She’s come a long way, baby. From the tawdry glamour of Sydney’s drag circuit, Courtney Act has stiletto-stepped her way onto the national stage, thanks to some ballsy performances on Australian Idol. Now, she plans to parlay that success into full-bore, full-time pop stardom with the release of her debut single, Rub Me Wrong.

But there’s one thing she wants to make clear: this is a serious attempt to crack the pop charts, not some desperate grab for 15 minutes of fame with a novelty record.

I think that people already understand that I’m pop as opposed to comedy, but this single will reaffirm that, she says. It’s definitely not a comedy single. It would fit into the Best Female Artist category at this year’s ARIAs.

She describes the single as pop with an urban beat, and sounds genuinely excited by the prospect of its release.

It’s a great song, and we’ve got some fabulous DJs to do the remixes, so I’m looking forward to having a click and shimmy on the Mardi Gras dancefloor to my own music, hopefully. That would be quite a surreal circumstance, she says.

Mention of Mardi Gras prompts an obvious question -“ would she perform her new single as part of a show at the party? -“ but Courtney says the option has not been discussed at this stage.

It’d be great, but I’m looking forward to just being a partygoer, she says. I love Mardi Gras, it’s an unreal kick performing in front of all your friends. But at this point, there’s nothing on the cards.

What is on the cards for Courtney is an appearance on the national concert tour of Australian Idol finalists. Although not a finalist herself, Courtney’s been brought on as a special guest star (which, she helpfully points out, was the same billing Heather Locklear enjoyed when she appeared on Melrose Place for all those years).

The Idol tour, which commences in Newcastle on Friday, re-unites Courtney with many other contestants from the show -“ some of whom, like Shannon Noll and Rob Mills, have also scored recording contracts. So is there any rivalry between the Idol graduates, or is it still a case of happy families?

No, we’re all just happy for each other, she says, cruelly smashing the hopes of those wanting gossip and intrigue and bitchery. None of us are really in competition, thankfully. We’re all very different artists.

While the tour rolls on, Courtney will also be in the stages of planning the video for the single -“ something which she says is giving her a little girlish laugh every time I think about it.

But is the world ready for a new drag queen pop star?

Courtney says yes.

I think the world has already had a taste of what it is to have an unreal girl pop star, with Kylie and Cher, she says. I’m definitely thinking I can bring some colour and something different to the Australian music industry.

And her hopes for the first record?

I’d like it to have as much success on the ARIA charts as possible, and then to take it overseas, she says. I’m not going to set up any upper limits.

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