I am very late to the party that is Rupaul's Drag Race. Not late in the watching and enjoyment part, but I am behind in doing drawings from the show. If you've already seen this program, then you know it's probably the best thing ever on television. If you aren't familiar, well, it's a reality show hosted by Rupaul (duh) and her search for America's Next Top Drag Performer. The show is a strong cocktail made up of equal parts: Project Runway, Top Model, and a sloppy- drunken night at a lively drag bar. Rupaul out of drag plays a Tim Gunn-ish mentor giving the drag performers guidance on whatever the week's challenge may be. Rupaul always leaves the gals with the sage advice: And remember ladies, don't f*ck it up! The last third of the show is shot with the most blurry soft camera focus imaginable. It must be the same camera they use for Barbara Walters Prime Time interviews and anything Michael Jackson related. That final portion of the program takes place on a catwalk with a judging panel. Hello Project Runway. Hello Top Model. During this part, Rupaul channels Heidi Klum as hostess done up in glam to the hilt. Extravaganza Eleganza! I can't underscore just how out of focus the filming is during this portion. I'm constantly rubbing my eyes in case the usually two glasses of wine I'd had by that point has made my vision go. Rupaul also gives the same Don't F*ck It Up pep talk to the gals before they take the catwalk. After the judging, there's two contestants remaining who must lip sync for their lives. Seriously. The gals are given a song to prepare just in case it comes to that point and it's usually a fairly awful choice. Sorry, but that's my opinion. I'd prefer a "Poker Face" by Lady GaGa or "Pull Up To My Bumper" by Grace Jones, but that's just me.
What's crazy is the show seems like it just started and after last night, there's only three queens remaining. Not sure if that means one more show or two? :( The show definitely has a budget of $200 per episode feel so maybe this first season was meant to be brisk? I just hope it goes on forever. I mean if the mess American Idol can be in its 9th season, then certainly, hopefully Rupaul's Drag Race will come back for a couple more years. Please LOGO, please. Oh I must mention too that each week there are two huge, built, hunky chocolate adonises that bring the ladies drinks, give them fabric, pose in photos, sweep up.......... whatever's needed. I wonder how much LOGO pays those two as I'm willing to match that salary. They make me weak in the knees and other parts. :)
There are a number of contestants I've especially enjoyed, but for this first posting I'm focusing on my favorite, Nina Flowers.
He's 34, Puerto Rican, and a mass of fierceness. I love his accent, attitude, range of looks, and I hope he wins. When they show him in the confessional scenes, I always want to reach in and squeeze his cheeks. Look how adorable he is. I couldn't snatch any photos off of the LOGO site, so a quick google search lead me to the photo below.
I tried to find a moment during Nina's drag performance to hit pause on my TIVO so I could do a drawing of him in full glamour, but as I've stated, the focus is so blurry that I couldn't find a good shot. So, I added a little digital makeup to the first drawing. Here it goes.......
In closing, I thought it appropriate to finish with the quote Rupaul always uses at the end of her show. She asks, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?"
Drawing of Nina Flowers done with ink on 9" x 12" hot press watercolor paper while my TIVO was on pause. Thanks TIVO!