Coping Techniques for the Sabbath Observant Fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race (Since the move to Friday nights on VH1)

Firstly, yes I just had to edit the title and take the dash out of VH1. Guess what? I still think of it as VH-1 in my mind despite how long it has been since their re-branding / name change.

I am behind on posting episode reviews of RuPaul’s Drag Race (and at this point I wonder if I should even go forward with reviewing episodes older than, say, this last Friday… does anyone care for my commentary that long after the episode has aired? But then again, one of my first articles on this blog was about an episode of RPDR from 2013 and that continues to get views every single day…) and I haven’t even watched last Friday’s episode yet — eek! Don’t tell me who got eliminated — I think my wife and I are watching tonight.

We had a good thing going with RuPaul’s Drag Race. I got into a nice pattern of watching episodes with my wife on Monday nights and writing up reviews on Tuesdays. We still have the advertisement from the newspaper — Mondays are a Drag! — and photos of the billboard in Times Square advertising as much.

Then it was announced that RuPaul’s Drag Race was moving to Friday nights on VH1. No! Friday nights are sacred in more than one sense. As a Sabbath observant Jew the television goes dark on Friday at a certain time and we step away from computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc — digital distractions, you could call them — for a twenty five hour period. We connect with people who are in our immediate surrounding and read stories in paper books and magazines and take naps and have good meals. That being the case, RuPaul’s Drag Race has to wait until the following evening — and sometimes later! (as has been the case this week — I was at my mother’s home in New Jersey and she doesn’t have VH1.)

Here for your enjoyment are some Coping Techniques for the Sabbath Observant Fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race (Since the move to Friday nights on VH1)

1.In the spirit of our forefather Abraham, who would often host strangers — food and drink — open your Friday night meals to RPDR fans who do not have that special connection to keeping the television off on Friday nights. Not to tell them that they should turn the television on, Heaven forbid, but if they happen to be there, and the television happens to be there, who knows what will happen?

2.The Sabbath morning kiddush table consequently splits into two groups of people — those who have invited people over, and those who are strict about avoiding viewing — and those in the latter group need avoid those in the former!

3.Melave Malka celebration now complete with RPDR viewing. Those who have already seen the episode are welcome to join of course, as we are all family — but try to at least pretend to be shocked when you see who gets eliminated.

4.Avoiding social media in the absence of attending such a Melava Malka celebration, at least until one is able to see the episode!

5.In the spirit of #5, perhaps wearing a large button with the words “DON’T SPOIL RPDR FOR ME, HAVE NOT SEEN FRIDAY’S EPISODE YET” to clearly communicate this fact.

6.Not spoiling it for people wearing those buttons!


RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Nine Episode Two – Phoebe and a Disappointing Elimination

So first things first — the queen that was shown popping out at the end of the first episode and which elicited shocked reactions from a few of the people turned out to be… and I’m going to cover this with a spoiler cover because no matter when I post this someone will get mad at me for posting it before they saw it somehow… Cynthia Lee Fontaine of ‘cucu’ fame – funnily the highlight of the episode turned out to be seeing Lisa Kudrow, whom RuPaul showed off explaining that he ran into her at the parking lot. Seems like something that could happen! Also apparently he got his entrance phrase “Hello, hello, hello!” right from Lisa’s character in the HBO program The Comeback, which was on in 2005 and then waited about a decade before it made its own comeback.

So this week was all about cheerleading, perhaps hinted by VH1 airing the film Bring It On before the episode. My wife insists I have seen this film, I do not have any specific memory of spending any time doing so.

The queens were split into two teams and had to perform as, well, cheerleaders! I actually thought everyone did a fairly smashing good job.

Everyone was dressed up in white for the runway, and at the end of the night Jaymes Manfield and Kimora were up for elimination, having to perform — and even though I thought Jaymes did a better job, she was the one that got sent packing. So it goes. On the plus side, she didn’t say anything about her cucu.

Charlie Hides : RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Nine Profile

Charlie Hides — the name conjures many images in my mind but the most prominent one is of someone who is, well… hiding! Some people who see a drag queen see a person who is hiding, disguising who they really are. Of course on the surface this makes sense — out of drag they look entirely different. But is it really the case?

I read an interview with Charlie and loved this line :

I’m inspired by lots of things, music, art, comedy, design… you name it. I love old movies, coffee table art books, second hand shops and the latest couture collections, current pop music and rock classics. Creating makes me happy, the process that begins with having an idea then working till it becomes real makes me happy.

If you know anything about me it’s that creating makes me happy. (I wrote a novella called Kate, did you know?)

I look forward to seeing how Charlie will do this season!

A Winner is Crowned – Season Finale, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Eight

My wife is at the live season finale of RuPaul’s Drag race so she gets to see this in person.

The winner of this season is : Bob the Drag Queen! As I said it would be a few weeks ago!

Here is a photo my wife took from the live season finale :

Walk into the world purse first, as Bob the Drag Queen says! That concludes this year’s season of RuPaul’s Drag Race!

The Final Four — RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Eight Episode Nine

Everyone is proud to be in the top four. Everyone also wants to be in the top three but as we know that cannot BE.

Jayson Whitmore is introduced, who will be helping them participate in the musical video for The Realness, an awesome song of course. Apparently the queen that is eliminated will also NOT be in the final video for The Realness.

Much of the shooting for the video appears to be in a wind tunnel. Well, the first part of it anyhow. Bob opens the second part and is asked to step it up to a 10 from the five where she is. I can’t stop noticing how many tats Jayson has on only one arm. Chi Chi struggles to dance in a gown and admits she hasn’t ever done it before. At this point her I don’t see her making it to the top three but I couldn’t see Kim Chi making it this far and I was wrong!

Bianca makes a funny cameo.

After the shooting wraps, everyone prepares for the final runway presentation and talks about how they don’t want to go home. Well, who would?

Bob comes out wearing what looks like a sequined tuxedo with killer stilettos. Chi Chi wears an elegant pink gown. Kim Chi looks like she’s going to a party out of Eyes Wide Shut crossed with perhaps a raven. Naomi Smalls (one of my early favorites from when I did her profile) looks awesome in a suit.

RuPaul asks them all to talk to their children selves and shows photos of them as children. Kim Chi gets the most emotional talking to the young version, reminding young Kim Chi that it gets better and she won’t feel lonely. Well, someone had to get super emotional, right?

Everyone is asked why they should be America’s Next Drag Superstar – Bob I think gave the best answer — about being the best and giving back to the drag community. I did also admire Naomi’s answer about being successful being herself no matter what she did.

The judges deliberate, and everyone must first lip sync for their lives. The song is naturally The Realness.


FINAL THREE : Bob the Drag Queen, Naomi Smalls, Kim Chi. Wow. I still think Bob’s going to take it.

Everyone Loves Puppets and Autobiographical Books — RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Eight Episode Eight

Everyone gets puppets of each other and gets twenty minutes to drag them up. They use the opportunity to tease each other, naturally. The winner of the challenge ends up being Chi Chi Devayne which is interesting because a bit of, shall we say, blackface is used if I am not mistaken.

The main challenge is split into three different stages, some autobiographical. Baby drag, mama drag, and eleganza extravaganza (Only one of those last two words are real.) In the third challenge they are to use books to make an outfit.

We get an emotional story from Bob the Drag queen about his mother being ill with a chronic illness (see last week where I state emphatically that Bob will take the crown) and a tear fell up out of our collective eyes. You?

Naomi Smalls reveals that he grew up with quite a few biological siblings as well as adopted siblings.

It is Ruvealed that both Amy and David Sedaris will be there (I love them both!) and they will be doing a challenge based on Strangers with Candy, specifically the character Jerry Blank (as played by Amy) and since Chi Chi won the mini challenge, she leads the choreography.

The Jerry Blank segment is great, and I think Bob did best.

First everyone dresses as they did when they were babies, and then they dress up as their mothers did. Derrick definitely improved the most over last week. Lastly, there is the autobiographical section where everyone is wearing books — literally! Interestingly, Derrick got the most critique from everyone in this episode. Chi Chi, on the other hand, got plenty of love.

Chi Chi is said to have shredded the runway and is safe. Kim Chi, considered the best (certainly at the biographical part) wins the challenge. Naomi Smalls is safe, leaving Bob and Derrick. OH SNAP. Am I about to be wrong about who is going to win?

Derrick says she’s going to take Bob down. As it turns out… Derrick went home. Looks like I was safe this week!

Bunk Beds and Political Savagery– RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Eight Episode Seven

The queens have to choose which among the different models that have been brought in with Andrew Christian underwear (evidently this week’s sponsor? You have to be really fit to wear that underwear by the way) and choose whether said models would be top bunk or bottom bunk. Gosh, I wonder what they could really mean? Derrick Barry wins this competition for what it’s worth — it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the main competition.

Everyone is paired and and have to pretend that they are political rivals, with the most interesting pair in my opinion being Bob the Drag Queen and Derrick. I should tell you that this last week I was thinking about it and I have decided that Bob is going to take the crown this year. I am writing this before the end of the episode, so let us see what happens! That being the case, I was impressed by Derrick’s performance in pretending to eat a baby. I never thought I would read ‘eat a baby’ in a serious context.

Kim Chi is asked if she grew up in North or South Korea. Let me tell you — you’re more likely to win the actual lottery than to meet someone from North Korea. The answer, by the way, is she was born and mostly raised in the United States but spent some time in South Korea.

The theme of the main stage is black and white. Bob puts on whiteface and explains how she was arrested in full drag for protesting near Bryant Park (one of my favorites.) Derrick Barry impressed quite a bit with her outfit. I felt Kim Chi’s outfit was nice but far too dark. Thorgy had a considerably better contrast, as did Bob. Chi Chi had an elegant gown.

The political ads are shown one by one. Kim Chi’s ad is panned the most. Thorgy Thor is panned more so for not smearing Thorgy. Funnily, Chi Chi is told she didn’t smear Thorgy enough.

Bob and Derrick won for the week. So far I am doing well. Naomi Smalls and Kim Chi are safe. This leaves Thorgy Thor and Chi Chi to be up for elimination. The song is And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going. It turns out that the one who IS going is…Thorgy Thor? Seriously?