RPDR S4,E10-DILF’s Top & Bottom

Okay.

Where do they find these dudes?

Do they cruise Target, and follow guys with kids in tow who surreptitiously steal glances down the Maybelline aisle, and stare longingly at the Jason Wu Women’s Collection?
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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,E5: The Snatch Game-Top & Bottom

When you were a kid, did you ever have a candy or other confection that you absolutely loved? Did you ever try the same sweet years later as an adult, and discover that it just didn’t taste the same now, as it did then?











Then you know how I’m beginning to feel about the Snatch Game Challenge.

Granted, there were still some stellar performances–but on the whole, most of the queens just don’t understand the challenge, or have the acting/comic chops to make their impersonations consistently interesting. In Season II, there were enough queens who were multi-faceted, old school stage performers. They had acts that consisted of more than just moving their mouths in time with the music, and it showed in their ability to be in the moment and quick-witted with their answers and characteristics (the Queen will go to his grave thinking Pandora was robbed). Like the show that this challenge pays homage to, there needs to be a self-aware cheesy kind of camp to make it work. Season three–and now this one–failed to deliver on the promise of the first fabulous parody.

So the drama continues between Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O’Hara. Yours Truly is so over Phi Phi the pageant queen–who is delusional enough to think that winning a few mini-challenges makes her the shit. Yes Miss O’Hara, I’m sure America’s Next Drag Superstar is going to be asked to hold an egg between her legs every day of her reign. I have always held the belief that if you’re going to be a pompous bitch–at least have the goods to back up your pomposity. She does not. Has she even been in the top three yet?

So it’s Condragulations to Chad Michaels.

Was there ever any question? I mean Ross the Intern had a great point about the risk of bombing at something that you’re known for, but all edited clips aside, she really is a professional. Her disciplined approach to the challenge is textbook flawless. But more important than the uncanny resemblance to her Goddess…she was ENTERTAINING. Funny and tongue-in-cheek satirical, she’s the kind of performer that you would actually pay to see. And other than having cosmetic surgeons (oh, and Miss Dida? THAT’S the way you spell “surgeon”) on speed dial, she seems charmingly genuine. Sharon Needles was brilliant, and Willam was wonderful (more of them and the rest of the divas in the next couple of posts), but Chad had me with “I’m Cher bitch!”

And it’s Sashay to Kenya Michaels.

Pushing the miniature Mean Girl stuff aside, she really is a little spitfire. And in her own country and culture I think she could have easily been a contender for the win. However I’m even more convinced than ever that the present version of RPDR is an American phenomenon. Like many of us Fierce Black Queens, RuPaul is heavily influenced by Pop Culture. Not having similar references makes shining in the present format almost impossible. Separated by youth and language/culture, I’d bet my next paycheck that Kenya didn’t have a clue to the shows Ru rattled off in the mini-challenge video this week. Her admitting that the language barrier had her dreading each day’s taping was poignant and revealing. The Queen just wishes that she had asked for more help, instead of letting her pride get in the way and creating that horrific version of Beyonce.

But this little Latin lovely isn’t done with America yet. I’m pretty sure we’ll see her taking Yara Sofia’s place in next year’s Absolut commercials.

Okay, are you ready to bash my face in for the shade I pay Phi Phi O’Hara, or love I give to Willam and Sharon Needles? Let the Queen have it!

RPDR S4,E2: ”WTF! Wrestling’s Trashiest Fighters”-Battling Beeotches

There is an ongoing debate between Bianca and myself regarding the culture of Drag–specifically Balls and Pageants.

The Queen tends to see them as mysogynistic at their core. In my opinion, the objectification of females is rampant–breaking down the definition of a woman into transitory, superficial and cosmetic ideas and characteristics. During my very limited time observing the Ball scene, it was a shock to recognize that being a gay man did not necessarily make you a progressive feminist.

Bianca, however, understandably sees the culture differently. Being a part of the circuit, he got to see things that I wasn’t privy to. He talks of a world which, while having aspects of what we have seen in the past on Drag Race, bears much more of a resemblance to what we are seeing this season. Like the best moments of last week’s Untucked, it is a world where another Queen may read you for filth one second, and help you with your make-up the next.

One of the pleasures of watching this episode was seeing many of the elements that Bianca cherishes play out. As Sharon Needles so eloquently put it: “We’re selfish vain creatures of beauty and isn’t bizarre how we make the best friends in the world!”

I am in love with the older Queens. They make me proud to be a Middle-Aged Queer. The way they mentor and support their younger counterparts is something the world needs to see more of. THIS is also family Mr. Santorum. This is what happens in the gay community when parents with “family values” throw their sons and daughters out into the cold world. Hopefully they are befriended by Mature Mamas like Chad and Latrice.

So much to say on this subject! But for now, why don’t we just run down a few of the contestants in rapid fire succession:

Kenya Michaels-This little beeotch has the fabulous Billy B eating right out of her hand. I don’t see her as the one to beat, but I DEFINITELY see her as one of the most professional and beautiful queens this season. And girlfriend flies under the radar–VERY important in this competition.

Sharon Needles-THIS diva is TURNING IT OUT. Bianca wanted to see her more conventional drag, and Lady B. was impressed. It is clear this is a true entertainer, who also seems to be a truly nice guy. What fun it is for the Queen to root for someone whose drag may not be his style; but whose caliber as an Artist is undeniable.

Jiggly Caliente-Okay. Is it just me, or does Jiggly look like JuJuBee after one too many two-piece and a biscuit meals? As has been the case thus far, Ru was spot on with her final comment to little Miss Thing. It is now time to see if she has something more to offer than just an imitation of a black girl from the ‘hood.

Dida Ritz-Have I mentioned that I love Billy B? Santino can stay on the road with Austin, as far as i’m concerned. His critique of Ms. Ritz was spot on. The Queen just sees a boy in a dress. And the fact that Ms. R DOESN’T, just makes his drag that much more painful to watch.

The Princess-I did have to disagree with Mr. B about The Princess’ look. It’s not my style, but I think he looked put-together and edgy. I just think he’s just a little too laid-back for this competition. When the best thing you can say about a Drag Queen is that “he seems nice”–you’re in trouble. He did however do a pretty good LSFYL, so we’ll see.

Latrice Royale-This big, beautiful beeotch has captured my heart. She reminds me of the Fierce Black Queens in DC that escorted Yours Truly from an insecure Princess, to the Diva you see before you today. She is regal and poised and and full of wit and wisdom that can only come from approaching a hard life with humor and resolve. Her presence in the Interior Illusions Lounge was some of the best television I’ve seen in a while–the kind of thing it is hard to fake. Bianca wishes she would tone down her makeup slightly, but still think she is one of the few queens who knows how to beat her face, and accentuate her dark complexion. Brava Diva. I think she could bring the big girls close to a win.

The rest of the girls? Meh. Their drag and their performances in the ring were okay, but as John Salley said about Dida, I really don’t remember any of them. That is NOT something you want to hear when you are in a competition that is all about being over-the-top and larger-than-life.

This week, unfortunately they weren’t somebodys, weren’t really about anything special. And. They. Didn’t. Prance.

What about y’all? Agree? Disagree with my assessments?

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4: FBQ Countdown-Continued

The Queen has been so preoccupied these last few days, that he’s been shirking his Queenly duties: the throne hasn’t been Pledge’d and the scepter has a few cobwebs. Please forgive. However with the start of Drag Race drawing so near (this Monday), why don’t we continue counting down the bitches contestants?

DiDa Ritz

DiDa Ritz seems to have a nice personality. She’s articulate and bubbly without being nauseating. She still has that beauty pageant vibe–but I am a sucker for a realist: she acknowledges the fact that there are other talented people around. Still, as my friend and I were kee kee’ing about earlier today, there doesn’t seem to be anything special about her. It seems as if all of these girls think that simply being pretty is enough to start a mega career. Being pretty may get you in the door, but unless you have actual talent and a real media savvy, you’ll simply end up as an extra in the next John Waters movie.





Kenya Michaels

If Alexis Mateo and Yara Sofia have a love-child, it would be Kenya Michaels. I am in awe of the girls that come from Puerto Rico. It takes some major cojones (which they tuck very well) to compete in a contest that’s not in your native tongue. The divas from PR are usually smart and talented. Unfortunately there is often a slight disconnect between the queens and American Culture which hurts them in using their smarts to make the best choices during challenges. Often I fear that they are trying too hard to be “American” instead of capitalizing on their unique Puerto Rican sensibilities. Instead of looking to artists like the gorgeous Columbian, Sofia Vergara, and playing to their accent and heritage, they try to blend in.


Lashauwn Beyond

From the way Lashuawn Beyond comes off in her video, she seems like someone the Queen would like to have over for tea. Get your minds out of the gutter, Miss Things. I mean actual TEA. Smart, poised and down to earth. Possibly a little bit too down to earth. I wonder if she’s going to be ready for the cutthroat world of Drag Race. One has to be slightly nuts to put themselves out there for this kind of televised competition. I wonder if Ms. Beyond will be up to that particular type of challenge?





Milan

This bitch might just be a contender. She’s an actor, so there’s already a strong sense of how to bring out personality and play to the camera in a much more natural way. She’s comfortable in the spotlight and it actually feels as if she’s talking instead of “performing.” She’s media savvy enough to have an easily remembered name that rolls off of your tongue; and she knows her body and takes fierce picture. But I’m wondering if like Shangela–another actor–she’ll get tired of “playing” a Drag Queen, and simply use RPDR as a means to getting mainstream television work? It will be interesting to see how smart she is in playing the game.


Alisa Summers

I’m getting a real Tatianna vibe from this one. He seems to be a boy in a dress. A very pretty boy, but a boy nevertheless. Too much talk about his “beauty.” Once again a lady boy that doesn’t seem to understand that with a pair of false eyelashes, some spackle and a good make-up coach almost ANY dude can be beautiful. There’s a very “butch queen” energy about him that could make for some aggressive testosterone-filled moments in the work room. But, that said, there is still something engaging about his candor and infectious exuberance. He is definitely giving body. Hope he makes enough to get his laptop fixed.





I’ll get to the rest of these men in high-heels tomorrow. Will you be watching on Monday?