RuPaul’s Drag U: ‘Moms on the Verge’
It’s time for a new class at Drag U. This week RuPaul and the queens welcome some stressed-out moms, who need to put a little “ho” in homemaker! For this potentially daunting challenge, Ru selects Shannel, Pandora Boxx and this week’s interview subject, Morgan McMichaels to “turn these mothers out”! Let’s meet the moms, shall we? 44-year-old Janet is a full-time mom with two daughters and – judging by my first impression (her file photo), this redhead has definitely got some MILF potential. Janet is a singer and, on the eve of the release of her first CD, she lost her sister – and she hasn’t broken into song since. She’s hoping her Drag U experience will be able to help her get her life back on track and allow her little girls to see her glamorous side (and yes, she does hope to sing again.) April is 40 and the mother of five. She’s basically been a mom all of her adult life and, with the stress involved with raising her brood, she has found she doesn’t have any time for herself and feels a lack of self-confidence because of that. She hasn’t always felt that way – and she wants to prove to herself that she’s still “got it”. Angela, 44, also has five kids, and she feels she’s definitely “on the edge”. She really wants to put some spice in her married life. Her husband’s on dialysis, and she wants to make the most of their time together “’til death do us part.”
Ru greets the gals and challenges them to take care of themselves for once. His aim is to “plug them into the power of drag and recharge their inner diva.” The “Mommie Dearests” then proclaim “No more wire hangers!” (prompted by Ru, of course) and “walk this way” to the Drag Lab (“with more glitter and sequins than Richard Simmons’ t-shirt drawer!” So glad to have you back, corny Ru!) The students are matched with their drag mentors – Janet with Shannel (Shannel already loves her “to die for” cheekbones…I sense victory a’ comin’!), April with Pandora (who already declares that she’s going to have a lot of work to do) and Angela with Miss Morgan (Morgan says Angela’s like a pinata – she’s going to need a few whacks before her inner diva explodes out. Hmm…not sure what to make of that!)
Don’t flunk it up! There’s more “Ru-cap” after the jump!
During the entrance exam, Pandora (looking positively fetching in a red plaid dress) asks April which of her body parts she’d like to change. April responded with the answer about 95% of us gals would say – butt and thighs. Pandora asks her to turn around and does acknowledge that her student has a “big badonka-donk” (to us) – while kindly toning it down and telling April (to her face) that her rump is merely “healthy”. Actually, Pandora declared that April had a “gorgeous” ass (if only all men loved big butts…sigh…). Shannel was delighted when Janet told her that she resembled Cher when she donned a wig (of course, all drag queens love Cher, I think it’s a requirement – no Cher, no stilettos.) Morgan was also pleasantly surprised when she asked Angela who her celebrity crush was, and Angela quickly asked “Male or female?” Wow, I didn’t expect that either! Morgan thinks there’s something a little freaky lurking behind Angela’s apron, and she intends to use it fully. Angela went on to admit that there were a few women she thought were quite sexy and said – if she’s keeping it “strictly-dick-tly” that she wouldn’t kick President Obama out of the sack. She loves powerful men, feels she’s powerful and confesses that she enjoys feeling sexy. Well, she and Morgan can just go out for martinis until Draguation now, can’t they?
The gals now get to meet their drag alter egos, thatnks to that wondrous piece of technology, the Dragulator. Janet becomes the punk princess Dee Dee Tee. I didn’t see this chanteuse as a pink-mohawked leather and chains kinda gal (it’s a more Morgan kind of look, really.) Shannel’s really seeing a “Cher-esque” vibe in the transformation – and Janet actually thinks it’s cool, and can’t wait to see her daughters’ reactions. Angela’s up next, and becomes Damita Jo Mama. I LOVE her look! She’s got the long, flowing, Diana Ross locks and a gold gown with black lace accents. Angela loves it and definitely sees herself as Miss Damita. Morgan thinks Angela’s look is the best, because she looks like RuPaul and, “everyone wants to look like RuPaul” (in full-on glamazon mode – absoultely! As a skinny, oddly dressed boy with unfortunate facial hair – not so much.) April is up last, and her drag persona is Sarah Tonin – think June Cleaver on acid. Sarah has a 1960s red flip wig and a pink checked minidress, complete with apron (it’s actually really cute.) April isn’t loving it, she thinks her look is more like a Halloween costume (like Janet’s going to go to work with a pink mohawk…lighten up girl!)
This week’s challenge is called “Drag Mom 101″. The gals all have baby dolls and are at a table covered in sequined fabric, glitter and feathers. The girls, aided by their professors, must make their doll into the most fabulous drag baby in the nursery. They only have 20 minutes to bedazzle their baby…and they’re off! After a mad grab for fabrics, makeup and colored hair spray, the girls get to work. April and Pandora are going for a “classy hooker” look for their baby. Shannel and Janet are going for a “glam, punky” (not Brewster) look, that Janet thinks represents the edgier side of her. I guess Ru’s budget only allowed for white baby dolls, leaving Morgan and Angela (who’s black, ‘natch) in a bit of a quandary. Morgan decided to “give the baby a tan” with some brown hairpray and the results were kind of frightening, to say the least (New from Mattel! Baby Burn Victim!) Being the awesome drag queen she is, Morgan tried valiantly to cover up the boo-boo with makeup. Ru comes back to judge the mini-queens. Baby Dee Dee looks kind of cute in a red sequined dress and Janet thinks she and Shannel have succeeded in capturing her drag essence. Ru seems to think that April and Pandora’s Baby Sarah looks more like the Bride of Chucky than her “good girl that wants a little bad” aspirations. Pandora helpfully points out that Baby Sarah is even tucked and taped – ready for a night on the town (ha!) Ru also points out that Baby Damita is a bit “crispy”. He chooses the winner and it’s Baby Dee Dee. For her efforts, Janet wins a sewing machine and some fabric (what happened to cosmetics and wigs?)
After the contest, the gals get into their sweats (Most. Unflattering. Sweats. Ever. I’ve been meaning to point that out for weeks!) and meet with Frank to learn their choreography. As Morgan says, it’s not “diaper changing time”, it’s time to sweat. And, wow! Frank has actually chosen a song from this decade, Fantasia’s “Baby Mama” (it’s aparently a difficult song to lip synch to – this ought to be interesting.) Frank’s singular goal is to turn these ladies into “hot mamas” – hopefully, this week, no produce will be harmed in the creation of said hot mamas. According to Frank, the song is more about attitude and instructs the gals on how to work their swagger and testify. Morgan’s thrilled to see that Angela’s already “got the bass in her walk” and can swagger with the best of them. Shannel’s concerened that Janet doesn’t have the soul necessary to properly interpret Fantasia’s tune – in fact, she noted that Janet looked like she was walking on broken glass (I’m surprised Frank didn’t pick that song!) All Pandora can say after watching her student move is “Poor April.” Since all of the girls could use a little attitude lesson, the queens join them on stage (’cause they’re obviously experts!)
After the gals are swaggered-out, they head back to the Drag Lab to work on their outfits. April is still not loving the Sarah Tonin look because, as she puts it, she already spends too much time in the kitchen. Pandora listens to April plead her case and eventually comes around to her way of thinking – and vows to help her step out of her box. She wants to wear an evening gown, preferably tight, and isn’t adverse to “showing off the ‘taters”. Shannel thinks there needs to be more to Janet’s look, because she’s the smallest girl out of the three and needs to look “over-the-top, super flamboyant” to stand out. Shannel wants to use angles and lines to make a more asymetrical look and make Janet into a “Cher meets Lady Gaga drag queen.” I can’t wait to see how she pulls this off! Angela is in love with her Damita look – she tells Morgan that’s how she feels inside. Pandora is sketching a dress for April with an empire waist, since there is the whole “I hate my midsection” issue going on. April tells Pandora that she can blame her extra padding on the kids anymore, since they’re a bit older now. Pandora wants to accentuate April’s positives – her boobs and butt – and drags out some plastic wrap and duct tape to fashion a “ghetto” corset (unofficial motto “Who needs to breathe?”), which leads April to conclude that “beauty is painful.” Yes it is, sister, yes. It. Is. Morgan works woth Angela to bring some oomph and pizazz back into her marriage (Morgan says she knows it was there before, because Angela has five kids!) As the self-professed “sexy professor” of Drag U, Morgan puts Angela in a long, blue wig and gives her a lesson in “hairography” – choreography of the hair. Angela is instructed on how to “let her hair talk” through a series of seductive flips and whips. Shannel discovers that the last time Janet sang was at her sister’s funeral, and she thinks it’s a pity that her voice has been silenced. The two share a bond because Shannel recently lost her mother – but her spirit is what helps her carry on and she thinks Janet’s sister’s spirit can do the same for her. I love these tender moments – I really (honestly) wish there were more of these on the show!
It’s the day of Draguation, and everybody’s scrambling to get their outfits together. Angela suggests adding a black feather boa to her dress to add volume, but Morgan thinks it looks cheap (not “good cheap”, like Dolly Parton, mind you.) Shannel is in search oif tulle to make Janet’s costume as big as it can be. Janet tells Shannel she had a dream that she was Dorothy and Shannel was an amazing “tin man/woman” (oooh….girl, you know Shannel could only be Glinda, the good witch in any Wizard of Oz scenario!) Shannel thinks Janet should do less talking and more tulle-ing. Janet gets her one-on-one time with Ru and he tells her that she needs to live her own story – not her sister’s – and tells her to let it all out at Draguation, not only for her sister, but for her daughters as well. Pandora has seemingly achieved her “goal” by strapping April in the “ghetto corset” as she tells Pandora what she and the other queens do is hard. Pandora is victorious and says that was her goal all along – to “make women suffer so they know what we do!” All joking aside, they’ve got a lot of work to do – but at least April has resigned herself to another day in plastic wrap and duct tape. She meets with Ru, and he tells her that, for once, she needs to put herself first. If she takes care of herself, she’ll be better equipped to take care of others, like her kids. For someone who has no kids, Ru is quite the wise one! Janet’s in Shannel’s makeup chair and is getting her eyebrows sealed – with a kid’s glue stick (I’ve gotta try this…) Shannel’s goal is to make Janet look like she’s gotten “45ccs of Botox”. Shannel’s going for an “avant garde meets club kid sort of makeup” – hearing that from anyone else would scare me, but I know Shannel’s going to make it work. Shannel encourages Janet to let it all out on the runway and, if she feels like belting out a tune, she should go ahead and do it. Morgan is adding a new course to Angela’s cirriculum – fan cracking 101. She firmly believes Angela’s got the look, but the fan will give her that little bit extra to wow the judges. Angela chats with Ru and tells him she’s nervous about her husband’s reaction to her new look. Ru also encouraged Angela to renew her wedding vows with the hubby. Gee, for someone who isn’t married, Ru also knows a thing or two about marriage. Is there nothing he can’t do? As the gals get their final touches in the Drag Lab, the audience files in and, damn! April’s sons are quite a bit older than I thought they’d be! (Angela’s got some older kids too, were they child brides or something?) I’ll have to wait to ponder these questions, because it’s time to Draguate, bitches!
Ah! My eyes! Oh, it’s just another one of Ru’s wacky suits. (Next season, can we have Ru in drag? Pretty please, Logo?) In addition to our regular “fal-culty” – the fabulous Lady Bunny and Frank, our “visiting professor” this week is the wonderful Debi Mazar (from Entourage and – if you don’t watch that, she’s one of those “Hey, it’s that girl!” kind of actresses, with roles in Goodfellas, Bullets Over Broadway and Batman Forever. And she’s a makeup artist, so she’s more than qualified to be a judge.) Shannel introduces us to Dee Dee Tee, and girlfriend is FIERCE. She lives up to the saying “go big or go home” with her huge red wig and tulle-fied silver spandex bodysuit. Her kids looked at her like she was Wonder Woman. How cute! Pandora brings Sarah Tonin to the stage, and any memories of June Cleaver are completely blown away with her glittery gown and long red locks. She does zip down the runway like her dress is on fire though! Slow down and soak in the love, girl! Last, but not least, here comes Damita Jo Mama! She’s definitely working the attitude – and the fan. She looks like a future Drag Race contender! During the oral exam, Janet said she thnks she’s ready to sing again and demonstrated for the audience – she has definitely gotten her voice back. Good on you, girl! April has learned to take a few moments for herself every day (after acknowledging how hard the drag queens work to look so beautiful…boy, Pandora really must have driven that point home!) Angela used her time on stage to “propose” to her husband (SPOLIER ALERT – he said “yes”!) The judges deliver their first set of grades:
Janet/Dee Dee TeeBunny: A-Frank: BDebi: A-D.P.A.: 3.44
April/Sarah ToninBunny: BFrank: B+Debi: A-D.P.A.: 3.33
Angela/Damita Jo MamaBunny: B+Frank: ADebi: A+D.P.A: 3.88
Can Angela pull out the victory? It’s time for the final drag-xamination. Let the music play! Janet is working the neck and really appeared to have taken Frank’s notes to heart. April looks uncomfortable (but one of her sons is a complete doll! If I were only 15 years younger…) Angela has been possessed by the spirit of Miss Ross for sure. Of course, Ru – even out of drag – is lip synching like the fierce diva he is, and makes all of the girls look like they’re not even trying. The final grades are in:
Janet/Dee Dee TeeBunny: A+Frank: ADebi: A+
April/Sarah ToninBunny: B-Frank: B-Debi: B+
Angela/Damita Jo MamaBunny: B+Frank: ADebi: A+
And this week’s valedictorian, with a 3.88 D.P.A. is Damita Jo Mama (she won by only .05 over Dee Dee Tee – the closest competition in Drag U history!) Congrats to Morgan, Angela and Mr. Angela (who can’t wait to take her home. I’m sure!) No new episode next week (go celebrate Labor Day, bitches!) – so until our next class arrives on the Drag U campus, everybody say love!