Logo announces cast for Season 4 of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

The new season won’t kick off until late January, but Logo has already announced the 13 contestants competing on Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race … and none are from Texas.

Of course, that was true last season, too … until Shangela made a surprise return in the season premiere, so don’t write anyone off yet. But it looks like the producers concentrated on Chicago, Florida and the Caribbean more than Texas. Joining Ru again will be judges Santino Rice and Michelle Visage, and the winner gets a healthy $100,000 cash prize, plus the title of top drag superstar.

Here are the contestants, and their cities:

Dida Ritz, Phi Phi O’Hara and The Princess (all from Chicago), Kenya Michaels and Madame LaQueer (both from Puerto Rico), Alisa Summers and Lashauwn Beyond (both from Tampa), Latrice Royale (Fort Lauderdale), Milan and Jiggly Caliente (both from New York City),Chad Michaels (San Diego), William (L.A.) and Sharon Needles (Pittsburgh — who wins my award for best drag name).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

LOCAL BRIEFS: AIN poker tourney at the Brick; Bates set for Dallas Black Pride

AIN poker tourney set at the Brick

A charity poker tournament is set for Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Brick, 2525 Wycliff, to benefit AIDS Interfaith Network.

The Dallas Bears and the LGBT poker league Pocket Rockets will co-host the event with the Brick. Miller Lite is the sponsor and play begins at 3 p.m.

It’s free to play but AIN will benefit in a number of ways. The agency will receive a portion of the drink specials sold. Players may buy additional chips, and the Bears will hold a 50/50 raffle.

A cash prize pool of $500 will be awarded and all levels of players are welcome.

Bates set for Dallas Black Pride

Christopher H. Bates will speak at the Dallas Black LGBT Community Summit on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Dallas Marriott City Center Hotel. He is the director of Health and Human Service’s Office of HIV/AIDS Policy.

Bates will discuss the federal government’s response to the high infection rate among young gay African-American men. He has 20 years experience in public health policy and has been with OHAP for more than a decade.

Bates administers funds for the Minority AIDS Initiative and advises the Undersecretary of Health on education, prevention, testing, research, care and treatment strategies. Information is available at DFWPrideMovement.org.

Martin offers program for couples

Randy Martin, LPC, will facilitate an eight-session program for couples, Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. throughout September and October.

The program is based on the theory and practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). The first session focuses on the new science of love and what it teaches us. The next seven sessions focus on helping couples shape and use the seven conversations laid out in the book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, the developer of EFT.

Couples interested in participating should contact Martin at 214-520-7575. The cost of the program is $500 per couple and includes a copy of the book Hold Me Tight and other necessary materials.

NGPA seeks donations

The National Gay Pilots Association recently awarded $22,000 in scholarships and is seeking donations for future awards to aspiring LGBT aviators.

Since its founding in 1998, the NGPA Education Fund has given 46 awards totaling $139,000. Donations can be made on the group’s website, NGPA.org.

—  John Wright

Voice of Pride finals tonight

Sing for your life

Voice of Pride comes to a climax tonight as winners in both solo and group categories are selected. After all those preliminaries in various clubs, tonight’s the night this crop of singers will pull it all together and offer up as much awesomeness as they possibly can. Winners earn a cash prize and performances at Pride. So this is a big deal.

DEETS: Rose Room, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. DallaTavernGuild.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Class in session

Ru & crew, back for ‘Drag U,’ Season 2

RuPaulThere’s a difference between a TV show that is intentionally cheesy and one that induces cringes by mistake. Thankfully, RuPaul’s Drag U knows exactly what it’s doing, laying the puns on thicker than Jujubee’s makeup. They can still induce groans, but at least we’re all in on the joke.

After all, Drag U is all about the fun side of our favorite competitive drag queens. Leaving (most of) the drama over at the Drag Race, each week queen “professors” (including Season 1 winner Bebe Zahara Benet, pictured) are tasked with making over three ordinary women and unleashing their inner divas, complete with drag personas and styling. On the line are sorta-fabulous prizes like jewelry, a vacation and a cash prize of $3,166.17 (seriously).

But it’s what the women gain in self-esteem that’s the most valuable parting gift, and don’t think the producers don’t know it. In the first episode alone, one of the women is trying to overcome the pain of having her ex-husband end their marriage via email; she, of course, learns “to love herself again” with the inducement of wigs and outrageous makeup. That’s some powerful Oprah-level stuff, but Ru, “Dean of Drag” Lady Bunny, guest judges like Beverly Johnson and the rest of the girls give advice that’s equal parts sassy and sincere.

The result? Incredible transformations at the end of an hour of deliciously fluffy television — and every one of these straight gals owes it to the gays. For anyone in withdrawals since Drag Race ended, or in love with makeovers, or just interested in learning more about one contestant’s husband’s “diesel mangina,” the second season of Drag U is more than deserving of a season pass on your DVR.

— Steven Lindsey

Premieres Monday at 8 p.m. on Logo

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Gay Pride Eve³

That’s right, the main festivities are only three days away, and we’re breaking out the exponents! Actually, here at Instant Tea we’ve been partying nonstop the whole month, which may explain some of the posts you’ve seen lately. Below is a list of Pride-sanctioned events at which we’ll likely continue our epic bender on Thursday. For a full schedule, go here.

Sordid Pride; The Party
Palomar Hotel
Celebrate Pride with complimentary Blythe Bites and soothing southern cocktails, the ultra-hip vibes of DJ Guillaume and all the sordid characters you can handle.
6:30 – 9:00 pm
Suggested Donation of $20 benefiting the Resource Center Food Pantry
Central 214 @ Hotel Palomar
5300 E. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas 75206
214-443-9339

Juanita’s Annual Pride Dance Contest!
Round-Up Saloon
Prizes for best dancers and best costuming. Cash prizes. No entry fees. Applications available at the front door.
9:00 pm
3912 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75219
www.roundupsaloon.com

Gay Pride Karaoke with Little Chalupa
Sue Ellen’s
8:30 pm
Added bonus of KittiCo. Cat Rescue Benefit (upstairs)
7pm – 10pm
3014 Throckmorton
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.caven.com

“Ask The Sex-Pert” 9pm -11pm
The Brick/Joe’s
Text your sex and love questions for Pride Week to
our ‘Sext-Pert’ PATTI LE PLAE SAFE
Show Us Your Pride Strip Contest 11pm
Cash Prize to Winner
2525 Wycliff
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.brickdallas.com

Special Strip show celebrating Pride starting at midnight (12am)
Exklusive
Drink Specials – $2 wells / $2 domestic from 9pm – 11pm
No Cover
4207 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.exklusive.tv

Bear of the Month Contest
Dallas Eagle
10:00 pm
5740 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75235
www.dallaseagle.com

Niky Lauren celebrating the Pride of Latino Heritage
Kaliente
Folklorico Dancers at midnight (12a)
Drink Specials – $2 wells / $2 domestic from 9pm – 11pm
No Cover
4350 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.kaliente.cc

—  John Wright

Countdown to Pride continues

As of this post at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dallas’ gay Pride parade was just 100 hours away. And if we weren’t so busy trying to crank out this ginormous special issue that hits the streets Friday, we’d probably be able to feel the excitement building.

Anyhow, in case you’re wondering, the weather forecast for Sunday afternoon is holding steady: Mostly sunny, with a high of 91, a light breeze and no precipitation. A little toasty, but it could be worse. Besides, you’re not going to be wearing much anyway, right?

And speaking of letting it all hang out, here’s Wednesday’s line-up of Pride-sanctioned events from the Dallas Tavern Guild:

Pride with Miss Wanda
Dallas Woody’s
She’s a classic…Miss Wanda and her special guests.
$3.00 Amaretto Sours
11pm to 1am – No Cover
4011 Cedar Springs
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.dallaswoodys.com

Mr. Bear Round Up Contest
Round Up Saloon
Come out and see the bears in action and cheer for your favorite furry guy!
Cash prizes. No entry fees. Applications available at the front door.
9:00 pm
3912 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75219
www.roundupsaloon.com

Little Chalupa’s Pride Karaoke
The Brick/Joe’s
$25 CASH PRIZE to best singer as voted by crowd.
9pm -1am
2525 Wycliff
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.brickdallas.com

Underwear Night – Wear Your Pride
Dallas Eagle
10:00 pm
5740 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75235
www.dallaseagle.com

Shantal and Dreamgirls Show at midnight (12am)
Kaliente
Karaoke starts at 9pm
Drink Specials – $2 wells / $2 domestic from 9pm – 11pm
No Cover
4350 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.kaliente.cc

—  John Wright

Fahari Arts Institute’s Queerly Speaking plans special Pride edition with $500 cash prize

Fahari Arts Institute artistic director Harold Steward sent me this poster for their upcoming Queerly Speaking event. The poster pretty much speaks for itself, but the sweet deal is the $500 cash prize for the spoken word/poetry slam contest. I’m gonna bone up on my Walt Whitman ‘cuz poppa gotta get paid.

Steward did mention that they are gunning for a huge attendance with its timing during Black Pride. The monthly QS events have been successful at gaining an audience in its former Backbeat Cafe home and now in the South Dallas Cultural Arts Center. With national talent coming in and the larger venue, I speculate they are hoping at least to break even. Being a nonprofit, that’s a big deal.

Queerly Speaking

—  Rich Lopez