Courtney Act reveals her favourite queens from RuPaul's Drag Race season 11

15 May 2019, 16:01

Courtney Act Under The Covers Tour Poster
Courtney Act Under The Covers Tour Poster. Picture: Courtney Act
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

"I already loved Nina West before...she's just a lovely, talented queen"

We get the feeling Courtney Act likes to keep herself busy. When we caught up with the Australian drag queen and RuPaul's Drag Race alumni late last year, she was fresh from winning Celebrity Big Brother in the UK, and about to start hosting The Bi Life, the UK's first bisexual dating show.

Since then, Courtney auditioned to become the Australian entry to Eurovision (unfortunately she didn't get picked this time around) and then went on Dancing with the Stars in her homeland, becoming part of the first same-sex partnership in the show's history, and finished in a very respectable second-place.

Now she's back in the UK for a fresh run of her Under The Covers show at London's Underbelly. We caught up with Shane Jenek (Courtney out of drag) to discuss her time on Dancing With The Stars, a potential documentary about her time touring with Willam and Alaska, her thoughts on the Drag Race season 11 queens, and Drag Race UK, which she thinks will be "the injection that Drag Race needs".

Watch the full interview and read excerpts from the interview below.

On a AAA Girls tour documentary:

"We filmed everything on The AAA Girls tour a couple of years ago and I was just talking to Willam about that because I know he pitched it about to a couple of places and I think we're just working out what we're going to do with it. There's all this gold - there's fights!

There's a couple of really good fights between Willam and I. It's funny because we were in Boston, I remember very vividly, and he was complaining about the fact that the runner hadn't bought cutlery with our lunch order. And then we got to the performance and there was no sounds monitor and no lights, and he was like 'Oh well, it's just a drag show'. And I was like, 'you can complain for 20 minutes about the fact that we didn't get cutlery but when it comes times to talk about the monitors so we can hear ourselves and the lighting and now you're like...' and then we were just screaming at each other. And then it finished and we walked away, but then I was like, did we get that on camera?'"

On Drag Race UK:

"Drag Race has given so much visibility to drag but I think it's challenging that it doesn't become homogenised, which is why I'm so excited about Drag Race UK, because I think it's going to be the injection the show needs.

"The UK at large has such unique drag and although it's still influenced by Drag Race, it's still a world away. London, Manchester, and all the regional drag I've seen is just so different. And the UK love a singalong, so I'm excited to see how Drag Race UK goes.

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On being in a male-presenting couple on Dancing With The Stars:

"So much of my motivation for the stuff I do these days is I think of myself as a 14-year-old queer kid growing up in the suburbs and how little visibility there was.

And I know there is a lot more now and I know the internet has meant that you can find it, but even to see queer representation in the the world there's so much queer content available on the internet BUT when you don't see it in the mainstream, it still sends out a message. To just get to be that visible on primetime, network television on a show like Dancing or Strictly was just epic."

On her favourites from Drag Race season 11:

"I already loved Nina West before. I've done a bunch of gigs in her hometown of Columbus. 2010, I think, I did my first gig there and met her. She's just a lovely, talented queen.

Obviously Ms Vanjie. I've seen some looks from Brooklyn. Silky, I know in the beginning was getting on my nerves initially, but you know what it was, it was when she said she had a masters... I was just like, 'Ok, I feel like a bastard now'. But that's what I love, when the rug gets pulled out from underneath you."

Courtney Act will perform a strictly limited run of her 'Under The Covers' show at London’s Underbelly Festival from 12-19 May 2019. Tickets are available here.