Three snaps up to our newest BYGays contributor Summer Camp. For the next 10 weeks, Summer will be “recamping” (get it?) what happens on each episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race for Brightest Young Things. If you don’t know her, Summer is the raunchy, campy host of the legendary CRACK comedy caberet. Not a typical lip syncing drag queen, Summer’s comedy is used to shock and drag out the bizarre talents of local performers.
On Monday, I sat slipped on my Snuggie with a glass of chocolate milk and Nilla wafers to watch the second season opener of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo TV. For our straight readers, Logo is sort of like Bravo, but way less gay. Likewise, RuPaul’s Drag Race is like America’s Next Top Model, except with drag queens…which means it’s bitchier and better.
In Drag Race, RuPaul acts like a glamazonian hybrid host. RuPaul (the woman) reigns as the Judge Queen Supreme much like Heidi Klum in Project Runway, while RuPaul (the man) helps guide the contestants as they prepare for each challenge just like Tim Gunn. The twelve contestants include the nation’s most outrageous, cutting-edge, talented, and stunningly gorgeous drag queens.
In the innaugural episode, contestants modeled in a “Gone With The Wind” photo shoot. In a show rife with double entendre and sexual innuendo, the girls had to straddle a cannon flanked by two shirtless, muscular men in Civil War uniforms. “Girl, I love a cannon between my legs!!” one contestant quipped. The girls then had to deliver a glamorous shot while a fan with wind tunnel speeds blew their skirts up, their eyelashes around, and sometimes their wigs off. One contestant uttered, “Fans make everything prettier.” I agree.
After the shoot, RuPaul and photographer (Mike Ruiz) immediately chose the winner — Raven. Seemed like a fine choice. I don’t think any of them really brought it. If I’ve learned anything from “The Jays” on America’s Next Top Model, it’s that you need to model HTT (Head To Toe), and that didn’t happen on the set last night.
Continuing with the Gone With The Wind theme, RuPaul required her contestants to create an ensemble made from nothing but curtains and household items ala Scarlett O’Hara. RuPaul is joined byregular judges Santino Rice (from Project Runway season 2 fame) and Merle Ginsberg, and was rounded out by Ruiz and guest judge Kathy Griffin – perhaps the most famous drag queen in the world after Donald Trump.
Before the runway walk, RuPaul uttered one of the shows million catch phrases: “Gentlemen start your engines. And may the best woman win!” So clever. Who are the writers? Genius. Then the parade of trannys began.
Here are my thoughts on the contestants and WHO TO WATCH:
Jessica Wild, 28, San Juan, Puerto Rico: She’s pretty and her outfit was one of my favorites. She has a thick accent and she’s concerned that might hold her back. I think she’ll last a while.
Jujubee, 25, Boston, MA: Sassy Asian American contestant who gave us amazing collar on the first outfit. I’m indifferent on her. But doesn’t she remind you of someone??
Morgan McMichaels, 28, Mira Loma, CA: Oooh….great face and a sassy outfit that showed off her skinny little tush. Looked like Cher’s Half Breed meets Xena Warrior Princess. White fish nets and a grommet-riddled belt were nice touches. She’s my personal favorite. I think she’s got lasting power.
Mystique Summers Madison, 25, Bedford, TX: MESS! OMG! MESS! She had a basket on her head. The outfit looked like a sheet wrapped around her plus-size body. Make up scared the shit out of me. And she finished her cat walk with the splits! WTF? I hope she sticks around for a while cuz she is a wildfire.
Nicole Paige Brooks, 36, Atlanta, GA: Snooze. This one needs more make up. She’s giving me man-face. Her outfit was pretty good though. Definitely not one of my favorites.
Pandora Boxx, 37, Rochester, NY: Of all the contestants, Pandora seems to be the campiest. In general, this season is lacking in the campy queen category. Pandora wisely wore a wig that looked just like Kathy Griffin’s. The outfit was kind of a mess. If Pandora can turn up the sass and pizazz on stage, I think she’ll last at least half way through the season.
Raven, 30, Riverside, CA: Oh-oh Ego! This one thinks she’s all that and a biscuit too. By winning the photo challenge, she lucked out and was able to pick her curtain fabric first. She chose a zebra print. Wise choice, but didn’t deliver. Though kudos on color choice. Love black and white and red! Probably will make it to the finals.
Sahara Davenport, 29, New York, NY: Um, did Sheree from The Real Housewives of Atlanta just show up? I mean seriously. Sheree looks like a man and Sahara looks just like Sheree. BAD outfit. No razzle dazzle! When the judges commented that her outfit wasn’t “draggy” enough, Sahara offered excuse after excuse. This excuse was my favorite: “Well, I’m a New Yorker on the move, so I designed something more contemporary.” Does she really think the challenge was to design something that you’re going to wear in real life on the streets of NY?
Shangela Laquifa Wadley, 28, Studio City, CA: I don’t get the name. I know that this type of name is quite common in drag pageant circles. I’m gonna call her Waddles, cuz it’s funnier. This one has only been doing drag for five months and it shows. Her burlap dress with a corn cob hanging off of it was a DISASTER! I mean, I love a nice vegetable accessory, but this was a mess. She won’t last long.
Sonique, 26, Atlanta, GA: This one is gonna be good TV. She seems like she’s a little unstable like the girl you grew up with who was always pregnant, which I love! Definitely one of the best outfits of the night.
Tatianna, 21, Falls Church, VA: Who knew they had drag queens in Falls Church??!! Though, I will say that I’ve renamed Seven Corners shopping center as “Heaven Corners.” I mean it’s got Michael’s, Jo-Ann Fabrics, G Street Fabrics, Home Depot, and Ross. Everything a tranny needs for a drag show! Tatianna is pretty. Has a nice face. I love the fact that the first time he did drag was when he was 14 and he went to school in make up and heels.
Tyra Sanchez, 21, Orlando, FL: This drag queen is a father, which I imagine is going to be great story fodder. Certainly one of the most “beautiful” queens. You can tell that Tyra’s a little new to this. She’s a little stiff on stage and uptight. I don’t think sweetness will get you very far on this show. If Tyra can turn it out, I’ll bet she’ll stick around for a while–possibly make it to the finals.
Spoiler Alert…the winner was…Morgan McMichaels. I agree. Best one tonight.
The best part about RuPaul’s drag race is that the judges select the two worst contestants and offer them one last chance to redeem themselves before elimination. Last night, Mystique and Shangela were on the chopping block. I LOVE THIS PART OF THE SHOW! The two drag queens have to Lip Sync for Their Life! I can’t tell you how much I wish they had to literally lip sync for their life. Imagine if they had to do it over a pool of sharks or fire and the loser falls in to face immediate death. Or maybe RuPaul just shoots the loser execution style. That would be AMAZING! Instead, we watch the two queens lip sync a song at the same time. It’s all about show, show, show! Sell it. Bring it. Work it. Then RuPaul saves one with yet another catch phrase: Sashay, you stay (Mystique) and crushes the other one’s dreams with the words, “Shantay Away” (Shangela). Told you. Bye Bye Shangela.
Tune in next week, when the queens have to learn to use the stripper pole and the guest judges are Dita Von Tease and Kim Coles.
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs each Monday at 9:00pm on LOGO
You can join BYT at the next Crack comedy caberet on Saturday, February 27th. For more information, visit www.crackdc.com
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