Monday, February 22, 2010

RPDR: Country Queens

Last time on Starrbootylicious: The Jelly Isn’t Ready For You: the queens put on a burlesque show while Mystique still hates on the skinny bitches. Tyra is still about the dramarama while Jessica frets about her English skills. Raven had to lip sync for her life but didn’t have to worry because Nicole Paige Brooks did not get the “for your life” part of the instructions.

Ten ladies are left. Who will be lip syncing for their life tonight?

The contestants enter the workroom and see a long table with a checkered tablecloth. Juju immediately guesses that they will be eating something for today’s challenge. Someone also notices NPB’s goodbye note on the mirror but Raven only sees that there will be more space at the makeup counter. She is still stinging from being at risk for elimination. Sonique cleans the message off the mirror just before SheMail arrives.

Ru greets the queens with a howdy and delivers a message filled with various country song titles. Male Ru enters wearing a cowboy hat, an ugly print shirt and a drawl. He explains that since Georgia is where he got his start in the biz that makes RuPaul a country queen. Sure, why not? He goes on to explain that back in the day he would have to eat anything to get through the day and now he is going to pay it forward. Raven predicts in an interview that Mystique is finally going to win a challenge. The challenge is called “Chicken or What?” Basically, it is a blind taste test, or as Pandora describes it, “Drag Survivor.”

The pit crew brings out the first item up for nibs. No one seems to be gagging as they hold up their guessing implements: a rubber chicken or a sign that reads “what?!” Item 1 was a “What?!” Specifically, bull testicles. Now the gagging begins. Item 2 is presented and it is another “What?!” This time it is soy chicken and no one seems offended. Mystique, Pandora, and Morgan have two points each and the first two queens to three points win the challenge. Item 3 is met with trepidation. All three leaders guess “What?!” and are correct: they ate frog legs.

Since there is a tie, they will have an eat off with morsels of chicken, rabbit, alligator and deep fried cow brains. Pandora has a look on her face that reads “honey, I am soooo over this.” Mystique shares her strategy in an interview which is basically take a few bites, fill your mouth with water and swallow. Since everything is deep fried I think the issue here is more texture than flavor. Either way, Mystique is the first to finish. Morgan is close behind but the cow brains slow her down. More specifically, the vomiting after eating the cow brains slows Morgan down – and grosses out Juju who is sitting next to her. Sorry girl! This does not inspire Pandora who looks relieved that Morgan eventually wins.

The prize for Mystique and Morgan is that they get to be captains for another group challenge. This time they will be doing commercials for Disco Extra Greasy Shortening. Mystique’s team has Pandora, Juju, Tatianna, and Jessica. Morgan picks Raven, Sahara, Sonique and is stuck with Tyra. Tyra doesn’t view this as a slight and more as “saving the best for last.” Whatever gets you through the day, honey.

Ru presents two scripts: one for chicken and one for fish. Both skits will have the same set of characters. The contestants start their engines and open their scripts. Team Mystique has the fish script. Jujubee shares her concern about Mystique as the captain as we see the leader assigning roles. Jessica is assigned the role of “Disco Critter,” which sounds like some sort of PTSD induced by Studio 54. Over at Team Morgan, Raven is assigned the Disco Critter role and she is not happy about it.

We join Jessica as she works through her lines and there are a number of issues. Originally she was given the role because there weren’t a lot of lines, but it turns out that although there are only two points where DC speaks both of those points are rather lengthy. Juju refers to them as opening/closing monologues. Whoops.

Mystique reveals that the groups only have three hours to prepare, which includes learning the lines and putting on make- up. Yikes, that is not much time at all. However, Juju confides in an interview that she is impressed with how Mystique has really stepped up to the challenge.

Meanwhile, Team Morgan gossips about how Mystique won the challenge and it is very Mean Girls. Mystique responds in her own interview that words are words, but after hearing those sorts of comments every day it leads to a “fuck ‘em all” attitude.

Jessica is still struggling with her lines.

Ru enters and christens Morgan’s team as The McCoys. They do a quick runthrough of the script and they all seem to have it down. Ru asks what the team’s biggest concern is at the moment and Morgan shares that she doesn’t want to be on the losing team again, particularly since she is the captain and no longer has immunity.

Ru leaves the McCoys and joins the Hatfields. They do a runthrough and it is a disaster. The music that plays before the Lip Sync for Your Life starts to play under this scene, that’s how bad things are. Ru stops them and says they are still underprepared before asking Jessica if she chose the chicken role. Jessica says that Mystique assigned the role to her. Ru asks Mystique why she did that, but not in a “what were you thinking?!” way. Mystique says she believes Jessica will rock it out, but Ru doesn’t seem to be buying that line of reasoning.

Ru calls over the McCoys to provide some more details on the challenge. First, special guest judge Kathy Najimy will direct the commercial. The queens cheer, but there’s more news: RuPaul literally flips the scripts on the teams. Ru insincerely apologizes for the last minute switch. Frankly, I think this helps Team Mystique/Former Hatfields/Current McCoys since they didn’t really know their old script anyway. No one else seems to share my optimism.

We see the sound stage and it is decked out in red gingham. Team Mystique is up first and they are introduced to Kathy. Juju geeks out a bit before they get started. They start rolling, both in the film sense and, I assume, the drug sense. Jessica jumps out in her chicken costume and starts delivering her lines. This is what I refer to as the WTF Moment for a drag show. Last week I was at a show that had a Carmen Miranda medley. There was also the time a few years back where one drag queen was pushing another queen around in a wheelchair, followed by the wheelchair queen walking around mingling. Check it, there will be at least one performance every time that makes you stop and go “…what just happened?”

As Jessica works through her monologue, Kathy keeps cutting to offer direction. RuPaul has the most ecstatic look on his face – the kind that makes me fear for my safety. Juju is playing Ellie May (what you’re picturing is probably correct) and Pandora is playing chain smoking pregnant Auntie Fay. Oh God, Tatianna is playing a freakish Weinerville Baby. Meanwhile Mystique is off in her own world with her blacked out teeth. I do not like this challenge AT ALL. Anyway, there are some incest and hillbilly jokes and a lot of Mystique not listening to Kathy’s instructions. Kathy and Ru make a note of that last item.

Team Morgan starts their shoot and Raven is still unhappy about the whole chicken costume ordeal. After a few failed takes, Kathy asks if Raven did her own makeup because she is giving off a Joker vibe. We get a close-up and, you know, you can’t help but ask Raven “why so serious?” They finally get through Raven’s portion and Sahara’s Ellie May character wails onto the set. Kathy clarifies that Ellie has not been abducted by aliens but is just sexy sad. Um, sure. I have no idea what is going on at this point. Sahara takes her notes with a smile and tries again, this time entering while furiously scratching her crotch. … … … yeah.

Aside from the crabs joke, there are a lot of “smells like fish” jokes and boob grabs. Morgan, who looks freakish in her old lady make-up, is chastised for being too crude after putting shortening in her crotch. Normally I would agree with that assessment, but then Kathy loses me by saying that it’s a “family commercial.” I call total no waysies on that.

We see one final good take before the teams are given instructions for the runway show. The contestants will be wearing their best country duds to impress the other extra special guest judge: Tanya Tucker.

The girls return to the workroom to get started on their runway looks. Tyra interviews that the only country person she knows is her aunt who has several personalities. You would think she could give one or two of them to Tyra for her birthday or something. Tyra wants her look to encapsulate as much of her aunt as possible.

Juju tells a story about her first time doing drag. It was during a high school Halloween party and she had an afro and balloon boobies. That’s better than the rolled up socks I used at a “Dress as Your Favorite Spice Girl” party I went to. Tatianna brags again that she did drag in middle school. Mystique surmises that Tatianna came out of the womb in makeup. I think it’s funny, but if you really think about it for a second isn’t that kind of a terrifying image? I think SNL did a short back in the ‘80’s that was called “Babies in Makeup” and it was simultaneously hilarious and unsettling. Anyway, Juju asks Tatianna if she feels more like a woman or a drag queen and the response is “a little bit of both.” Both Juju and Mystique are like, uh, no, just a performer here, honey. They then go back to talking about make-up and start pulling some lines from the commercials.

We see an interview with Mystique about how she got into drag. She claims that she was never considered cute in male form, hence Mystique Summers Madison was born. Juju interviews that before the runway show all the queens looked countrified, but Mystique looks more like a big girl hitting the clubs. We see Juju talk Mystique out of wearing a garish pink cowboy hat with a sparkly purple top.

Mainstage! RuPaul enters with a hot pink wig and a dress made out of Big Bird. There’s a flower in her hair that matches the dress. Tanya tucker is in a leopard print ensemble including a hat. This episode has gone from unsettling to downright awkward. Also, is Tanya Tucker a gay icon? The only country icon I’m aware of is, of course, Miss Dolly Parton but that seems like a bit of a big get for this show – especially this early in the season. Ru recaps the challenge and reminds us about the need for Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent.

Sonique: Black midriff top with rhinestone-studded leather pants. I don’t think I’ve said this yet, but she really does have an amazing body. Trim, but not encountering the man-abs issue that Jade had last season. She slides on a pair of shades before exiting the runway.

Jujubee: A red gingham shirt tied around a red top. It looks like she is going for an Asian Daisy Duke look and it is working. I love her boots – they have tassels dangling from the cuffs. She pulls a cherry ring pop from her cleavage.

Raven: She is wearing a red gingham top with skin-tight jean shorts. The look is very pin-up. The lipstick is a bit heavy though and it looks like she is wearing a pair of wax lips. However, this is the most convincing Raven has looked so far.

Sahara: A flared denim skirt with a denim vest over a tied gingham midriff top. Frankly, she looks like a Coyote Ugly reject, but at least she appears to be having fun.

Tatianna: Hmmm, I think she was trying for a Jessica Simpson look, but I’m getting more of a Fergie vibe. She has a black/red checkered shirt tied over a corset/short combo. It’s not really working for me.

Pandora: This is more of a cowgirl look than the others have presented. Blue jeans with a prominent belt buckle and scarves attached and flared just below the knee matched with a cute halter top.

Jessica: Ah, another cowgirl look but this one seems to have a little Aussie inspiration. A checked shirt underneath a corset, high-cuffed blue jeans and a hat with a bolo-style cord. I love this outfit.

Mystique: Oh dear. First, the purple top is the same one she wore in the challenge, so that would be a nil score in the “Uniqueness” category. Her runway walk, if you want to call it that, is horrendous. On the return, she just spins down the catwalk.

Morgan: Hmm, not a fan of this look. Bedazzled boots, blue jeans, and a top that just screams Hot Topic.

Tyra: Interesting look with a white top and a skirt that looks like it is made out of kitchen curtains. She returns to the start of the runway where she takes off the skirt to reveal denim shorts that are a better match for the top. She goes to the center of the runway once more and puts the skirt on over the top. It’s an interesting idea but it looks like a smock at a barber college. The idea is quite impressive and would probably be amazing with a little more time and a less garish looking fabric.

RuPaul welcomes all the queens to the runway. They take a look at Team Mystique’s commercial first. I…no. Jessica did all right given the language restraints but everyone else was just kind of blah. Mystique looked a hot mess and seemed like she was ready to cut a bitch – more so than usual. Pandora interviews that she thought the commercial was hilarious.

We now get to see Team Morgan’s commercial. Raven’s chicken seemed a bit uninspired. Sahara is way overdoing it while Sonique is rather underwhelming. Tyra actually shows some personality as the baby. Morgan’s granny makeup still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I think I might have to give the win to Team Mystique on this one. RuPaul then tells the contestants that everyone will be evaluated individually. Oh snap! RuPaul tells Sonique, Jujubee, Morgan, Tatianna and Sahara to step forward. They are declared safe from elimination. So that means Team Mystique has their namesake, Jessica and Pandora on the stage while Team Morgan has Raven and Tyra.

Raven is critiqued first. Merle says she was all over the map and Santino agrees. Raven explains that she didn’t realize that she should have played the part as a chicken. I think what she meant was that she didn’t know that she should have done a chicken voice. She clarifies when RuPaul is like “wha?”, but besides that Kathy says that Raven seems to be a bit too serious and stiff when she should be having more fun.

Jessica is next. Santino loves her look and Tanya thought she did a great job as the Disco Critter. Jessica explains that she just imagined herself as a Muppet to get through this challenge. That’s awesome and adorable.

Pandora tells the judges that her outfit is mostly store-bought, but she added the scarves on the legs and a few other touches. Tanya loves the outfit. Santino isn’t as wowed as Miss Tucker, equating Pandora’s look with the freak shows on Toddlers and Tiaras. Merle deflects this a little by saying that Pandora is more about performance than fashion. Honestly, I think that will get you farther in this competition – if you have to lip sync for your life your outfit won’t save you.

Mystique is immediately asked to explain her outfit. She says she wanted to dress like her friends back home since they’re country. Wait, isn’t she from Chicago? At least that’s what she screams during those promo clips for Untucked. Ru doesn’t buy it, so Mystique describes her look as “Mall-wear Country.” RuPaul just laughs at Mystique, and rightly so. If you want to look WalMart Fabulous that’s fine, but don’t be surprised when you get told on the runway. She is also busted for wearing the same top from the challenge. They cut to an interview clip from Raven: “Why the fuck did you wear that?” If there are any Mystique fans out there I think your girl may be in trouble. That includes Kathy who says that Mystique was the most convincing female on the stage. All the other girls on stage just glare at Mystique.

Tyra is last for critiques. Santino loved the concept of all the outfits but his concern is with Tyra not changing her voice at all while performing. Tyra claims she can’t pitch that high. Honestly, I think the question is a moot point. One of the things that really struck me about last season was how none of the contestants really seemed to change their voices between their male/female forms. The only one who ever really did was Shannel and even then it was only for that creepy Mandarin Orange/Hannibal Lecter segment. Anyway, Ru asks about Tyra’s performance. Tyra claims that she got inspiration from her son and some of his antics.

Deliberations. Tanya likes Mystique’s physical look but the outfit was a mess. Tyra is incredibly well received but they seem fixated on the voice issue. I guess they need to have something to critique. Raven’s performance was a failure, especially compared to Jessica. Pandora’s outfit wasn’t a hit, but her comedy chops seemed to please the judges.

The contestants are back on the runway. Pandora is told to step up her style before being declared safe. Mystique did not take direction well during the commercial or with the runway challenge and is sent to the bottom two. Jessica is simply told that she is safe. Aw man, that must mean Tyra won the challenge and immunity. So she is around for at least two more episodes. Sure enough, Raven is sent to join Mystique in the bottom two. Tyra is told that she won some handbags along with immunity. Boo!

Raven and Mystique take their positions. The time has come for them to Lip Sync…for Ya Life. This week’s song is Wynonna’s “I Hear You Knocking”. This show is so educational: before tonight I couldn’t name one Wynonna song and now I can. I can’t tell if the editors are being cruel by playing Mystique’s portions out of sync or if she just doesn’t know the words. Once again, Raven is totally dominating the performance and Mystique is just an afterthought. Raven: Shantay, you stay. Obvs.

As Mystique sashays away she stops and does yet another jump split. Sending the one trick pony out to pasture has been long overdue. She interviews that she wasn’t going to change who she is in order to win a competition. Ya know, on a show where the producers have a say in who goes home, that is a terrible strategy. The hero of the story has to go through some sort of change, otherwise who cares? “I’m going to be Mystique,” she continues. “Take me as I am or nothing at all.” I’ll go with the latter. It looks like the other queens will go with that option, too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

RPDR: Starrbootylicious

Previously on Gone with the Window: The Flaming of Atlanta: twelve queens entered RuPaul’s Drag Race to become America’s next drag superstar. Raven won the mini-challenge photo shoot involving a high-powered fan and a number of jokes utilizing the concept of “blowing”. The main challenge had the contestants taking part in some window dressing as they had to make an outfit from a set of drapes. Morgan won the challenge and immunity; Mystique barely avoided the bottom two, while Sahara and Shangela had to Lip Sync for Ya Life. Shangela, the drag rookie, was not up to snuff and was asked to sashay away.

Eleven queens remain. Who will be going home tonight?

We open with shots of the contestants as they get out of bed. As far as I know no one is sharing. As they enter the workroom Tatianna starts the eulogies for Shangela. Sahara tries not to let the elimination get her down while Tyra wipes Shangela’s goodbye note off the mirror and claims the workstation as her own. Before Sahara can react, a siren goes off and it’s time for SheMail.

This week RuPaul is giving a “Draguweather Forecast.” Looks like high pressure and occasional “Hay-ellll no” are on the horizon. Also, someone in the workroom is going to make it rain. The queens latch on to that phrase and pretend to not know what it means. Ru enters with the details of the mini-challenge: transform a RuPaul supermodel doll into a “Bad Girl”. The twist to this week’s challenge is that there are only six dolls, so there will be five teams of two and one queen left to fend for herself. Surprise, surprise, Mystique is the solo artist.

Ru starts the clock and Tyra snatches the entire tray of accessories as the other girls go for the dolls. She and Jujubee then have a lengthy discussion about the proper way to accessorize a hooker (don’t match the bag with shoes, diva!). NPB and Sonique are working together and we get a voiceover from Nicole about how much she misses her son. That’s two contestants so far with youngins. Maybe it’s the fact that children and significant others didn’t come up much last season but I find the whole kid angle rather disorienting.

After a quick hot glue montage, Ru reenters and calls time. First up is Monique and her doll ShaQuanda. It looks like Mystique is continuing with the “raggedy” motif from last week. Jessica and Tatianna have Wild Whore who looks like Rambo with a bubble skirt. Sahara and Pandora show off Shafreeforal looks like a hooker you would see on the first five minutes of SVU, black eye and all. NPB and Sonique’s Cynthia has a leopard print onesie on one side and a Lil Kim boob cozy on the other. Compared to the other dolls, this one looks rather professional so I don’t think they’re going to win. Tyra and Jujubee reveal Cherry who looks…a little bit like Tyra. She’s another one that looks a little too put together. Last up is Lady Mayhem from Raven and Morgan. Yikes! The waistline on the doll would make Barbie look obese. The doll is dressed only in lingerie and the hair is not ratty enough.

RuPaul congratulates all the teams on a job well done, but Sahara and Pandora are the challenge winners. Yay! Ru goes on to explain that the feature film Starrbooty inspires this week’s challenge. Huh, apparently “diva” is a female “hustla”. Do you feel your street cred ticking upward? Anyway, there will be two teams of burlesque dancers who will be judged both individually and as a group. As the winners of the mini-challenge, Sahara and Pandora will be the team captains. Pandora gets first pick and chooses Morgan. Sahara goes with Jessica. Sonique and Raven join Pandora while Jujubee and Tyra are selected by Sahara.

Mystique observes in an interview that the more revealing and skinny contestants are getting picked first. Tyra also notices that Pandora has all the “tall skinny bitches.” You know, one of the things I really enjoyed about last season was that “bitch” wasn’t thrown around all that much. Tyra and Mystique, the two most defensive contestants, almost use the term exclusively when talking about any of their fellow competitors. I think that may be contributing to why I dislike them so much. Anyway, Tatianna is invited onto Pandora’s team and Mystique goes to Sahara’s side. That means NPB is the last one and she joins Pandora.

The contestants are told that they will be receiving pole dancing lessons from pole dancing experts. Then, quite possibly the most awkward product placement ever “with poles provided by Platinum Stages.” Also, teams will be designing their own costumes. The gentlemen are told to start their engines because the best woman will run over to the fabric and claw it out of the hands of her competitors. After the scramble, we see that Team Sahara has already reached the point of conflict with Tyra causing a stink every step of the way. Sahara is unimpressed and Mystique chimes in that everyone is tired of Tyra’s bitching. Oy, Mystique bitching about Tyra’s bitching – see why I’m not a fan of either of them? Anyway, Tyra ignores Mystique and instead calls over to Pandora and asks why she didn’t pick her. Pandora halfheartedly apologizes while Tyra continues to complain that she is stuck with these bitches. Wow, not cool. The real Tyra would not stand for that, right?

After the break we are welcomed by two women demonstrating some skills on their respective poles that are giving me back problems just by watching. The teachers are from United Pole Artists. I don’t think they’re the same union as in Live Nude Girls Unite, but rock on Norma Rae’s of the sex industry. As the demo begins the queens’ expressions run from admiration to horror. One demo includes “dropping it like it’s hot” which I thought was something else – something I could actually do. Apparently the textbook definition involves undulating only the hips while in a crouched position. I don’t even know how to practice that, let alone trying it in the cliz-ub.

After the demos, the contestants are invited up to the stage to try out some techniques. Mystique is the first to volunteer and rocks out. Sonique, Raven and Morgan also demonstrate their skills on the pole. Yes, I’m well aware that that’s what she said. NPB is up next and it doesn’t go very well. Tatianna, who has been horrified throughout the demo, makes a frowny face after NPB’s failed attempt at sexy. The instructors ask Tyra to come up and try out the pole but she balks. She claims that she learns by watching and that she doesn’t want to be accused of stealing other people’s ideas. The hell? I don’t think they’re being evaluated on originality so I don’t know what Tyra’s problem is.

Back in the workroom, Sahara asks her team how they feel about the choreography. Tyra says she feels like a whore. Juju is all like, um, this is a Bad Girl challenge, but Tyra thinks that pole dancing is a bit “ho-ish.” Okay, another reason why I love this show is because of how it raises questions of gender and queer theory in an unconventional way, i.e. a competitive reality program. Drag shows are a mixed bag when it comes to performance style. Sex often plays a role and the parallels with tipping a performer as you would a stripper are there, however that is not the rule. However, I wonder if the next drag superstar could have such a self-imposed limitation. Although in the context of this challenge Tyra’s viewpoint would be frustrating to her teammates, it really does raise some interesting questions in the larger picture. In other words: half a point for Ms. Sanchez.

Meanwhile on the mainstage Team Pandora is working on choreography. Things are a bit of a mishmash since Pandora is not taking the lead. Morgan offers to take over the choreography and Pandora seems okay with this. Unfortunately, NPB and Tatianna are not strong dancers, making the process that much more difficult.

Later, Team Sahara works on their moves. Tyra’s complaint at this point is that she can’t rehearse in heels. The last drag show I attended was right before Halloween and the first performer simply sat in a chair and lip synced to “Here Comes Halloween” from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Inexplicably, this person still got tips. I imagine this must be the sort of gig Tyra has. As the girls practice the moves, Tyra just stands there and watches, probably figuring out whom to defensively throw under the bus.

In the workroom Team Pandora strategizes over costuming. They notice some pink and orange tiger print fabric that Tatianna believes the other team decided to discard. When Team Sahara returns and sees the fabric on the other team's work station, Mystique accuses them of stealing. Tatianna explains herself and she and Mystique get all pass/agg with one another. I think both of them need to work on their diplomacy.

Ru enters the workroom for the walkaround. Pandora is up first and is asked if she really feels like a leader. She says that she is a little overwhelmed by the strong personalities. Ru asks the same question of Sahara, but she responds that she does feel like she is meeting her responsibilities. Ru follows up by asking if Sahara approves of Tyra napping on a nearby couch. Seriously? As Ru tiptoes over to the couches Juju warns him not to wake up Madame Snoozefest because she’ll scream. Tyra doesn’t scream but explains to Ru that since everyone is hotgluing and she sewed her outfit in five minutes she doesn’t need to do anything right now. Huh. You do know that the person you’re talking to has final say in who goes home each week right Tyra? Ru announces to the workroom that the challenge will take place in a club called Dragonfly in front of an all-male audience. She reminds the contestants to bring their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent before heading out.

The contestants arrive at Dragonfly and this week’s judging panel waits for them onstage. The guest judges this week are Kim Coles (Sinclaire from Living Single) and Burlesque expert (Burlesquepert?) Dita Von Teese. The team that gets the most money in tips will win the challenge and be safe from elimination. Also, the girl on the winning team with the highest individual tip total will win immunity for next week. RuPaul also throws in a twist. The girls will earn tips not only onstage but also on the street. Tyra interviews that she doesn’t go outside in drag. Of course she doesn’t. How did she get on this show? Anyway, the contestants will be selling cherry pie gift certificates while their opponents perform in the club.

Team Sahara is the first group outside. The strategy includes approaching anyone and everyone. Jujubee interviews that she doesn’t really know how to approach people. My suggestion: stop using that weird fake southern accent.

Team Pandora takes the stage. We see a little of their routine and Tatianna narrates that NPB was having trouble with the choreography. It looked like Pandora didn’t really have a handle on the steps either. The crowd is sorta into it but then Sonique does an amazing backflip and the crowd goes wild. We see the solos and Sonique does well, Pandora looks more awkward than sexy, and Raven comes off more slutty than sultry. She at least acknowledges that things may not have gone as well as she had hoped.

Back on the street, Team Sahara starts chanting “cherry pie” and it looks like they are starting to round up some customers. Even Juju is having success despite her earlier fears. We see Tyra climb onto a lamppost and starts calling out for customers. Juju interviews that she is surprised that Tyra has a personality. And that’s why I’m rooting for Juju. Later, a customer with a twenty has approached Juju and said she’ll buy after a dance. Sahara sees this and rushes over to do some splits. Sahara wins that sale.

Inside, Morgan does a performance so amazing that even Santino is agape. Tatianna is next and starts dancing as if she is in the center of a ring of middle schoolers. She narrates that she might have been the skankiest on stage. NPB “performs” and the judging panel is not impressed. Kim Coles looks bored while Dita sucks something out of her teeth.

The teams switch and we see Team Pandora outside. The Christians and children walking around freak out Morgan. NPB’s approach might be a little too aggressive: “YOUKNOWYOUWANTSOMECHERRYPIE.” I don’t think she understands the difference between projecting and yelling. Tatianna narrates that Sonique is downright rude in her approach, telling a customer that time is money and he is wasting her time. That is not stellar customer service. Sales do not appear to be going well.

Team Sahara performs and it looks pretty solid. Juju interviews that even Dita has cracked a smile and we see that she is enjoying herself. Jessica’s solo features a lot of hair whipping while Mystique does another split.

Outside, sales are still not happening.

Inside, Juju does a lip gloss inspired performance, Tyra works the pole and does a split, and Sahara does a handstand with a split. I think the winning group is pretty clear at this point.

The girls enter the workroom to prepare for the runway show. Sahara interviews that everyone is anxious since no one knows the money totals or how the other team did in sales. Meanwhile, NPB wanders around the workroom trying to find a photo of her drag family. She talks about her kid a little bit, which leads to a segment about the queens discussing their families. Pandora’s dad has cancer and Juju reveals that her dad died of lung cancer. The conversation mutually bums them out.

On to the mainstage! Ru is channeling Cycle 4 Tyra, rocking a red wig and a black evening gown with some silver sparkly things that remind me of tinsel. She checks in with the judges who all enjoyed the burlesque show. Since the main challenge did not involve runway, the queens were asked to wear their high-class ensembles for judging. Let’s begin!

Sonique: A black lacy halter dress with a leather corset for the bodice. This is an amazing contrast to last week’s Lion King ensemble and she looks just as amazing.

Jessica: A purple bedazzled gown that somehow reminds Ru of Glinda. I don’t really see the connection, but I like the aesthetic.

Raven: She comes off a little Morticia-like in her gown, but somehow that look works for her. Kim Coles calls it Cher 2010, which I could also see if Cher never smiled in her life.

Sahara: Blue Diana Ross inspired gown. It looks good on her.

Pandora: Hmm, she’s wearing a floral print gown with these black strips that look like censor bars covering the chest and waist area. It’s certainly different, but I would not classify it as formal.

Jujubee: She is wearing a salmon colored wrap that seems very Golden Girls inspired. She claims Eartha Kitt was her inspiration, but I don’t quite see it.

NPB: A rather simple black dress with the exception of a lot of dangling strings from the shoulder straps.

Mystique: Her gown has a similar lacy swirl design as Sonique’s, but it looks good on her too. This has been a good week for Mystique. She does a few spins but isn’t all that coordinated.

Morgan: Apparently Agent 99 was always dressed in formal wear if we’re going by Morgan’s example. She’s wearing red heels and a checkered skirt/jacket combo. I’m thinking that having immunity may have factored heavily into her wardrobe choice.

Tyra: She is wearing a black sheath and about 15 pounds of bling on her neck and ears. It catches your eye, but it is not really a good outfit.

Tatianna: Purple is definitely her color. She describes it as Rhianna going to prom and I think she fully captured that.

All the women are on the stage now. The winning team is…Team Sahara! Woo! And Sahara wins immunity and a $1,500 gift certificate from Sequin Queen. Now it is time for the other team to get evaluated.

Pandora is up first and no one is a fan of her gown. Kim Coles thought the censor bars looked like duct tape. Sonique is next and RuPaul reports that her rudeness was not part of the challenge. Sonique says Ru would have done the same, but is told, “I do sassy, I don’t do bitchy.”

NPB is told that she is nice looking, but sexy really isn’t her strong suit. Dita isn’t a fan of the Megan Fox tongue action while Santino equates the dancing with a drunk Janice Dickenson. Tatianna, on the other hand, was one of the crowd favorites. Dita mentions that she noticed some guys asking for her name. Good for her!

Raven is reminded that she did not make much money on the stage. She acknowledges that she essentially fucked up the challenge. Girl, that’s the one thing Ru told you not to do.

Since Morgan has immunity, she isn’t evaluated but is used to segue into the bus-under-throwing portion of the competition. Basically: Who should go home? Morgan says Tatianna is the weakest person in the group. RuPaul asks Tatianna the same question and she responds that Morgan should go home. RuPaul says that Miss America answers do not apply to the Drag Race. Nicole says flat out to send all the girls home. Now there’s a Drag Race answer. Raven says Tatianna because she doesn’t believe that Tatianna wants to achieve drag superstardom. Tatianna chimes in and says she wouldn’t be on the show if she just wanted to sit around and look pretty. We don’t hear from Pandora or Sonique.

The girls are sent out so the judges can deliberate. NPB and Raven brought in the least amount of money. Raven had the weakest performance but a good runway presentation. Tatianna is green, but probably the prettiest one in the competition. Uh oh, we don’t need another Rebecca Glasscock situation. Sonique has a lot of southern charm that seems to be winning over the judges. Pandora was one of the top money earners on the team and although her wardrobe is questionable her personality is fabulous. NPB seems lost in the crowd.

The ladies return to the stage. Morgan has immunity so she is sent back. Sonique did well on stage, but she needs to work on her people skills. She’ll have time to work on that because she is safe. NPB brought in the least money, so she is on the bubble. Pandora is declared safe. Raven is told that she was the second-lowest money earning and that she will soon have the opportunity to prove herself because she too is on the bubble. Wow, that’s a bit of a surprise actually. Before sending Tatianna back, Ru tells her to sharpen her claws because the competition won’t get any easier.

Raven and NPB: The time has come for you to Lip Sync for Ya Life! Ooo, En Vogue’s “Never Gonna Get It”! Raven is really selling it while NPB is doing what could best be described as Karaoke Lip Syncing. Although they are both stationary for the first part, Raven is just coming off more relaxed and less lock-kneed than NPB. For the breakdown part of the song, Raven walks to the back of the catwalk and points to all the other queens telling them they’re “never gonna get it.” Okay, this performance is starting to bring me over to Raven’s side. She finishes by pulling out one of her falsies and powdering her face.

Surprise: Raven, shantay you stay. Sorry, Nicole Paige Brooks. Sonique appears to be the only one overly broken up by this turn of events, though NPB is sad to leave.

Next week: Kathy Najimy and some country cooking.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

TARdy to the Party

The 16th(!) season of The Amazing Race kicked off Sunday evening and I have to say it was one of the more refreshing episodes in recent memory. I'm holding off on picking any early favorites (still stinging over the Team BroYay debacle of last season) but there do seem to be some interesting couples this time around. However, what got me about the premiere was the fantastic leg construction.

I imagine that the two most challenging jobs on TAR would have to be editing and mapping out the events that take place in each leg. The editing is almost always top notch, but not all legs are created equal. If there are too many events in a leg it can get confusing to keep track of each team's progress. If there are not enough events then there is the risk that teams will not shuffle in position. Also, some legs just serve as a means to get a team from Points A to B, such as having them drive 7 hours through a mountain range.

The worst leg ever on the show was episode six from season nine. The team standings did not shift once over the entire course of the leg. The show has so many artificial ways of causing teams to bunch up or slow down and yet that did not happen in this particular episode. It was very disappointing.

Tonight's episode, however, had teams constantly shifting places, so much so that at one point I thought the show may have miscounted the number of teams still waiting to check-in at the mat. The team that arrived in 2nd received a penalty and ended up checking in in 7th. The team that was in last when it reached the roadblock ended up finishing the leg in 3rd. This sort of shuffling makes the show that much more exciting to watch. I really hope that this is a sign of legs to come for the season.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It's occurred to me that I should probably be posting stuff on here about the Tuesday afternoon screenings that I attend. The purpose of these screenings is to showcase television programs that have some sort of historical relevance or tangential relationship to current events. Or, as in the case of yesterday's screening, is just pretty freakin' awesomely bad. The other criterion for these screenings is that they are generally not available in a commercial format. Yes, the screenings are pretty much an opportunity to play in Bob Thompson's massive video archive. Enter Automan:

The show was made by the people that brought you The A-Team and Knight Rider only this was not as well written. We watched two episodes. The first, episode eight: "Renegade's Run" was about a biker gang who's leader's sister is forced into signing off on a house sale by a crooked Arizona sheriff. And I think she's dating Desi Arnaz Jr's character? I can't remember. Also, the computer generated hologram Automan goes undercover as a biker and becomes the new gang leader after a ten minute sequence of Follow the Leader. By the end of that sequence I made the comment that I had forgotten what the A-story was and I was only half joking.

Episode eleven, entitled "Zippers" involved a Chippendale's-like strip club and corporate espionage. I have no idea who the target demo was for this program. Also, the asexual Automan goes undercover as God's gift to strippers which could lead to a thesis topic if anyone actually wanted to explore it. Honestly, as fun as these episodes were from a snark standpoint, I'm somewhat amazed that the show lasted 13 episodes.

Bonus question: What is Cursor up to nowadays?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

RPDR Pre-cap 2-2

This week is all about Bad Girls of the Donna Summer variety. The mini-challenge has the girls giving RuPaul dolls makeovers from glam to the sort of tranny hookers that the Scissor Sisters sing about. Each doll had two mommies, but with eleven contestants Mystique was left on her own. She didn't win but Sahara Davenport and Pandora Boxx did. They earned the right to be team captains for the mainstage challenge. Team Sahara featured Tyra, Juju, Mystique, and Jessica. Team Pandora had Raven, Morgan (who had immunity), Sonique, Tatianna and Nicole Paige Brooks.

The teams will be putting on a burlesque show for an all-male audience. After a training session with some pole dancing experts, the teams have to work on their choreography and costume design. Tyra does not respond well to Sahara at all and there is much dramarama -- infused with the Valium that is Tyra. When it comes to the actual challenge, the teams learn that the team with the most tips will win the challenge and the biggest contributor to the win will get immunity. Also, while one team performs the other team will be selling gift certificates outside the theater to supplement their totals.

Team Sahara wins the challenge and Sahara won immunity. On the runway, Team Pandora is evaluated in their glamwear and asked the dreaded "Who should go home?" question. Tatianna was on the receiving end from most of her teammates, and not in the fun. Ultimately NPB and Raven (the lowest contributors to their group) were told to LSFYL. Raven totally owned the performance, forcing NPB to sashay away.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Winner

So the ads were pretty lackluster this year. And by lackluster, I mean misogynistic. However, Google's ad was fantastic:

I don't get choked up all that often, but doggone it this ad has poked my ooey-gooey spot twice. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

RPDR: Gone With the Window

We open with a black-and-white montage of this season’s contestants. After RuPaul announces, “I’m back!” we get a quick montage of upcoming scenes from the season. Twelve queens, some doing backflips, some dressed as creepy hillbilly babies (?), and a whole bunch of splits. Oh, and a reminder that each week two queens will have to “Lip Sync...For Your Life.” God, I missed this show.

After a revamped theme sequence we see a contestant enter the revamped workroom. The first contestant is Nicole Paige Brooks from Atlanta. What is up with drag queens and the name Paige? I think every city has at least one Paige Turner, but aside from the obvious pun I don’t see what the appeal is for the name. We see her trying to decide which end of the workroom she wants to claim for herself. In an interview she defines herself as a southern belle/Capricorn/big momma. Is that considered a triple threat?

Moments later Shangela enters. She identifies herself as the “Debutantess of the Deep South.” According to her, “debutantess” is one part booji and one part home girl. I think I like this queen. The two chat for a bit revealing that Nicole Paige has been doing drag for 15 years while Shangela has only been around for 5 months. NPB interviews that she is not interested in babysitting any newbies.

Next up is Raven, she of the pierced lip and tit-centric presentation. She reminds me of this queen in Cleveland named Athena Ghost who was really just a boy in makeup rocking out to Evanescence. Not a fan. Ugh, tattoos up the arm, too. In an interview male Raven (David) claims that he wants to be the ice queen. I think that might be this show’s version “I’m not here to make friends.”

Coming through the door next is Jujubee. She is Asian, poppy, fashion forward, and loves glitter because it’s “wicked spah-kly”. She’s also from Boston. I like her instantly.

The show starts to pick up the pace and introduces Sahara Davenport. After she walks through the door Shangela looks over and starts screaming. The others are like “okay?” and it turns out that Sahara and Shangela were friends in college. As those two freak out, a blonde named Morgan McMichaels enters and Raven starts to freak out a bit. They both started out at the same club.

After the screaming subsides, Mystique enters the room. She is this season’s plus-size queen. We see her introduce her right breast as “Cheeseburger”, her left as “Taco Bell” and her rear as “Diet Coke on the Side.” She could be interesting, especially after she interviews that “skinny bitches” can suck it.

The next queen is Jessica Wild, the viewer’s choice contestant. She shares that her biggest fear in the competition is the language barrier: she’s from Puerto Rico just like last year’s viewer pick, Nina Flowers. Her strategy is to smile if someone says something she doesn’t understand. That’s probably better than just saying “Good night, Bahamas!”

The drag reunion tour continues when NPB recognizes Sonique. In her interview, Male Sonique reveals that his mom sent him to military school and he came back as a drag queen. That’s military spending I think I can approve of.

Tatianna enters next followed by … Kathy Griffin? Oh, no, that’s another queen known as Pandora Boxx. She does list Miss Kathy as one of her influences as well as Madonna and Goldie Hawn. This one might be a weirdo, but there is a charm there that I’m responding to – hopefully it will last. Shangela asks if she sews and Pandora says that she does and that she made the outfit she’s wearing. Shangela screams.

A heavily medicated Rihanna enters the room. She is introduced as Tyra Sanchez. Shangela asks Tyra if she is bankable and she doesn’t seem to know how to respond. Wake me up when this contestant is gone, please.

She Mail time! RuPaul welcomes the contestants and warns them that there will be “more twist and turns than Kim Kardashian trying to wiggle out of a pair of Spanx.” The queens love that line, as do I. Ru finishes by telling the queens that this season will blow them away. The queens applaud the video and then Male Ru enters. He goes around the room to meet and greet the contestants and everyone SQUEES! appropriately.

After the introductions, RuPaul welcomes all the contestants and tells them that anyone who walks out of the house in a wig and high heels is his hero. All twelve were chosen because of their (say it with me) Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. He then goes on to list the prizes up for grabs: a contract with NYX cosmetics (aww, no more MAC?), a PR contract with Project Publicity (LGBT represent!), an LA Eyeworks campaign, headliner of the LOGO/Absolut Pride tour, and $25,000. Not bad.

RuPaul introduces Mike Ruiz, photographer extraordinaire. This segues into the theme for this week’s challenge: Gone with the Wind. The mini-challenge will be a photo shoot that will reward the queen that gives the best “Face Face Face.” After the commercials we see that it also involves a cannon and two shirtless, dark skinned guys in Civil War uniforms. This is what we in the biz like to call “revisionist history.” Also, these are not the same Pit Crew guys from last year. Where’s Kenyon?

Jujubee gets the full explanation of the photo shoot except for the part about the fans being set at “Gale Force” (oo, there’s a good drag name). She interviews that she could feel her wig starting to slip and her eyelashes sliding. Her photo turned out okay and she tells Ru that she had never been blown like that before.

Tatianna has a good photo while Sonique looks like she walked out of the superhero shoot from cycle 5 of Top Model. Pandora’s photo looks crazy, Jessica’s was okay and Mystique’s was just blah. Morgan looks like she is having a good time until her wig flies off. Whoops! I think she could have rocked it without the wig, but she becomes self-conscious and tries to use the Isadora Duncan style scarf that all the contestants had to cover her hair. They got a decent shot with her wig still on but it wasn’t great.

Morgan walks back into the workroom and tells the queens what happened. She seems to have a sense of humor about it, which is good. Meanwhile, Pandora muses on the amount of prep time it takes to achieve transformation. Morgan adds to this by hoping that the other boys are as attractive as he is. I will admit, Morgan is a cutie but it’s fairly obvious that s/he’s pretty self-absorbed.

Back at the photo shoot, NPB pinches Not-Kenyon’s nipples before mounting the cannon. That is not a euphemism nor erotica. Mike Ruiz hilariously describes NPB as being more catalog than couture. Really, guy? I agree that she comes off like a stewardess with a tray table up her butt but hey, she still took an okay photo. The wind machine whips Sahara’s face in the most unflattering way. Meanwhile Tyra, who inexplicably wore an outfit that you can’t even sit down in, drones about the difficulty of being near the Pit Crew. There’s something stiff in the general area of Tyra, but it’s not what you’re thinking. Even her picture puts me to sleep.

Shangela seems to be doing okay, heeding the advice of “think Franklin Mint plate” (c’mon, that’s perfect for this challenge!) until her “chicken cutlets” try to come out to play. Whoops. I think her photo turned out well. Last up is Raven who looks so mannish in her photo. She enters the workroom and goes on and on about how wonderful that blowjob was. Sahara interviews that both Raven and Morgan are offputting, punctuated by Morgan stripping down to full junk exposure. She’s not shy I’ll give her that. Tyra also speculates that Morgan is going to get on her nerves.

Ru, Mike and the Pit Crew enter the workroom to reveal the challenge results. And the winner is...Raven?! Are you shitting me? Anyway, Ru sends the queens home for the night since “tomorrow is another day.”

The next day we see the contestants as they wake up in their hotel rooms and make their way back to the workroom. RuPaul welcomes them back and introduces this week’s challenge: Make a Scarlet O’Hara inspired dress from a set of drapes and various household items. He’s calling it “Gone with the Window.” It sounds like this might have a bit more structure than last season’s “Drag on a Dime.” Raven gets first choice of drapes since she won the photoshoot. She picks an ugly zebra print which Pandora whines about in an interview.

After RuPaul gives the “Start your engines and may the best woman win” soundbite, the remaining queens make a mad dash for the remaining curtains. Shangela and Tyra tease each other about who shoved whom while Morgan and Tatianna actually fight over a set (Tatianna wins). Over in housewares, Jujubee has determined that she will be “flawless” as she hoists a ceiling fan onto her workstation. Awesome.

Meanwhile, Shangela offers to share her workspace with Pandora. Pandora is able to read through the lines very quickly: Pandora can sew, Shangela cannot. Shangela asks for a couple of quick tutorials but Pandora is leery about this arrangement.

Tatianna and Raven give their unfavorable critiques of Mystique’s project. Raven describes the dress as a pillowcase and I have to agree, mainly because I have a pillowcase that looks exactly like what Mystique is attempting. Girlfriend is in trouble. Shortly after this critique Morgan breaks the sewing machine that she and Raven are using.

RuPaul enters and gets his Tim Gunn on, starting with Mystique. Her main issue (of many issues) is that the largest available dress form is nowhere near her size. Ru suggests padding the form but Mystique instantly brushes that suggestion to the side. Next, Shangela shows her burlap concoction that is somehow going to incorporate corncobs? Tyra is next and we learn that she has a son named Jaremiah. Huh. Ru chats up Sahara and Morgan, both who have quite a bit of work to do before they are finished. After the walkaround, RuPaul tells the contestants that the extra special guest judge will be none other than Kathy Griffin. Woo! I love Miss Kathy!

The queens enter the workroom, presumably the next day, and get ready for the show. Jessica and Shangela interview about what final preparations are like before the first big runway show. We get a shot of Mystique, who has a basket of some sort on her head. That seems awkward. Morgan interviews “I think Mystique is a mistake.” Bitchy, but perhaps fair given what has been presented so far. Sorry, I’m not on the Mystique love train just yet. More queens wax poetic about the artform that is drag performance and then we head to the mainstage.

Wow. This show has a budget this time around. There are lights all over the place including the catwalk. It looks like the show has cut down a smidge on the use of soft focus when filming RuPaul, which is also a nice touch. Tonight she’s wearing a lovely red dress that looks very Vanna White. Santino and Merle have returned and are joined by Mike Ruiz and Miss Kathy. Kathy compliments Ru on her Michelle Obama arms. Hehe. Ru recaps the challenge and starts the runway show.

Tyra Sanchez: She has a couple of layers going on and they compliment her skin tone and hair very nicely. Kathy comments that the carpet and drapes don’t match, but they don’t have to.

Raven: She turned the ugly zebra print into an almost functional tube dress with red going down the center, but the movement accentuates her man shoulders.

Sonique: Wow, she came up with a Lion King inspired ensemble including Rafiki’s staff. Very nice.

Jujubee: Not so much of a fan of this look. Although it looks like it is constructed well, there’s a matronly quality about it.

Tatianna: Along with a red wig that isn’t do her favors she made an ill-fitting baby doll dress. Very middle of the pack so far.

Sahara: A parasol? Okay. It’s an interesting look, almost as if she is trying to pull off a Walmart brand of Iman.

Shangela: The color of the look is not all that eye-catching and she decided to accessorize with the corn cobs hanging from her hands. Oh girl.

Jessica Wild: Her dress looks more like a bathing suit covered with giant sunflowers. She looks a bit like Esther Williams.

Morgan: Her outfit turned out well. It is a little similar to Sonique’s in its basic construction but it does not come off as costumey. Her hair, however, is pulling her face in a way that makes her look like a Tammy Faye impersonator.

Mystique: Huh. She’s committed to that basket on her head, apparently. Ru says, “who needs a hybrid when you could have a basket on your head?” What? That makes no sense. Maybe that’s the point because Mystique’s entire presentation is just as baffling. As she walks back towards the entry, she sets the basket down, jumps in the air and lands in a split. The judges applaud but that’s just gross pandering. Girlfriend is on borrowed time.

NPB: Her dress is cute but not really much of a standout within this crowd. She’ll be safe.

Pandora: She opted to rock a Kathy wig (smart move) and made a rather nifty suit/dress/fishnet combination.

The twelve queens stand on the runway. RuPaul reiterates her comments about drag artists as heroes before separating some wheat from the chaff. She calls Jujubee, Tatianna, Raven, Sonique, Jessica, and NPB and tells them that they are neither the best nor the worst. Raven isn’t too pleased with this, but neither is Ru. She tells them to step up their game before dismissing them.

Time for some girls to get told. Ru starts with Tyra. Although the dress has a simple design, the colors really worked well for her. Kathy’s only criticism is for Tyra to have a little more fun with her face. I hope she listens to that advice because “dull as dishwater” ain’t going to cut it.

Shangela is next. Santino hates the dress while Mike does not like the photo at all. Uh-oh. I like Shangela but I think she’s in trouble.

Morgan and her crazy-face are up. Kathy calls Morgan “Chergifani”: Cher + Fergie + Gwen Stefani. That’s fair.

Pandora: Kathy says she is looking in a mirror (hehe). RuPaul references the energy in Pandora’s photo and suggests that the same energy should come out on the mainstage.

Mystique: Kathy doesn’t like the dress but Mystique says she can wear short skirts like the skinny bitches. Ru asks if Mystique’s boobs are popping out in the photo to which the contestant responds, “Got milk?” Sigh.

Last up is Sahara. She mentions that her boyfriend is Asian, hence the parasol. Kathy brilliantly states, “Nothing says ‘Civil War’ like ‘My Asian Boyfriend.’” Boosh. The main critique is that the outfit is not drag enough.

Deliberations. Mystique is raggedy. Shangela looks too old-fashioned and is all potential and not enough experience. Sahara may not be fabulous enough. Tyra needs some personality. Morgan has a good package at the moment (as we saw earlier). Pandora needs to own the stage more.

The six have returned. Tyra is warned about her personality before being told that she is safe. Shangela has energy but that is not enough to save her from the bottom two. Eep! Morgan is declared the winner. She gets immunity next week as well as an Interior Illusions photo spread in Lux magazine. Pandora is also safe. Mystique is told that she is raggedy but that split saved her…for now. That leaves Sahara to round out the bottom two. She also gets dinged on personality. What’s worse, it’s the former college buddies left to battle it out in the Lip Sync for Your Life.

This week’s song: “Cover Girl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)” by RuPaul. Don’t fuck it up! The queens take their positions. One of the good things about this performance is that both contestants are taking this seriously. The first two episodes last year both of the eliminated contestants seemed kind of whatever about the whole LSFYL. These queens came here to play. As soon as the song hits the bridge, Shangela rips off her skirt and starts rocking the runway. Sahara responds in kind. There are cartwheels, splits, pirouettes, kicks – it’s awesome. Sonique goes a little overboard saying, “it looked like mortal combat.” As much as I love this show, I wouldn’t go that far. However, by the end of the performance you can tell that the bar has been set for future eliminations. I can’t wait.

RuPaul announces her decision. “Sahara Davenport: Shantay you stay.” Aww. She jumps and says “Yay!” but as she lands she instantly realizes that her friend had just been eliminated and looks like she feels really guilty for the previous half second. I hate when that happens. Shangela is very accepting of the situation and congratulates her friend. She sashays away.

In the workroom Shangela reflects on her brief experience. She is proud of what she has done and is happy to have lost to her friend. “Now it’s time to pack my wigs and go home.” I wonder if that was the send-off runner-up to “Sashay away”?

Back on stage RuPaul acknowledges the bittersweet nature of what just transpired. She then congratulates the contestants for surviving the first challenge. Ru signs off and asks for the music to play. “Don’t Be Jealous of My Boogie” is the runway song of the season.

Monday, February 1, 2010

RPDR Pre-cap 2-1

It's time for the second lap y'all of RuPaul's Drag Race! And the show has come back with a production budget! This time around 12 queens are competing for the title of America's Next Drag Superstar. The first challenge is a photo shoot inspired by Ru's favorite movie Gone with the Wind -- emphasis on the wind as the contestants are placed in front of a fan set at "Hurricane". The main challenge is called "Gone with the Window" as the queens have to design outfits from drapes. The queens present their looks on a revamped main stage in front of guest judge Kathy Griffin. Unfortunately Shangela and Sahara Davenport (former college roommates) don't wow the judges and have to Lip Sync for Their Life. Both put on an amazing show but Shangela is asked to sashay away.

Come back Thursday for the full recap!