For those unfamiliar with the show, RuPaul serves as both Tyra and Tim Gunn. The first half sees Ru as a tall, elegant man, directing the young drag wannabes during photo shoots and counseling them on their outfit construction.
The second half of the show, Ru slithers into a sequined dress and dons a blonde wig to make Dolly Parton proud for the judging panel, which also includes delightfully crazy Santino Rice of "Project Runway" infamy. They decide who will still compete for the show's $25,000 prize. And these girls work hard for the money.
During last week's episode, the contestants began with a "Gone with the Wind"-inspired photo shoot that had them sitting on a canon, flanked by two oiled up civil war soldiers, while an industrial fan blew them halfway to kingdom come, sending wigs flying and false eyelashes beating in the breeze like a butterfly in a hurricane. Yet, somehow, they still turned out some incredible pictures.
Next, they were asked to make an ensemble out of drapes for their "Gone with the Window" challenge. In only 24 hours, far less than those whiners on "Runway," the girls created show-stopping outfits, did their own hair and makeup, and served as their own models during the elimination runway walk-off that would've made Scarlett O'Hara proud. Each week, the bottom two queens have to "Lipsync for Their Lives," with one being asked to "Sashay away" while the other was told, "Chantez, you stay. But don't f--- it up."
Tonight, the search for "charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent" continues with the girls competing as burlesque dancers for this week's celebrity guest judge, Dita Von Teese. "Drag Race" combines all the best elements of reality TV and churns it into something so much greater than the sum of its parts. Captivating, hilarious and campy, more programs should be this much bitchy fun.
"Drag Race" airs Mondays at 9pm on Logo and is rebroadcast for those without fancy cable on VH1, Tuesdays at 9pm.