A very enthusiastic full house celebrated the last twelve months of the Sydney drag scene at the 2019 DIVA Awards this week. 

The grand ballroom of the Paddington RSL looked splendid for what many are calling a fabulous return to form for this event, now in its twenty-ninth year.

At what would have definitely been the best dressed gathering in Sydney on Monday evening, Sydney’s drag industry, its sponsors, supporters and fans were all up for a big night.

The entertainment included six shows, that had impressed throughout the year, from Arq, Stonewall, The Columbian and The Imperial. 

A highlight was a performance by the five finalists from the Slay 2 Stay talent quest at Universal, featuring the winner Miss Danni Issues – this queen has a big future. 

Charisma Belle was the perfect hostess with the right measure of sending and steering. There is nothing quite like seeing a queen at the top of her game – she really was wonderful. 

Trevor Ashley was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the legendary Portia Turbo, and in a sincere and at times emotional address, Trevor took the time to thank the many sisters, friends and his family, salient to his career success thus far.  

In somewhat of a rare occasion for DIVA all the winners were warmly received and the consensus over cocktails at the afterparty was that all were deserving of their honours.  

The popular Fran Giapanni is the DIVA Rising Star for 2019, and after eleven years of involvement in our community, Heath Keating was voted Sydney’s Favourite Male Performer. Heath made one of the most charming acceptance speeches of the evening when he spoke about the sense of family being part of the Sydney drag tribe.   

Sia Tequila is our new Entertainer of the Year, an award voted by her peers, and there was a lot of love in the room for her as she took the stage to a full standing ovation. 

New Awards for this year included the publicly voted Sydney’s Favourite Pub Event, which was won by the Stonewall Hotel’s weekly Mailbox event, which has been running for an amazing twenty-one years. Media Queen, voted by peers, was won by Carlotta for her appearances on Studio 10, on Network 10.

Congratulations were gushing to the small team responsible for organising the event, and their much appreciated efforts in bringing the event back to resemble past glories. 

DIVA’s Shelia Bliege concluded the proceedings with an invitation to the community to celebrate again next year at the incredible thirty-year anniversary Awards.   

Full list of DIVA Award winners for 2019:

Sydney’s Favourite Showgirl, Coco Jumbo

Sydney’s Favourite DJ, Shane Davidson

Sydney’s Favourite Drag Show, Masqueerade – Arq Sydney

Sydney’s Favourite Drag Hostess, Charisma Belle

Sydney’s Favourite Male Performer, Heath Keating

Sydney’s Favourite Venue, Stonewall Hotel

Sydney’s Favourite Pub Event, Malebox

Media Queen, Carlotta – Studio 10, Network 10

Outstanding Technical Achievement, Dream Syndicate

The DIVA Moment, Minnie Cooper and “David”- Sunrise Crossover for Kylie Mardi Gras

DIVA Rising Star, Fran Giapanni

Entertainer of the Year, Sia Tequila

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