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[01/09/09 - 09:59 AM]
Logo and Rupaul Are in Search of America's Next Drag Queen Superstar
Joining RuPaul on the judges panel are fashion journalist and best-selling author Merle Ginsberg and "Project Runway" breakout star and designer Santino Rice plus a bevy of celebrity guest judges.

[via press release from Logo]

Logo and RuPaul Are In Search of America's Next Drag Queen Superstar

GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES! MAY THE BEST WOMAN WIN!

LOGO AND RUPAUL ARE IN SEARCH OF AMERICA'S NEXT DRAG QUEEN SUPERSTAR AS "RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE," PRESENTED BY ABSOLUT(R) VODKA, PremierES MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2 10:00 PM ET/PT on LOGO AND ONLINE AT RUPAULSDRAGRACE.COM

The Top 9 Drag Queens In The USA Bring The Drama, Outrageousness And Sheer Fabulosity As They Battle It Out To Become The Next RuPaul

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Jan. 9 -- RuPaul, the world's most famous drag queen, is challenging a new generation of drag performers to fill her high heels. "Gentlemen, start your engines. May the best woman win!" is the call to action as Logo searches for America's next drag queen superstar in the newest original competitive series, "RuPaul's Drag Race" Presented by ABSOLUT(R) Vodka, premiering Monday, February 2 at 10:00 PM ET/PT. Thousands applied but only 9 of the nation's hottest most glamorous drag queens were chosen to fight for the title of America's next drag queen superstar.

RuPaul has pushed the boundaries of popular culture on an international level as a recording artist ("Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duet with Elton John, "Supermodel: You Better Work"), as a television talk-show host ("The RuPaul Show" on VH1) and as an actor ("The Brady Bunch," "Too Wong Foo..." "Starrbooty"). As the first-ever spokesperson for M.A.C Cosmetics' VIVA Glam Campaign, RuPaul contributed to raising millions of dollars to the M.A.C AIDS Fund. Now RuPaul is breaking new ground as the host, mentor and judge of this one-of-a-kind reality competition. Playing a dual role, RuPaul, in full glamazon drag, will reign supreme in all judging and eliminations, while the debonair Mr. RuPaul will help guide the contestants as they prepare for each challenge. Challenges will range from photo shoots, to fashion designing, to real woman makeovers, to performing with RuPaul in the first music video from RuPaul's upcoming album, "Champion."

"Tell Tyra that the Queen has returned, and while you're at it have Heidi clear the runway. I'm going to pump some 'realness' into reality," said RuPaul. "To be a winner on this show the contestants need to be a fashion designer, an American idol, and a top model all rolled up into one. And they definitely have to be smarter than a fifth grader."

While "RuPaul's Drag Race" will take a look at the outrageous world of drag, it will also reveal the courage, perseverance and humanity of 9 men who have overcome and endured the hardships of a masculine dominated society that mocks and makes fun of men who act like women. Not only will viewers get a bird's eye view of what it takes for these chameleons to transform themselves but they will also take away the secrets of the artistry of drag.

The eight, one-hour episode series "RuPaul's Drag Race" has gathered the next generation of outrageous, up-and-coming drag queens to fight for the title. Each cast member must embody the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that made, RuPaul an international drag superstar. Each week, joining RuPaul on the judges panel are fashion journalist and best-selling author Merle Ginsberg and Project Runway breakout star and designer Santino Rice plus a bevy of celebrity guest judges including: Bob Mackie (Designer), Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child), Lucy Lawless (actress), Maria Conchita Alonso (actress/singer), Robin Antin (creator of The Pussycat Dolls), Debra Wilson (Mad TV), Jenny Shimizu (model/actress), Tori Spelling (actress), Dean McDermott (actor), Howard Bragman (Author of, "Where's My Fifteen Minutes?") Frank Gatson (choreographer) and Gordon Espinet (M.A.C VP of Makeup Artistry.) The judges will determine the bottom two contestants of the week. Those contestants then compete in a show-stopping battle-royal "lip-synch for your life" performance that will determine if they will "shante" and stay or "sashay" away.

"RuPaul made history as drag's first glamour superstar and will do so once again bringing together a group of exceptionally talented drag artists in the world's first drag reality series," said Brian Graden, President, MTV Networks Music Group Entertainment and President, Logo.

"RuPaul's Drag Race" is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers and Chris McKim as Co-Executive Producer.

"RuPaul is back, and better than ever," says Barbato. "RuPaul first took the world by storm when Clinton was in the White House. Now, in the new Obama era, the time is right for RuPaul to reign supreme once again."

In the end, only one will have what it takes to win the coveted title of America's next drag queen superstar, and a prize package that includes a nationally sponsored ABSOLUT(R) Vodka "Real Fruit" tour, a cash prize of $20,000 courtesy of ABSOLUT(R) Vodka and M.A.C Cosmetics, supply of M.A.C Cosmetics, a feature photo spread in Paper Magazine and a photo taken by renowned photographer Greg Gorman to be used in an l.a. Eyeworks legendary designer eyewear campaign.

Following are the 9 "RuPaul's Drag Race" contestants:

Akashia -- Cleveland, OH Bebe Zahara Benet -- Minneapolis, MN Jade -- Chicago, IL Nina Flowers -- Denver, CO Ongina -- Los Angeles, CA Rebecca Glasscock -- Ft. Lauderdale, FL Shannel -- Las Vegas, NV Tammie Brown -- Los Angeles, CA Victoria Parker -- Raleigh, NC

RuPaulsDragRace.com will stream the first episode simultaneous to the series on air premiere Monday, February 2, and will be home to exclusive video content throughout the season. Additionally, each episode will be available on RuPaulsDragRace.com every week following its on-air premiere.

"RuPaul's Drag Race" and its casting website demonstrate Logo's commitment to reach new levels of engagement with its audience. Examples of this multi-platform approach to entertainment include the site for Logo's hit animated series, "Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World" at HappiestGayCouple.com and the upcoming "NewNowNext Awards," airing on-air, online and on mobile devices. Logo continues to be the number one aggregator of content for the LGBT audience with its growing library of online video on LOGOonline.com and its affiliated websites AfterEllen.com, AfterElton.com, Downelink.com and 365gay.com.

ABOUT LOGO

Logo is the world's leading ad-supported cable, satellite, online, mobile and digital entertainment network for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) audience, from MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B). Launched in 2005, Logo's cable channel is in more than 35 million homes across the United States and is complemented by a federation of online properties, including LOGOonline.com, AfterEllen.com, AfterElton.com, 365gay.com, DowneLink.com and NewNowNext.com. Logo's content is distributed across all leading download-to-own, streaming and mobile services. The most influential brand for the most influential audience, Logo provides a mix of original and acquired entertainment as well as news, social networking and community building that are authentic, smart, fun, entertaining, and inclusive. Logo joins MTV Networks' roster of popular and highly targeted brands which include MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and Spike TV.

ABOUT MTV NETWORKS

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company's portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 350 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom, Gametrailers and Xfire.

ABOUT WORLD OF WONDER

World of Wonder (WOW) was founded by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey in 1992. Since then the company has amassed a library of branded properties across all platforms, including such well known films as Party Monster, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Inside Deep Throat, television shows Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, Pam Girl On The Loose, Million Dollar Listing, and entertainment blog The WOW Report (www.worldofwonder.net). They also produced over 100 episode of The RuPaul Show. The producers have never shied away from controversial themes and have worked with every major network, including HBO, BBC, Showtime, and Bravo. Their most popular online arena, The WOW Report, boasts 500,000 unique visits per month.

About Pernod Ricard USA

Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA. In July, 2008, Pernod Ricard completed the acquisition of the iconic ABSOLUT(R) Vodka brand from the V&S Group, and Pernod Ricard USA is now the second-leading company in the U.S. by sales value. In addition to ABSOLUT(R), Pernod Ricard USA's leading brands include such prestigious spirits as The Glenlivet(R) Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Chivas Regal(R) Scotch Whisky, Jameson(R) Irish Whiskey, Wild Turkey(R) Bourbon, Seagram's Extra Dry Gin(R), Beefeater(R) Gin, Plymouth(TM) Gin, Martell(R) Cognac, Malibu(R) flavored Rum, Kahlua(R) Liqueur, Hiram Walker(R) Liqueurs, Pernod(R) and Ricard(R); such superior wines as Jacob's Creek(R) and Brancott Estate(R); and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier Jouet(R) Champagne, G.H. Mumm(TM) Champagne and Mumm Napa(R) sparkling wines. The company is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 1,000 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit: www.acceptresponsibility.org.





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· PROJECT RUNWAY (LIFETIME)
· RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE (VH1)





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