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Monday, February 02, 2009 

RuPaul's Drag Race

Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, & Talent! Learn it, and Learn It Well...

Hey Gang,

Well, Fantasy finally meets Reality- and hilarity ensues!

I'm proud to announce that Tonight, Feb 2nd, 2009, is the Premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race!"
We're looking for The Next Great Drag Queen Superstar and I guarantee you've never seen anything like this before.
Yours truly, along with best- selling author and fashion journalist Merle Ginsberg, and The Legendary RuPaul Charles are the permanent weekly judges of this outrageous competition.
Our panel is joined each week by 2 very special guest judges to help us narrow down the Queens to determine a Winner, as well as, the 2 unfortunate ladies who've received the lowest scores and are forced to "Lip-sync For Their Lives!" After their simultaneous performances, one is told "Chantez" you stay, and the other told to "Sashay" away.
These Queens have come a long way to get here and they aren't going out without a fight!

I'm so fired up to watch it all unfold on TV and I'm equally thrilled for all the amazingly talented contestants! Drag is not a mild interest but a way of life. These Queens have perfected their craft and their illusions their whole lives. Working on this show was so much fun for me. RuPaul is a true iconoclast in entertainment and a paragon of Drag. Ru has duel roles on the show, not only as the ultimate decider of who stay or gos, but also serves platters of wisdom up as mentor through each challenge. Not since RuPaul's reign throughout the 90's has this art form received this type of attention. We're out to discover that ONE Queen to carry the torch into the future. Drag as an art form is a combination of being knowledgeable of, and skilled at, many disciplines. The Next Great Drag Queen is one part entertainer, one part make-up artist, one part hair-stylist, one part fashion designer, one part dancer, one part model, one part singer, one part comedian, one part provocateur, and one part chameleon. This abundance of references coming to life through an individual can be overwhelmingly beautiful and exhilarating to watch. I was truly surprised by the level of talent I witnessed each week. I've seen my fair share of Drag Revues but these performers are some of the best I've ever seen.

Appearance is a public statement everyone makes. "We were all born naked and the rest is drag," RuPaul once famously said. Everyone can learn something new from a Drag Queen. RuPaul's Drag Race will educate and entertain as well, and hopefully raise and answer many questions about all things Drag- the Art of Drag, Drag Queens, Trannys, etc. Viewers will be privileged to the entire trans-formative process. I'm looking forward to this since I only saw and judged each contestant as their Drag Persona on the runway.

I'm on the other side of the judging table this go around and believe me, I didn't take this responsibility lightly! I had my work cut out for me, At times you could experience sensory overload with everything that was coming at you. I had my eye on every flamboyant detail but I really had to concentrate not to laugh out loud through the entire taping! I'm bringing to the table a deep appreciation for these creators, there are many similarities between what they and I, as a fashion designer, create. The old rules and rhythms of Fashion do not necessarily apply. This type of display of creativity is limitless- and I should add, really is only limited by each performers vision. Dress is significant, quality and taste are also rewarded, but our 4 main criteria are Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent. Reality TV can be an emotional and illogical business, I left each episode thinking it couldn't possibly get any better, but it did! As each episode developed, and the competition became tougher, in equal measure, so did the passion in every one's spirit. I can tell you that I laughed, and I cried, and I fell in love with every one of the incredibly talented and fearless contestants. I think you will too.

There are many misconceptions about Drag and still a lot of stigmas attached to it's practitioners. Drag is an appreciation of Women and Femininity. Drag is creative and inspirational. Drag is a reflection of our culture and our notions of sexuality. Drag Queens are a diverse group of creative human beings with a mutual bond and love for what they do. Drag is an exaggeration of life at it's best- practiced even in poverty. Drag is a riot in heels! Drag is freedom. I've always loved Drag Queens, of course there's the visual, the outrageous costumes and dramatic make-up, but I also respond to the inimitable courage one must have to commit oneself to the lifestyle. I love that Drag Queens confuse people with their irreverence of defined gender. Drag is decadent fantasy and twisted beauty both witty and seductive. Imagination, not money- is what propels Art, and it couldn't be more fitting to this variety of artists. Tonight's 'Drag On A Dime' Episode will echo these sentiments and quickly weed out those who didn't put the stiletto to the metal.

So, Rebecca, Ongina, Jade, Victoria, Shannel, Bebe, Tammie, Akashia, and Nina, I wish you all the best on your journeys. You are all the Top Upcoming Legendary Children-
Whatever you want to be, YOU BE! You're wagons just got hitched to the star you've always dreamed about. The World is yours, You have space for all that you intend! It's going to be an incredible season.

Our first episode kicks in the door with special guest judges Photographer/ Director Mike Ruiz and Fashion Designer Icon, Bob Mackie! Yes, Yes! Touch this skin, touch this skin, honey- Touch all of this... What? LOL

RuPaul's Drag Race airs every Monday night at 10pm on LOGO. Watch and let me know what you think! XOXOXO SANTINO

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About Me:
I'm Santino Rice, a fashion designer living and working in Hollywood California. I was a contestant on Bravo's Project Runway Season 2. This is my personal journal.