Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ru Paul's Drag Race

So let's switch gears from yesterday and baseball.

Spanning the dial to bring you the cheesiest in reality shows, I have uncovered a gem. Many thanks to my daughter Annie for turning me onto this little beauty. RU PAUL’S DRAG RACE on Logo. Logo is the gay network although I think this show is even too gay for them.

RU PAUL'S DRAG RACE follows your standard reality competition format with contestants put through various challenges and one getting eliminated every week. Except they’re all drag queens and the grand prize is $25,000, a P.R. firm’s services for a year, and various and sundry drag queen gigs. Not exactly life-changing but certainly enough to warrant these guys humiliating themselves on national television.

We get to meet the drag queens in and out of costume. And we see Ru Paul not in drag. That was a first for me. Out of the wig and gowns he looks kinda like the villain in PRINCESS AND THE FROG. The contestants all go by their drag queen names. So Pandora’s Box is pitted against the likes of Jujubee, Raven, and Tatiana.

They live together in a house with big steel doors and exposed rivets on the wall. I half-expected to see the Gimp from PULP FICTION chained to the floor. Imagine my disappointment.

The first challenge was called “the Queen is Right”. It was “the Price is Right” except with items drag queens would consider essentials. So they had to guess the price of white tube socks, pepper spray, duct tape, brass knuckles, and a human hair wig. These items were displayed by muscular male Chippendale-type models who were bare-chested except for neck ties, The winner got to call his mother. I swear, I’m not making this up.

Then they all had to play the “Snatch Game”. Gene Rayburn is rolling over in his grave. The queens were expected to impersonate a celebrity of their choice – complete with costume and make up of course. So they went as Carol Channing, Beyonce, Pink, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Whitney Houston (the Bobby Brown Whitney, not Clive Davis version), and Ru Paul. The 200 pound man who did Carol Channing was a riot and the guy who did Britney looked so authentic he could actually pass for Britney Spears until he got out of a car.

They had to answer “Match Game” type questions like “Slutty Sally was so slutty, when she rode on a disco stick she…” Everything about this show just screams class.

Then there was a runway competition. One by one these bruisers came out in flamboyant ridiculous gowns, cat suits, and Jackie Kennedy outfits.

The bottom two were selected and to help Ru Paul make his final decision they had to “Lip Sync For Your Life”. Cat woman stripped down to bra and panties and did cartwheels with such force the stage almost collapsed.

He proved to be the loser as Ru Paul delivered the soon to be famous catch-phrase, “Sashay away!”

And my favorite moment – this is what got me hooked – Ru Paul asks one of the drag queens, “Where did you get your sense of humor from?” to which he replies, “My father passed away.” That’s it. I’m setting my DVR for a season pass right now.

RU PAUL’S DRAG RACE. For good delicious jaw dropping entertainment you gotta check it out, “Squirrel friends”.


Velocity DeWitt said...

Ru Paul's Drag Race is two things at the same time:

First, it's a brilliant parody of a certain type of reality show, especially Project Runway and America's Next Top Model.

Second, it's a much better version of those shows. Ru Paul's version of Tyra Banks is far preferable to the real thing.

The Milner Coupe said...

I weep for the future. No. Make that the present.

We're doomed.


normadesmond said...

RP's DR is on my short list every week. I do cringe when I watch, but I still watch (Why are most drag queens stupid? They need to take a lesson from Lypsinka). So far, this year's girls aren't as good as last season. Oh, I think you may have gotten mixed up....Pandora Box, who did Carol Channing isn't 200 lbs. The big black girl left a few weeks ago.

D. McEwan said...

"I half-expected to see the Gimp from PULP FICTION chained to the floor. Imagine my disappointment."

And theirs.

"the guy who did Britney looked so authentic he could actually pass for Britney Spears until he got out of a car."

That really made me snicker.

Actually, now you have me wanting to watch it, and I'd been avoiding it except for the clips on The Soup.

Of course, I'm used to Dame Edna, who is actually straight that the idea of gay drag queens seems so radical.

But how can I resist "Snatch Game? Of course, they always used to include the year in that show's title: Match Game 73, Match Game 75, etc. So how did they resist: "Snatch Game 69"?

Anonymous said...

I adore this show. Other reality shows make me cringe, but this one just makes me laugh.

I agree with Norma: season 1 was better, but as I watched it after the fact, I missed all of the "Untucked" episodes. Well, I won't be making THAT mistake again! ("Bitch, I am from Chi-CAH-go!" has become a catchphrase in our house. My brother still doesn't know what it's from.)

Ru Paul is perhaps unsurprisingly perceptive about people. I recommend catching the Reunion show from season 1 and watching him (he's a he when he's in a suit, right?) lay down the LAW right around 37 minutes.

YEKIMI said...

Well, the Snatch Game's question RuPaul is asking don't seem to be very different from the ones the original Match Game used. [Dick Debartolo used to be the head writer of the Match Game questions and you should read how he decided to "dirty up" the questions and how that decision saved the show from being canceled. Oh, and Dick Debartolo is the same guy who has written for Mad Magazine for decades now]

A. Buck Short said...

I'm with D. McE on “. . . until he got out of a car.” :)

But, continuing now with our policy of not being constrained by the actual subject of the day’s blog . . .

The motion picture academy has finally released the text of the acceptance speech that director Roger Ross Williams would have delivered after accepting his Oscar for the winning documentary short Music by Prudence -- before he was faux-Kanye’d by Elinor Burkett, who we now know was off the project but had been listed as producer:

“I’d like to thank this woman for not believing in me when everyone else would.”

At least now we know why they dropped the original title, “Music by Patience.” He also clarified the issue of whether or not his 87 year-old mother actually attempted to trip Ms. Burkett with her cane on her way up to the stage. It was actually a prosthetic limb mom had been fitted with following that nasty on-location accident when she barged in on the filming of Hurt Locker. (And she was penalized 15 rows for unsportsmanlike conduct.)

And for the record, no matter what the woman claims, he does not have a winning Powerball Lottery ticket that both are alleged to have purchased jointly.

Mr. Williams says he is now headed back to Zimbabwe where there’s a lot less conflict and even Bobby Mugabe “let’s you talk.”

PS: Belated thanks to Doug and Joey H. for filling me in on the Oscarcast writers. I just knew somebody would invent a machine where you could play this stuff back. First I’m told that Ken Levine knows Merrill Markoe and Elayne Boosler, and now I learn Doug McEwan was friends with Carol Leifer! Why do the gay guys get all the women? Oh, wait . . .

Mary Stella said...

I'm going to have to find out if Dish Network carries this show.

wv = cophy = genetically duplicated java

Anonymous said...

And all over the Bible Belt homemakers are screaming, "Hollywood is such an evil place. I'm writing my cable company in protest of such filth."

And yet somehow the numbers continue to climb and husbands are packing their bags and coming to LA.

Greg said...

VH1 replays the episodes after they appear on Logo.

"Carol Channing" was truly hysterical. I wondered if he/she came up with the answers or if there was a writer. Would love to see that bit again.

Eric Lyden said...

Don't forget- the contestants on the show are rated on their

Nerve &

It took me a while before I got that one.

Troy DeVolld said...

Ken, as a ten-year veteran of the reality show mines, I enthusiastically agree with your positive take on RuPaul's Drag Race. The challenges are always exciting and unexpected (posing for a doctored shot in male/female wedding drag was brilliant), and the show somehow manages to rise above the "Gawd, already" predictability and staleness that makes reality tv in non-virgin seasons an easy target for critics.

On a side note, I also understand from friends who've worked on the program that Ru is a dream to work with.

bylaurenluke said...

Check out Lauren Luke’s tutorial on how to get the Lady Gaga look right here:



Delilah said...

I have watched Ru Paul through the early years, the drag persona has become a terrific beauty in Mackie etc. Most women only wish they have his make-up skills...I relly liked season one, have been entranced with the top three contestants--and enjoyed the rest. People just need to lighten up and quit being such haters.....