Singing drag superstar Courtney Act is one of three new acts added to the lineup of Eurovision – Australia Decides, the live televised competition to select Australia’s 2019 Eurovision entry, per the Herald Sun.
Act, the drag persona of Shane Jenek, rose to fame in Australia after competing on the first season of Australian Idol, before garnering international attention as a runner-up on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race and winning season 21 of the British version of Celebrity Big Brother.
“A sweet 16 years after Australian Idol, I have the chance to show Australia how I have grown as an artist and a performer and I am so excited,” Act said following the announcement.
“To compete to represent Oz in Eurovision is second only to being on that stage in Tel Aviv and singing my lungs out for my country.”
“I’ve sat at home every year since Guy Sebastian competed in 2015 and have been so keen to be a part of it. Now, this might be my chance!” Act said.
If Courtney Act were to represent Australia in Israel she would join a long line of Eurovision drag acts dating back to 1986, when Norway’s entrant Ketil Stokkan was joined on stage by a member of the drag troupe Great Garlic Girls during his song ‘Romeo’.
And who could forget the 2007 earworm ‘Dancing Lasha Tumbai’ from Ukraine’s Verka Serduchka? More importantly, who would want to?
But perhaps most famously Eurovision was won in 2014 by Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst singing her ballad ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’.
This latest announcement also includes 18 year old former The Voice contestant Aydan Calafiore and 16 year old singer-songwriter Leea Nanos, who came to the attention of the Australian Eurovision delegation after entering a competition searching for songs to be sung by the Australian performer at Eurovision.
The three artists join the previously announced singer-songwriter and Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical composer Kate Miller-Heidke, Australia’s Got Talent winner Mark Vincent, indie-pop band Sheppard, and LGBTI musical duo Electric Field, the pairing of former The Voice contestant Zaachariaha Fielding and music producer Michael Ross.
Electric Field will have a busy February next year, with performances announced at both Fair Day and Sissy Ball during Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2019, mere weeks after competing to represent Australia at Eurovision.
The rest of the lineup will be announced in the new year by SBS and BlinkTV before the competition takes place between 8 – 9 February 2019 on the Gold Coast.
Eurovision – Australia Decides will air on SBS 9 February at 7:30pm.