By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Jesus took the wheel and got me on an Atlantic City junket to see petite powerhouse CARRIE UNDERWOOD put the Christ back in country. Carrie's showat Caesars Palace's renovated Circus Maximus Theaterwas fascinating for all the contradictions she projected beyond her reality-show unreality. She was styled in a Little House on the Prairie babydoll dress, but to vamp it up, they made it a mini and put her in do-me black stiletto-heeled boots. And her behavior was similarly mixed-metaphor-laden. The woman has huge potential for trailery sex appeal, but she worked overtime to buckle that in and be polite and unassuming, asking permission to do certain songs and even apologizing when one of them got a little rough. ("Of course I don't condone violence. That's a no-no. Resolve your problems peacefully.")
Carrie enjoyably applied her pipes to a smattering of slick crossover tunes, peaking with the Jesus songwhich clearly suggests that those who die in car accidents are unrepentant heathensand even a GUNS N' ROSES cover, complete with adenoidal screeching. But generally exuding the personality of a studio singer, she didn't make an intimate connection with the audience, falling back on nicey-nice patter ("When they asked me if I was interested in going to Africa, I was like, yeah!") and so many references to her American Idol win that one junketeer compared it to GIULIANI's overreliance on 9/11 no matter what the question.
After more creamy vocals touchingly mixed with tentative dance steps, Carrie told the crowd that on her victorious Idol night, she didn't use hair spray because there were fireworks going on behind her and she didn't want to ignitenot literally anyway. "Thank the good Lord that didn't happen," she related, beatifically. But she'd have been better off having lost and flamed up a little. Carrie Underwood without hair spray does not quite work.
Jesus took a heel in the case of shoe-wielding attacker FLOTILLA DEBARGE, the local drag star who called me to say things are down to the wire on her footwear-instigated fate. (Yes, the other shoe's gonna drop.) "Will I be NAOMI CAMPBELLor will I be thrown in with PARIS HILTON?" she winkily said on my machine as her sentence drew closer. Either way, I'm scared. (But of course I don't condone violence. Resolve your problems blah, blah, blah. And by the way, I'm thrilled that while we still haven't nabbed BIN LADEN, at least we got Paris!)
Another clubbie turned assailant, killer diller MICHAEL ALIG, is gloating to people that when he gets out of the clink, he'll be bigger than Naomi, Paris, and Flotilla combined. Alig swears he'll have a photo book of his artwork that will coincide with a Chelsea gallery show; a remake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? starring him and JAMES ST. JAMES; a Disco 2000 makeup line; a World of Wonder-produced reality show about his efforts to create a new scene; a movie about club life; and a day job as an assistant editor at Jane magazine. Then again, take it with a grain of . . . everything.
In other life-threatening news, the organizers of Cause Celebthe celebrity-memoir-reading event that plays various clubsare considering doing a PHIL SPECTOR-related evening called And Then He Killed Me.
Moving on, two, three: Violent whites fill HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which is tastefully done, with Native Americans radiating nobility even when saying stuff like, "Your words seem to come from your rear end." Co-star ADAM BEACH is superband hotreminding me that when I recently wrote, "I'd like to have sex on the Beach," a fellow Saulteaux Indian promptly shot off a letter saying, "We have been raped and pillaged for centuries! You will not add to that raping!" No, I won't, darling. And I'll never say another Saulteaux Indian is attractive again, OK?
Satan took the wheel and got me to Fire Island, which used to be a flat landscape (except for the chests), but which now has two large new structures about to open: a Cipriani market right where the Pines ferry lands, and a gigantic new community center farther into the woods. At least they're raping and pillaging the place for some buildings I might finally make sense in.
I fully belong at the Thursday night Kino 41 bash, which has grown in fabulosity to become like a larger-scale Happy Valley. But the other week, RUPAULsashayed in, posed for a TINA PAULpicture setup, wouldn't pose for another one ("Didn't we do this?"), performed a fiercely attitudey song from her Starrbooty movie, drove the crowd wild, then raced out the door. Said co-promoter KENNY KENNY, "I guess I never met Starrbooty before. She's a tough cookieno smiles or kisses. The movie looks amazing. I just feel the old RuPaul will always be my hero." But why the 'tude?, I still wondered. Was Ru simply staying in character? "I'm not sure," responded Ru's publicist. "I know he was looking forward to performing at that party."
Another quickie celebrity drop-in, FERGIE, made appearances at gay bashes at Barracuda and Porky's over Memorial Day weekend, accompanied by MARC JACOBS's ex, who must know where the dead are buried. The gays loved her lovely lady lumps, though they normally spew their Cipriani lunches over such things.