“RuPaul's Drag Race” is coming back March 2 with a judging panel consisting of veterans RuPaul and Michelle Visage and newcomers Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. Exciting! Personally I will miss Santino Rice's snarly angst, but he's had a good run.
More exciting: The announced guest judges this season are pretty thrilling. Kathy Griffin is back along with Olivia Newton-John, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, and John Waters. Pretty damn smashing. But before season seven gets under way, let's make sure to proclaim which celebrities STILL need to join RuPaul and criticize the fabulous dames of his runway.
1. Tim Gunn
Here's my problem with Tim Gunn on “Project Runway”: I truly believe he is holding back. He comes from a distinguished academic background and taught at Parsons for years. He knows biting, incisive criticism. Not that he goes easy on “Project Runway” contestants, but he could certainly be grimmer and more subversive. We need to see him exchange withering glances with RuPaul and lament the most tragic hemlines on Earth.
2. Emma Thompson
This is what Emma Thompson needs to do. We need her to summon her improvisational background, recapture that gay zeal from her amazing “Ellen” episode, and comment on some lean gams. Here's hoping she jokes about her “Saving Mr. Banks” Oscar snub and has a zinger or two about Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter.
3. Nicki Minaj
No celebrity has tweeted more about this show. Nicki Minaj is obsessed with “Drag Race” and even controversially supported Roxxxy Michaels over Jinkx Monsoon. That is bizarre. And that is why she needs to wig up and take a seat next to Ru.
4. Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler says she subscribes to the “goofy glasses” school of comedy, so why isn't she owning the judges' panel with the sternness of a “Weekend Update” anchor and schooling petty queens with authority about their getups? She loves silliness, and “RuPaul's Drag Race” exalts silliness and infuses it with humanity and power. This show should be her religion.
5. Mariah Carey
Give me a break here. Mariah, put on six tiaras and a Vanna White evening gown and get the hell over to the Logo studios. She is a study in camp fabulosity, a sort-of R&B Jayne Mansfield, and she should be dispensing wisdom about foundation and shadowing like a mighty drag sorceress.
Did you know Iman was an amazing judge on “Project Runway Canada”? Watch this. Handle this.
7. Simon Cowell
Come on, Simon. You know your harshness is lost on the lamebrain hacks of “X Factor” and “American Idol.” Get your smirk and tight henleys together and join us stateside for a showcase of some real starpower. (Yes, Simon Cowell might be the one straight man alive who should definitely be called — respectfully and fearfully — “queen.”)
8. Meryl Streep
Considering Meryl Streep turned in (basically) drag performances in “Julie and Julia” and “Angels in America” and she basically quoted RuPaul during an “Into the Woods” press conference, it's time we heard what she has to say about the sketch stylings of Ru's girls. You can't tell me Meryl wouldn't love a good drag queen. I won't hear it.
9. Tyra Banks
She has officially requested it. Let's make it happen.
Madonna once accepted an MTV Video Music Award while flanked by a dozen drag queens portraying different Madonna personae. “All I have to say is it takes a real man to fill my shoes,” she quipped at the mic. She is the second most drag-able celebrity we have (and if you couldn't guess that Cher is #1, please escort yourself from this site). Madonna's cutting, unforgiving commentary would be perfect on “Drag Race.” Those dames can take it! Madonna's gift for onstage chutzpah and carnality would be an asset to the “Drag Race” performers, who have all definitely lip-synced “Deeper and Deeper” for money at some point.