Gloriously, last week LOGO greenlit a second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race that’ll air in early 2010. The collective gays here at EW couldn’t be happier at the prospect of another installment: bigger wigs, higher heels, more lip syncing for your life!
Like any good girl on the go, you gotta stay fresh: Bigger wigs, higher heels, more lip syncing for your life! Oh wait, I already said that… But seriously, we’ve got some ideas. Here are nine suggestions that should keep TV’s best—okay, only—search for the next drag superstar on top for season 2:
1. Ramp up the guest judges. There were some great guest arbiters in the first season: Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child; Robin Antin, creator of the Pussycat Dolls; and Lucy Lawless, to name a few. Keep it coming. Might we suggest Candis Cayne, Cher, and Liza for season 2? Okay, that might be reaching a bit too far towards the stars. The point is, though: Keep the momentum going in this department. Find the best gay/drag icons you can. But don’t ramp the judges up too much. (We’re soooo picky, right?) It wouldn’t be a drag competition if there weren’t some measure of tragedy to the folks who sign on to help Ru tell the latest ousted queen to “sashay away.”
2. Now, really use those guest judges. Sadly, we only saw a few minutes of Michelle, Robin, and Lucy during their stints on the show. Next go ’round, howabout a little more action from the folks who fill this role? Involvethem in a challenge at least. And, if a guest does come in to help, make damn sure they’re on the judging panel, too. Question: Why was Charo helping the queens in a challenge, yet MariaConchita Alonso then judging them? Same goes for Tori Spelling and hubbyDean, who showed up during the Oprah challenge, yet were sadly absentfrom the panel.
3. Take Santino and Merle out of the judging room. In the finale, we saw permanent judges, fashion journalist Merle Ginsburg and ex-Project Runwayvillain Santino Rice, doling out the week’s challenge to RebeccaGlasscock, Bebe Zahara Benet, and Nina Flowers. And we liked it—it’sfun to see these two wonky judges out from behind their oh-so-powerfultable. So, how about we put Merle and Santino in the work roomwith the ladies a bit more? Maybe out on a photo shoot, giving advice?Offering their two cents as the queens put their look together for theweek? Yes, yes, and yes. Please.
4. Show us more casting—earlier! Yes, between episode six and the finale, we got the special “rewind” hour that showed tons of footage from casting and other moments that hit the editing room floor. But, Drag Race, why don’t you take a page out of Top Model‘s play book and show lots of ladies early on? The tragedy of those try-outs could go on for days, we’re sure, but give us a half hour of the best during the first episode, and we’ll be satisfied.
5. Temper the camp. Now that you’re all high-falutin’ and renewed for a second season, the tendency may arise to go out of control in the next round. Don’t do it. The camp in season 1 was just right, with the silly challenges and the great catch phrases. As Ru says, “Don’t f— it up!”
6. More photo shoots. There was only one true photo shoot in the eight episodes of season 1, and it was legendary, with the queens getting all wet and bothered while washing a car. More please.
7. Enlist a runway coach. The judging/runway sequences were great because the duds the queens wore were usually amazing. But the actual sashaying? Pathetic. As annoying as Top Model‘s resident runway expert Benny Ninja can be, Drag Race needs to enlist someone like him to teach the contestants a thing or two about how to really work a catwalk.
8. Set the queens free! Surely, it was just budgetary constraints that kept Ru and the queens mostly in the workroom, on the runway, and hanging out in the Inner Illusions Lounge. But we viewers are claustrophobic! Let the contestants out of the closet and into the world in season 2! Whether that’s drag shows in New York City (might we suggest a resurrection of Wigstock?), LA’s fashion week, some Pride festival somewhere—we don’t care. Just don’t keep them cooped up on that soundstage any longer.
9. Bring back Ryan Heffington. There should certainly be lots more of Heffington, the ridiculous mustachioed choreographer who showed up — wearing purple heels, spandex pants, and a tank-top — in the finale to help Rebecca, Nina, and Bebe perfect the dance they’d perform in Ru’s music video for “Cover Girl.” Refresh your memory of the genius ridiculata of Ryan with this video below. Fast-forward to about 5:20 for his arrival:
PopWatchers, do you agree? What do you think? What suggestions do you have to keep season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race totally fresh?