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Hello! When Flipit asked if I wanted to recap RuPaul’s new show “Drag U”, quite honestly I thought he was out of his freaking mind. Had capping those dumbasses on Big Brother softened his brain? I mean, a show produced and hosted by RuPaul with drag queen “professors” who give diva-challenged women dragalicious makeovers and turn them into feminine goddesses? Would a hetero married middle-aged sports fanatic suburban woman who lives in a predominantly red state with exactly one gay friend really appreciate the mentoring abilities of heavily made-up men who wear gorgeous wigs that are way nicer than my own Great Clips hair? Absofuckinglutely. After all, we all want to be purty.
The first installment of Drag U focuses on turning Tomboys into divas (real title: Tomboy Meets Girl). We first meet RuPaul (as RuPaul Charles) with his group of professors. He explains the challenge. There are three women who desperately need their help shedding their extreme tomboy images and release their inner female prima donna. The three professors selected for this installment are:
Ru introduces to them (and us) the students.
First up is Shaya (37) who drives a school bus, married not just a little out of her league and tells us her son wants a prettier Mom. Creepy son, why don’t you watch cable and forget about having a hot mama? It’ll only lead to trouble, heartbreak, scabs, whisky and therapy. Shaya goes on to explain that her marriage is currently on a rough patch (see: married outside of her league and son). She believes that by getting a makeover and acting more feminine will bring the spark back to her marriage.
And she’ll tease you. She’ll unease you…
Next student is Reyna (26) who dresses like her boyfriend. She’s a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl and says she feels way too vulnerable in a dress.
Even with that shirt on, we can still see you.
Our last student is Linda (47) who is a biker chick. She hasn’t worn a dress in 25 years and I wonder what the special occasion was when she was 22?
I killed someone with my thighs—a dress made the clean up easier.
RuPaul comes out to give the students the orientation. He says although this is an effort to liberate their (way, way, way, way) inner femininity, it is also a competition. They will be judged on their final DPA (drag point average). D is for drag transformation; P is for Performance (hahaha, awesome…) and A is for attitude adjustment. They have only 48 hours until draguation and only one will draguate with top honors. Lighten up, spell check—draguation should totally be a real word.
RuPaul takes them into the Drag Lab and immediately Linda says, “It looks like a drag queen blew up in there.” LOL, boysdon’tcry. The professors come out to meet their pupils and here is how they are matched up. Shaya gets paired up with Ongina; Reyna with Jujubee and Linda with Raven. Raven sizes up her charge and admits to us, “Linda’s a total dude”.
Has an amazing Dude-Ar
The first thing the teachers do is give the contestants (dragtestants?) an entrance exam. Which means they ask each lady extremely personal questions. Ongina starts with Shaya, “When was the last time you had sex?” Shaya nervously answers, “Over two years….” Damn, girl
She goes on to explain her marriage is hanging on by a thread. I’d say it’s more like a cheap dental floss riddled with corn from the cob and blood from the untreated gums. Basically, a nasty, weak thread. I’m totally rooting for her because that’s just tough and we all need to get laid more.
Let’s start with a slight pit trim
Reyna explains to her mentor (JuJu) that she’s stronger in t-shirts and jeans. She goes on to say her boyfriend borrows her t-shirts. Not sure here why she’s griping—at least he isn’t stretching out her Hanes Her Way XXXL to oblivion. She feels powerless in dresses, but man, if she could find power while wearing one…
Say it! Eve was weak!
Linda reveals to Raven she cusses when she gets angry. Raven (quickly becoming my favorite) answers, “I have a mouth of a sailor; they say you are what you eat.”
Anyone else suddenly hungry?
The students and teachers meet back up with RuPaul who explains they are now going to use the dragulator to determine the inner drag diva of each woman and it will also assign their drag name and show them their drag potential. This is serious technology. The Apple 4G can suck it. Ru enters their first examination information and the dragulator beeps and squeaks and bings and chirps and just when I thought it was going to spit out an everlasting Gopstopper, we get these instead:
The new Shaya. Not a stretch at all. In a rubber world, that is.
Reyna (Candy Graham)—Does she really need more Happy Meals?
Glenn Close, the puffy years.
Now that they have their alter egos and drag potential, it’s time for Performance 101. They will have to dance and lip synch in front of a crowd, which includes their family, at their draguation at the end of the show. The ladies look understandably terrified. I have no idea why. I know plenty of professional karaoke singers who get paid weekly in draft beers and drunken shouts of encouragement.
Frank Gatson Jr is their choreographer and thank goodness for that. Can you imagine Mia Michaels trying to get them to express their inner flower while they stumble all over the stage? Frank seems like a very nice guy and he informs them they are going to be dancing and singing to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. Which is a way better choice than “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” because this show is only an hour and there ain’t no “soon” about it. But before you can run, you must walk. And specifically, walk like the female species was meant to (really? I’ve been doing it wrong all these years…huh…). He teaches them to cross their feet and swivel their hips. Yep, I would crash and burn. They all try this on the stage, looking like a group of Tyra’s rejects and the profs decide to jump up there (well, as well as you can “jump” in 5 inch heels) and help out.
The literal translation of a 50% Hot Mess
Jujubee starts working with Reyna (sorry, Candy Graham) and her outfit and wig. Reyna goes on with her personal story, telling us she was sexually assaulted in the past and that’s a big chunk of why she sticks to t-shirts and jeans. Yep, totally not going there. Juju gets her to try on a dress and asks her if she feels powerful. Candy Graham responds that she feels like a sausage. Juju doesn’t even blink and asks, “But do you feel like a powerful sausage?” LOL, Juju…
Meanwhile, Raven and Linda (Paya La Renta) are trying on shoes. Paya reminds Raven she hasn’t worn heels in 25 years (murder weapon? Get Matlock on it!). When she puts on a pair and stands up, Raven asks her if they hurt. When Paya says “No”, Raven says they’re not tall enough heels. See what we women go through to be glamorous??? Or more accurately, nailed properly?
Jujubee finds the perfect wig for Candy, but Raven wants that wig. I’m shocked there is only one blonde curly wig in the Drag Lab. Surely, that’s not to create unnecessary drama?? Why, yes. Yes, it is, Daniel-son…
“We make war that we may live in peace” Amen, blonde curly wig, amen…
Saline Dijon (Shaya) and Ongina are busy making a dress, the other ladies are messing with their outfits and wigs and all of a sudden, this totally looks like Project Runway. RuPaul comes in to critique everyone’s projects, but really only makes comments to Jujubee and Candy. It seems that the bigger queen you are (body wise, not attitude), the bigger your wig needs to be. And he doesn’t think their wig is big enough. Now that, my friends, is food for thought. Tomorrow, I’m going back to my 80’s bangs. I will be tiny. After his version of “Make it Work”, the girls are done for the day and their draguation is bright and early the next day. I was very disappointed they didn’t show the students’ living quarters at the U. My hope was it was a tiny dorm room with no room for the dresses, the wigs and quite frankly, the excessive t & a these lasses carry with them. I love good “cramped room, big people” comedy. Chris Farley in the airplane bathroom in Tommy Boy kills me every time.
We now see the girls 4 hours before their draguation and things are hectic. Raven is telling Paya (Linda) she needs to have an attitude. They get into a “You’re not a diva”, “I am a diva”, “You’re not a diva”, “I am a diva” until finally Raven tells her you need to profess to everyone she can walk in heels. Loudly. In the drag lab. She looks at Juju and Candy and says rather meekly, “I can walk in heels”. They both look at her and hilariously say, “Um, okay…” If you don’t watch this show—you really should. It is better than all the sitcoms on CBS rolled into one. I know that’s not saying much, but trust me—it’s hysterical.
The last thing before the performance/judging/draguation is a meeting between each student and RuPaul in his “office”, so he can see each lady’s progress. Now as soon as I saw RuPaul sitting at the fake desk in the fake office with the fake paperwork in front of him, I couldn’t help but think of every cheesy (is there any other kind?) porn movie I’ve seen in my past. Linda/Paya la Renta is the first one in. RuPaul: “Paya, when do you feel ecstatic?”
Unfortunately, instead of a sexy “I’m here for my oral exam, Dr. Hardbody” response, she simply says, “I am happy when I’m on my bike because I feel like I’m flying.” Oh, that is so sweet in a totally masculine, not diva kind of way. Most of us hardcore chicks fly on Xanax, but whatevs. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…RuPaul makes her say “I am a beautiful woman, I am a beautiful woman” repeatedly until she believes it in her heart. He tells her to prance out the door. Prance, prance, prance! She, um, lumbers out of the office…RuPaul sighs and says, “At least she doesn’t have to tuck.” Bwhahahaha…funny and well, true.
Meanwhile, the wig heard around the world is back in play. Raven decides she’s going to hide Candy’s wig, just because she and Juju are working so well together. It’s her tactic to slow them down. And this is why I like Raven. No teacher would ever hide another kid’s homework just so I could get a better grade. I’m taking this show way too seriously, aren’t I?
I used to play “hiding the wig” when I was younger, then Gramma walked in on us and OMG, it was soooo embarrassing…
It’s now Shaya/Saline’s turn with RuPaul. Ru asks her, “What happened to the little girl inside you?” She panics and says, “No one is supposed to know about that!! How did you know? The GD draginator? I was hungry and haven’t seen a single f-ing snack around here…oh, wait, you mean me?” Actually, she told him she has a lot of insecurities (shocking, I know), but now she feels like a new woman. Ru reminds her that, “A Diva a day keeps the tomboy away”.
Candy and Juju are still looking for the wig and Raven finally gives in and throws it on the ground. The horror!
Final fatal follicle fiasco
Now, Candy is in Ru’s office and he is asking her if she is feeling the power of Candy Graham yet. She claims yes and he reminds her that you have to use what you have to get what you want and that you can’t lose your power—you can only give it away. I believe Oprah’s quitting at the right time. She’s annoying and RuPaul’s hysterical. And she can suck it with the whole “texting and driving” petition BS. I can’t even text and walk, so back the hell off. Sigh.
Holycowholycowholycow…it’s draguation time! They show the little auditorium filling up with friends and family, including Shaya/Saline’s little Norman Bates.
A boy’s best friend is his mother
Backstage, Raven teaches Paya a quick trick in speedy facelifts with scotch tape that I absolutely have to try. On various parts of my body. Maybe I should practice on my dog first. “Who’s a good girl????”. Paya/Linda starts tearing up as she sees her heavily made up reflection and I almost thought Raven was going to say something encouragingly sweet and really shatter my image of her. Instead she tells her if she feels herself tearing up to look up at the ceiling, so she doesn’t mess up her make-up. That’s the Raven I don’t know at all but love. Bitch just wants her girl to win!
It’s time for the big ceremony/show/graduation/drag…whatever…RuPaul introduces the judges: Lady Bunny; Frank Gatson and visiting professor, Mia Taylor:
Please pack your putty knives and go
And here come the girls…and dang! Holy makeover madness…
Sheya (Saline Dejon)
Reyna (Candy Graham)
Linda (Paya la Renta)
They each get to answer a quick question about how the feel, which is basically a repeat of what RuPaul did in his office (sneaky bastard—that was a total rehearsal for them!!) and then they quickly get graded by the panel on the Drag transformation and attitude:
Sheya/Celine gets: A, B+ and A
Reyna/Candy gets: C, B- and B (I’m guessing the bigger wig would have rocked this, but she did stumble a bit)
Linda/Paya gets: B-, B and B
Then it’s time for the big performance. Wow—people often say how time flies (never heard that? It’s “Time flies when you’re having fun” if you’d like to use it) and I’m guessing 48 hours wasn’t enough for these girls to get their groove on. They bounce and waddle and “watermelon, watermelon” through the song and as predicted, it’s pretty much a hot mess, but they really look like they’re having fun. After the song, it’s back to the judges. This time the grades go like this:
Linda/Paya gets: C, C, B-
Reyna/Candy gets: A, C+, A
Sheya/Saline gets: C, C, B
And the winner this week with a top DPA is 3.05 and it belongs to Saline Dijon! Sheya jumps up and down, scaring the crap out of all of us and her partial-bone hubby is up there looking all excited. Simmer down, hot crotch, wait until the kids are in the trunk.
The Hubby’s Chubby: A Love Story
RuPaul says goodnight (“Everybody Say Love!”). In case you were wondering, the winner actually receives something other than a horndog husband brought back from fornication hibernation. The winner gets 5 years of make-up (I wonder if that’s in Drag queen years?), 3 months of some kind of delivered meals, a spa getaway and a portable spa. Now, that’s not shabby at all.
And that’s all I’ve got…