Friday, February 6, 2009

Channel Changer: Ru Betta Work

After realizing this week that TLC's highly-anticipated docuseries Toddlers & Tiaras (an obvious must-watch for anyone who also still wonders about HBO's Living Dolls' Swan Brooner and Leslie Butler) would only feature the self-proclaimed superdad of pageants, David Perez for one episode, I needed a fresh batch of overly made-up, hair-piece wearing, glitter-loving, bra-stuffing little ladies to fill that void.

And thanks to the sage advice of my dear friend Mike, I found just that in LOGO's recently premiered
RuPaul's Drag Race, or more accurately titled Project Next Top Drag Idol.

The show's premise is as simple as a cross-dressing reality TV show competition could possibly be-- nine lovely divas in drag make love to the camera in hypersexualized photoshoots, construct costumes out of items from the dolla sto, parade them down a runway that, based on exterior shots of barbed wires and dumpsters, was built in an alleyway, lip sync to RuPaul's "Supermodel" for their lives so that the judges hopefully give them another chance to do it all over again next week.

The stand-out queens were...
ONGINA, who developed her stage name from her middle name "Ong" and "the part god didn't bless me with," is by far the most petite of the queens, but knows how to shake it better than the Latin mamis. She also has a pension for teeny weeny hats that sit atop her bald head with a strand of elastic. Translation: She's adorbes.

NINA FLOWERS has a non-faux hawk that could pierce you if her cat eye contacts didn't first. Plus, bitch took the tired Nicole Richie hippie headband look and brought it down to eye level. It's like S & Melrose and it's fiiiiieeeeerce.

TAMMIE BROWN took the sexiest car wash photo in the bunch. If her forehead is any indication, she is hands down the smartest on the show. But speaking of hands, she looks strikingly similar to Kristen Wiig's character in SNL's Lawrence Welk Sister Act skit, minus the gimpy fetus-like appendages.Whether this is a positive or negative, time will only tell.


VICTORIA PORKCHOP PARKER is like the Paul Dean of drag. Sure, she may look like Orson from Garfield and Friends, but bitch is fur reeeels. Vicky Chops (as they call her on the streets) has been shot at and had things thrown at her. But she doesn't want your pity. No, no. She just wants whatever indeterminate grain is on that spoon... with butter.

The queens arrive one by one to the RPDR studio and we begin to understand the plight of the "drag arteest," as one contestant refers to himself and his competitors. First, Shannel (so phonetically creative) tells Nina she's "painted," which I'm pretty sure in drag translates to fierce. Then, another ladymanfriend sees Shannel's assless chaps upon her arrival and is pissed to see someone stole her look. I imagine this is only a problem in the small circle of dragqueendom.

As for the show's host, RuPaul Charles (yes, that's his/her given name) is like the perfect cross between
Top Model's Tyra and Runway's Tim Gunn. When in a translucent ruffly form-fitting dress topped a wig straight outta the Marilyn Monroe Collection, delivering the contestants their video "SheMail," mentioning "world renowned fashion photographers," or speaking in obscenely obvious voiceovers, Ru (as friends would refer to him/her) gives Ty Ty Baby a run for her monies. Plus, his show is sponsored by M.A.C. and Absolut, which totes trump CoverGirl.

But in a pinstripe suit, glasses, and strategically placed pink pocket square, walking around the contestants'dressforms, Tim Gunn really should be worried this time. Mistah Charles even puts his own spin on "make it work," which is "don't fuck up." If only all reality TV competition senseis were that upfront.

When it comes down to the final two contestants, they're asked to do a lip sync off on the runway to "Supermodel" of course and while they've yet to answer my primary question while watching this show (really though... how do they tuck those things under in a
thong?), we do find out the difference between "sashay" and "chantez." In the show's signature dismissal phrase, RuPaul tells those who worked it, “Chantez, you stay,” and eliminates those who failed to give it a twirl with, "Sashay away.”

Well, chantez, I'm staying... because these queens are high quality entertainment.

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