The Drag Queen Challenge, or These queens, they got some balls!

proj_runway_chris-march.jpgIt was refreshing to see Project Runway: Season Four favorite Chris March waddle back to his old haunt as a disco-ball Viking.







proj_runway_episode8.jpgIt is my understanding there is this crucial difference between East Coast rappers and West Coast rappers that has resulted in bitter rivalries, tragic deaths and the emergence of one Puff Daddy. Admittedly, I am not a fan of the rap form. Oh, there are exceptions, as with everything—LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, Vanilla Ice, to name a few—but at the end of the day, when I crave musical solace, I depend on the siren-call of MOR. I am guaranteed a relaxed evening by the laws of karma—an evening nested in my front room sans fear I will be ambushed in 600 rounds of 39mms by a gang of hardcore Miley Cyrus fanatics hopped up on strawberry Quik.

In comparison, East Coast drag queens and West Coast drag queens get along (for the most part). They share the desire to wear sequins and feathers and be fabulous. If there is a disagreement, yes, there will be wigs pulled off and set afire, prosthetic boobies flushed down toilets, but never bloodshed, never execution-style anything. Drag queens devour hardcore Miley Cyrus fanatics interestingly enough. Drag queens are my friends. Am I romantically inclined to drag queens? No. Am I myself a drag queen? No. Do I have a drag queen name? Yes. It’s Sharon Cheryl Ike. But that’s a story for another time. To prevent further digression…

THE CHALLENGE… It was refreshing to see Project Runway: Season Four favorite Chris March waddle back to his old haunt as a disco-ball Viking. (For the uninitiated, Chris March was resurrected from an early elimination last season when a staph infection prompted Jack Mackenroth to withdraw from the competition; Chris successfully made it to the semifinal round only to lose to Rami Kashou in what amounted to be a sudden-death match. In my opinion, Chris’ human-hair outfit, though a bit macabre, would outdo any of Rami’s yawn-inducing draped gowns any day.) Chris explained to the remaining nine designers that their imaginations would be stretched to outlandish proportions; that they would produce outfits for some of dragdom’s most colorful celebutantes.

JOE FARIS was mortified: yet again, the fashion world has challenged his hetero-sensibilities. Terri Stevens was delighted as she loves drag queens and I’m sure she never minds being mistaken for one. Blayne Walsh proceeded to turn his into a day-glo lightning rod. DANIEL FELD sniffed at another challenge that is beneath him. Mormonboy Keith Bryce was inspired to create another swatches-of-fabric design that finally brought forth to our world what a cracked-out skyrat might look like after the Apocalypse. Kenley Collins played it safe by channeling Marilyn circa Some Like It Hot. Leanne Marshall went new wave; Stella Zortis went goth; Jerrell Scott went somewhere only Jerrell knows. Suede confronted Hedda Lettuce’s outer diva—per Tim Gunn‘s advice, yay—and they both actually made the Kermit-Godzilla lovechild costume work. Korto Momolu cooked up hot salsa with a sexy tomato-red getup that made big-girl Sweetie sizzle, prompting Michael Kors to compare her to Heidi Klum (I’m sure Das Deutsche Schlampe loved that). I loves me a lot of RuPAUL, but she should leave the Aussie accents to Meryl Streep. And it’s always nice to see NINA GARCIA having a good time, especially since all signs point to this being her last season with Project Runway. It’s none of anyone’s business why she was fired from her post as Elle magazine’s fashion director earlier this year. The facts are irrelevant when whatever Perez Hilton says will suffice.


IN… JOE FARIS. First of all, hurrah. Well-done, hiding Varla Jean Merman’s candy and all; very creative. Hand it to the straight guy to co-op another one of the gay community’s god-given talents. Skin care, eye-brow sculpting, sensitivity — Will the madness never end? If it weren’t for Right Said Fred, Matthew McConaughey would have never known he was too sexy for his clothes… Okay, that was too much for me to handle. Let’s move on…

OUT… With DANIEL FELD’s auf-ster, the Castro District home of Jimmy and Luis (where I’ve been catching this season) erupted in a chorus of "You can take your high-end taste and drag it to the low-end where the sun don’t shine!" (Well, okay, in fact the room did not erupt with said chorus; it was honestly all in the Wonderland that is my clever little head; but I’m sure that was what everyone wanted to say.) That his ill-fated dress was more tropical island convention than Mardi Glam invention is a testament to his ineptitude to separate his self-evaluated impeccability from what is the objective of the challenge. While erstwhile scoundrels Jeffrey Sebelia and Christian Siriano were arrogant, theirs were driven by muses of mad savoir-faire; Daniel Feld’s was driven  by the muse of deionized water.

HOT TRANNY MESS… BLAYNE WALSH for being nothing short of pukelicious. | Alan Quisimorio

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