Carmen Carrera, contestant

Two drag queens walk into a room wearing the same costume – what happens next?

It is about the only thing that is not pretty on the premier of the beautifully campy Drag Race, RuPaul’s drag-tacularly addictive and escapist reality competition – the only show where a costume can become a sequined weapon.

If the new twists, big money prizes and supersized surprises are not enough to hook you in for another “untucked” lap beginning next week, the costumes, breakdowns and wise-cracking banter from RuPaul’s “she-mail” messages will rev even the most snow-weary engine.

This season, New Jersey is finally represented in by contestant Carmen Carrera (aka Christopher Roman) of Elmwood Park.  Carmen, a dynamic brunette with a “body of death,” who was civil unionized more than a year ago is an Asbury Park regular – performing at Miss Gay New Jersey  Pageants and at Paradise.

I spoke with Carmen last week to get the scoop on Season 3.

TBP:  In the first episode the producers introduce the contestants one by one in a big room.  The scene reminds me of a pack of cats sniffing each other out.

Carmen:  It is like the first day of school.  Everyone is judging everyone else.  Everyone wants to see what you have to offer.  Definitely catty – looking at everybody else’s clothes and jewelry; finding out what their story is.  I was the second one who came in and all I kept thinking was “I am going to have to turn it” to win this.  I am the first girl from New Jersey and I have to slay it.

At the end of it all, there were girls that I never want to speak to again and others who I am really good friends with.

TBP:  In the first ten minutes of the show there is a big twist that we cannot talk about but I want to know what you were thinking.

Carmen:  I was so surprised.  If you look at my face I am thinking “how could they do that?”

TBP:  Ru kicked it up a notch for Season 3.  This is the first time $75,000 is at stake for the winner along with the career-changing title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar”.  The celebrity judges are pretty impressive too.  Vanessa Williams gave you a few tips.  What did you think of her and the other celebrity judges?  Comic Bruce Vilanch gave me the dirty feeling.

Carmen:  Vanessa Williams was my favorite judge.  Bruce Vilanch was hilarious.

TBP:  What the most difficult part of the show?

Carmen:  Standing on a stage for hours in six-inch strappy heels.  And being in drag from 6 am to 10 pm – and that’s an early night – with almost no time off for weeks.

TBP:  The heels are pretty much all you wear, actually.  You seem to love being naked.

Carmen:  My body is my body.  What you see is what you get.  I am real.  When I am a boy I like to be a boy but when I am a girl I like to be risqué, sexy and feminine with lots of tucking.  I don’t hide behind padding and seven layers of stockings.  When they first see me, I want the audience to wonder and really have to look for my (most masculine of areas).

TBP:  Well, mission accomplished.  Good luck.

RuPaul’s Drag Race returns to LOGO, Monday, Jan. 24, at 10 pm.  Casting special at 9 pm.  Set your DVR.

Carmen dishes about the other contestants and shares the advice Ru gave her that “helped so much” in Part 2 of TheBPlot interview.