This Monday is yet another wonderful episode of RuPaul‘s Drag U. As some of you know I managed to lose my LOGO channel, but was happily surprised when LOGO started sending me episodes to preview so I may continue to do coverage of their shows. Aren’t they sweet? So, I’ve got my son asleep and I’m spending my weekend catching up on the season I’ve missed so far. I’ll let you know what I think of each of the episodes so far and (maybe) a little sneak peek at this Monday’s episode with the queens. Thanks again to Logotv.com for having the episodes available to watch for free. Let’s start with Season 3, Episode #1:
“RuPaul is joined by professors Latrice Royale, Jujubee, and Manila Luzon to teach drab divorcees how to sparkle by applying drag queen beauty secrets.” In this episode we are introduced to 3 women, all in their early 40s, who gave their all to men who didn’t appreciate them when they were there and now that they are gone, these women are lost and have to reinvent themselves.
Hilary was a large woman and happy in her relationship, until she lost a bunch of weight and her man left her for anther large woman. Left skinny and alone, she had lost her identity and couldn’t figure out how to use this new body to her advantage. Thanks to her drag professor, Jujubee, she had a fighting chance.
Faith is a mother, and wife that put her acting dreams on the back burner for her insecure mate. She is now raising her 2 boys alone. She lost her confidence, but with the help of Drag professor Latrice Royale, she will get that confidence back and snag her a new man.
Shana is a victim of pornography and desperation. After many bad relationships and a very short courtship she married a man. When she was away from him he got involved in porn sites and finding someone to replace her. She found out and was crushed. Now alone and having no confidence left, she has turned to RDU and Drag professor Manila Luzon (in an adorable Ronald McDonald-inspired outfit) will help build her up again. They have the technology!
After doing a Quick Drag to get the women comfortable playing “Dress-Up”, Ru has them all meet her at the famed Drag-U-Later, a machine meant to show people how they could look done up in proper drag and give them each a drag name of their very own. I love this part! The woman have a variation of reactions to these mock-ups of themselves in drag. Some are happy, others are shocked, some just don’t like it, but all of them have complete approval or dismissal of their drag. If they don’t like what the machine came up with, they can come up with their own idea.
After the Drag-U-later, the women are introduced to the Dean of Drag, Lady Bunny, for their first Lady Lesson. This lesson they are introduced to Make-up Expert, Anton Khachaturin, whom Hilary thinks is “candy”. He gives the ladies a lesson in The Smokey Eye make-up. Hilary has a bit of trouble talking when Anton asks her if she has any questions. She ends up rubbing his nicely trimmed chest hair. *giggles*
One of my favorite parts of the episodes is the Word from the President. Today’s word is “Dragnificent“, meaning “magnificent with glitter on it“. Too cute.
Next the women speak with their professors and make a plan for their drag. They talk about what they like and don’t like about their drag and how to accomplish it best.
Ru then takes the next step in changing these divorcees’ lives. She shows them their old looks and then 2 options for replacement outfits; usually 2 stylish dresses with matching heels replacing something hideous, like a floral, ankle length skirt and a fleece jacket. Of these 2 beautiful options, they can pick only 1. The dresses for the women are provided by Lulu’s.com. Yay for upgrades!
Next is Dance Class! Here the women must learn a choreographed dance/lip sync routine to perform in front of their family, friends and the Drag U cast (and a world of viewers). No pressure. You are introduced to The Dean of Dance, a very handsome man named Phlex, who has worked with Beyonce. He chose a song for the women to rehearse to and then perform. For these particular women that have been through so much heartbreak and gotten through it, the song for them to perform is “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
As these women practice their routines, this is when the emotions come out. Dance seems to have that effect on women. Its emotional. Thankfully songs like this, and the ability to dance away our pains is part of the strength that humans possess. Hilary is the first to really get angry at her ex for leaving her and ending up in tears when she is supposed to be rehearsing dance moves. After some girl time with the professors, the women get a personal pep talk from Ru. Kinda like Ru-therapy! This is where the women get down to the truth of what is preventing them from moving on with their lives and why they need this trans-formative experience so they can live again. These women leave Ru’s office with a newfound confidence in themselves and what they have to do. They have been reminded of what it means to be FIERCE! Every woman should be so lucky to have a “Ru” in their life.
And finally we are all invited, along with friends, family & Drag U faculty to the Drag-u-ation, where these three temporary drag queens must perform together a lip-sync dance routine in full drag for the first time. Right before everyone is introduced, family members or friends are chosen to say a cheerful greeting to their drag queen contestant of choice.
I almost snorted coffee through my nose when Ru walked out looking like he’d raided Pee Wee Herman‘s closet! ROFL!!! (I’m still getting used to seeing him dressed as a man.)
Ru comes out and introduces the judges for the episode. This episode is Lady Bunny, Phlex and visiting professor from Knotts Landing, Donna Mills, whose character was very familiar with divorce. After this each professor introduces their new creations, with a bit of a backstory. The women then reveal their new drag personalities to the crowd and make a declaration of independence to the audience and the world (especially their exes!). In the famous words of Latrice: “Good God Girls Gotta Grip!” The transformation of these women is amazing. They show you their BEFORE pictures and what comes out of the closet doors onto that stage is totally unexpected, but in a fabulous and wonderful way. Its like watching a phoenix being set free.
At Drag-U-Ation the women are put through an Oral Exam, where Ru asks them each a question and the women must respond. Usually the question is something about the transformation they have gone through; from being normal to fabulous! In this episode Ru asked Hilary “How do you feel as Tatiana D’Amore?” and then asked the judges what they thought of her. Lady Bunny replied. Donna Mills asked if her husband was nuts, wherein Hilary responded boldly “Yes! Yes, he is!” as she swished her dress and scarf, looking ever so like a model for old Hollywood glamor. Next was Elantra Sizzle AKA Faith. Ru asked her twin sons what they thought of their mother’s transformation and one of them piped up with “She’s SEXY!”
Last but not least was Shana as Callie Tropicale, looking very much like a cougar-on-the-prowl, life-size Malibu Barbie. Ru asks her “How will ‘Callie’ help her in moving on in the real world?” Her response is that of a woman who has had a real attitude adjustment and is ready to take on the world with a whole new outlook on life. This is what Drag U is all about. Giving biological women a real life attitude adjustment through the art of drag.
Finally the women must perform, which is half of their grade at Drag U. They will be judged on this performance and one of them will be crowned a Drag U Queen!
Before the winner is announced and the prizes awarded, Ru tells us that the winner will receive a prize package including a gift certificate of $1000 from Overstock.com to kick-start her new wardrobe. Ru then introduces the graduating class as they performed “I will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
COMMERCIAL BREAK!!! (i hate commercials. I have no money, stop selling to me.)
The winner of this week’s episode was……*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*………CALLIE TROPICALE! Graduating with Top Honors!