Although there has been a long-established link between Eurovision and drag, the past two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK have further solidified this. Following the success of season 2’s ‘RuRuvision Song Contest’ challenge, Paramount Plus have brought Graham Norton on board to host a ‘Eurovision-style’ singing competition called ‘Queen of the Universe’.
As reported by Variety, the BBC’s long-term commentator and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will host ‘Queen of the Universe’, which is designed to be the ‘drag Eurovision’.
Produced by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producers World of Wonder, the Eurovision-style series finds countries going head to head with their top drag queens putting their real singing voices to the test (no lip synching here!).Excerpt via Variety
The concept was first revealed back in February during ViacomCBS’s investor day presentation. It is set to premiere on the company’s streaming service Paramount Plus on December 2.
There are existing links between the two pop culture juggernauts. Former Rupaul’s Drag Race contestant Courtney Act participated in the 2019 edition of Australia Decides with the song “Fight for Love”, finishing in 4th. Further, Graham Norton, the BBC’s commentator for Eurovision since 2009, is a regular judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
Drag and the Eurovision Song Contest
Drag and the Eurovision Song Contest both have a long and interconnected history, in part due to their respective cultural significance to Europe’s LGBTQ+ communities.
The first drag act to perform at the contest was Slovenia’s Sestre, who competed at the 2002 contest in Tallinn with the song “Samo ljubezen”, placing 13th.
Five years later, the 2007 contest featured two solo drag acts: DQ representing Denmark with the song “Drama Queen” and Verka Serduchka representing Ukraine with “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”. The latter placed 2nd and went on to be one of the most iconic Eurovision entries to date.
Most notably perhaps, Conchita Wurst (the drag persona of Thomas Neuwirth) won the 2014 contest for Austria with the song “Rise Like A Phoenix”, one of the most provocative entries in recent contest history.
Last season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK featured a ‘RuRuvision Song Contest’ challenge, which spawned a UK chart hit and viral sensation in the form of “UK, Hun?”. Writers Leland and Freddy Scott went on to explain how the song was inspired by past Eurovision entries.
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