RuPaul's Drag Race 4 Queens Start Their Engines in WeHo

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Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM
click to enlarge LINA LECARO
  • Lina Lecaro

The fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race sashays back onto the LOGO Network on Monday, but this week, the queens from the show (past and present) descended upon -- where else? -- West Hollywood for flamboyant carousing as only an elite clan of glamazon cross-dressers could.

The official premiere party was held at Eleven nightclub on Santa Monica Boulevard, complete with colorful red carpet ops outside (Honey, the posing went on all night!) and endless Absolut cocktails inside, just like the gals enjoy on the Ru after-show, Untucked. Plus, there was a screening of the first episode.

click to enlarge LINA LECARO
  • Lina Lecaro

For Season Four, two Los Angeles "ladies" are part of the lineup vying to be Ru's "next drag superstar," and one of them happens to be a personal favorite and friend. We've covered Willam Belli as a singer (in the glam band Tranzkuntinental) and as an actor (in the stage show Showgirls in Drag). His hilarious (and ironically smart) white-trash-blond schtick will surely be an entertaining addition to the audacious catfights (cockfights?) on the show. Belli's credits include FX's Nip/Tuck and HBO's Cimena Verite, and he's even got a viral video hit (over 1,874,907 views at the time of this writing) with "The Vagina Song."

So did Will give this galpal some Ru realness scoop last night? Sort of. "Drag Race was just a gig for me, albeit a huge one. Being on TV definitely gave me an edge but the whole reality thing was difficult," he told us. "A judge told me I was 'going off script' once and I'm, like, 'Wha-huh? Wait. Ain't this reality?' I only gave the cameras what I wanted to give them so you'll get a great, concentrated version of Willam."

Though most reality shows are for the most part anything but, we've always found Drag Race more authentic than most. The fellas may be covered in pancake base, lashes, liner and gloss, but the show also shows them sans the warpaint and wigs, talking about their lives and what led them to this unique profession.

click to enlarge LINA LECARO
  • Lina Lecaro

Drag is about spectacle and illusion, two elements that typify the best theater. It's an art form that deserves respect. The campy challenges and climactic "lip-sync for your life" standoffs may not necessarily help it get taken more seriously, but the exposure the show has given to performers (both in the U.S. and internationally) has definitely proven its entertainment value, even to non-gay audiences.

After the bash, a cluster of queens from the new season and the past three proved just how entertaining they can be in the flesh for a packed house at Rage nightclub's popular "Dreamgirls Revue." The other L.A. wo-man from the new season, Chad Michaels (center in pic above), did an amazing Florence & the Machine type lip-sync, while Season Three winner Raja Gemini (an L.A. native) showed why her charisma won over the show's judges and scored her the crown last season.

After ogling last night's new batch of wigged wonders, and watching them "werk it" on the premiere, it really could be any one of them who ends up hearing those three magical words: "Shante You Stay," from king of queens Ru when the season finale airs in a couple months.

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 premieres Mon., Jan. 30, on LOGO TV.

See more dazzling drag photos in our Nightranger Slideshow.

Follow @L_in_A on Twitter.

Follow @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter.

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