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

Kee Kee With Kelly

Okay where were we? Oh yes! We were about to talk about the segment with one of the fiercest celebrity fag-hags we’ve seen for a while. The Queen is a little long in the tooth (although I did get carded the other day buying alcohol. If I could have figured out a way to break through the bullet-proof glass and kiss the clerk, I would have.) to truly get into 1 girl 5 gays, however I love the concept and think this seemingly innocuous parlor game of Twenty Questions is a fabulous way to get to know someone. Such was the case with Kelly’s visit. I learned more about these queens in that three-minute segment than through much of the Race itself. Let’s run it down:

  • Latrice really does think Phi Phi is a bitch. This isn’t the first time Ms. Royale has called her out as one. Once, it’s a joke. After that it’s the subconscious screaming out.
  • Milan had a secret crush. I was with Willam: where did THAT come from? And with the votes for her, I’m sure Phi Phi’s ego was the size of Mount Rushmore.
  • None of the queens are attracted to Chad. Poor thing had to save face and throw shade to the other dolls.

“Phi Phi is a mean, mean little person…”–Marzirocks

So then we come to the strange letter segment. “…the producers wrote it all and just attributed it to Kenya. It’s reality TV; there’s no rule saying that any of it has to be presented the way it happened.” Are mr_subjunctive and I being too cynical? It just seemed a little too convenient that this letter would pop up. Do all the departed queens leave a letter, and we just don’t get to hear them? It seems a little suspect that someone who doesn’t feel comfortable with the language would choose this medium to voice his issues. It smells of Producer Manipulation. And Phi Phi’s poorly veiled delight at the negative comments directed at her sisters was pretty crass. As Marzirocks also posted: “… she reads that cruel letter and is all up on her high horse since Kenya said nice things to ONLY her… then says how it’s a community and they shouldn’t tear each other down and should support each other? She seems to have selective memory about how awful she is.” And as Michael Parsons de Álvarez said “Watching Phi Phi bad mouth everyone with glee is making me wish RuPaul based her final judgement on who the person is in and out of drag as well as the challenges. God forbid you would want that representing your brand.”

“Jiggly…has no excuse for her ignorance.”–hellkell

As the Queen has said previously, the history lesson was a fabulous way to introduce young gay people to a part of their legacy. However, at 30, only an octogenarian would consider Jiggly a youngster. Jiggly has probably, consciously or unconsciously, used her youthful appearance to avoid dealing with the complexities of maturation. The late educator John Holt wrote an incredible essay called “On Seeing Children As Cute“, in which he talks about the concept of “cute” in our society–specifically regarding young people–and the consequences it can have on a child’s development. Hopefully she can use this experience to jump-start her maturation process.

Willam vs. Milan

In addition to bad acting, the other thing that triggers a violent reaction in the Queen is blatant ignorance. Phi Phi’s refusal, or inability to see what’s right before her, is maddening. The difference between Milan’s float and Willam’s was oceans apart. I just don’t get it: are Phi Phi and Milan just stupid? As occasionalblonde posted about Willam’s float: “…she took the opportunity to make the challenge about more than just her being in the spotlight. She also made a point of talking about why gay pride matters and how it affected him/her personally. Willam is smart as hell. S/he knows exactly what s/he’s doing at all times.

And we are left with a dramatic runway moment: Milan’s covert warning to Jiggly.”The girls are gunning for you…be careful.” And Jiggly’s Knott’s Landing-like reply: “Which one of these stupid hoes is talking $%#! behind my back? Runnin’ they mother#$%!&* mouth? And you know what? Imma send they ass home.”

Get ready for Dynasty in the ‘Hood.

Thoughts Miss Things?

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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!

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?

Tea Time

All right Miss Things.

Time to kee kee over some tea. Just some things I’ve been thinking about. Discuss.

Oh, Oh Paula

The Queen has been inexorably drawn into the media firestorm Paula Deen created by coming out about her Diabetes (you know honey–The Sugars). Since I struggle with Type 2 Diabetes myself, it has been fascinating to listen to the comments surrounding whether or not Ms. Deen should use her celebrity as a platform for a healthier lifestyle.

It’s pretty damn obvious that all of this has to do with money, and the fact that she is now endorsing a specific Diabetes medication had a lot to do with the timing of her announcement. Personally I say more power to her. I have no need for her to become my culinary Sugar Guru. But it did remind me of how in the moment I am when it comes to my health. Since I don’t see symptoms, I’m sometimes tempted to have that extra piece of chocolate cake. Even as someone who considers himself relatively intelligent, it’s hard for me to deny myself certain indulgences and comfort food in these trying times–even though intellectually I know I’m damaging my body. Why do we blithely entrust celebrities with our health and well-being? So many times they are being just as unhealthy as we are (yes, Miss Lohan, I’m looking at you). Is it really their duty to do any more than offer their famous face to sell products?

“See Clem? I TOLD you this would happen if we let one of them make it to the White House!!!”

You KNOW our Commander In Chief must be feeling VERY comfortable in his position. He is letting ALL his brothahood hang out! Even referencing The Apollo! Be careful Mr. Obama: you might scare a few white people!

Tell me sir: do you sing to the First Lady like this to get her in the mood?

I absolutely LOVE IT. But I often wonder in this still very polarized country if showing his “black” side will further alienate certain groups of people. I so want him to be who he is, but I also want him to handily win another term. So confusing.

YOU. BETTER. WORK.

In researching stuff for my post on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I came across this phenomenal site and artist Chad Sell. He has an AMAZING talent–not the least of which is shown in a series of artwork showcasing last season’s Drag Race. He manages to capture the essence of each contestant with a simple stroke. Brilliant. Check out his site and show him some love!

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…