RPDR S4, E14: RuPaul Reunited Part II

I have to confess something: the Queen wasn’t really very excited about blogging Drag Race. It was Bianca who convinced me to commit to it. And it was you Miss Things who made it one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

I know that sounds very dramatic. But I am, after all, a sometimes flamboyant homosexual male.
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FBQ Review: RPDR S4,E13-The Final Three: Continued (Unlike RuPaul, I won’t make you wait until next week)

The reason I’m being so hard on you Ru, is because you are THE Dynamic Diva in Drag. Not only have you changed the face of Female Impersonation, but you’ve done so in an entertaining and artistic fashion. You are a consummate professional. The drivel you put out last night was—at best—amateurish, and—at worst—insulting to the intelligence of your viewers. Let’s continue, shall we?
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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,E4: Queens behind Bars-Untucking In Tuckahoe

So once again the Safe Girls find themselves in a place with an unlimited supply of liquor, hot lights, and nothing to do but gossip about each other. Sounds like my living room on a Friday night.

Let’s trash them discuss what happened.

Jailhouse Blues

So all the queens congratulate Ms. Latrice, and the first person to point out how much the judges and the other contestants appreciated her work was Willam. I wish all of the Willam haters would take a moment to see exchanges like that (“You was Bernie Mack in a dress–you was just fine”). He is often one of the first with an encouraging word for the other queens…at least the ones who deserve it.
And Latrice feels slightly vindicated after the 18 months she spent in prison. The Queen used to work with inmates at the now defunct Lorton Reformatory in Lorton, Virginia. Once a month I would spend 8 hours with the residents in the Medium Security section of the facility. The men were phenomenal. Being in jail was hell. It was hard enough for me to be locked up for one day. I can’t imagine what kind of strength it took to survive for a year and a half. The lady boys also talk about the difference between Latrice’s drag and Madame LaQueer’s–something Bianca has mentioned as well. Bianca pointed out to me that even though Latrice is a big girl, she still pads and cinches to give herself a more feminine shape.. That seems to go along with a mindset that Latrice has mentioned a few times. She is quite aware that they are all really men dressing up as women. Unlike, say, Carmen Carrera or Phi Phi who seem to conveniently forget that they have a penis. I don’t care how much you tuck or serve “realness”. the Wankie is still there. I love that Latrice sees Drag as an Art, and not as a way of working through (or NOT working through) whatever issues you have with being a male.

Sitcom Realness

So Jiggly is relieved that the team won. She was extremely worried that her performance put her at risk. Actually, she has a natural talent for comedy, and an ease with the camera that was quite engaging and appropriate. This brings up a point that bothered me about the taping of the sitcom in general, and Max Mutchnick in particular. I don’t know if RuPaul asked him to play the role of Bad Director, or if that particular job is not a strong suit of his. A good director, however, doesn’t tell you how to read a line–as he did with a few of the queens. A good director knows what to say to help an actor find the interpretation and the inflections that he would like them to have. While I was extremely disappointed with the way Willam and Sharon Needles responded to Mutchnick on the set (which I’ll get to in my next post), I was also put off by the way he managed the shoot. Kenya Michaels was an unintentional hoot–with Bianca pointing out that she wore more makeup to play a butch woman, than she does on the runway as a femme queen. Her inability to take the director’s notes further illuminates two things: she is in her own world, and the language barrier is the Big, Gay Spanish Pink Elephant in the room. There is only so much nodding and pretending you understand that you can do before it bites you in your pretty little girly ass.

Shameless Outlet Store Plug

So the Phi Phi/Sharon feud comes to a head, and a new catch-phrase is born. The Queen thinks there is enough blame to go around for this particular interaction. However, the thing about Phi Phi that eludes me is her inability to either see and/or accept that Sharon is much more than a one-dimensional performer (“Go back and do your only one look that you got!”) who is running circles around her. IMHO, that description fits Phi Phi MUCH more completely than Ms. Needles. Is it jealousy or stupidity? Sharon’s runway look: “Don’t come for me when you’re going to wear a glittered plastic Elvis wig onstage!” Did I miss something? DID THE BITCH NOT WIN THE CHALLENGE WITH THAT GLITTERED PLASTIC WIG??!! Granted, Phi Phi didn’t know that at the time, but I doubt seriously that it would have made a difference.
I swear that Latrice and I both said “You don’t play bitch–you just are one.” at the same time. The Queen loved Ms. Royale’s definition. And in most cases, when it comes to actual women, I think it is absolutely appropriate. This country still doesn’t know what to do with strong, independent women(see government panel on Contraception). However in terms of Ms. O’Hara, I think I have a better acronym:

What a jam-packed 21 minutes! From catch-phrases, to coming-out stories, to tucking. Honestly, this after-show is becoming as much fun as the race itself.

What about y’all? What did you think about the episode?

RPDR S4,E3: Glamzons vs. Champions-Top & Bottom

Before we get started trashing thoughtfully critiquing the bitches, the Queen wanted to bring up an observation that Bianca and I have made over the past three episodes of this season, during our weekly RuPaul Skyping sessions.

This damn show has actually gotten better.

I haven’t bothered had the time to check and see whether it employs the same producers and directors as in past seasons; but the show has become the very thing I hoped it would be when I first started tuning in. It has become a true window into a world that most never see–and many incorrectly characterize. It has found a balance between campy and compassion, bitchy and benevolent. Bianca swears Ru was sick during most of last season, and I definitely noticed a difference in his demeanor. He seemed disconnected somehow from the proceedings. However this season the Cover Girl of the World is back. He is engaged, funny and a true mentor.

This bitch had the best seat in the house

The mini-challenge was phenomenal. Not only was meeting Piyah Martell a poignant and powerful moment, but the accompanying competition made so much sense. I did find myself screaming at the television because none of those wenches asked Piyah–the CLIENT–what her favorite colors were, or what kind of designs she might like. But it’s segments like these which highlight the diversity and strength of the LBGTQ community, and make me proud to call myself a raging queen.

However, for the Queen, the main challenge fell flat.

In addition to the camp crassness of whoring RuPaul products (but if Barbara Walters can do it with her book Audition on The View, why shouldn’t he?), the performances on the whole felt forced and not at all fun or funny.

We’ll get the individual performances in the next post, but for the Queen, the challenge was pretty much a let-down.

So once again, it is Condragulations to Sharon Needles

Raja: I know you’re reading my blog–all the fierce divas do. Pay attention to Ms. Needles, will you dear? THIS is how you do Alternative Drag. Not to take away from you–you have an artistry that is truly unique. But I never felt like you put your SOUL into your schtick like Sharon does. She’s fierce not just because she is impeccable in her costuming and makeup (although I see Santino’s point about the bottom half of her runway look), but she infuses passion and energy into everything she does. She is Somebody. She is About something. And she Prances. Bra-fucking-vo.

And it’s The Princess who Sashays away.

Seems like a very sweet person. And I admire his ability to stay calm in a storm. But honey, this was not the competition for him. His inability to step back and look at himself objectively in the context of the needs of the game cost him dearly. I see elegance, glamour and talent in his drag and his LSFYL. But Dida Ritz mopped him across the floor, wrung him out, and mopped up the floor again (more on that in the next DR post). If he hasn’t found one yet, I hope he finds a boyfriend who has that “Meth-look” and whom appreciates his quiet dignity. But it was time for The Princess to abdicate.