Who is the biggest diva of them all?

That question will take on special significance at this year’s Drag Industry Variety Awards, when Sydney’s leading showgirls come face to face with four high-profile show business starlets.

At a launch party on Monday night, DIVA organisers announced pop group Young Divas -“ a quartet of former Australian Idol contestants -“ would perform at the Star City ceremony on 28 August.

Exhibitionism will also take centre stage, as showgirls enjoy this year’s pageant theme.

DIVA chair Stuart Doherty told the launch he expected the 16th awards ceremony next month would be exciting, glamorous and hopefully quite hilarious.

Following the ceremony, revellers will head to DCM nightclub on Oxford Street for the DIVA after-party.

DIVA organisers also unveiled the 2006 poster on Monday night. In keeping with the pageant theme, the poster depicts 10 past DIVA winners at the moment they discovered they’d be taking home a statuette, set off by a red sash declaring Miss DIVA 2006.

As Sydney Star Observer reported last week, drag identities Mitzi Macintosh, Verushka Darling and Vanessa Wagner will host DIVA this year.

In a rare on-stage appearance out of drag, Macintosh and Darling coordinated a live video cross to Wagner in northern NSW on Monday night. She promised a mid- to late-20th century outfit when she returned to Sydney for the ceremony.

DIVA judges are currently visiting drag shows around town to assess showgirl talent. Nominations will be announced in early August.

Voting for publicly chosen awards will be held at the Colombian Hotel on 26 August.

DIVA tickets are on sale now. For bookings call 136 100 or visit the Ticketmaster website.

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