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¡Escandalo!: Fierce first looks at RuPaul's Drag Race season 4

Ralph Hardesty
Austin photo: News_Drag Race_Season 4
Austin photo: Event_Drag Race_Sharon Needles
Sharon Needles
Austin photo: News_Drag Race_Jiggly Caliente
Jiggly Caliente

Pipe down, Christmas! And who cares about New Year's? After seeing the trailer, I don’t care about anything but RuPaul’s Drag Race coming back on TV this January.

The naysayers will say, “Nay! The last two seasons were booooring.” They're wrong. Sure, Ru made a controversial choice picking Tyra in season 2, but I beg you not to cheat yourself out of joy in 2012 (before the Mayan calendar runs out). This season of RuPaul’s Project Runway-style reality competition to decide America’s Next Drag Superstar is promising some serious extravaganza.

The first real trailer for this season was just released, and footage documents that, among other challenges, the queens will be stepping into the wrestling ring to grapple each other and with multisyllabic words, with equally devastating results. It’s clear these girls can’t play nice.

Less clear from the trailer is whether or not the term “showgirl” is an insult. Somebody tell Elizabeth Berkley something she doesn't already know.

Sharon Needles from Pittsburgh is my early pick for the 2012 crown. Sharon, whose drag idol is “somewhere between GG Allin and Amanda Lepore,” looks like a cadaver who is into S&M. She’s as quick-witted as her falsetto is off-putting.  Last year, the Drag Race judges favored creative and intelligent queens over the beautiful and vapid, and I hope that continues. As Sharon says, “Being gay and weird is downright hard. These children need a role model.” 

Speaking of beautiful and vapid, my pick for the most hysterically named queen is Jiggly Caliente.  This “urban glam, slutty” drag queen explains that she’s hot, so she picked the surname Caliente. She also identifies strongly with the Pokemon Jigglypuff, and you’ll understand why. Second best name goes to Madame LaQueer.

The most conusing name, however, goes to Chad Michaels, which sounds more like a dude rushing Pi Kappa Alpha than a drag queen. And Latrice Royale wins my award for Best Makeup and Most Anticipated Lip Sync-er.

There’s nothing to worry about if, like me, you get bored with the queens speaking perfect English. The preview shows several of the contestants consistently mangling pronunciations of common words. This season has two native Spanish speakers from Puerto Rico, Kenya Michaels and Madame LaQueer. LaQueer is also the first plus-size Spanish-speaking queen, so she's got two plusses in my book.

The previews for this season seem like the show’s budget has been significantly increased, which makes me hopeful that this show could do for Logo what Project Runway and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy did for Bravo.

Plus, the preview shows that Elvira is going to be one of the many celebrity guest judges, so you officially have every reason to watch this unbelievably over the top guilty pleasure of a show this January. You're welcome.

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