I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


shows are a special situation: There’s no time spent learning new names and
back stories so, after some chatter about who lost weight and who has nicer
outfits, the competition gets going pretty quickly.

On All Stars Drag Race, things got hot fast: Those
heartfelt conversations about how you learned drag? Forget it. Instead we get a
dozen queens who want nothing more than the crown they think they were robbed
of the first time.

In the debut episode, the first to show up to the workroom is Pandora
. Her welcoming line, “Did somebody order a hooker?” is delivered to no
one, which makes it even funnier.

Latrice “Mother Fuckin’” Royale is the second queen to
walk through those doors. By now, Mother Fuckin’ should be part of her legal
drag name. Anything less would be underselling.

Yara Sofia sashays in with a lot of hair and silver
netting—and not much else.

Shannel swears her outfit is from a production of Beauty and
The Beas
t, but we’re seeing more of a Raymour & Flanigan realness.

Raven is dressed for a classy cocktail party. Okay, so maybe she
didn’t put the most effort into it, but this is just the entrance. She’ll pull
it out to impress the judges later.

Alexis Mateo is here! And she came prepared with a mask
to cover her face.

Chad Michaels’ entrance wins for my favorite line: “Happy Hunger
, bitches.” Chad proceeds to get a fake call from Sharon Needles
that’s just dripping with delicious bitterness. 

Manila Luzon,
working Cruella De Vil fabulousnesses, had me replaying the song from 101 Dalmatians and
wishing I had her cigarette-smoking hat in every color.

And then comes a record-skip moment: Mimi Imfurst.

Most of the contestants had placed the top in their season, often
being chosen as a fan favorite, but Mimi was ranked 11th and famously hoisted
India Ferrah in the air during her lip-synch. Mimi’s exit was not cute. And
neither was her entrance line here—“Life is like a paycheck, a generous figure
is always nice.”

Ugh. I appreciate wordplay, but you don’t pull a muscle reaching for it.

But before
Manila could finish murmuring “someone’s gotta go home first,” Nina
 struts in. The only thing louder than her voice was her
slime-green wig. Jujubee frets about not dressing to excess,
but had enough fiery hair to carry the look.

Last, but
certainly not least, bucket-of-crazy Tammie Brown twirls in.
I’m so happy to see her weird lips and eyebrows.

For the first
few minutes pleasantries were exchanged pleasantly enough, and thankfully the
main premise of the show was kept intact: You’ve got She-Male? Not messed with.
The $100,000 prize? Also not messed with.

But Ru (or
the producers) tampered with one of the best acronyms in history: No longer
will the queens have to rely just on their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and
Talent. They’ll have to incorporate Synergy, as they’ll be competing in teams
of two. They’ll be judged as pairs—if one fails, they both go home.

Hear that?
It’s the sound of a joy combusting into a pile of ash.

drops. Jaws drops. Spirits drop. But before anyone can ask for a Ru-count, the
sexy pit crew rolls in a box full of paddles to help the queens pick their
partners in a process that combines the worst elements of speed dating and
picking teams for dodgeball: All the contestants hold up a paddle with the
queen they want to buddy up with. If there’s a match, they’re a team. If not,
they try and try again.

The teams:

Team Rujubee: Raven
& Jujubee (1st round pairing)

Shad:Chad Michaels & Shannel (1st round pairing)

Team Brown
: Tammie Brown & Nina Flowers:  (1st round pairing)

Team Latrila: Manila
Luzon & Latrice Royale (2nd round pairing)

 Alexis Mateo & Yara Sofia (2nd round pairing)

Team Mandora: Mimi
Imfurst & Pandora Boxx (stuck together)

contestants got their first choices, and the others seemed fairly happy with
their second selections. And then there’s Pandora, visibly miserable about
being shackled to Mimi. Cluelessly, Mimi asks, “Are you unhappy that I’m your
partner, or you feeling guilty that you didn’t pick me?”

Then I wonder
that maybe this team thing is just a one-episode schtick. Maybe it’ll all just
go away? But, no,  Logo’s already made
team t-shirts
. And nothing says “official” like show merch.

The Original
Supermodel of the World returns to explain the challenge: It’s two photo
shoots—in one, the team will pose mid-transformation (sans wig). The other is a
“wet and wild” high-fashion shoot that must incorporate the theme of “opposites
attract.”  Oh, and they have to do each other’s makeup.

C’mon, guys,
even in drag sometimes less is more.

During the
preparation, we learn that Chad and Shannel have been working together for more
than a decade. Maybe that’s why they think it’s a great idea to apply scar
tissue on their neck, which is supposed to represent their heads on the
chopping block. “It’s subliminal,” explains Chad. “It’s editorial. Look at it.
Think about it. And take from it what you want.”

I’m seeing
double strangulation.

half-baked shoot is expectedly awkward, but Latrice and Manila seem to be
enjoying themselves well enough. They even take a gag prom photo, just for

When it comes
to the high-fashion shoot,  the girls vamp and pose on giant
black-and-white blocks. And that’s when the rain kicks in. Black rain.
This is All Stars—regular rain won’t do.

Tammie and
Nina work a naughty/nice concept—they’re both setting fire to the rain until
Tammie loses her wig. It looks like she’s trying to hold up a skunk skin to
cover her scalp. Raven and Jujubee execute their, ahem, ballsy concept, which
has Raven posing totally nude (except for a wig and some accessories).

Latrice and
Manila went trashy/classy—and got my favorite sideline shout from RuPaul, “It’s
couture meets cooter!”

dries off, and before we hit the main stage, Chad and Shannel spend plenty of
time talking abut how awesome they did. How they’re the ones to beat. And the
team they believe will share the top slot with them.

Pandora/Mimi situation? Well, Pandora looks like she’s already wondering if
there’s going to be an  All Stars II with a
Shangela-sized box she can jump out of.

Our guest
judges for the evening are Ross Matthews and Rachel Hunter, with Michelle
Visage and Santino Rice holding down their usual paneling duties.

Team Yarlexis
(Alexis & Yara) serves cute and crafty with cutout faces tapes to their

Team Latrila
(Latrice & Manila) work the first-ever Teletubbie runway; it’s complete
with Manila sporting an iPad on her tummy.

Team Mandora
(Pandora & Mimi) are painfully matchy-matchy in blue sparkle gowns with fur
trim. Green Muppet fur trim.

Raven and
Jujubee (left) give us burlesque body hotness.

I’m not
really sure what Nina Flowers and Tammie Brown were attempting, but it involved
black dressed and red wigs.

Team Shad
(Chad & Shannel) comes off a little too strong with their overworked
“Welcome To the Jungle” look.

In the end,
Team Latrila win the challenge (and some custom-made gowns), Team Rujubee take
second and Team Brown Flowers and Yarlexis are declared safe. That leaves the
ladies of Teams Mandora and Shad to lip synch for their lives.

Mimi and Chad
stepped up to represent, leaving Pandora and Shannel to sit back and watch
their fates unfold. But before the girls get started, we learn of a new rule:
if, during the first minute of the lip synch, there’s a “she-mergency” the
queen on the sidelines can tag in and finish the song.

But it can
only be used once—during the entire competition. Gasp!

As much as
she’s already started to annoy me this season, Chad rightfully refers to
herself as a drag assassin. Mimi had a lackluster costume change midway during
her performance, but even if it had been fierce it wouldn’t have mattered. Chad
commanded focus and slayed her foe.


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