This show was recommended to me by two different sources, my stylist Mark (who would probably prefers being known as a hairdresser) and Dame Ruth. Last night I decided to check the show out - another stylist, the one who decorates the salon's bathroom like it is a Christmas window display for Sak's Fifth Avenue, clued me in as to where the Logo channel is located on our cable system. All I have to say is wow...I mean wow...I mean wow to the tenth power.
RuPaul has been retired for the last eight to ten years, mostly during the Bush administration, the same administration which caused too many of us to lose our mojos. Now that the cool guy is in office, the b*tch is back. Channeling Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Tim Gunn, RuPaul takes 'America's Next Top Model' and marries it to 'Project Runway' and even spices up things by putting fellow Missourian, Santino Rice as a judge. Yet, what would one expect when the competition is about finding the next great Drag Queen who can perform a mean lip-sync while wearing some self designed outfit(?). Channeling Tim Gun's, "Make it work," Rupaul's wise words to her ladies during the home stretch is, "Don't Fu*k it up."
I only saw two episodes but have read someplace that there will be a second season (it seems you can't keep a good Queen down) which is great because I predict that the show will only grow in popularity. Logo is owned by the MTV Network/Viacom and 'Drag Race' will make the leap to MTV and VH1 in syndication - you know how all of those channels repeat programs in twelve hour blocks over and over again. Further, the show has already expanded Logo's profile and although 'Drag Race' is not being Neilson rated, Logo is quite aware they have a hit on their hands.
Here's the thing about 'Drag Race' it is an internal truth that deep down everyone loves a good Drag Queen. Not all Drag Queens are men dressed as women, some are women dressed as women who came of age in the fifties when blue eye shadow and red lipstick was a must for the most mundane out of the house tasks and everything worn was required to be matchy-matchy. Originally there were eight contestants, with such drag names Ongina and Rebecca Glasscock (who is still in the running). All beautiful in their own unique ways inside and out, as RuPaul constantly reminds them and the television audience. She ends each show with, "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell will you love anyone else. Can I get an Amen in the house?"
Like 'Project Runway' and 'America's Next Top Model' the highlight of the show is when the girls walk the runway. Unlike either 'PR' or 'ANTM,' the judges say things as the Drag Queens sashay the runway...all complimentary and hilarious. Thus far, I have been wrong twice (out of the two shows I have seen) as to which Queen stays and which Queen must "Sashay away."
This program isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea by a long shot, but if you like your Drag Queens fabulous and your RuPaul reborn then keep your eyes peeled for 'RuPaul's Drag Race' on your local Logo, MTV, or VH1 stations.
Now work it girl.
Westerfield © 2009