RuPaul’s Drag U – ‘A Star is Reborn’ (Season Finale)

Can you believe this is the season finale of Drag U? It seemed like just yesterday that RuPaul opened his institute of higher learning – and even higher heels! But, no use crying over spilled liquid eyeliner….This episode is billed as a “very special” episode, so I hope it doesn’t involve any of our queens going over to the dark side (like Pandora getting hooked on caffeine pills or anything crazy like that!) Nope, as Ru tells his gathered fal-culty, this episode is special because the students are three TV icons ready to step back into the spotlight. Who better to deal with divas then our favorite queens? Ru selects Jujubee, Raven (back after a long absence) and this week’s interview subject, Pandora Boxx! Ru wants them to “share their sparkle” with these ladies who are “past their prime time”. Okay, all you fellow Gen X-ers, time to feel old – let’s meet our TV divas!

You definitely don’t want to flunk it up now…check out more after the jump!


Charlene Tilton, now 51, played Lucy Ewing on Dallas. For the last 7 years, she took care of her ailing mother and raised a daughter as a single mom. She admits that with all of these responsibilities, she’s kind of let herself go and wants to feel good about herself again. Dawn Wells (who is now 72! Doesn’t look it…) played the virginal Mary Ann on the 60s sitcom Gilligan’s Island (and was a sex symbol for at least 50% of the men in America – the “Ginger vs Mary Ann” debate still rages on!) She wants to be a sexpot and prove, once and for all, that Mary Ann could be a drag queen! (She is SO cute!) Erin Murphy, 46, played Tabitha on Bewitched. She’s tired of being seen as “cute and perky” and wants to be a “sexy devil” (sorry, girl, you still look cute and perky to me!) She wants to show her sexy side to the world and wants to “bend the rules a little”. Ru meets the gals, explains the ins and outs of Drag U and leads them into the Drag Lab (BTW, the gals definitely knew what “walk this way” meant – Charlene’s already working it!) Ru tells the ladies that the lab contains “more spandex and bugle beads than the men’s figure skating championship!” Charlene’s in heaven. Ru matches up Charlene with Jujubee (as Juju so accurately puts it “good things come in small packages”), Dawn with Raven and Erin with Pandora (who she specifically requested.) Even though they’re stars, the ladies still have to go through their entrance exams. Charlene told Juju that she felt stuck in the 80s and needed her to update her look to match the 10s. Juju tells Charlene that now is passe and they’re going to go for a future look. Pandora asked Erin about the weirdest place she ever got naughty. Erin laughed and said “I bet you didn’t ask Mary Ann where she had sex!” Cut to Raven asking Dawn the same question. To her credit, Dawn shared her answer, “an avocado field in Watsonville”. Guac-a-kinky! There must be ecstasy in the water in the Drag Lab or something…Erin then admits to Pandora that if she could be any animal, she’d be a horse, so that everyone could ride her! She then confessed that she’d like to make out with Pandora and grabbed her boob. I want to party with everybody on this episode! It’s time to meet the Dragulated divas! Dawn’s up first, and becomes Chickadee – looking every inch like a modern-day Mae West. Dawn couldn’t believe her face was under the blond wig and Raven was happy that with this look, Dawn could release her inner silver screen goddess. Erin is transformed into Aurora Borealis, with a spiky, shaggy dark wig and purple miniskirt. I don’t dig it, and neither does Erin, as she gives the old “nod and smile”, which Pandora knows means “Hate it!” Erin wanted to be over-the-top sexy, not funny (and yet she picked Pandora as a mentor. Hmmm….) Last but not least is Charlene – and Lisa Mercedes is a long way away from Miss Lucy! Charlene also hated her look – she thought it was stuck in the 80s. (To her defense, it did look a little “Alexis Carrington” to me.) The gals put on their boogie shoes (kudos to Dawn by trying to make the dance togs a bit sexier) and meet with Frank for choreography. Raven’s expecting big things because, after all, they’re stars, right? Erin feels at a disadvantage because she’s the only one of the three who hasn’t danced before. Ruh-roh. Frank chose RuPaul’s “Drag U” as the song they’ll be performing. Dawn is nailing the choreography from the word go, and Raven’s delighted. Charlene and Erin? Not so much. Poor Pandora’s got her work cut out for her! You know there’s going to be some drama in the Drag Lab, as 2 out of 3 of the gals don’t like their Dragulator looks, but surprisingly, Dawn is the first one to let her diva flag fly. She thinks her whole outfit is about the feathers, Raven disagrees, but tries to go along with her. She finds a marabou boa, which Dawn dismissed as “too boa-ish”. She suggests strips of a light fabric, which Dawn thinks will look crappy.  Raven starts to get that look of frustration on her face, but, fortunately, Dawn finds the feathers she envisioned. Crisis averted. Erin tells Pandora that she absolutely hates her look and was hoping to have an “Oh my God!” moment when her husband saw her on stage. They decide to scrap the look and start from scratch. Pandora envisions her as Ann-Margret with a splash of Barbarella. She grabs some fab blue sequined fabric and, paired with a sexy blond wig, will transform Erin into a sex kitten. Me-ow! Charlene isn’t 100% on board with her look, she thinks it’s too reminiscent of how she used to look. She wants to be something she never was (and hopefully not the “fabulous African American princess” she told Juju she’d like to be.) For whatever reason, Juju went with this and suggested Charlene get some big, Chaka Khan hair. Raven is helping Dawn release her inner Mae West. Erin asks Pandora how she gets her waist so small and her boobs so perky and Pandora says she hasn’t eaten since 1999. Ha! No, you Drag U fans should know where this is going – ghetto corset! (Note to self: go to hardware store. Buy all available duct tape.) Poor Juju is having difficulty placating Charlene – her every fabric choice is getting shot down – not to mention Charlene is running all over the lab like a kid. Juju (obviously frustrated) yanks the wig off her head and gives it to Charlene. Oh, Juju, I love you! Raven decides to give Dawn a little lesson in drag diva attitude. She says that when a drag queen enters the room, all eyes are on her and instructs Dawn to step into a room and stop – making sure to exude confidence and draw those eyes to her. Raven also teaches Dawn how to use a makeup mirror to scope out the scene in 360 degrees! Juju realizes she’s got to do something about Charlene’s “non-existent” booty and gets out the padding. For those of you looking to finish your Juju-isms embroidered pillow collection, here you go! We’ve got two gems today, “No cash, no ass” and “no money, no honey.” The next morning, the gals are finishing up their looks in preparation for draguation. Pandora’s delighted to hear that Erin slept in the tape and Charlene is rested and ready to once again butt heads with Juju, this time over which side of the fabric they’ve selected faces out. Charlene – probably wisely – decides to trust her mentor’s judgment. And now, a surprise – Lady Bunny comes into the lab! Yay! Miss Bunny was sent by Ru to check on the ladies and give them some lip synch pointers. She told them that if they forgot the words, to simply mouth the word “watermelon” over and over again. (It’s also helpful to put your hands in front of your mouth!) Bunny asks to see a run through and it’s not pretty. Dawn doesn’t know the words. I’m thinking there’s going to be a lot of watermelon at draguation. Charlene, on the other hand, is now the one nailing it. Raven’s flabbergasted.  And, as quickly as she breezed in on a cloud of chiffon, Lady Bunny is gone. I miss her already!Ru has some one-on-one time with Dawn. She seems to know her character and relishes the opportunity to “stretch” and show people there’s more to her than Mary Ann. Erin and Dawn engage in some good-natured cat fighting (with these two, it’s definitely more like kitten fighting – there’s no claws here!) Erin meets with Ru and tells him her inspiration as a kid wasn’t Elizabeth Montgomery – her TV mom – as much as Agnes Moorehead (her Endora is a gay icon. No wonder Erin wanted to be on this show!) Ru lets Erin know that she had the captivating magic and power of drag ijn her all the time, she just needed Aurora to let it out. Charlene is getting panicked about walking down the runway and Erin’s back for more taunting. I want Erin to be the older sister I never had! Charlene gets her moment with Ru and is so glad she’s got this chance to break out of her rut, find her power and celebrate life. Ru tells her to focus on herself and have fun. The gals get dolled up as the crowd files in for draguation…and, oh my God! Erin’s husband is named Darren! (If you’re a Bewitched fan, that’s really funny!) And, for the last time…sniffle…it’s time to draguate, bitches! In the audience are all of our past winners – including Ru’s oldest sister – how cute! In addition to our regular judges, this week’s visiting professor is the fabulous Chaka Khan! Tell me something good, Miss Chaka! Juju introduces us to Lisa Mercedes, and Charlene is looking fierce! It’s a good thing she listened to Juju and showed her shiny side! Dawn, reinvented as Chickadee, looks positively adorable! Erin, a/k/a Aurora Borealis definitely made the most of her time on the runway, and Pandora really made Erin look like the over-the-top sex symbol she wanted to be. Charlene says her experience on Drag U has been a gift. She also says she almost passed out when she saw Chaka at the judges table, as she was the inspiration for her look. Chaka told Charlene that she reminded her of herself. Dawn says, “Eat your heart out, Ginger!” (She is SO CUTE!) Erin asserts that she now feels sexy inside and out. Let’s see what the judges have to say (I’d give them all As, so I’m super curious tonight!)Charlene/Lisa MercedesBunny: AFrank: AChaka: A+D.P.A.: 4.1Dawn/ChickadeeBunny: AFrank: AChaka: AD.P.A.: 4.0Erin/Aurora BorealisBunny: A+ Frank: A-Chaka: A+D.P.A.: 4.1Wow! The judges and I agree…and it’s anyone’s game to win going into the performance. Let the music play! Of course, they all were spot-on – I didn’t see one watermelon! Erin’s husband Darren was especially enthusiastic. Also, all of the drag professors are there – yay! I’m missing you all already! It’s going to be a tough decision for the judges…let’s get the final scores:Dawn/ChickadeeBunny: AFrank: AChaka: ACharlene/Lisa MercedesBunny: A+Frank: A+Chaka: A+Erin/Aurora BorealisBunny: A-Frank: AChaka: AAnd the top draguate for the final episode of what we hope isn’t the one and only season of RuPaul’s Drag U…with a D.P.A. of 4.22…it’s Lisa Mercedes, a/k/a Charlene Tilton! Congrats gals! And for the last time for a while, everybody say love!