It could be the most diverse DIVA nominees list yet.

A pole dancer, a mainstream musical star and an author from the northern beaches are among the contenders for Drag Industry Variety Awards trophies this year.

Organisers announced the nominees in seven judge-decided categories earlier this week, ahead of the glittering ceremony at Star City on 28 August.

Nominees for other DIVA awards, including the public-decided categories, will be unveiled later in the month.

Among the multiple DIVA nominees announced this week is Sydney Star Observer ‘s Maxi Shield, whose Dragstar column won her a nomination for the Outstanding Achievement in Media Award.

Shield is also nominated twice for a DIVA Variety Award -“ for her pole dancing nightclub shows and for her work hosting Stonewall slimming contest Battle of the Bulge -“ alongside drag luminaries such as Courtney Act and Mitzi Macintosh.

I knew that anyway -“ I’m so popular, Shield said when told of her multiple DIVA nods.

I was waiting up at 6am. I had champagne ready to pop.

Would she be cracking open the bubbly once the nominations were made public later in the week?

Oh no, I drank it already. I got sick of waiting.

In a rare non-showgirl inclusion, northern beaches author and drag expert Carol Langley is also in the running for the media achievement award.

Langley is nominated for her book Beneath The Sequined Surface: An Insight Into Sydney Drag .

In the prestigious Choreographer of the Year category, Freeda Corsett will compete with four other hopefuls including Minnie Cooper and Shelley Legs Diamond.

But Corsett -“ who will star in the upcoming musical version of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert -“ won’t be performing at the DIVA ceremony.

I’m just going to sit there and get drunk and join the bitching, she enthused.

Minnie Cooper, last year’s DIVA Entertainer of the Year and a nominee in five judge-decided categories this year, was more philosophical.

I think, let some other people have a turn [winning], she told the Star .

We have lost some great talented people because they haven’t been recognised for the work they do. I find that really sad.

Cooper predicted an outrage if she won Entertainer of the Year again, after her success last year sparked ill will from drag peers.

Last year I won that award and it should have been considered quite a fantastic award to win.

But the way if affected people around me, in some ways I actually wish I didn’t win it. It was a bit bittersweet for me.

DIVA tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster or at the DIVA website.


Choreographer of the Year

Minnie Cooper

Freeda Corsett

Cast of DIVAstated

Antony Ginandja

Shelley Legs Diamond

Costume Design of the Year

Dallas Della Force

Kirsten Damned

Mitzi Macintosh

Cast of DIVAstated

Mama Shirl

Amelia Airhead

Show of the Year (3 or less)

Rough Trade Hers

Kylie -“ The Singing Budgie Show

Frazzle Dazzle

Hip Hop Replacement

Totally Clueless

Brokeback Fridays

Show of the Year (4 or more)

Dancing Queen The Kylie Celebration


Wizard of Oz

Pop -“ DIVAstated

Lie Back and Think of England -“ Foreplay / Afterglow

Shift -˜ HOT’

Outstanding DIVA Moment

Like A Virgin -“ SpARQle

We will Rock You – Gay School 2

Hung Up -“ Hip Hop Replacement

I should be so lucky -“ Kylie Celebration

What you waiting for -“ Midnight Courtesans

Voodoo Child -“ Rough Trade Hers

-˜Wicked’ – Vanity Faire

Outstanding Achievement in Media

Queer Out West (Radio 89.3fm) -“ team at Queer Out West

Dragstar – Maxi Shield

So Anyway – Mitzi Macintosh

Beneath the Sequined Surface: an insight into Sydney Drag – Carol Langley

DIVA Variety Award

Pole Dancing – Slide/Pure Platinum – Maxi Shield

Live and Intimate – Courtney Act

Battle of the Bulge – Maxi Shield

Live and Intimate – Shauna Jensen

Hats Off – Trevor Ashley and Laurence Stark

Bingay, Big Bingay and Out of town Bingay – Mitzi Macintosh

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