I am filling in for Amy today (who could really use any good thoughts you have to spare) as the recapper of Drag U, deemed uniquely qualified among the MamaPop staff because I had a picture of Lady Bunny taped to my locker in 9th grade.
This week is the Drag U season finale, and…Y’all. Our contestants are Lucy Ewing (J.R.’s problem child niece on Dallas), Mary Ann (as in the professor and), and Tabitha Stevens, daughter of Darin and Samantha. That’s right bitches, we’re dragulating semi-elderly former television stars! And our guest judge? CHAKAKHANCHAKAKHAN!
(Lucy Ewing is really named Charlene Tilton, Mary Ann is Dawn Wells, and Tabitha is Erin Murphy, but I am choosing to ignore this.)
Lucy is 51, and for the past 7 years she’s been taking care of her sick (and eventually dying) mother and raising her daughter on her own—a daughter who was in a terrible motorcycle accident. She says she’s “let herself go.” Poor thing. Mary Ann is 72(!) and kind of looks like Debbie Reynolds. She has a husky, very un-Mary Ann-like voice, and seems a little bitter that “everywhere she goes” everyone thinks of her as Mary Ann (ahem, sorry). She wants to be a “sexpot,” instead of the girl-next-door. Basically, she wants to be Ginger. She seems like someone’s kooky aunt, and wears fedoras. Tabitha is 46 and wants to go from “cute and perky” to “sexy devil.” She’s pretty, but wearing, surprise, a shapeless tracksuit. She says she’s known as conservative, but wants to “break out of the box.”
Lucy Ewing is delighted by the Drag Lab, and may I just say? She’s adorable. I already want her to win.She’s paired with Jujubee. Mary Ann gets Professor Raven, and we all get a little Professor/Mary Ann chuckle. Tabitha gets Pandora Boxx, and when it’s announced, Tabitha reveals she asked for her specifically.
During the entrance exam, we learn that MARY ANN ONCE HAD SEX IN AN AVOCADO FIELD.
I’ll let you digest that for a moment.
Tabitha totally has a crush on Pandora Boxx (“I totally want to make out with you and I don’t know why!” she burbles.)
During dance lessons, Mary Ann is STILL wearing her white fedora, but I forgive her because girl is KILLING the choreography. Damn. I’m liking her more and more.
Tabitha tells Pandora she hates her Dragulator image because she wants her husband to see her as a drag queen and be turned on, and she doesn’t think this will do it. Um…huh. Okay? So they start from scratch, going for a sort of blonde Ann Margaret look.
Lucy continues to confuse drag makeup with 80′s makeup, and says she’s done it before. She would love to come out as “a beautiful, African-American princess!” She wants to be Chaka Khan (buttering up the judge?)
Tabitha continues to make raunchy jokes, and Pandora gives her a duct tape corset (which I am totally trying sometime soon, sweartogod). Lucy is bossy and grating (liking her less, now) and JuJubee is Not Having It. She does help her carve herself a foam ass, though. Tabitha is drunk with power, and making snarky comments, but Mary Ann smacks her right back down.
In interview with Ru, Tabitha says that when she was growing up on Bewitched she looked at Agnes Moorhead as a beauty icon. You and me both, babe. Mary Ann says her character is inspired by Mae West, which seems about right. Lucy cries, and I forgive her for being so bossy.
(The little laugh Ru gives at the end of the interviews as the women leave, flouncing and posing? It’s so obvious he’s thinking You straight bitches are CRAZY!)
Family arrives for the Draguation, and OH MY GOD, Tabitha’s real life husband’s name is Darren. Lucy’s daughter is adorable, though she makes the dubious assertion that “having your mom dressed up by drag queens is every girl’s dream!” I can’t see anyone there for Mary Ann, which makes me sad.
Mary Ann…looks less so. I’m sorry, the dress is not doing it for me, it looks frumpy with the wide bottom/feather boa around her knees, more aging saloon madam than Mae West. Her makeup is great, though, and she is obviously enjoying herself, and says the audience “turns her on.” Then she says something very sad about how you get to a certain point and everything is in the past, but that she’s not at that point yet: she still has 50 years of stuff she wants to do. She’s 72. I’m not a mathematician, but…well.
It turns out Lucy had no idea Chaka Khan was the guest judge, and she’s beside herself with excitement, gushing about her idol, I’m Every Woman, etc. etc. The judges are pretty easy graders, and it is obvious that Mary Ann is getting points for being Mary Ann. RuPaul continues to be unable to pronounce the word “faculty.”
During the dance performance, Lucy tears shit up. She is campy and perfect, grabbing her breasts, gesturing, working it. Mary Ann minces around but looks lost. Tabitha is great, but I’m positive that no one’s beating Lucy, and I’m right. Lucy Ewing Draguates with honors, and her daughter is delighted.
I’m pretty delighted for them. And thus concludes the season. What did you all think? Will you watch the show again? Do you think there is any truth to the idea of the transformative power of drag-that-isn’t-really-drag? Did anyone keep track of how many words RuPaul managed to insert “drag” into?