World of Wonder, the team that brought you RuPaul’s Drag Race and all its international varieties, announced back in February that it would launch Queen Of The Universe, a brand new Eurovision-style drag show that puts queens’ live vocal prowess, rather than their ability to lip-sync, to the test. The show, according to Variety, promises “high heels, high octaves, high competition”, and “will leave no wig untouched”.
This week, PinkNews.com announced that Irish TV personality Graham Norton will host the show, with Queen of Drag herself RuPaul as head judge. Norton has been a household name in the UK and Ireland for many years thanks to his appearances in sitcom Father Ted and his own self-titled late-night talk show.
However, Eurovision fans will know him best for his sardonic and at times near-the-knuckle commentary he’s provided the BBC for their Grand Final broadcast since 2009, cementing him, for many, as the face of Eurovision commentary, and landing him a cameo in 2020’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga.
He is also a regular feature on the judging panel of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, alongside the titular queen, Michelle Visage and fellow British comedian and talk show host Alan Carr, the show that brought us the iconic United Kingdolls hit “UK Hun?” (bing bang bong…)
Queen Of The Universe will premiere in the US on 2nd December 2021 on Paramount Plus, although it is yet to be announced when it will be available in Europe.
Casting began in May 2021, and recording tickets are available from tomorrow.
Drag queens have been a major feature at Eurovision in recent years with the show’s rise in popularity among the LGBTQ+ community.
Some musical highlights include “Samo ljubezen” by Slovenia’s sequined air hostesses Sestre, who finished 13th in 2002, “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” by Ukraine’s tin-foiled treasure Verka Serduchka, who romped into place “zwei” in 2007, and, of course, the performance that inspired Queen Of The Universe, Conchita Wurst’s peerless Bond-style ballad “Rise Like A Phoenix”, which brought Austria their first Eurovision victory for 48 years.
Earlier this year, star of the first series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Baga Chipz told the Daily Star that her group, the Frock Destroyers, were in talks to represent the UK at Eurovision in the future, igniting British fans’ hopes that one of their hugely-talented drag acts could fly the Union Flag some day.