Posted by: Lauren on Jan 31, 2011
Well, have I got a treat for you. I will be recapping a reality competition like no other, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Airing on Logo, RuPaul’s Drag Race takes 13 fabulous drag queens and has them compete to be America’s next drag superstar. The show is part modeling competition, part sewing and costuming competition, and part personality competition. It is difficult for the written word to do this show justice, but I am going to try my best. I don’t know a lot about the drag world (although I recently catalogued Shims in Hollywood), but I encourage you to join me as we learn about what makes a fabulous drag queen.
First up, let’s meet our ladies.
Delta Work: Delta is a self-described “big girl” and wants to be the next RuPaul. Those are some fabulous pumps to fill.
Carmen Carrera: Carmen is an awfully pretty lady, and we learn later that she likes to be nude quite often.
Phoenix: Phoenix has a bold look and crazy shoes. She claims to have a “bitchy side” which means that there is going to be some DRAMA. Exciting.
Manila Luzon: Manila fled the Midwest to be more fabulous in New York. Who hasn’t?
Stacy Layne Matthews: If Delta is big, Stacy Layne is really big. In her full make-up, she looks a lot like Monique…I don’t know if this is intentional or not.
Venus D-Lite: Venus is a little bit scary looking. I don’t know if it is the pale, pale foundation or the kooky hair.
Yara (pronounced Jara) Sofia: Jara is a fabulous Puerto Rican who is apparently famous there. She has scary colored contacts.
Mariah Balenciaga (not sure on the spelling of that last name): Mariah is a southern gal who packs a decent amount of heat up top. She describes herself as “a 6’2” glamazon with legs like a racehorse” You bring it, girl.
Alexis Mateo: Another beautiful woman, Alexis is also Puerto Rican and doesn’t like to be labeled a “Latin Queen”. Well, there goes my intro line.
India Ferrah: Hilariously, India walks into the meet and greet in almost the exact same outfit as Phoenix. Drag faux pas! They even have the same wig! They kind of hate each other right off the bat. Hilarious. Phoenix tries to sort of insult India by saying her style is old-school, but they are wearing the same thing, so it comes off rather pathetically. First round goes to India!
Mimi Imfurst: Points to this lady for the hilarious name. Mimi is a bigger gal and you can tell she has the personality to back it up.
Raja: What up, Sutan! Raja is also known as Sutan and he is the head make-up artist on another drag queen-helmed show, America’s Next Top Model. She is adorable and has a crazy lady body (much like Ms. RuPaul before her, but we’ll get to that later).
Our first She Mail arrives and it is the FABULOUS RuPaul welcoming the ladies to season 3. It pains me how gorgeous she is. Her cans look amazing, and I am now wondering if they are real or not. Apparently, they are not real. Oh my god, right after this RuPaul the man comes into the room and seeing one right after the other is jarring. He is a gorgeous guy too, but also hilariously skinny and bald.
Another drag queen pops out of a big Christmas present, and we learn this is Shangela, a former contestant who was eliminated in season 2. She is getting a second chance in the competition.
We have our first challenge of the season, and photographer Mike Ruiz will be shooting the girls in a winter scene on a trampoline. Of course. Everyone takes a turn on the winter trampoline and several people reveal their “nutcracker” to Mr. RuPaul. Mimi takes a terrible picture where she looks deranged. India claims that her breasts are very heavy and weigh about 12 pounds. Welcome to my world, sister. Stacy Layne struggles on the trampoline because she is so large. Mariah does extremely well riding the candy cane. No, that is not a euphemism. Raja rocks the shoot (as well she should!) and gives us a classic ANTM shot. Sutan (Raja) also points out what I have been thinking from the first time we saw Stacy out of drag, which is that she totally looks like a woman (whereas the rest of the men really look like men).
Ru selects the winner of the photo shoot and it is Raja! Her reward is 25 addition dollars in their next challenge. This sounds crappy, but it is actually a lot considering where they go.
The next day, the ladies have to head out to go shopping in drag in the daytime. Some of them are not very comfortable like this, as they usually keep their drag personas for nighttime. The reaction shots from local thrift shop patrons are hilarious. Their challenge is to create a holiday look using the used clothes at the store and any holiday stuff that they can “mop”. Luckily, an on-screen title card tells us that “mop” means to steal. How fun! When they pan to the group in their daywear, there is one lady who looks like Marie Osmond. Hopefully I will find out which one she is soon.
The ladies head back to the workroom place and start working on their Christmas looks for the mainstage. There is drama between two of the blonde dudes, Phoenix and Venus D-lite, because Venus claims that Phoenix stole her idea to smash up ornaments and use them as sparkly stuff on the costumes. I warned you all…Phoenix brings the drama. The other drama comes from Mimi because she can’t sew at all and is having problems getting her outfit together. Some of the other ladies try to help her out while she has a small breakdown. We also learn that Venus D-lite is primarily a Madonna impersonator. She even had plastic surgery to look more like her. Talk about commitment!
Ok, so this is where the show gets really crazy. The ladies compete on the mainstage in their outfits, and the two chosen to be in the bottom will have to…………Lip Sync for (their) Liiiiiiiiife! Yes. This is how people are eliminated from this show. A lip sync-ing competition. Amazing.
We meet the judges. This week we have comedian Bruce Vilanch, Santino Rice (of Project Runway fame), Michelle Visage (apparently a co-host of RuPaul’s talk show), and Mike Ruiz (this week’s photographer). It is unclear if all of these will be judges for every episode or not, but there is also a special guest judge in Vanessa Williams.
The ladies each work the runway, and here is a quick rundown. Carmen wears a tiny bathing suit and Ru makes a comment about camel toe. Manila has a funny and cute Mrs. Claus-esque dress with a muff, Jara Sofia has a bit of a reindeer theme going wither her dress, Phoenix looks scary again, although her dress is fun. Stacy Layne is wearing a lot of red fabric, Venus D-lite’s outfit is crappy looking, India’s boobs are on full display, and they are no where near as good as Ru’s. Delta Work goes for a Kwanza-inspired look and knows how to dress her shape. Alexis’ dress is kind of a bad prom dress; it is short and ruffled. Mimi is mostly wearing drapes of fabric, and has styled herself after the Madonna (the first one, not the pop icon). Mariah looks hot in a fabuloused up capri suit thing. Raja looks likewise amazing and her outfit is gorgeous. Shangela has made a weird dress out of a lamp, and she drags (ha!) a snowman out onstage with her.
The judges critique the top and bottom three, but there are critiques all around, so it is hard for me to figure out who is on the top and who is on the bottom. I think I have it sorted below:
The bottom three queens are Carmen Carrera, Shangela, and Venus D-Lite.
The top three are Manila, Mimi Imfurst (even though she didn’t know how to sew), and Raja (because she nailed this one).
The ladies are sent to the Interior Illusions Lounge (I can’t make this stuff up!) while the judges talk it over.
Condragulations to Mimi and Manila, as they are safe, and to Raja for winning this week’s challenge. Carmen is also safe. Venus D-lite and Shangela are up for elimination, and will Lip Sync for Their Liiiiiiife! They will be lip sync-ing to Vanessa Williams’ “The Right Stuff”. It is a bit of a trainwreck, and the two ladies are just kind of fighting with each other. Shangela’s lamp skirt is torn off and used as a weapon. Venus D-lite seems to be the instigator.
Shangela is asked to shante, and stay. And Venus D-lite is told to sashay, away. That means she lost.
- The true beauty of this show is that it takes a bunch of gigantic personalities and throws them into a pit together. There just isn’t enough room for all of these and that is what makes for great TV.
- Quote of the Week: When Mimi is having her breakdown she tells us, through tears, “if I have to lip sync, I’ll motherfucking lip sync my life off!”
- My early favorites are Raja, because her intricate knowledge of reality TV and cute personality will help her go far, Delta Work because she has an awesome name, and Mariah, because she is hot.
- Ok, let’s get this out there. RuPaul is better looking as both a man and a woman than most people are as either one. She is so gorgeous! I cannot and will not get over it.
- If you haven’t ever seen this show, I highly suggest you check it out. It is an hour of guaranteed fabulous.
- I will give my sister the last word on this week’s ousted queen. She says, “Basically, if you are an impersonator, you will not get far with RuPaul. You gotta be your own woman…not someone else, creepy Madonna face”. Truer words.
- Look for all of the recaps of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Mondays from now until the end of the season!