Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bigger, better, fatter: Burger Queen fully loaded

This Friday (partyin' partyin' yeah) I went clubbing, and then the best thing happened. A guy I have never seen before in my life pointed at me and screamed at me, in a high pitched voice that would rival Hanson: "Oh my good, you're the mermaid Burger Queen!!!". I have been waiting for this moment since I was 4 years old. In it for the fame fame baby FAME.
That is Burger Queen 2011 for y'all.
But yes, mermaid. How did that happen? Well, after the my first round, some cheeky bastard suggested on facebook that Scottee should have included a swimwear round in the contest. And Scottee, because he is cheeky too, replied 'that will happen in the final'. When I read that, I panicked. Because as much as I believe in positive body image and spice girl power and whatever theoretically, when it comes to me being filmed by the BBC, on a stage, in swimwear, while Lisa Stansfield is eating my cake - that's a whole different kettle of fish.

Mermaid sausage.

However, Roy and I came up with the amazing idea of a mermaid outfit. Disney's The little Mermaid is my favourite film ever. What I like best about it are the little noises Sebastian makes when he is walking. Seriously. Roy and I invented a drinking game that included having a shot every time Sebastian does his crab walk. Anyway, what has always bothered me about the film is the big deal they make about legs. I mean, sure, homegirl needs some working lungs, but if it's just about the legs, well, skip the trip to the witch, keep the voice (duh!) and get some wheels instead. So I started working on a mermaid outfit. Then, a few days later I met Scottee. It was during another round of Burger Queen, where some other candidates battled out their place for the final. All four of them were gorgeous and brilliant, and I celebrated each and every single one of them with a double gin tonic. I ended up being crazy drunk, and so, when I had a chat with Scottee and he told me that there would be no swimwear in the final, and that it all just had been a joke, I blurted out: "Oh nooo, that's really disappointing". To which he replied: "Aaw Sweetheart, we'll do swimwear for you!". Well done, Nina. Other highlights of that night included partying with Stephen Fry and hanging out with a Burger Queen groupie called Hildie. She told  me she likes to see chubby ladies in lingerie.

The next morning, when I woke up and waited for a call from Hildie that never came (I am still heartbroken about it), I got an email from Scottee, telling the finalists that the outfit for the fashion round would have to belong in a Miss World category: 'Evening Wear, Sportswear or Swimwear'. I realised I actually had to go through with this, especially if I wanted to win back Hildie's heart. To add to my embarrassment, I also decided to invite every heterosexual male to the contest I know in London (namely two).

The night before the contest, I had a semi-nervous breakdown and all took it out on Roy and on the Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake I was going to serve Lisa Stansfield and her judge pals.
Things got worse when we had a fire alarm in the building on the afternoon of the contest (I live with a bunch, well 500, of brainless 18-year-olds who like to smoke in their rooms). I was late at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, but upon my arrival I had a little chat with a lovely gentleman - he seemed to know who I was and told me we were friends on facebook. I had no clue who he could be, until I realised that Gloria Swansong, one of the other two finalists, must actually be a male in drag and the person I was talking to. This proves that a) I was REALLY drunk the week before, and b) that Gloria is an absolutely fantastic performer. Judging from the performance in the final and the round before, of all the other performers Gloria was actually the one closest to my heart. I love nothing better than a drag queen in sequins, and Gloria is the sparkliest Mama of all drag queens. Watch her performance for the final here. Absolutely gorgeous!!

Before the fashion round I was really nervous, but Johnny Blue Eyes, a stylist/performer and one of the judges passed me by backstage was really cheerful and enthusiastic about my outfit that I was completely distracted from my nervousness - so distracted in fact, that I barely noticed the chic lady behind him who complimented me on my makeup and introduced herself as 'Lisa'. Until they were gone and I realised that it had been Lisa Stansfield. Oh the shame. I also briefly met the adorable Jude Bean before the contest started. She greeted me with a big hug, although we had never met before. Jude does the funniest videos about food on her youtube channel, and all the videos from the contest are actually by her.

Johnny Blue Eyes, Russella. You stole my nail look, Johnny, but it's fine because you are fab.

Both other finalists looked amazing in the fashion round, Gloria was all sequin goddess and the beautiful Bea Sweet opted for gold spandex and a lot of skin. We also had to answer some typical Miss pageant questions, and here are some videos of that round:

In retrospective, I massively cringe at the bit where I am grabbing my boobs, but it seemed completely normal at the time. I guess Ariel was feeling a little naughty. As the fashion bit went more or less ok, I got ready for my talent bit. I had been pondering whether I should change my perfomance from the first round, I actually re-wrote it and changed it back a few days before. I finally decided to base my performance on the same text, but to leave out and add different things than I did in the first round. I felt slightly ashamed, was both Gloria and Bea did different songs than they did in their first round, but I have never performed before and I decided I would be too nervous about something new and I didn't want to change a performance I had so much luck with first time round just for the sake of doing something different. I did update it a bit in so far as most of the 'random gifts' I showed the audience were actually things I was given since the first round of the contest. I am really given loads of free things. This is actually (more or less) my life. Here's a video of almost my whole performance:

I was really scared before the perfomance, even though the one in the first round went well. You can never be quite sure what people find funny, and I was actually one of those kids in school who made jokes that noone thought were funny but my best friend. But the performance went pretty well, so either the audience had a much greater sense of humour than my school mates, or my jokes have gotten better. Probably both.
When the judges were asked for their opinion after the talent round, the best thing ever happened: Jude Bean actually sighed 'Nina, all I can say is that I really liked Nina'. That moment seriously was beyond perfect, one of the best ones in my life.

Amy Lamé, Lisa Stansfield, Jude Bean

After the talent bit I spent some time with my friends on their table. It means so much to me that so many people have taken an interest in the whole contest and supported me by posting about it, talking about it, and actually coming to watch it. I feel like listing names, but I won't, in case I forget someone. But the whole thing made me feel much more like I belong in London,  and it would have been one of the best experiences in my life even if I would have (SPOILER ALERT) won. So a big fat chubby thank you to everyone who organised the contest, it has been a blast, and to all my new friends in London and the old ones in Switzerland who gave me ideas and are always so brilliant and inspiring. And Roy, I love you so much and couldn't have done the whole thing without you. In fact, I think without you, not many of the fab moments in my life would have happened.

So umm yeah, I won. Here's a hilarious video of the cooking round, where Amy Lamé exclaims 'Oh my God I am going to die' when my cake is announced. I am so glad she didn't die, because noone else can be quite as fabulous in a yellow dress as Miss Amy Lamé is. Gloria made the sexiest sparkly boob and penis cakes ever, while Bea opted for some super yummy cupcakes from Ms. Cupcake, the best cake shop in London.

Glo's sexy cakes.
I seriously didn't expect to win and I actually think it must have been really close. The winner had the honour to be showered with limp, cold chips, which was a lifetime experience in itself, and I was given lots of prizes: The beautiful Burger Queen medal necklace, custom-made by Tatty Devine, lots of Illamasqua makeup (squeee!), a voucher to get dolled up in a beauty parlour, a voucher for a big birthday cake, actual real money, a golden scale and a massive delicious raspberry vanilla cake. The cake probably weighed at least 10 pounds. My friend Michael carried it around London into several bars and clubs and then to my place. Legend/Good workout. After the contest was over, I got really drunk, had lots of cake and had fun fun fun with Isa, Roy, Rob and Michael like it was Friday. Good times.

"OMG, me???"