Add another one to the list: Rupaul's Drag Race.
Granted, it's an embarrassing admission for a straight guy. Lisa and I are both enthralled by it but shake our heads with each DVR'd (!) episode. "I can't believe we watch this stuff," she said.
But we do.
The premise is simple. Rupaul, her Majesty of Drag Queens, presents her contestants with a small challenge to start each show. "Gentlemen, start your engines, and may the best woman win!"
The winner gets a time or material advantage in each episodes main competition, be it choreographing a group dance or interviewing Tori Spelling on a talk show.
And along the way the draaaammmmma, ladies and gentlemen.
Each show concludes with the two lowest scoring Queens being forced to "Lip sync for your life!", with the best performer sticking around for another week. The winner is told to 'shante, you stay"; the loser "sa-shay away" [sic]
Rupaul's a kick, both in drag and as a nattily clad man. His catchprashes are just great. In addtiion to the ones above, I love his clear cut send-off before each contest: "Don't F*** it Up"
Here's a rundown on the contestants:
Ongina is a very petite Filipino man who recently revealed himself as HIV positive on the show. His chief asset seems to be a talent for dance and choreography, while his stature limits his adaptability on the runway. Easily the most flamboyantly gay man on the show, which is saying something.
Rebecca Glasscock is a drama queen (no pun intended) who is generally disliked among the queen's but is an attractive and capable performer on stage. Oddly, in recent weeks the judges have dismissed her stage presence, but I think that has much more to do with her off-stage antics than anything concrete
Bebe Zahara Benet is my least favorite contestant, in part because she's dull, but largely due to the fact that she is so blatantly a guy in drag.
Nina Flowers is just odd. As a person he seems ok, but while Puerto Rican he speaks with what sounds like a heavy Russian accent. He's also so muscular and tattooed that he comes across as a character from Mad Max.
Finally there's Shannel, the favorite to win this season. A Vegas showgirl?/guy? Shannel is over the top on costuming but has a woman's body and a face to match. She's very confident (too confident?) and found herself in the bottom two a week ago.
Rupaul's Drag Race can be seen on Monday's at 9PM on Logo, and (I think) on Wednesday's on Bravo or VHI - check your local listings.