Project Runway, Season Five, Episode 6

Manolo says, ayyyy! Drag queens and Project Runway! Two great tastes that taste great together, like sequins and neon green feather boas! Like Mediterranean accents and fashion blogging! Like existential despair and bargain vodka!

Oh, how very long the Manolo has been waiting for the Project Runway producers to recognize the pure entertainment value of drag; to see that the addition of the ferociously fierce-o-licious drag queens would likely produce one of the greatest episodes ever.

And indeed, it has come to pass exactly as the Manolo had imagined.

But then, the Manolo has long been convinced that if the television networks were truly serious about increasing viewership they would serve up the heaping helping of drag queenage. Consider how much more entertaining your favorite shows would be if the lead actress were replaced with the giant drag queen. (Finally, The Closer would be watchable!)

So, at long last, there they were, giant glorious drag queens heralded onto the runway by the delightful Chris March in full Brunhilda glory. And these were not just any old random drag queens, no, no, no these were famous drag queens, figures of renown and respect in the “community”. Varla Jean Merman (whose Southern accent is much more convincing than Kyra Sedgwick’s), Miss Understood, Hedda Lettuce, and the others, they are all famous, truly the creme-de-la-drag.

At that point, five minutes into the show, the Manolo’s joy knew no bounds!

And then the designing started and the reality of the episode exceeded the expectations. Without the doubt this was the most quotable episode of the Project Runway ever. “Sad chicken”, “gay pterodactyl”, and “wookie onesie” (with sound effects) have all now entered the Manolo’s vocabulary.

It was also the most entertaining episode ever, every bit of it amusing–the trip to Mood, Tim’s customary workroom walkabout, the inevitable attempt at conflict (between Suede and Hedda Lettuce), the celebrity judge (Ru Paul!), Michael Kors comments– every bit of it wonderfully delicious.

For the Manolo, the exact peak of the show arrived when RuPaul rebuked the excuse-full Keith the Angry Gay Mormon with “the dingoes ate your baby,” which is cryptic in print, but hilarious and sharp and cruel in context. Truly, one of the great moments in the history of reality television.

Likewise, one of the most amusing aspects of this most amusing episode, was that Emphatically Not Gay Joe so fully mastered the subtleties of dressing drag queens, to the point that he was judged the winner for pouring Varla Jean into the spangly pink, Gay Ship Lollipop sailor suit. Masterful.

And Terri, whom the Manolo is completely convinced will be one of the three finalists, came up with something so startlingly surreal and original that the previously ousted Jennifer (the bewildered child who claimed her inspiration was “Holly Golightly meets Salvador Dali”, whatever that means) must be kicking herself. Again, masterful.

The bottom three, Miss J. Jarell (whom the Manolo also expects to be one of the three finalists), Keith the Angry Gay Mormon, and Daniel (the bewildered child with the “impeccable taste” that wasn’t) were all deserved, although Jarell’s outfit was merely not over the top enough, rather than actively bad, like the other two.

And in the end, after Keith was cruelly rebuked, when Daniel was sent away by popular acclaim, it was more like the mercy killing than the auf’ing. Daniel’s threnody of whine had grown tiresome, and his lack of talent had begun to tell.

And now the Manolo must go watch this episode again, for such concentrated entertainment cannot be fully appreciated in the single sitting.