RuPaul's Drag Race (season 4)

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RuPaul's Drag Race (season 4)
Broadcast from January 20 – April 30, 2012 (2012-04-30)
Judges RuPaul
Michelle Visage
Santino Rice
Billy B[1]
Host(s) RuPaul
Winner:
Sharon Needles
Origin Pittsburgh, PA
Runner-up

Chad Michaels

Phi Phi O'Hara
Chronology
2012

The fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race began airing on January 30, 2012,[2] with cast members announced November 13, 2011.[3] The winner of season four will headline Logo's Drag Race Tour featuring Absolut Vodka, wins a one-of-a-kind trip, a lifetime supply of NYX Cosmetics, a cash prize of $100,000, and the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar."[4]

Like the last season, Santino Rice & Billy B (Billy Brasfield), celebrity makeup artist and star of the HGTV mini-series Hometown Renovation, shared the same seat at the judges table alternatively, Brasfield filling in for Rice when needed.[1] Both judges appeared side-by-side in the audience during the "Reunited" episode. Also like last season, the theme song playing during the runway every episode was "Glamazon" from RuPaul's album Glamazon.

In the season finale, contestant Sharon Needles was crowned the season's winner.

Contestants[edit]

The thirteen drag queens competing to be "America's Next Drag Superstar" for season four of RuPaul's Drag Race are:

(ages and name stated are at time of contest)

Contestant Real Name Age Hometown 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 14
Sharon Needles Aaron Coady 29 Pittsburgh, PA WIN HIGH WIN SAFE HIGH SAFE HIGH BTM2 WIN LOW WIN WINNER
Chad Michaels Chad Michaels 40 San Diego, CA SAFE WIN HIGH HIGH WIN SAFE LOW SAFE HIGH HIGH BTM2 RUNNER-UP
Phi Phi O'Hara Jaremi Carey 25 Chicago, IL SAFE SAFE SAFE HIGH LOW HIGH WIN BTM2 LOW WIN HIGH RUNNER-UP
Latrice Royale Timothy Wilcots 39 South Beach, FL SAFE SAFE SAFE WIN SAFE HIGH LOW WIN BTM2 BTM2 ELIM
Kenya Michaels Omar Olivera Bonilla 21 Dorado, PR LOW SAFE HIGH LOW ELIM ELIM
DiDa Ritz Xavier Hairston 25 Chicago, IL SAFE LOW BTM2 SAFE SAFE LOW SAFE SAFE ELIM
Willam Willam Belli 29 Los Angeles, CA SAFE LOW SAFE HIGH HIGH WIN BTM2 DISQ
Jiggly Caliente Paulo Arabejo 30 Queens, NY BTM2 SAFE SAFE HIGH SAFE BTM2 ELIM
Milan Dwayne Cooper 36 New York, NY SAFE HIGH SAFE BTM2 BTM2 ELIM
Madame LaQueer Carlos Melendez 29 Carolina, PR SAFE WIN LOW ELIM
The Princess Adam Biga 31 Chicago, IL HIGH BTM2 ELIM
Lashauwn Beyond Jamall Jackson 21 Fort Lauderdale, FL HIGH ELIM
Alisa Summers Alex Hernandez 23 Tampa, FL ELIM
     The contestant won RuPaul's Drag Race.
     The contestant(s) was/were the runner-up.
     The contestant won a challenge. In Episode 1, the contestant was also awarded immunity.
     The contestant was one of the best but did not win the challenge, or was the member of a winning team.
     The contestant was one of the worst but was not in the bottom two.
     The contestant was in the bottom two.
     The contestant was eliminated.
     The contestant won the challenge but was disqualified from the competition.
     The contestant was voted Miss Congeniality by viewers.
  • Sharon Needles was the first and only queen on the show's history to win 4 main challenges
  • Episode 8 features the disqualification of Willam, making him the first contestant in the show's history to be disqualified from the competition. Willam also won the main challenge during the same episode, before getting disqualified.
  • Episode 10 features the return of Kenya Michaels, who was eliminated in the same episode like Carmen Carrera in season 3, making her the second contestant in the show's history to be eliminated twice in the same season, on the episode they were brought back on.
  • Episode 11 marks the first time a contestant has achieved 4 wins before the finals; Sharon Needles accomplished that feat.
  • Episode 12 features highlights and lowlights of the past eleven episodes.
  • The Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 was expected to be revealed in the finale, Episode 13, but in a twist, the winner was revealed during "RuPaul's Drag Race: Reunited," pending feedback on the official Facebook page and on Twitter, using #DragRace.
  • Episode 14: "Reunited!" was the first time in series' history for the reunion episode to be filmed in a theater in front of a live audience.
Region 1 DVD cover art

Guest judges[edit]

(In alphabetic order by stage name and/or last name)[5]

Episodes[edit]

Episode One: RuPocalypse Now![edit]

The first episode of season 4 was released prior to its January 30 air date to fans of the RuPaul's Drag Race Facebook page. The sneak peak video was released on January 27, but its content was cut short before the runway walk and judging.[6] Thirteen new queens begin their quests for the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar," but first must survive drag zombies and the end of the world. After revealing their apocalyptic couture on the runway; Milan, Chad Michaels, Willam, Madame LaQueer, Phi Phi O'Hara, Latrice Royale, and DiDa Ritz were all called out as safe. RuPaul does stop them momentarily to request they impress her next week before they leave the stage. Sharon Needles, the Princess, and Lashawn Beyond are praised for their looks. Lashawn Beyond's timid personality hinders her from the win, but she is safe. The Princess' look failed to show true apocalyptic wear-and-tear, but otherwise was a hit, and is safe. Sharon Needles' flair for the macabre works to her advantage, and she wins the challenge; gaining a custom made dress and immunity from elimination next week. Kenya Michaels' outfit shows no resemblance to anything apocalyptic, yet her fierce runway walk and fiery persona saves her from the bottom two. Jiggly Caliente's messy attempt at a sewn outfit lands her in the bottom two alongside Alisa Summers, who's outfit focused far too much on her breastplate for the judges' tastes. After lip syncing, in which Jiggly Caliente gives a high energy performance over Alisa Summer's more lackadaisical approach, RuPaul sends Alisa Summers home before declaring Jiggly as safe.

  • Guest Judges: Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) and Mike Ruiz
  • Mini-Challenge: Photographer Mike Ruiz shoots the contestants for a "totally toxic" photo spread where they pose on a spinning platform while being sprayed with "hazardous waste."
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Jiggly Caliente
  • Main Challenge: The queens design a post-apocalyptic couture outfit from items looted from drag queen zombies (aka Queens from the previous seasons).
  • Challenge Winner: Sharon Needles

  • Bottom Two: Alisa Summers & Jiggly Caliente
  • Lip Synch Song: "Toxic" by Britney Spears
  • Eliminated: Alisa Summers

  • Farewell Message: "Keep it cute ladies! Shady sisters 4-ever! ♥ Alisa"

Episode Two: WTF!: Wrestling's Trashiest Fighters[edit]

Women's wrestling challenge, an homage to G.L.O.W.. Further to the mini-challenge, the queens were separated into three teams headed by the mini-challenge winners, and were asked to create a wrestling storyline and to choreograph a match, to be performed in front of the judges and a live audience. In addition, the teams had to split into binomials : the nice girls, or Faces, and the bad girls, or Heels. The girls were also asked to walk the runway in their best "girly-girl" couture. Team Chad wins the challenge, with Chad and Madame being declared the overall winners, for their portrayal of the "Bitch Kickers". They both win a set of wigs, yet with two sharing the win, no immunity is given this week. The remaining two teams receive varied amounts of criticism, with Phi Phi, Kenya, and Latrice getting the better of the crititques, and the judges noting their positive performances. Jiggly is called out by several of her competiors for lacking in the competition, however, the four of them are all called safe. It is then revealed DiDa, Willam, Lashauwn, and The Princess are the bottom four of the week. The judges thought that Willam's wresting looked fake, but he is safe. DiDa's dress was not appreciated and Billy B. added that she got the "girl that sort of walk around the ring thing", but her wrestling was weak. Lackluster performances by Lashauwn, who seemed not to take the challenge seriously, and The Princess, who didn't step up and tried to act mean, land them in the bottom two. During the lip-synch elimination, Lashauwn commits several drag offenses during the routine, most noticeably kicking off her heels at the start of the song. Ultimately, these combined with a fairly pale lip-sync performance sends her packing, with Ru telling The Princess to stay.

  • Guest Judges: Rick Fox and John Salley
  • Wrestling Trainers: "Hollywood's Own" Joey Ryan, Hector "El Chido" Canales and "King of Submissions" Ryan Taylor
  • Mini-Challenge: Split into teams of four and created a "badonkadonk" with padding in 30 minutes.
  • Mini-Challenge Winners: Chad Michaels, Willam, Phi Phi O'Hara
  • Main Challenge: Create a wrestling storyline, with "backstage" clip and entertaining match in the ring
  • Runway Theme: Girly Drag
  • Challenge Winners: Chad Michaels and Madame LaQueer

  • Bottom Two: Lashauwn Beyond & The Princess
  • Lip Synch Song: "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer
  • Eliminated: Lashauwn Beyond

  • Farewell Message: "Stay true 2 U + xoxo good luck! –Beyond!"

Episode Three: Glamazons vs. Champions[edit]

The queens make commercials for RuPaul's albums Glamazon and Champion. The queens were separated into two teams, led by Phi Phi (team Champion) and Kenya (team Glamazon). During the recording, The Princess forgot her lines several times while DiDa tried to get out of her comfort zone but didn't look natural. In the meantime Sharon Needles had a hard time connecting with the challenge, as she felt Phi Phi was pigeonholing her as a Goth queen. The girls were asked to walk the runway with their "platinum and gold" drag looks. Willam, Phi Phi O'Hara, Latrice Royale, Milan and Jiggly Caliente were declared safe. During the judges' critiques, Madame LaQueer's outfit was compared to "fungus" by Michelle Visage, who also thought that her infomercial was relying too much on Spanish. Chad Michaels received high appreciations for her look, but was encouraged to get out of her perfection. Kenya's energy and great look also had a good impression on the judges. Sharon Needles' look was praised and RuPaul declares her the winner of this week's challenge, earning a set of costume jewelry. DiDa and The Princess were asked to lip sync for their lives in response to their fumbling, meek infomercial performances. Both queens gave a high energy performance, but DiDa was deemed as the better performer, which led RuPaul to ask her to stay and The Princess to "sashay away".

  • Guest Judges: Amber Riley and Natalie Cole
  • Mini-Challenge: Create hats with butterfly-shaped accessories for guest Piyah Martell, Internet diva and transgender teen born with Caudal Regression Syndrome.
  • Mini-Challenge Winners: Phi Phi O'Hara, Kenya Michaels, Jiggly Caliente
  • Main Challenge: Produce and act in TV infomercials for RuPaul's Glamazon and Champion.
  • Runway Theme: Platinum and Gold
  • Challenge Winner: Sharon Needles

  • Bottom Two: DiDa Ritz & The Princess
  • Lip Synch Song: "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole
  • Eliminated: The Princess

  • Farewell Message: "This is (only) the begining [sic] ! Much Love - The Princess / I ♥ U DIDA RITZ!"

Episode Four: Queens Behind Bars[edit]

At the beginning of the episode, the queens praise DiDa's high-energy lip-sync from the previous episode, which DiDa said came from anger towards the judges for judging her to harshly. They also discuss the fact that Sharon now has two wins in three episodes. Phi Phi says that she assumed that Sharon would win the previous challenge, because she gave Sharon "a character that she could excel at," leading to tension between the two later in the episode. For the mini challenge, the queens are paired up to pose for memorable mug shots, for which they will do each other's makeup while handcuffed together. Willam and Madame LaQueer win the mini challenge for their creative idea of covering each other with blue paint and saying that they robbed a bank (so they would be covered with blue dye that is kept in the vaults) For winning, the two become team captains for the main challenge: act in a sitcom ("Hot In Tuckahoe") set in a jail. After appearing in their best red-carpet attire; team Willam is declared the winning team, with Latrice's sassy, hilarious performance placing her in first place for the week. Team Madame receives largely negative reviews. DiDa's polish is once again admonished, but her performance in the challenge was highly praised, keeping her out of the bottom two. Sharon's attitude during the challenge gets her in trouble, but she too is safe. The judges felt that Kenya was miscast, resulting in an awkward performance. Even so, Kenya is safe. Madame's botched up job as team leader, as well as her sloppy performance lands her in the bottom two alongside Milan, whom the judges felt wasn't shining through for having an acting background. During the lip sync, Milan splits, death-drops, and rips her dress and wig off. Madame also tears off her wig, but otherwise fails to outshine Milan, and is consequently eliminated.

  • Guest Judges: Billy B, Nicole Sullivan and Max Mutchnick
  • Mini-Challenge: In pairs, paint each others faces while handcuffed to one another and pose for a mug shot photo shoot.
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Willam and Madame LaQueer
  • Main Challenge: In two teams, star in two different episodes of a sitcom.
  • Challenge Winner: Latrice Royale

  • Bottom Two: Madame LaQueer & Milan
  • Lip Synch Song: "Trouble" by Pink
  • Eliminated: Madame LaQueer

  • Farewell Message: "Girls: Stay humble... People go up... You'll be on the way down! Kisses MLQ / Chad, Sharon, Milan, Dita [sic] = True Friends / Kenya : Botate Mami !"

Episode Five: Snatch Game[edit]

For the mini-challenge, the contestants participate in a game called "Beat the Cock" (a pun on the game show Beat the Clock). Three contestants compete against one another in three preliminary rounds that lead up to a "cocktacular finale." The winner of the challenge is promised a call home. Each round features some form of innuendo, with chicken entendres and physical dexterity: "Cock-a-Doodle-Ru" (won by Phi Phi), "Pluck-a-Duck" (won by DiDa), and "Choke the Rooster" (won by Milan). The final round of Beat the Cock pits Phi Phi, DiDa, and Milan in "Lay An Egg," where each queen navigates a wig-head obstacle course while tucking raw eggs between their thighs. Phi Phi succeeds in winning Beat the Cock, though she gives her prize (a call home) to Chad Michaels (who would be celebrating an eight-year anniversary with his boyfriend were he not on the show). The main challenge is revealed to be this season's installment of "Snatch Game" (imitating the name and format of Match Game): a comedic game show in which the episodes' celebrity guest judges star as contestants and the queens impersonate female celebrities of their own choosing.

Queen Celebrity Impersonation

Chad Michaels

Cher
DiDa Ritz Wendy Williams
Jiggly Caliente Snooki
Kenya Michaels Beyoncé
Latrice Royale Aretha Franklin
Milan Diana Ross
Phi Phi O'Hara Lady Gaga
Sharon Needles Michelle Visage
Willam Jessica Simpson

Jiggly, Phi Phi, and Kenya are openly critiqued by Latrice for their "unprofessional" behavior during the Snatch Game. She scolds them for interrupting RuPaul and the tone of their performances; described (on Untucked) by Sharon as "nutty" and "way over the top" by Jiggly. On the runway, DiDa, Latrice, and Jiggly are declared safe. Chad Michaels is praised for his giraffe-print outfit and his impersonation of Cher, which is his claim to fame as a drag performer. Though Willam and Sharon also have exceptional performances, Chad is named the winner of the challenge. Phi Phi, Kenya, and Milan are singled out for their poor impersonations of the celebrities they were trying to imitate. Milan also receives criticism for wearing a tuxedo (à la Janelle Monáe) as a man in a drag competition (Michelle Visage calling her a "drag king"). Kenya's performance as Beyoncé is also declared by Ru to be very uncomfortable to watch, as it was over the top and dramatic. Ultimately, Kenya and Milan are placed in the bottom two and both provide energetic renditions of the song, even death-dropping at the same time! Milan's homage to voguing makes him safe and sends Kenya home.

  • Guest Judges: Loretta Devine and Ross Matthews
  • Mini-Challenge: Compete in a game called "Beat the Cock"
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Phi Phi O'Hara
  • Main Challenge: Celebrity impersonations in a Match Game-style setting
  • Runway Theme: Best Drag
  • Challenge Winner: Chad Michaels

  • Bottom Two: Kenya Michaels & Milan
  • Lip Synch Song: "Vogue" by Madonna
  • Eliminated: Kenya Michaels

  • Farewell Message: "[...] / I'll be waiting for you in my kindom [sic] / Phi-Phi - I love you - sisters 4 ever"

Episode Six: Float Your Boat[edit]

The queens design ship-shaped floats for a Pride parade runway extravaganza. One color from the 8-stripe rainbow flag was randomly assigned to each contestant by Willam, who won the wet T-shirt contest mini-challenge.

Queen Color
Chad Michaels Pink
DiDa Ritz Red
Jiggly Caliente Orange
Milan Yellow
Sharon Needles Green
Latrice Royale Turquoise
Willam Indigo/Blue
Phi Phi O'Hara Violet/Purple

Jiggly Caliente noticeably slowed the queens on their way to the runway, unready when most of the girls were finished. She also had troubles designing her boat. During the judges' critiques, Latrice's look was praised, especially her rhinestone makeup (called "artwork" by Michelle Visage), as her boat, emanating "chicness" through the eyes of Billy B., but was reprimanded for the boots that she wore too frequently. Chad Michaels' showgirl ensemble was not fashion forward enough and once again she was criticized for her wish to be perfect every time. Willam's look and boat were appreciated, while Milan was called vulgar and "dude in a dress". Jiggly Caliente disappointed the judges for her boat which left a sensation of unfinished work, and her cape which hid a swimsuit that the judges liked. DiDa's boat was not shining enough while her outfit was more pedestrian than "drag queen". Phi Phi received all around praise for her boat and her look, receiving a compliment from Billy B that her makeup has improved dramatically. Willam won the challenge, while Sharon, Chad, Latrice, Phi Phi, and DiDa were declared safe, leaving Milan and Jiggly to lip synch for their lives. Both girls delivered high energy performances. However, due to committing the drag felony of ripping her wig and outfit off, and also for landing in the bottom two three challenges in a row, Milan was told to sashay away, while Jiggly got to stay for another week.

  • Guest Judges: Billy B, Kelly Osbourne and Pauley Perrette
  • Mini-Challenge: Gain the biggest crowd reaction in a wet T-shirt contest.
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Willam
  • Main Challenge: Create and wear a parade float based on a color of the pride flag.
  • Challenge Winner: Willam

  • Bottom Two: Jiggly Caliente & Milan
  • Lip Synch Song: "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  • Eliminated: Milan

  • Farewell Message: "Say love n show love / Colored girl, why yo face look like chalk ? / Jiggly REPRESENT / Dwayne Milan"

Episode Seven: Dragazines[edit]

The contenders' challenge was to realize a magazine cover. The magazines were shared out among the queens by Latrice Royale, who won the mini-challenge.

Queen Magazine Topic
Chad Michaels Eleganza Fashion
Dida Ritz Tastes Like Chicken Food
Jiggly Caliente Battle of the Bulge Health & Fitness
Latrice Royale What's The T? Celebrity Gossip

Phi Phi O'Hara

Sashay Away Travel
Sharon Needles Kitty Cat Cat Lovers
Willam Sugar Walls Home Decor

DiDa Ritz seems to take her magazine too seriously, while Jiggly Caliente is pushed to do humor by the contestants and RuPaul himself, but is afraid not to succeed. During the photoshoot, with Jonathan Clay Harris, Phi Phi O'Hara wants to highlight her sexy side. Willam gets undressed and tries to be funny, putting lampshades over the pitcrew members' heads. Sharon Needles is aiming to put humor on her cover, donning a Grey Gardens-inspired ensemble. Chad Michaels tried to do an old Hollywood fashion, while Latrice used the pitcrew. During the judges critics' on the runway, Chad Michaels' cover was considered as out of fashion, and Michelle Visage thought that she didn't take enough risks on her runway look. DiDa Ritz' cover was moderately appreciated, and the judges emphasized that the proportions of her body weren't exploited correctly. Michelle Visage demanded to Sharon Needles to try real glamour, while her cover received positive critiques. Latrice Royale's gown and magazine cover were considered too heavy and lackluster. Jiggly Caliente was criticized for not using humor. Phi Phi's dress was highly praised, considered by the judges as the best she had worn since the beginning of the competition, while her cover was been considered fresh and funny. Willam's look was appreciated but he was challenged for his five o'clock shadow, and his diva behavior. Phi Phi is declared the winner of the challenge, earning a cruise. Sharon Needles, DiDa Ritz, Chad Michaels, and Latrice Royale are declared safe, leading to a lipsync between Willam and Jiggly Caliente. They both gave a good performance, however, this was Jiggly's third time in the bottom two, and Jiggly was asked to sashay away.

  • Guest Judges: Regina King and Pam Tillis
  • Mini-Challenge: Reading is Fundamental
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Latrice Royale
  • Main Challenge: Create a magazine cover
  • Challenge Winner: Phi Phi O'Hara

  • Bottom Two: Jiggly Caliente & Willam
  • Lip Synch Song: "Mi Vida Loca" by Pam Tillis
  • Eliminated: Jiggly Caliente

  • Farewell Message: "To my Bitchez / <3 y'all 2 Death! / C U @ da Reunion / Keep it Real" [Second Column:] "Luv the Dusty 'RPDR' Girls! <3 / Shady / I can get [censored] now! / <3 Dida / Jiggly Caliente"

Episode Eight: Frenemies[edit]

The girls return to the work room and find that their mini challenge is not an actual challenge this time. Each girl is hooked up to a polygraph machine and given a lie detector test through a series of questions asked by RuPaul. After the questioning, RuPaul reveals the main challenge for the girls: a live performance duet and sing "So Much Better Than You" between two queens who have the least in common with each other, aka "frenemies." The duet partners are Phi Phi and Sharon, DiDa and Chad, and Latrice and Willam.

During the judges critiques, Latrice and Willam are praised for their cohesive and campy style, but are warned from overdoing physical humor. Chad and DiDa receive critiques for a lack of balance between DiDa's high energy and Chad's professional demeanor. Phi Phi and Sharon are praised for their individual looks, but are called out for losing their harmony during the song, and for being "too nice" during their performance and losing the "frenemy" feeling. Latrice and Willam are declared the winners of the challenge. Before Ru can declare the bottom two, Willam, who has been noticeably ill looking and quiet during the challenge, ends up being sick off the side of the stage. After he recovers enough to continue, Ru declares Chad and DiDa safe, leaving Sharon and Phi Phi to lip sync for their lives. Both contestants deliver a high energy performance. After the lip sync, RuPaul calls Willam back forward to the stage. RuPaul reveals that Willam has been caught breaking rules lined out in the contract for the show, leaving RuPaul no choice but to disqualify Willam and eliminate him from the competition, despite his win. Phi Phi and Sharon are then both declared safe in light of this shocking twist.

  • Guest Judges: Pamela Anderson and Jennifer Tilly
  • Mini-Challenge: Polygraph test administered by RuPaul
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: N/A
  • Main Challenge: Live singing duet; the six remaining contestants were paired into three teams (duets) and sing "So Much Better Than You"
  • Challenge Winner: Latrice Royale & Willam

  • Bottom Two: Phi Phi O'Hara & Sharon Needles
  • Lip Synch Song: "It's Raining Men (The Sequel)" Performed by Martha Wash and RuPaul
  • Eliminated: Willam[a]

  • Farewell Message: "Hi, I showed my ass (a lot) so here's one for the road. Willam." (with a butt print on the mirror.)

Episode Nine: Frock the Vote![edit]

The top five girls return to the work room, and RuPaul brings them their next mini challenge: create fashionable footwear out of clear platform heels using an Absolut cocktail as inspiration. Phi Phi wins the mini challenge, and Ru then presents them with their main challenge. The girls will be campaigning for the Drag Queen Presidency, and must put together a presentation for a round table political debate. For their runaway, the queens needed dress their best for the president's inaugural ball.

For the main challenge debate, Chad decided to take an unorthodox approach and portray an irreverent and unlikely candidate, sporting two pink afros and have no serious answers to questions. DiDa, visibly troubled with the challenge due to her aversion to politics, did not portray any specific character. Phi Phi channeled a naive country republican type character who would ramble and make off color remarks towards the other candidates. Sharon took the challenge seriously, dressing the part of a strong female business woman and answered the panels questioning with sincerity and a touch of Sharon's distinct humor. Latrice personified a strong independent female candidate and had serious answers for most of her questions.

During the judges' critiques, Chad was praised by the panel for her dedication to her character and her runway dress, which Santino commented that she was only one who looked like she was attending an inauguration. Michelle, however, criticized her again for portraying a character and not herself. DiDa was read for stumbling through her answers, and also for never delivering a full package on the runway (would nail hair, makeup, or outfit, but fall short otherwise). Phi Phi's character received mixed reviews, some judges found her entertaining, but for the most part she was deemed as off putting and offensive and relied too heavily on props. Sharon received all around praise for her approach to the challenge as well as her "future drag gown" made from pantyhose. The judges felt Latrice started strong but missed many opportunities and didn't utlize her time well. She also made a few fashion mistakes that Michelle Visage felt that the top 5 queens should not be making.

After deliberation, Sharon was declared the winner of the challenge, while Chad and Phi Phi were safe, leaving DiDa and Latrice in the bottom two. Both queens delivered high energy performances during the lip synch, but it was Latrice's soul filled interpretation that won out, granting her another week in the competition, while DiDa Ritz sashayed away. Before the remaining queens could celebrate. Ru announced her latest twist in the competition: One of the eliminated queens will be returning to the competition next week.

  • Guest Judges: Dan Savage and Jeffrey Moran
  • Mini-Challenge: Design an Absolut Vodka Inspired Shoe
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Phi Phi O'Hara
  • Main Challenge: Participate in a Presidential debate as the 2012 Wig Party candidate
  • Runway Theme: Inaugural Drag
  • Challenge Winner: Sharon Needles

  • Bottom Two: DiDa Ritz & Latrice Royale
  • Lip Synch Song: "I've Got to Use My Imagination" by Gladys Knight
  • Eliminated: DiDa Ritz

  • Farewell Message: "Ms. Cheese loves you! Stay true 2 U girl Chad, needles, latrice XXX P.S. Phi Phi: Thank love u" It was revealed in the following episode that DiDa left a slice of cheesecake behind for the other contestants.

Episode Ten: DILFs: Dads I'd Like To Frock[edit]

At the start of the episode, the queens begin to wonder which queen would be returning to the competition as Ru had stated in the previous episode there would be. It is revealed that Kenya has returned to the competition, and she wins the mini-challenge, which was to drag out a stuffed teddy bear. For their main challenge, the queens are paired up with dads for a maternity runway/makeover and striptease.

Queen Drag Diva
Chad Michaels Lady Samantha
Kenya Michaels Lil' Mama Michaels
Latrice Royale Sharelle Royale

Phi Phi O'Hara

Gi Gi O'Hara
Sharon Needles Robin Mansions

On the runway, Chad and Phi Phi receive the most praise, but it is Phi Phi's personal connection with her DILF that leads her to becoming the winner. Kenya is told she is in the bottom two for her performance being too somber. Sharon is criticized for giving her DILF a face "only a mother could love", but she is declared safe. Latrice is placed in the bottom two for showing little resemblance to her "sister", as well as a lackluster striptease. Latrice gives a heartfelt performance while Kenya bounds and dances about the stage, causing Latrice to be declared safe and Kenya to be sent home for the second time.

  • Guest Judges: Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jennifer Love Hewitt
  • Returned: Kenya Michaels
  • Mini-Challenge: Give a teddy bear a makeover.
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Kenya Michaels
  • Main Challenge: Turn a DILF into a pregnant drag diva.
  • Challenge Winner: Phi Phi O'Hara

  • Bottom Two: Kenya Michaels & Latrice Royale
  • Lip Synch Song: "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Performed by Aretha Franklin
  • Eliminated: Kenya Michaels

  • Farewell Message: "Girl I say goodbye again! Thank your love. When I left this competition, I felt loved. I love you, and the winner is... I don't know. Kiss K.M."

Episode Eleven: The Fabulous Bitch Ball[edit]

For the mini challenge, the queens made a puppet of their own peers and made a bitch fest. Chad won the challenge and as a reward, she allowed to pair each queen with a dog to use as inspiration for the main challenge. Phi Phi was upset when she was matched with the most difficult dog to dress. RuPaul then asked the queens to perform a production number as dogs.

  • Daytime Dog Park, to display daytime looks,
  • Pooch In A Purse, party girl realness,
  • Canine Couture Eleganza, looks inspired by real life dogs.

On the main stage, Sharon receive good critiques, particularly for her "Olsen Twins"-inspired party chic realness. Phi Phi also received good feedback despite having problems in the workroom. Chad did a fair job, but the judges felt that this challenge outcome wasn't at the level they'd had seen from her all season, and Latrice was criticized for having unfinished hemlines, as well as producing only one good look, with Michelle Visage adding that Latrice's paled in comparison to the other queens. RuPaul asked the queens who each thought should go home; Chad and Sharon both chose Phi Phi while Latrice and Phi Phi chose Sharon, leading to an onstage argument between Phi Phi and Sharon. Sharon was declared the challenge winner, and despite the argument in front of the judges, Phi Phi was declared safe, leaving Chad and Latrice to lip sync for their lives, with Latrice sent home.

  • Guest Judges: Rose McGowan and Wynonna Judd
  • Mini-Challenge: A bitch fest with puppets
  • Mini-Challenge Winner: Chad Michaels
  • Main Challenge: Design three outfits for the runway in the categories: Daytime Dog Park, Pooch in a Purse and Canine Couture, an outfit inspired by an actual dog.
  • Challenge Winner: Sharon Needles

  • Bottom Two: Chad Michaels & Latrice Royale
  • Lip Synch Song: "No One Else on Earth" by Wynonna Judd
  • Eliminated: Latrice Royale

  • Farewell Message: "My divas Remember who you are, and what you stand for I love you and miss all. Stay fierce!! Latrice Royale"

Episode Twelve: RuPaul Rewind[edit]

A look back on the highlights, low-lights, and previously unseen footage from the season as we race toward the climactic grand finale! RuPaul is joined by Shannel (season 1), Pandora Boxx (season 2) and Mariah (season 3) as they look back over the top 10 fits of fashion from the season so far.

Episode Thirteen: The Final Three[edit]

The queens compete in their final challenge: starring in RuPaul's music video for "Glamazon". Candis Cayne helped them to their choreography, although Phi Phi know all the steps, it was too "Cha Cha", Sharon was castigated for not getting the moves right. At the shooting of the music dance scene, Sharon struggled to get the choreography. After the shoot, past season winners Tyra Sanchez and Raja informed the girls that they have to have a Lunch Kiki with RuPaul and help them with the acting scene. Chad express her long time commitment to drag. Phi Phi shared her physical abused past. Sharon express her problem about her boyfriend Alaska if she wins the competition.

At the main stage, Chad impressed the judges with her Versace outfit and her performance in the music video. Sharon serve the judges octopus inspired spooky look but Michelle doubt that she can only give spook and not enough look. Phi Phi impressed the judges with her pink panther inspired look.

In a twist, all three finalists had to perform the lip-sync song. Afterwards, RuPaul announced that the winner of the race will be revealed on "RuPaul's Drag Race: Reunited" the next week, after asking fans to share their opinions with her on Twitter and Facebook to help her decide on the winning queen.

  • Special Guests: Candis Cayne and Mathu Anderson
  • Main Challenge: Shoot the music video for RuPaul's "Glamazon" with a dramatic scene
  • Lip Synch Song: "Glamazon" by RuPaul

Episode Fourteen: Reunited[edit]

For the first time, a live audience of fans, mainly from the Los Angeles area sit in as RuPaul and the contestants return for the annual reunion, where RuPaul reveals the winner of the season. The finale episode was taped at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood on Wednesday April 25, 2012, where three different outcomes were filmed in an attempt to keep the winner from being revealed before the episode aired, as had happened in previous seasons.[7][8] We find out Latrice Royale is crowned "Miss Congeniality." We also learn that the reason Willam was disqualified was that he was caught having conjugal visits with his husband, who had tracked Willam to the hotel where the contestants were sequestered during production. This is in breach of the clause barring contestants engaging in unauthorized outside contact.

  • Miss Congeniality: Latrice Royale

  • Runners Up: Chad Michaels & Phi Phi O'Hara

  • Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 4: Sharon Needles

Marketing[edit]

In January 2012, Logo released the second running of Fantasy Drag Race, an online fan contest inspired by fantasy football where viewers assemble a team of three season four Drag Race contestants. Players receive and lose points based on their team's performance on the show, and can earn additional points by redeeming codes and performing tasks given out when episodes of the show first air. The highest scoring players receive Drag Race and NYX Cosmetics products, and one player wins a trip for two to the first stop on Logo's Drag Race Tour.[9]

Already having a generous social media presence, Logo expanded its efforts across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, GetGlue, and Foursquare in preparation for the premiere of season four. Both RuPaul and contestants tweet live while the show airs, and LogoTalk! chat parties (featuring judges, contestants from previous seasons, and contestants from season four) occur on the official Logo website while participants watch new episodes.[10] Season four specifically marks an increased interest from Logo in Tumblr, where the network publishes animated GIFs, contestant trading cards, and images that incorporate internet memes.[11] Dan Sacher, VP of digital for VH1 and Logo, has stated that their online marketing efforts are part of helping the small network expand their fan base across as many outlets as possible.[10]

Reception[edit]

The premiere episode of season four averaged a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic, totaling 481,000 viewers, and ranked as the highest-rated premiere in Logo's network history. Untucked totalled 254,000 viewers, marking the companion show's most watched debut. During the evening of the premiere, the show registered eight US trending topics on Twitter (including Jiggly Caliente, Sharon Needles, Phi Phi O'Hara, and Latrice Royale) and reached a 7th place ranking on Trendrr. Leading up to the first episode, the show's Facebook page saw an 89% increase (earning over half a million fans).[12]

The season finale scored a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic and drew 601,000 viewers total, while the reunion episode became the highest rated episode of the season. Season four's "RuPaul's Drag Race: Reunited" was also the highest-rated reunion in the franchise's history, seeing a 33% increase in the 18-49 demographic compared to season three. The reunion registered five trending topics on Twitter (including Sharon Needles, Phi Phi, Willam, and a new portmanteau Willam introduced to the show: "RuPaulogize"), and ranked 4th among non-sports cable programs for the night on Trendrr.[13]

During season 4, the show's Twitter following increased by 77%, and the Facebook page accrued a 36% increase in likes.[13] TV.com also declared it was the best reality show on television.[14]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It was revealed during episode 14 that Willam was disqualified for breaching contract by keeping contact with his husband during taping.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Peterson, Brian. "Legendary Makeup Artist and RuPaul Drag Race Judge Billy B. Eats Boys for Breakfast, Specifically "New Queer on the Block"". Seattle GAY Scene. 
  2. ^ Polly, John (October 10, 2011). "RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 Judges: Think Glee, Modern Family!". NewNowNext. Logo. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Rupaul's Drag Race Season 4". Logo. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ Shumaker, Jason; Jake Slane (November 14, 2011). "HALLELOO! "RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE" RETURNS TO LOGO FOR A NEW SEASON OF OUTRAGEOUS REALITY COMPETITION IN JANUARY 2012". Logo Press Room. Logo. Retrieved November 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ Shumaker, Jason; Jake Slane (December 12, 2011). ""RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE" FOURTH SEASON PREMIERE SASHAYS ONTO LOGO, MONDAY, JANUARY 30th". Logo Press Room. Logo. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ Smothers, Thairin (January 27, 2012). "RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 Full Trailer". The WOW Report. World of Wonder. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ Tanner Stransky (April 26, 2012). "On the Scene at 'RuPaul's Drag Race: Reunited'". Entertainment Weekly. 
  8. ^ Maria Sciullo (April 30, 2012). "Sharon Needles Crowned 'Drag Race' Queen". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  9. ^ "RuPaul's Fantasy Drag Race". Logo online. Logo. Archived from the original on March 16, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Winslow, George (January 30, 2012). "Logo Expands Social Media Efforts". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ Edelsburg, Natan (February 3, 2012). "Inside look at how Logo’s ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is using Tumblr". Lost Remote. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  12. ^ Shumaker, Jason (February 1, 2012). "LOGO’S SEASON DEBUT OF "RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE" ON MONDAY NIGHT SCORES AS THE HIGHEST-RATED PREMIERE IN NETWORK HISTORY". Logo Press Room. Logo. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Slane, Jake (May 2, 2012). "LOGO'S "RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE' SEASON FOUR REUNION WINS THE CROWN AS HIGHEST-RATED EPISODE THIS SEASON". Logo Press Room. Logo. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  14. ^ http://www.tv.com/news/why-rupauls-drag-race-is-the-best-reality-show-on-tv-right-now-28454/

External links[edit]