Tall, powerful and gorgeous -- stand in the presence of a true drag queen and awe is what you experience. Fortunately, last night at the season two premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race, I wasn't sitting behind any of them while the first episode screened. But afterwards, watching them mill about the bar Eleven with other West Hollywood notables such as Perez Hilton, Bobby Trendy and Project Runway alumni Santino Rice, it was as close as you could get to being in the presence of goddesses without actually climbing Mount Olympus.
While most of the queens from the show appeared in full glorious drag, RuPaul sported a slim-fitting plaid suit and glasses, opening the premiere with a plug for his upcoming book Workin' It: RuPaul's Guide to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Style before encouraging everyone to have a good time, offering up the eternal wisdom that "Drag is about not taking life too seriously."
Season Two contestant Sonique, wearing a white shredded minidress she'd made herself, loved the experience of being on the show. "They gave us everything we needed," she said while adding that one of the toughest challenges of the show was sewing since -- as seen in the premiere -- not all of the contestants were skilled seamstresses. "They had to pick it up really quickly," she said.
When I asked Rice, who is a regular member of the Drag Race judging panel, about what it's like to be a judge, he replied that "I'm judging every minute of every day, as soon as I wake up. But I'm really just looking for beauty." While he has occasionally dressed up, he's never had a drag persona -- instead, he uses his work as a stylist to "show women how to look beautiful."
By the way, if you've never seen Drag Race, you are MISSING OUT. Combining the glamour of America's Next Top Model with the fashion and sewing drama of Project Runway and then turning the gay meter up to 11, it's a jam-packed hour of bitchy fun. The second season premiere airs on Logo February 1.
-- LIZ SHANNON MILLER
Previously > Doin' It Diva Style