26 January 2013

Gentlemen, start your engines…

RuPaul on the runway (left) & Judges (right)
…and may the best woman win. When RuPaul announces this, we know a show is about to start. But the fun is not restricted to the runway presentation of the drag queens; it also comes from how RuPaul & the judges use language during the presentation. What they say illustrates the linguistic deviations quite characteristic of the Drag Queen’s English.

This initial statement itself characterises a non sequitur sentence, since a woman cannot win a competition of gentlemen – it only makes sense as we know the gentlemen in the race are in drag.
Other types of strangeness can be heard during the runway presentation. Here is a top list of the first two seasons.
Season 1 (Episode)
Jade: African Style
“Ooh, it’s severe up in here.” RuPaul uses rhyming to refer to Nina Flowers – severe meaning ‘awsome’ (1).
“Ooh, lion queen.” RuPaul makes a reference to The Lion King in his comment on Jade’s outfit which has an African savage style (1).
“Tammy Brown is in town.” RuPaul uses rhyming to announce Tammy’s entrance (1).
Shannel Juggling

“Boom, boom, boom-boom. Boom, boom-boom. Boom, boom-boom.” Quest judge Debra Wilson says rhythmically as Rebecca struts off the runway, drawing attention to Rebecca’s voluptuous bottom (3).
“Oh my Gok!” Perhaps a slip of the tongue, but this is what RuPaul says after seeing Shannel juggling on the runway (4).
Nina Flowers & Her Drag Sister

“Do not accept an apple from this woman.” RuPaul makes a reference to Snow White tale, implying that Nina Flower’s look reminds the wicked witch (5).
“CE Oh my my my…” Merle Ginsberg comments on Bebe Zahara’s executive look, blending CEO – Chief Executive Officer – and the interjection oh my (6).
Shannel mimicking Hannibal Lecter

“Yes… Something to wash down the fava beans.” RuPaul makes an allusion to The Silence of the Lambs after Shannel mimics Hannibal Lecter’s slurping noise that follows his words ‘I ate his liver with some fava beans’ (6).

Bebe Zahara Bene, Raspberry Costume

“Ms Diana Rossberry.” RuPaul comments on Bebe Zahara, whose outfit represents raspberry (6).

“Fruit is the new fur.” Rupaul comments on Nina Flowers, whose outfit has pieces of mango in the collar and belt (6). 

Season 2 (Episode)
“Sonique-a-nique-a-nique-a-nique-a-nique-aaah…” RuPaul adds an odd eco to the contestant’s name Sonique in a manner that recalls the French song Dominique (2).
“…Oh, she’s making a Sonique boom.” RuPaul makes a reference to sonic boom alluding to Sonique’s evident large hips and behind (2).
“Oh my, this just is wicked…” RuPaul makes an allusion to the character of the wicked witch since the contestant’s costume reminds one of a witch (2).
Mystique: Big Queen
“I’m serving fish, honey – and this ain’t trout.” Jujubi says meaning that she’s dressed like a real woman, not like a drag (2).
“That girl will eat Beyoncé in one swallow” RuPaul means that the contest will obliterate Beyoncé fame and also alludes to the contestant’s plus size (2).
“Oh… my… sweet Gherkins!” Rupaul’s reaction to Tyra (2).
Sonique: Catwoman Style
“Even the cowgirls get the blues…” Guest judge Tanya Tucker alludes to Pandora’s Boxx jeans with the title of the 1994 film by Gus Van Saint (3).
“Julie Newmar eat your heart out… Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” RuPaul comments on Sonique referencing Julie Newmar and the exploitation film of 1965 (4).

“Honey, if that skirt were any shorter, we’d have to arrest you for dealing crack!” RuPaul uses a subordinate sentence that doesn’t seem to complete the main sentence; dealing crack is an allusion to butt crack (4).
Raven: Dress with Ruffles
These ruffles have not any ridges.” Guess judge Lisa Rinna makes a reference to the crinkle cut chips ruffles alluding to the ornamental frill on Raven’s costume (4).
“That’s tutu much.” Guest judge Mathu Andersen alludes to the tutu costume that Sahara Davenport wears (5).
Main Challenge: Mother Daughter Drag
“It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your drag mother is?” RuPaul makes a reference to the popular question presented on American television in final decades of the 1900s (8).
“The apple bottom don’t fall far from the tree.” RuPaul modifies the idiom to allude to the contestants’ apple bottoms and their mother daughter resemblance (8).

This was a long one. I bet it won't feel as long as the two days wait until we can watch the new queens of RPDRace (Season 5 - 28 Jan) making an entrance and parading their English.

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