RPDR S4, E7: Dragazines-Top & Bottom

Not to toot the Queen’s own horn (okay, specifically to toot the Queen’s own horn), but I realized something after watching this week’s episodes: except for the Drag part, I would tear up Drag Race. Unlike most of the dolls, I understand EXACTLY what is required in each of the challenges. If Bianca was still doing Drag, he would kill it. He and I talked into the wee hours of the morning about whether the show has peaked, or if it just started out on such a high, that it would be almost impossible to keep up the same expectations from week to week. Your thoughts?

Nevertheless it was an enjoyable episode with enough laughs and tears for even the most jaded viewers.

It started out with many people’s favorite mini-challenge: throwing shade. This is an art form that I have a really big problem with. It’s very much like the phenomenon in the black community called “Playing the Dozens.” Putting down someone in a clever way is still putting someone down. Bianca, however, insists that there are positive aspects to the ritual. He believes that for the giver, it promotes quick thinking and observational skills; for the receiver, it fosters a thicker skin and ability to bounce back from negative comments.

The Queen has to admit that he laughed out loud at a few of the jibes. But still maintains that we are, in some ways, glorifying abuse. And if we are going to do that, AT LEAST have the decency to give the win to Sharon Needles. She was MUCH funnier than Latrice.

So Latrice wins, and we are introduced to the Main Challenge: create your own magazine. The queens had a tough time with this one. The reasons why are debated by myself and Bianca and we part company on our hypothesis. Bianca thinks that the contestants, knowing that certain challenges are basically inevitable, should have prepared in advance for Snatch Game, some kind of video production and a “literary” challenge. I tend to believe that most of the lady boys DO try to prepare. The problem is that most of them don’t have a clue as to how to do it. Such was the case with this episode. Not knowing layout or design–and most especially how to be witty or tongue-in-cheek, most of the magazines fell flat. The prime example being Jiggly.Here’s one of the places where this self appointed Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent Coach could help. A good coach or director is good at posing questions that lead a person to discover information for themselves. As much as Ru tried to help, all he really said was “be funny.” But Jiggly doesn’t SEE himself as funny, so the suggestion was pretty much meaningless to him. It wasn’t until he hit the Main Stage and had his moment with RuPaul that he was able equate his natural sense of humor to the challenge. I think a lot of the dolls were like that. They just don’t get the concepts of Parody and/or Satire when it comes to these types of contests. Of course Jiggly wasn’t helped by being sabotaged by someone she trusted. I swear, I think she’s the worst of any queen, any season. Agree? Disagree?
More of the individual issues (get it…issues…magazines…GET IT?!) when we trash discuss the dolls in the next post. But for now…

It’s Condragulations to Phi Phi O’Hara

But before we get to her (and to give me a moment to suppress my own bile), the Queen thought that Pam Tillis and Regina King were SUPERB judges! Both their insight and their humor was such a welcome addition to the panel. One of my favorite lines of the night (which I think all of these queens should have tattooed on their chests) was Pam’s astute comment, “I never equate fabulous Drag Queens and ‘cute.’ I wanna be devastated.”

What pains me most about Miss O’Hara’s win, is that I can’t disagree with it. She looked great last night. And overall–in the light of the rest of the mediocre fare–had one of the better magazines. She needs to buy Kenya Michaels a BIG bouquet of roses for the makeup tips. I think that the only other person the win possibly could have gone to was Sharon. However that would give an extreme advantage to Ms. Needles which I think the Producers want to avoid. Unfortunately it’s going to make Phi Phi ubearable–which, of course, makes for good trash TV.

And it’s Sashay Away to Miss Jiggly Caliente.

The Queen agrees with Bianca that it was time for her to go. However we also agree that there is a lot of talent there. With a few more years of maturation and coaching, she will really be a force with which to be reckoned. In the end, she actually went out as a dignified thirty year-old. I wish her the absolute best.

As always, what do you Miss Things think?

The Queen will be watching Fashion Star this evening. Let’s muse about it tomorrow.

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.

The Tears of a Fierce Black Queen

gratitude [ˈgrætɪˌtjuːd]
n
a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts or favours
[from Medieval Latin grātitūdō, from Latin grātus grateful]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

If the Queen wore makeup–he’d be dabbing his mascara right now.

Growing up whole and sane in this world is a complicated thing. It takes a disparate, and seemingly infinite combination of factors. Some of these factors are individually based: a moment when you had to choose between right and wrong; an instant when you knew that you were truly special. And there are others that seem to be shared by all: love, friendship, understanding and acceptance.

As I’ve said previously, this blogging thing is fairly new to me. The idea of putting your thoughts, ideas and dreams on the end of a hook and casting that hook out into the Sea of Cyberspace can be daunting. Sometimes you can feel quite alone.

I’m here to tell you that you are not.

I’m here to testify in the Church of What’s Happening Now, that there are incredible, INCREDIBLE people who will support you. People who will take their precious time to follow your piddling little blog every day, and have something wonderful to contribute. Warriors who will climb the beanstalk to the Realm of the Giants, and risk being eaten by mentioning your name.

They are out there. You are really not alone. They offer the friendship, understanding and acceptance you need to continue to grow–and hopefully put out something of value…even if it’s mostly about a bunch of Drag Queens.

I don’t know where this blog is going. I often question the relevance of sharing the musings of a fierce black queen. What I don’t question is the fact that there are truly extraordinary people on this planet who will support a short, husky, middle-aged gay man in his quest to be creative.

Thank you all. From the bottom of my fierce, black, queenly heart.

FBQ Musings: If the Republican Presidential Candidates Were Gay: Mitt Romney

With a penchant for seemingly transforming himself into whatever personae/ideology suits the moment (even briefly a Democratic one), the Gay Fairy would have an easy time placing the former Governor of Massachusetts into the Life. He would be a Drag Queen.

Headlining under the drag name Outty Touch, and touting slogans such as: “Put Your Hands on My Mitt”, and “Consistency is a Drag!”, the gay version of the Governor would go from state to state listening to constituents and then transforming his drag to match their vision of him.

Unfortunately the gay version would still have trouble attracting voters because of Mitt’s inability to relate to anyone who isn’t a Drag Queen–betting Rick Perry $10,000.00’s worth of Louis Ferre wigs, and telling a reporter that he likes to be able to fire his pedicurist whenever he wants. Eventually he would end up confusing his base. Unable to figure out what kind of drag queen Outty Touch was, they would stop putting dollar bills down his G-string, and seek out more consistent gender illusionists.

Desperately seeking the nomination, Gay Romney would stoop to recycling old catch phrases from other Queens like: “Halleigh-loo! I’m Working Class too!” and “You Better Work…and stop trying to collect Unemployment!!!” Pledging that if he doesn’t become the first Drag President, he will continue to turn up like bad re-runs of Bosom Buddies.

Many thanks to the Dragulator, from RuPaul’s Drag Race for the fabulous renditions of Outty Touch.

RPDR S4,E1: RuPocalypse Now!-The Also-Rans (in Heels)

It’s Monday. Before tonight’s episode, let’s talk about how the rest of the queens fared last week. Grab that green tea chai latte, and let’s tear into those bitches.

But before we do, that incredibly talented artist Chad Sell is at it again, with a new set of renderings of the Divas of Season 4. Treat yourself to a little sugar in your coffee-break and check him out.

RuPaul Logo by the fabulous Chad Sell

I hope Ru can continue that delicious level of regal bitchiness that she exhibited during last week’s runway. It was that perfect combination of camp and commentary that shows exactly why she is where and who she is. The most biting moment being when she let the safe contestants know that “safe” was nothing to strive for. I definitely agreed with the Supermodel’s assessments. At best, the safe contestant’s outfits were pretty–not edgy or unique. At worst, they were derivative and forgettable. Take THAT Miss O’Hara.

Willam


In reading posts on other sites and blogs concerning this dynamic little diva, there seems to be a dilemma as to whether or not to like this bitch. What’s NOT to like??!! From the first second she walked into the workroom she was Reality TV at it’s finest. People, she’s playing the game AND showing who she is at the same time! Willam knows EXACTLY what he’s doing. What a breath of fresh air to watch a contestant who uses pragmatism as a tool and a weapon at the same time! She’s not afraid to look ugly OR beautiful–playing each look and sound-bite like she’s in a winner-take-all game of Drag Chess. She walks that marvelous tightrope between audience love and hate and it’s devilishly fun to watch. In the new Denzel Washington movie Safe House, Washington’s character, in response to another character saying to him “Your not gonna get in my head” says: “I’m already in your head.”

Phi Phi? You might wanna pay attention to this: if Willam’s resume is no big deal–then why are you making such a big deal of it? Miss Willam is already in your head.

Lashauwn Beyond

After watching the episode again, I’m more convinced than ever that Lashauwn is trying to play the game as well. The problem is that unlike Willam, she’s too young to have a thoughtful and consistent game plan. Submitted for your approval:


  • She tells Ru in the workroom that she doesn’t know what she’s doing when it comes to her outfit. She then turns out one of only two outfits that could in any way be called couture.
  • She tries to play demure and coquettish on the runway (and gets called on it, thank god), yet goes after Jiggly like an Old School Diva in the Interior Illusions Lounge.

Girlfriend has been taught well by someone in the Old Ways. But her youthful naivete could send her back to Dagobah for some additional lessons with her Drag Yoda if she’s not careful.

The Princess

In addition to the adorable crush and exchange she had with Sharon Needles, I too thought The Princess had a good idea with her get up. The problem was that she didn’t take it far enough. If you REALLY want people to get Water World then you have to take it farther. Get a paddle and row your way on stage. Find a blow up boat or water toy and put it around your middle. Since the outfit was well made, I think a gimmick like that–in addition to the floatation device neckpiece–could have put her in contention for the win.

Kenya Michaels

What a devastating beauty she is. The Queen is wondering if that will be her downfall. I don’t know whether she will allow herself to get down and dirty when it comes to these challenges. She’s a spitfire in the work room, and she stomped the hell out of the runway, but she took absolutely no risk in the challenges. I was telling mefein1 in the Comments section that Bianca and I had a good laugh about her. I posited that the language barrier may have prevented her from fully understanding the concept of an apocalypse. Bianca said, “Kenya understood the challenge perfectly. She just decided: ‘I got body, I got face…FUCK APOCALYPSE!’”

I think she’s got real talent and potential. We’ll see how she does tonight.

Jiggle Caliente

I realize how much of an old crotchety Queen I am by the way I react to Miss Jiggly. I have so much less of a tolerance for the machinations of youth than I used to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this young queen…other than the fact that he’s a young queen. He’s precocious and opinionated and self-absorbed: all job descriptions for someone his age. I just have so much less interest in dealing with those traits than I used to. I think I’ve always been hyper-judgmental of gay men–especially gay men of color. I constantly want us to comport ourselves in a way that shows our dignity and elegance–which is a highly romanticized, compartmentalized and unfair way of thinking. Jiggly’s got a wonderful old school sensibility, and he wants to be a Fierce Black Queen so bad it’s coming out of his pores. So what if he got super defensive in the Interior Illusions Lounge? He was a baby queen defending his honor when there really was no defense. So what if I wanted to turn the child over my knee and spank him? That’s my issue, not his. He makes for great television.

Plus, he turned the LSFYL OUT. I think it was one of the best performances in Drag Race history.

WHEW! So whad’yall think? Ready for tonight?

RPDR S4,E1: RuPocalypse Now!-Top and Bottom

The Queen’s good friend (whom for the purposes of our discussions, I shall refer to by his former Drag Name, Bianca) and I did something we haven’t done in decades: talked on the telephone until the wee hours of the morning. We kee kee’d about RuPaul’s Drag Race till we ran out of biting, bitchy things to say. It was wonderful.

Throughout our four-hour-plus conversation (I will get NO WORK done today), a running theme emerged. To use Bianca’s own words:

“I can create from nothing. That is what a good Drag(Queen)does. Create your world and make that fierce–and by doing so, inspire others to create from nothing. How powerful the world would be if more people created than tried to steal or cheat…”

She’s such a fierce, cerebral bitch.

Or, as he broke it down later, a Drag Queen’s job is to: Be somebody. Be about something. Then Prance. So that’s how I’m evaluating the show in general, and the contestants in particular. Who emerges as a “somebody” who was about “something”, and who knows how to prance?

Before we get started, I have to say something about Shangela Laquifa Wadley.

Either D.J. has some serious dirt on RuPaul Charles, or boyfriend gives the best fellatio in Hollywood. That bitch was featured in almost as many segments as the Supermodel himself–INCLUDING the Absolut commercial! Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Wadley is talented. But I think the producers highly over-estimate the child’s audience appeal. She doesn’t have the love/hate factor of a Raven; or the America’s Sweetheart quotient of a Manila. But honey, if she can continue to capitalize on this fifteen minutes and strengthen her Brand, then–say it with me–HALLEIGH-LOO!

Okay. Now.

The Queen loves that even in Season 4, the show is staying true to it’s over the top, campy aesthetic. The production values and choice of challenges and segments remains true to their Drag core. I thought the schtick with Shangela was cute, and the Romero-esque style in which they shot the main challenge free-for-all was pretty inspired. I just hope they don’t go crazy with that stuff. Like Project Runway, I think RPDR works better if you stick close to the original game purpose and objectives. Give us the kinds of challenges dolls in Drag would actually face and let us watch the creativity and sparks that fly. But I had fun with it.

I’ll get into my take on all these divas in later posts this week, but first let’s say ConDragulations to Sharon Needles for her Runway Win. No surprise to me here. She has introduced herself as a somebody, who has something to say and knows how to Prance. Not only was she clearly getting the winner’s edit; but I feel she absolutely deserved it. She pulled off a most delicious hybrid of macabre and couture–and she managed to make the most of every second of her screen time. Her patter during the zombie challenge was inspired. Bianca–who was not a fan–was blown away by the attention to detail in her runway drag. She wants to see if Ms. Needles can do standard drag as brilliantly. If she can, she may just be the first of the “specialty queens” to take the win.

And it’s “Sashay Away” to Miss Alisa Summers. Sweet girl, but she apparently graduated from the Carmen Carrera School of Drag. I really don’t get these queens who think that becoming an entertainer on the level of RuPaul is simply about body and looking good. I have to believe that during the LSFYL, she honestly thought that playing with her fake titties and slowly strutting around the stage would give her the win. I’d rather see a little chunky queen working it for all it’s worth, than simply a pretty man in makeup ANY day.

So what do y’all think? Who peaked your curiosity? Who are you already tired of? Will you continue to watch this season? What about “Untucked”? Inquiring Queens want to know.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4: FBQ Countdown-Final Fems

Another season of bitchery, back-stabbing and fake fabulousness is about to begin. No, I’m not talking about the next joint session of Congress. Auntie Ru is back. Let’s finish evaluating the contestants:

Madame LaQueer

Another bravado-swinging big diva. Not a good sign when the Queen is more interested in what a contestant looks like OUT of drag than in. For a person who earns their living doing other people’s makeup, I am not particularly impressed with her own maquillage. While I applaud anyone who has the chutzpah to get up in front of people and perform, that doesn’t in-and-of-itself make the performer or the performance good.I’ll be very interested to see if this Big Beautiful Bee-otch can do more than widen her eyes and posture.


Chad Michaels

The Queen is of two mindsets when it comes to introducing someone like Chad Michaels into this draggy mix. Chad Michaels is a known quantity. He has a successful career and a strong following. While each of these girls is supposed to be a “professional”, there is a big difference between doing a few shows on the weekends and performing with Elton John. On the other hand, as Michaels himself says “…I’ve seen girls who have just started pull something right out of their butt, and send a senior girl right on home…” Seniority is by no means the arbiter of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. There is no denying that Ms. Michaels has professionalism and the plastic surgery bills and poise to spare. It’ll be fun to see how she comports herself with the “lesser” divas on the show.

Willam

This bitch BRINGS IT: beautiful, funny, down-to-earth, media savvy and professional. It pisses me off: she’s a fiercer black queen than the REAL black queens on the show! I am genuinely excited about seeing her in all of the challenges and ESPECIALLY on the runway. I definitely think that contestants who understand the art of Acting have an advantage. Being able to appear natural allows your personality to shine through. Whether we like you or not, we get to know you. Knowing how to play to the camera without letting it dominate you is a real skill. This bitch has it in spades. Not my favorite queen yet, but I have a feeling she could quickly become so if her actual presence is as engaging as it appears to be.


The Princess

The Princess scares The Queen. This is definitely a boy in a dress. I’m getting a very strong Morgan McMichaels vibe from this one–which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Talk about an abundance of testosterone! I see a lot of in-your-face interactions with the other contestants. Very sleek and sexy, it will be fun to see Mr. Princess walk the runway. I have a feeling he will be stomping it.

On a side note: why do these bitches think that having an eclectic drag style is unique? Do they not watch the interviews of the other contestants? EVERYONE thinks that having an eclectic style makes them unique. Sorry dolls, just because you change clothes and lip sync to Cher as opposed to Madonna, doesn’t make you unique.

Speaking of unique…

Sharon Needles

LOVE HER!!!

Not my style of drag at all. But who the hell cares? She got me to click on her image just because it was so different. And then she spoke…BRILLIANT. She was the very definition of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. An entertainer with a strong point of view, biting wit and presence to spare–The Queen is excited to see her on the runway AND in the work room. When you can create such buzz simply through a one minute, fifty-two second video, you know you got something. I don’t think she had a chance in hell of winning–given Rupaul’s penchant for style vs. substance. But what a ride it promises to be with THIS queen in the mix!

Okay. There you have it. The Queen’s take on the contestants. He would LOVE to hear more about yours over the coming weeks. The Interior Illusions Lounge will be opening shortly. Can’t wait to grab a cock…errr…cocktail with you and enjoy this season of the Race!