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- 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?

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4: FBQ Countdown

When the Queen was a young monarch-in-training, navigating through post-college life, he got his first real taste of Drag through the eyes of one of his most beloved friends. Suddenly swept up into the world of Paris Is Burning; “Houses” “Balls” and “Realness” became common words in our new lexicon. The two of us worked by day on Wall Street(unbeknownst to us at the time, actually embodying a personae that most of our contemporaries only dreamed of), and I watched my very good friend transform at night into “Bianca.” It was an out-of-body experience watching him “walk” a ball his First Time in Drag. Viewing from the sidelines, the New York Balls and the people they attracted were reminiscent of everything from High School with it’s cliques and cultures to the manufactured glitz and glam of Hollywood. I experienced everything from the High Art of celebrating the Feminine Mystique, to the low and often misogynistic objectification of women.

Why the hell am I telling you all of this?

Because I often experience a similar feeling/reaction while watching Rupaul’s Drag Race. I am both fascinated and appalled, charmed and horrified–kind of like looking at my face first thing in the morning. I want to give the show and contestants the dignity and respect I would want, and at the same time rip into each one of those bitches with the ferociousness of a hungry panther.

So, in blogging about RPDRS4, I will work hard to walk that line between a Black Man respecting the work of his brothers, and a Fierce Black Queen accepting no less than Diva Realness from men in dresses.

That said, let’s look at a couple of them bitches.

Jiggly Caliente

Maybe I’m just an Old Queen. But when I saw young Miss Thing’s video bio, the first thing I thought was “Stop playing with your hair. It’s not sexy, it’s tacky.” He (My pronouns will be person specific: if the contestant elicits an auto-response from me, I’ll go with it. This one seems like a boy in a dress.) seems sweet and smart enough, but there’s nothing that stands out about him. Except that he’s already contradicted himself. On on hand he says that being a big girl is one of the things that makes him special. On the other, he’s worried about the camera adding ten pounds to his frame. Pick a side of the street girlfriend, and stay on it. Otherwise the only thing jiggly about you may be your tenure on the show.

Phi Phi O’Hara

“…I’m a force NOT to be reckoned with.

Well, darling. That lovely silk Freudian Slip you stepped into in your video intro, just about says it all.

Pretty enough (reminds me a little of a young Phyllis Hyman), and personable in that Pageant Queen sort of way. I just don’t think that these lady-boys get that being an entertainment personality is more than just desire. While I abhor Ru’s acronym for what he’s looking for in a Drag Race winner, it nevertheless is absolutely spot on. Charisma Uniqueness Nerve and Talent really DO need to be evident from the jump. As lovely a person as she seems to be, there is just nothing that I see that is very unique. I think what the show needs is an on set Charisma Uniqueness Nerve and Talent Coach to help these girls find that one thing that sets them apart from the others. Give these bitches a dose of Media Reality, and whip them into shape.

And RuPaul? If you’re reading, I’d be more than happy to take the job.

Latrice Royale

That is a WHOLE LOT of Drag Queen.

Ooooh Girl. Would not be my choice of styling. But Drag is over the top. And there is something about her patter and bravado that makes me sit up and take notice. It really will be interesting to see if these big queens can be versatile enough to encompass a range of looks. I think zaftig divas get pigeonholed much quicker than smaller contestants, and need to showcase their diversity right out of the gate. I have a feeling Miss Royale will be better able to do that OUT of drag, than in. Good luck diamond lips.

Well, three down. I’ll get to all of the divas before the January 30th premiere. I’m just starting with the FBQ. And honestly, there are a couple queens of other ethnicities that I’m much more excited about. I’ve also asked my fabulous aforementioned friend to weigh in from time to time. Even though he’s put his Bianca togs aside, he is still one of the fiercest black queens I know and MUCH better able to objectively assess these Mascara Men than I.

Until then, I leave you with a true FBQ…