they have time to prepare a character. Which means these other girls had no excuse for the dreck they brought to the table. I’ll give you that Willam is an actor–and funny as hell–but that still doesn’t explain some of the other lady boys’ choices. His runway look was SICKENING.

Phi Phi O’Hara

“Well, I do Gaga a lot. And I’ve been hired all over the United States to impersonate her.”

*Sigh*

Okay Phi Phi…let me break this down for you. Assuming you’re telling the truth, and the gigs are not your niece’s and nephew’s birthday parties, chances are that you are simply lip syncing to Born This Way. That isn’t the same as doing a true impersonation. Loving the way she performs, and being able to parody it are two separate things. We won’t even talk about your tired runway and fucked up eye makeup. Get your head out of your ass. It smells terrible up there.

*claws retract*

Dida Ritz

She really does make a very striking girl when she gets the drag right. The outside is finally beginning to match the inside. I really think with the right guidance (and a few spelling lessons) this diva could be the real deal. The Queen thinks she was on the right track with her impersonation, and even handled the shenanigans going on around her quite well (“This is worse than when I had Omarosa on my show!”). She was also smart enough to pick a great celebrity, since Wendy Williams IS a drag queen. All she needed were a couple more catch-phrases and mannerisms, and she would have been even more fun to watch.

Sharon Needles

There really are no words. Everything Milan isn’t, Ms. Needles is. She is the real deal. An artist who is “about something.” She knows what she wants to say and is meticulous in her creation of a fully realized character. I know that there are constant comparisons to Raja, but my understanding of Raja’s drag is that it’s more about gender-fuck than true runway. Sharon is always female. And it freaks Bianca and I out that even in the shock drag–she still looks glamorous!

Latrice Royale

I have to admit: this episode soured me a bit on our Mascara’d Matron. Maybe the bitch was just hungry and didn’t have time to eat, so she decided to incorporate her lunch into the character. She could have had so much fun with the Queen of Soul, but instead she turned out a one dimensional character that resembled Ms. Franklin about as much as Kenya’s Beyonce or Milan’s Diana Ross. Right now all Latrice has going for her is being a glamorous diva on the runway (…and her runway drag looked more like Aretha than her Snatch Game drag), and a wonderful personality and grounding force offstage. Without someone like Max Mutchnick telling her what to do, she really doesn’t seem to have much of an imagination of her own. And I hope she realizes that giving up and letting someone else’s performance have such a profound effect on you, that you let your frustration show onstage, is about as unprofessional as it gets. Step it up girl. Prove me wrong (because I know my opinion matters so much to you).

Who would be in your Fantasy Snatch Game cast?

RPDR S4,E5: The Snatch Game- Untucking the Snatch

Let’s check up on the ladies in the Interior Illusions Lounge and find out what the men in mascara are up to, in what RuPaul hails as: “The most emotional ‘Untucked‘…EVER

Bitch is so fierce, she can cry with product placement

So the safe girls once again got to leave the stage. Miss Ru MUST be reading my posts, since she let the girls have it before they left. I am really loving RuPaul this season. She really does have that FBQ quotient back in SPADES.

Three Girls and a Cocktail

Anyway, Jiggly attempted an apology. Maybe it’s a little of the 30 year old coming through at last. However Latrice was not really having it. Although I’ve got to agree with commentary that I’ve read on other sites: it really is a little hypocritical of Ms. Royale to be so up in arms about the girls being unprofessional.

Queen of Soul, or Queen of Sour?

From the Aretha impersonation to her behavior at the end of Snatch Game, she didn’t win any points for professionalism either. Speaking in the lounge Ms. Latrice said of Ru’s pronouncement about being safe: “For him it may not be cute, but it was music to my ears.” Well honey, with all due respect, if you want a shot at winning this thing then you better start paying attention to what is “cute” to the Supermodel of the World.
It really is wonderful to watch the younger queens like Jiggly pay such respect to the older divas like Latrice. That is one thing that I’ve noticed in the drag community–there really is a respect for the grande dames. It’s a faux matriarchal society that I wish were translated into the rest of the male gay culture. What a contradiction: older gay males are often made fun of; but old drag divas are often revered.
Entirely off-topic…and forgive me for being so slow, but the Queen has been wondering what was up with Latrice holding a pillow in front of her during the majority of Untucked episodes so far. I just figured out that Miss Thang strips out of her outfit the minute they get into the lounge. Now THAT is a Black Southern Woman for you: as soon as she gets home from church–off go the pumps and dress. Gotta love that. I just wonder how much time it takes for her to get back into it once she has to go back onstage?

Waxing on Willam

The conversation turned to Willam. Quoting Dida: “She (Willam) may be a bitch, but that bitch is sickening and smart.” Latrice: “…she may be the bitch and troublemaker, but that ho knows how to turn it out.” And of course the conversation had to turn to Willam’s shoe wardrobe.
It was nice to hear that some of the queens get Willam. Maybe Phi Phi does too, and she’s playing a brilliant game as well. I don’t think so though. I don’t think she gets the thought that goes behind such an elaborate strategy–the Hoffman and Day Lewis-like commitment to staying in character. It may not make you popular, but it sure will keep you in the game.

Classy Ladies

The entire segment in which the three safe girls sang the praises of the top three was fabulous. What a pleasure to hear colleagues mention positive things that their competition did during a challenge! Something in me dies when I see queens perpetuating stereotypes of the bitter bitch. Of course we can be bitter, of course our picture is in the dictionary under “bitchy.” But it’s very nice to see Drag Race working hard to show how supportive gay men can be as well.

The Girls Do Chekhov

And so, while the other lady boys are playing Charades in the Gold Lounge, the top and bottom (minds out of the gutter Miss Things) girls alternate between delusion and support.

I really want to be supportive of this child, but he makes it SO difficult. As someone who calls themselves an actor, he really doesn’t know how to “take the note.” His observational skills are abysmal. We’ll talk more about him in the rundown with the other girls. But watching him defend his actions in the lounge just made me sad. He’s getting all of this objective feedback, and he’s brushing it aside. As a director, I find it the hardest thing to work with actors who have blinders on regarding their abilities or where they are in their lives (See The Three Sisters).
Bianca and I were talking about one of Sharon’s Achilles heels in this competition: her inability to self-regulate. She’s mentioned it herself a time or two, but it really reared it’s Botoxed head on this episode. Unlike Phi Phi, we don’t think Ms. Needles says things with malice, but sometimes they come off pretty harsh. Watching Kenya react to Sharon’s words (assuming they were in sequence) was heartbreaking. As I said in my first post on this episode, it became abundantly clear that Kenya had been wrestling with this cultural divide all along. I’m sure that this was just the straw that broke the proverbial gay camel’s back.

But once again it gave us an opportunity to watch the girls support each other. I get that a large percentage of Reality Show viewers want to see contestants go for the throat. It’s just nice to see that RPDR has been listening to their fans and cutting down on the snark (are you listening Bunim/Murray?). It actually brings tears to my eyes to see and hear the divas speak well of their fellow lady boys. Just another thing that makes Sharon fierce.

Oh. And Phi Phi cried too.

Thoughts Miss Things?

RPDR S4,E3: Glamzons vs. Champions-The Other Beeotches

It’s still a tiny enclave of folks checking in on the FBQ from time to time (which I really like); but the Queen must thank you all for the support thus far in my fledgling journey into the Blogosphere. I am humbled by each and every one of you.

Okay. Enough sentiment. Let’s tear into some Drag Queens.

Milan-Her prettiest look on the runway so far, imho. Unfortunately she still looks like Arsenio Hall in a dress to me. But the biggest critique the Queen has of her deals with the transformation from sweet, supportive sister to self-absorbed bitch. Honestly, she doesn’t have the acting chops to make the transition believable. And her performance in the infomercial would have put her 8X10 glossy in the casting “OUT” pile.

Chad Michaels-You know, for all of the talk of injections and facial work issues, this bitch pulls off strikingly beautiful like no one else. I don’t know if it is brilliant game-playing on her part, or if she is really such a sweet supportive person. Whichever it is, she is a pleasure to watch–and she gave one of the strongest performances during the challenge.

Willam-This diva fascinates me. Relentlessly ambitious and focused, it’s no wonder the other lady boys are intimidated and even angered by him. Bluntly unapologetic about his goals and aspirations, and bitingly funny–he does what he needs to to advance in the competition. No more. No less. Willam–since you’ve been kind enough to grace this Old Queen’s humble blog with your presence a couple of times, allow this middle-aged monarch to offer a tiny bit of advice: PLEASE make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing. The money is GREAT, but trust me, it really won’t mean that much if you look back on meaningless experiences. If you ARE having the time of your life–then fuck the other bitches. Keep ’em guessing!

Phi Phi O’Hara-For all of the revelations about the bullying he withstood as a child, it seems that what Phi Phi took away from the experiences was bitter defensiveness. This is understandable and lamentable. However it is not very attractive. And even less so when the queen in question is blissfully unaware of her shortcomings and how she is perceived. I think there is a lot of talent there–and even a good spirit. If she could get all the ugliness out of the way, she would be extremely beautiful inside and out.

Madame LaQueer-Not the fiercest outfit on the runway. But the Queen appreciates the fact that this mujer gorda is proud of her curves and knows how to accent them. I think this diva could do well if she breaks out of her box and finds some versatility in her professionally done, but predictable looks. All the foolish queens who trashed her performance in the WTF competition need to take a lesson from her innate understanding of physical comedy. And Madame needs to translate that knowledge to her actual drag.

Jiggly Caliente-The Queen is still reeling from his late revelation of Ms. Caliente’s age. 30 YEARS OLD! No disrespect intended, but it would seem to me that she could really benefit from some therapy to discover what caused this seemingly arrested development and lack of self-esteem. What a joy she would be if she acted her age and not her shoe size. As stereotypical as her gorda geisha was, it showed some real understanding of character and timing.

Kenya Michaels-Ever since the Mean Girls incident last week, this pint-sized perra has left a bad taste in this FBQ’s mouth (get your minds out of the gutter Miss Things). The Queen still finds her natural beauty amazing, and grants you that she takes risks as a performer. Unfortunately her wild energy and inability to embody the nuances in American culture make her less likely in my mind to go all the way to the top.

Latrice Royale-In his initial assessment of the dolls, the Queen predicted that Latrice Royale would be more interesting OUT of drag than in. I would like to slightly amend that statement by saying that Ms. Latrice has become more interesting–not out of drag, but–off the RUNWAY than on. While creating very professional looks, she doesn’t really take risks on the runway or in performance. She tends to err on the side of pretty when she takes the stage. It’s her fiercely nurturing instincts and strong presence in the workroom and lounge that have endeared her to the masses. I definitely think she could have a shot at the whole shebang if she steps up the drag portion of her wonderful personae.

Dida Ritz-GIRLFRIEND. TORE. UP. THAT. STAGE. Her performance was, to quote Latrice: “High Drag.” Had that performance taken place in a club, Ms. Ritz would have gone home with a fortune in one-dollar bills.
Here’s where the Queen is going to lose points. Other than that unforgettable performance, I still see a boy in a dress. Granted, I see a fabulously TALENTED boy in a dress, but, nevertheless a boy. The more I watch this show, and talk with Bianca, the more I understand what an art form Gender Illusion is. Hair and makeup are only about %10 of the equation. The rest is doing your best to communicate the exquisite essence and mystique that is a woman. And since as men we will never fully understand what that is, it means becoming a magician in the art of sleight-of-hand and distraction. If young Miss Dida can sit down and objectively dissect what made her performance stellar, and–most importantly–understand how to repeat it, then she will be a force with which to be reckoned. Otherwise it just becomes a fluke based on adrenaline and desire, which becomes a nice memory and nothing more.

Okay you stalwart divas in your own right: Thoughts? Feelings? Agreement? Disagreement? Take to the Runway!!!