RuPaul’s Drag U – ‘Dateless Divas’
It’s another week at the unicorn-infested Drag U campus, and it’s time for three new ladies to learn the ins and outs of releasing their inner divas. RuPaul meets with his “fal-culty” and tells them that this week’s students – ready to change their lives through the miracle of drag – are single ladies desperately seeking a new attitude (and men, I’m guessing). He selects professors Nina Flowers (LOCA!), Morgan McMichaels, and Raven. Their mission is to turn wallflowers into maneaters.
Let’s meet this week’s class: Pegah is 28 years old and her Mom is her best friend. She hasn’t been on a date in six years. She’s majorly lacking in self-esteem (even though she’s a cute girl) and desperately needs to gain some confidence. Lenae is a 48-year-old single mom who let raising her son take precedence over her social life – she hasn’t had a date in 21 years. Yikes. 32-year-old Debbie is a cute Asian girl who suffers the curse of having a more attractive sister – she’s the pretty one, leaving Debbie relegated to being the “smart one” (I’m sorry, I don’t see much of a difference between the two sisters…maybe it’s just me.) She’s shy and clueless (she doesn’t know if guys are paying attention to her. Honey, if you have to ask, they probably aren’t.) She said if she can get a date out of being on the show, she’ll give Ru a big kiss.
When Ru arrives, the girls are definitely excited to see him – and they’re really giggly (they could be responding to that awful mustache. Please, for the love of Max Factor, shave that awful thing off, Ru!) Ru explains the rules of Drag U and gets them started on their drag-camedic journey (it’s fun to put the word “drag” in everything!) One thing I forgot to mention last week are the great “voice-command” doors at Drag U. Think of all of the fingernail damage that’s been avoided with those – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken a nail trying to open a door!
Don’t flunk it up – there’s more Drag U after the jump!
The gals are taken to the Drag Lab, the “nerve center” of the Drag U campus. Ru says it’s got “more glam and glitter than Lady Gaga’s laundry hamper.” (I wonder if Ru can come up with cute analogies like this for the remaining six episodes!) Lenae loves all of the “jur-rry” (jewelry for the uninitiated) available for her perusal. Ru matched up the students with their drag mentors – Lenae with Raven (with her tall stature and diva looks, Lenae thought Raven was a perfect match), Pegah with Nina (who thinks Pegah’s already got the goods to be a sexy woman) and Debbie with Morgan. Morgan hopes Debbie is ready to absorb her “drag fabulousness” (if she’s not, I am, call me, Morgan!)During the entrance exam, Nina asks Pegah who she would want to be stranded with, and she said her Mom – which Nina thought was “sweet”. It didn’t get any sweeter as the answer to every other question Nina asked was the same (“How do you spend most of your time?” was answered with “hanging out with my mother” and you by now know who Pegah told Nina the first person she thought about when she woke up was…) Raven looked absolutely flummoxed when she learned it had been over 20 years since Lenae last did the nasty. She was surprised Lenae wasn’t “ripping s–t off the walls and beating people up”. Morgan asked the same question of Debbie and got the door slammed in her face – Debbie thought it was none of Morgan’s business – which Morgan (probably correctly) assumed meant she was still holding her “V card”. Morgan told Debbie that she’s going to turn her from a “virgin into a vamp”. She’s got her work cut out for her. It’s time to commence dragulation. As Ru types away on the Dragulator, you can see that awful Richard Simmons wig in the background (no one’s going to wear that one after last week, you may as well get rid of it!) First up is Lenae, who is transformed into the old-school Hollywood-esque, glamourous Honey Boom – complete with blond wig and full-length gold gown. Lenae was awestruck and excited to discover that Marilyn Monroe was inside of her. Debbie is dragulated into Moxie Mayhem. The look (in my humble opinion) doesn’t fit the name – a powdered wig, bright white makeup and big ol’ dress – Debbie says it’s kind of Memoirs of a Geisha meets Marie Antoinette (and if this drag thing doesn’t work out for her, she can take that name and have a successful career in the roller derby.) She does, however love it, and tells Morgan she wants to go all out with it. Pegah’s new persona is Electra 21, a whip-wielding dominatrix. Wow. Pegah is scared, particularly the sexy aspect of it. I mean, what is her Mom going to think of this look? The girls get a lesson in Flirting 101. The professors are going to school the ladies on the techniques that will help get them attention. It apparently boils down to a three step process – #1 is the hair flip, demonstrated by Miss Nina (it’s not a wig I’d pick out for Nina, but she’s definitely working the brunette bob. As I watched her flipping out, all I could think of was “How is she keeping that thing on her head?”) #2 is overreaction, which Morgan demonstrates on Ru by fawning over his big…hands (and his untucked manhood too!) Morgan was perfect to show overreaction – I never realized she had such big eyes!) The third flirting technique is eating seductively, and was something that apparently Raven was born to do – as she works her magic on an unsuspecting strawberry. This opened the door to innuendo-o-rama, as Raven instructed the ladies to “get it moist before you actually bite it” and, as she ate it, Ru remarked “She took that whole thing in her mouth!” So, in review, gals (and guys) it’s all about “Shake it, fake it and bite it”. The ladies get to test their newly-learned seduction skills on a “controlled group date” with a “real, live man!” And what a man he is (probably not on their team, if you know what I mean, but he is truly “gorge”, as Raven pointed out.) The gals sit at a table with strawberries and champagne with their date. Lenae seductively pats the seat next to her and she immediately goes in for the kill. She remarks on his muscles and goes right for the strawberries. Hunk-o-licious makes sure to ask her “Would you like a big one?” Is it getting hot in here? Debbie jumped in for a little “man time” (her words, not mine). She gets an A for creativity but a C- for execution, as she literally bends over backwards to try and impress her “controlled date”, unfortunately, she almost chokes on her strawberry. Pegah doesn’t indulge – in anything, she’s just too shy (hush-hush, eye-to-eye…sorry! If that song’s now stuck in my head, it’s going to be stuck in yours too!) The poor girl completely froze up. After the date, a la “The Bachelor”, Ru bestows a flower on the winning lady – obviuosly it’s Lenae. She wins a prize pack consisting of shapewear, an online shopping spree at an online beauty retailer and some makeup provided by NYX (I’m not involved in any “payola” here, but NYX cosmetics kick ass. I’m a makeup whore, and I just love their stuff. And now, back to the show!)The gals meet with Frank Gatson Jr. (who choreographed Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video – how ironic!) to learn the choreography for their final drag-xamination. Ru ambitiously declares that Frank’s going to bring their sexy back. If you thought Pegah was apprehensive about dressing like a domme in front of her mother, you can only imagine her reaction when she finds out she’s going to have to dance and lip synch in front of her. The song the gals will be performing to is Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman”. Lenae says she’s already channeling Chaka (say that fast five times!) As the gals attempt to find their groove, Raven is feeling a little less confident about Lenae (a cardboard cutout of her may have actually danced better), Nina is surprised that Pegah actually possesses a sense of rhythm. Poor Debbie, not so much – in fact, Morgan describes her performance as akin to “a horse on ice skates”. Ouch. Only a few minutes into rehearsal, Lenae is crying. She complains that her high heels are torturing her tootsies. She’s getting no sympathy from Raven – who refuses to let her student lose. I wouldn’t get on the bad side of Raven if I were you, Lenae! The ladies head back to the Drag Lab to work on their costumes and wigs, and all of a sudden, Lenae starts picking apart her look. She doesn’t want the Marilyn hair, she wants something longer and softer. Raven denies her. Lenae then shoots down every wig Raven suggests (watch it, Lenae, you may end up in the Simmons wig!) Morgan asks Debbie if she still likes her look (and she does) and they start discussing the dress. Morgan suggests making the sides of the dress bigger because bigger sides=smaller middle (a good tip!) and adds it’s easy for Debbie to hide all of her (perceived) imperfections, because, as she reminds us, drag is “all about illusion”. Pegah is bothered about her look and insists that the dominatrix/leather look is not her. Nina tells her to give it a try, she might like it, but after a bit, realizes Pegah isn’t playing – and she’s still afraid of what Mom would think. Nina said it’s definitely time for Pegah to “cut the cord”. (Oh, by the way, Nina’s necklace is awesome. Wherever did she get that?) Morgan gets a look at a photo of Debbie and her sister and tells Debbie that she thinks they look like twins (Yeah! What I said!) Debbie admitted to Morgan that it hurt her when she was told that she wasn’t the pretty one (wait…she was actually told that? That’s so wrong! Morgan should just go kick Debbie’s family members in the ass. Problem solved.) Nina is still insisting there’s a fierce diva lurking beneath Pegah’s shy demeanor and is determined to bring it out. Nina tells Pegah that she needs to realize that she’s a beautiful woman and to learn to trust herself again. And then they hug. How sweet. She’s just like a mother to Pegah…uh oh…this could be trouble….Raven asks Lenae if she’s just looking for fun or looking for love. When she learns Lenae is looking for love, she realizes she needs to get Lenae reacquainted with her sexy. Raven draws lips on a wig stand and tells us Lenae needs to “get her lips a’ workin'” and demonstrate her kissing technique. According to Raven, if she can make out with a mannequin head, she can make out with anybody (umm…obviously Raven hasn’t dated some of the guys that I have.) Lenae gets (somewhat uncomfortably) into releasing her pent-up sexual tension. Is there a hose in the Drag Lab? Pegah finally decided to scrap the leather look. Nina’s disappointed, but goes along with the decision and grabs a bolt of gold fabric – not noticing that Raven was using the exact same fabric for Lenae’s gown. Ooh, is there going t be another clash between the fal-culty? Is “Fabric-gate” on? Sadly, it’s not to be, they go with another fabric. As the queens leave the girls in the Drag Lab, Raven says it’s going to take a “frikkin’ miracle” for Lenae to draguate with honors. Draguation day arrives and Debbie’s overwhelmed with her wig. Meanwhile, Pegah had a change of heart overnight and decided to step out of her comfort zone and don the leather outfit. Nina (in a fab hot magenta wig) vows to make it happen for her – even though they don’t have much time). Morgan spies Debbie abusing her wig and tried to show her the correct way to tease it. Debbie’s got a little attitude (not only is she “the smart one” she’s also tuned out to be “the sassy one”.) Morgan told Debbie that her wig wasn’t teased, it was pissed off. Debbie said she was pissed off. Morgan gets noticeably frustrated and tells Debbie to just do it. Debbie drags a comb across it a few more times and then throws the wig on the ground and stomps off. Morgan is happy that Debbie has picked up on her “diva shade”, but may be a little scared that she’s unleashed a monster. Morgan warns, “Check your diva before I wreck your diva.” I also wouldn’t want to mess with Morgan – watch yourself, Wig Warrior! Despite Raven’s coaching, Lenae is still not getting the dance moves. WWCD (What Would Chaka Do)? The ladies have their one-on-one time with Ru. Lenae is ready to say goodbye to the old Lenae and hello to Honey Boom. She showed Lenae she could stand alone and shine. Back in the lab, Morgan apologizes to Debbie about the teasing incident. She likes the diva attitude, but advises Debbie to channel that energy somewhere else (which means anywhere not around her). Debbie does the same and they kiss and make up – according to Debbie, they’re “best bitches” now. Awww. Debbie then meets with Ru (“Debbie Does Drag U”), who emphasizes the importance of willingness to change. Debbie’s ready to get out of her self-imposed box and jump into Ru’s suggested “box of tricks” – personalities she can pull from to tackle any situation. Nina asks Pegah if she’s like to incorporate a whip into her character and Pegah’s now turned into the girl who can’t say no! Nina gives her a riding crop (There’s no whips in the Drag Lab? Lady Gaga probably has a whip or ten. I’m just saying…) Pegah feels empowered. Pegah them meets with Ru, who role plays with her. Pegah stands up to her “Ru Mom” and says Electra 21 is “just a piece of fabric and some red lipstick”. You go girl! It’s time for draguation. Lenae’s son hopes his Mom can express herself like the queen that she is (that’s really sweet). Pegah’s mother hopes “dragu” (one word) is able to help her daughter gain some much-needed confidence. Debbie’s sister (the Asian Valerie Bertinelli) can’t wait to see her transformation. Ru takes the stage in a blazing red suit. (What does he have against socks, anyway?) He introduces us to the judging “fal-culty” – Lady Bunny (how does she wear those towering wigs? I bow to you!), Frank and visiting professor Taylor Dayne (I don’t know about you, but in her 80s pop heyday, she scared the crap out of me. In that “Tell It to My Heart” video, she looked like she could kick some ass. She looks great now, though!) Nina introduces us to Electra 21 and my first thought was Idina Menzel (from Wicked and, more recently, Glee. She’s also Mrs. Taye Diggs. Lucky bitch.). Mom looked on approvingly. Raven brought Honey Boom to the stage, looking glam as ever. Lenae said she felt like she’s always been Honey Boom. All of the teasing paid off (although I’m sure that’s not the wig they started with!), because Debbie’s drag transformation into Moxie Mayhem was a great showcase for her sassy personality. During the oral exam, Pegah is asked what her favorite part of being Electra 21 is, and Pegah admitted it was the whip (riding crop! Know your S&M gear!) Mom – and even grandma applauded that answer (I wonder if grammy knows the difference between a whip and a riding crop…) Ru loves Honey’s Marilyn-esque vibe and she blows him a kiss and seductively purrs “Hi, Mr. President” to which Ru responds “You’re going to get me impeached!” Lenae says the most important thing she’s learned at Drag U is that she can be a little selfish now and then, especially since she raised such a good son. Debbie learned that she can be the “complete package” – brains and beauty – and she’s ready to “let the bitches have it!” Wow, she is on sassy overdrive! The Drag Transformation/Attitude grades are in and here are the results:Pegah:Lady Bunny: AFrank: B+Taylor: B+(D.P.A. – 3.55)Lenae:Lady Bunny: B+Frank: A-Taylor: A(D.P.A. – 3.66)DebbieLady Bunny: A- (Bunny insists on a higher heel for the runway. I concur!) Frank: A-Taylor: A+(D.P.A. 3.88)And now, the time has come for the ladies to dance. They all have a great tine. Pegah gets as bit lost in the lyrics, and almost loses her top but Lenae is really working her inner Chaka and Debbie is all the way in the red on the sass-o-meter. Here are their performance grades:Pegah:Bunny: CFrank: B-Taylor: B (for boobs!)Debbie: Bunny: B+Frank: B+Taylor: “Minus A” Lenae:Bunny: A+Frank: ATaylor: “Plus A” (Miss Taylor’s grading panels must be backwards or something) And, this week’s valedictorian, with a 3.93 D.P.A. is Honey Boom! Until next week, everybody say love!Watch RuPaul’s Drag U every Monday night at 9/8c on Logo!