In 2018, RuPaul received a star on the famous Hollywood walk of fame, cementing the last three decades of his work in American pop culture, and the beginning of the 10th season of RuPaul’s drag race. The year also brought 2 Emmys for the show, one for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, and second, for best host. As the seasons have progressed, millions of viewers, those part of the community and beyond, tune in to watch drag queens compete to become the next drag superstar. In 2009, the first season aired on Logo TV. Today, 10 years later, RuPaul’s drag race season 11 is live on VH1, with multiple global spinoffs, specials, and DragCons.
And where did this all begin? About 34 years ago in a music seminar, when 24 year-old RuPaul met Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato from World of Wonder Productions, who have today become his managers and best-friends.
So let’s reminisce over the journey of RuPaul’s drag race. And what better way to do that than to feature some of the most unforgettable, iconic quotes from some of RuPaul’s drag queens.
1. “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else! Can I get an amen?”
What could get more iconic than this?! Mama Ru’s most used quote that became the closing dialogue for almost every single episode in season 1 of the show. It’s a message for everyone around the world about the importance of self-love and self-acceptance.
2. Alyssa Edward’s Tongue Pop:
Justin Johson A.K.A. Alyssa Edwards (stage name) won everyone’s heart when she debuted in season 5 of the show. This Texan performer is easily responsible for some of the most favourite moments on the show. While she might have not taken the crown home, she is still known as ‘Drag Race Royalty’ whenever she has a guest appearance on the show. She has some of the most memorable sassy quotes from “BACKROLLS?!!” to “Don’t get bitter, just get better.”. But nothing beats her legendary *Tongue Pop*.
3. “Go back to party city where you belong”
Jeremi Carey A.K.A Phi Phi O’Hara (stage name) known as the villain of season 4, was a fierce competitor to the other contestants especially season winner, Sharon Needles. These two often went head to head, whether it was banter backstage or Phi Phi’s outbursts in the workroom. But out of all the drama, no one can forget this iconic moment!
3. “Miss Vanjie … Miss Vanjie… Miss Vanjie!”
Jose Cancel A.K.A Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (stage name) is one of the contestants from Season 10 and now, Season 11. Despite being eliminated first in season 10, she left the show with a bang. This moment blew up the internet, inspiring tweets and popular memes. She marked her place in the show’s hall of fame, with her mesmerising style of departing the show with a backward walk and the chanting of her own name in different tempos.
4. “Not today, Satan. Not Today.”
Roy Haylock A.K.A Bianca Del Rio (stage name), season 6 winner of RuPaul’s drag race, became a fan favourite and is considered as one of the best winners, by many, in the show’s history. Buzzfeed said it best. Bianca had her way with words, with a list of iconic quotes that were simply “metaphorical gold!”. Among all her sassy and snarky remarks though, this one just takes the cake.
D.J. Pierce A.K.A Shangela Laquifa Wadley first appeared on the 2nd season of the show, returned on season 3 and then came back for more on All-stars 3. Can you guess who her drag mother is? Non-other than Alyssa Edwards. A drag queen, actor and comedian, she really has come a long way since her first appearance. She has acted in glee, bones, X-files, and recently appeared on the big screen, acting alongside Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in ‘A Star is Born’. But when we go back to her drag race moments, nothing stands out more than her ‘Halleloo’. Even Los Angeles Times seems to agree, naming it as one of the “Top 10 Words from Reality TV”.
6. “Water of a duck’s back”
Jerick Hoffer A.K.A Jinkx Monsoon is the winner of RuPaul’s drag race season 5. Her secret mantra for keeping it cool? “Water of a duck’s back”. It’s as adorable as she is right?! She uttered this word every time she had to face the judges and their critiques. She finally explained that the motto was a constant reminder to not take any comment or criticism too seriously. Basically, it was her way of saying “let it roll right off your back.” Looks like all that optimism paid off, leading her to the crown and making her drag superstar of the season. So the next time you need a little positivity, just take a deep breath and chant this mantra.
Love drag beauty? Also Read: A to Z of Drag Makeup
Source Credit: Allthatsinteresting.com, Allure, Billboard, Buzzfeed, Digital Spy, Huffpost, In Magazine, Reel rundown, Rupaul’s Drag Race Fandom, The Talko, TIME, Vulture