• Dale Roberts

The connections between RuPaul's Drag Race and Eurovision



This week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK will be themed all around our beloved Eurovision.


To say fans of both cultural phenomenons are excited... is... well... an understatement!


But this isn't the first connection between the two shows.


We've gone back through the archives to find links between the two, some tenuous we may add, but nonetheless important.


So get ready to start your engines and may the best connection... receive douze points?


Guest Judges

A number of guest judges who have come on the show have either competed or been part of Eurovsion itself.


Dita Von Teese


Dita was a guest judge allll the way back in season 2. On the second episode the Queens had to perform a burlesque number that Sahara Davenport won and Nicole Paige Brooks got sent home. Dita Von Teese had been part of the German entry 'Miss Kiss Kiss Bang' at Eurovision the year before in 2009.


Olivia Newton-John


The Australian represented the United Kingdom in 1974 finishing 4th. But it was her long and successful career afterwards that saw her as a guest judge in season 7. Her episode was 'Glamazonian Airways' which was won by Ginger Minj and saw Sasha Belle sent home.


Lorraine Kelly


Lorraine read out the votes for the United Kingdom at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. She has been a guest judge on both seasons of Drag Race UK. She was a guest judge on Snatch Game that saw Baga Chipz and The Vivienne take out the win while Sum Ting Wong was sent home. And last week she guest judged on Morning Glory when Lawrence Chaney took out the win and Ginny Lemon went out with a bang (or a whimper).


LipSyncs



At the end of each episode the two Queens in the bottom battle it out in a LipSync and a number of Eurovision artists have been involved. .


Olivia Newton-John's 'Twist of Fate' was used on her episode, Bonnie Tyler (Eurovision 2012) had her song 'Holding out for a Hero' used in season 9 that saw Kamora Black sent home, while host of the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest Morten Harket (lead singer of a-ha) had his song 'Take On Me' performed by Gigi Goode in the socially distanced final of season 12.


Courtney Act



The Australian drag queen legend appeared on the very popular season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race. Courtney finished a gallant runner-up to Bianca Del Rio. She never finished in the bottom two, won two challenges ('Shade: The Rusical' and 'Drag Queens of Talk') and featured in the iconic 'Sissy That Walk' video.


Courtney competed in Australia's first national final 'Australia Decides' with the song 'Fight for Love' finishing in 4th place.


The Night of 1000 Celines



The first season of Canada's Drag Race paid homage to Eurovision 1988 winner and global superstar, Celine Dion. All competing Queens featured a Celine 'look' including Rita Baga who showed off Celine's Eurovision "iconic" outfit. It also feature the iconic LipSync battle to Celine's song 'I Drove All Night' won by Priyanka.


Drag Race Holland



This show needs its own mention because there were numerous Eurovision references.


NikkieTutorials was a guest judge on the show two times including the Grand Finale. Nikkie was part of the Eurovision 2020 hosting team and will be again in 2021.


1993 Eurovision entrant Ruth Jacott was a guest judge in the Snatch Game episode that also featured a LipSyc battle to Anouk's (Eurovision 2013) song 'Girl'.


And finally Edsilia Rombley was a guest judge on the 'Maxima - The Rusical' episode. Edsilia represented The Netherlands twice at Eurovision in 1998 and 2007 and is part of the Rotterdam hosting team (2020 and 2021).


All of these Eurovision connections in one season of eight episodes. The Dutch know how to do it!


Commentators


LogoTV who broadcast RuPaul's Drag Race until 2016, also broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest to Americans in 2017 and 2018.


That isn't the only link, Drag Race judges Ross Mathews and Michelle Visage were part of the commentary team. This was repeated the following year with Shangela filling Michelle's chair. Shangela had competed on RuPaul's Drag Race three times previously.


Although clips of the commentary seem impossible to find (hit us up if you know where!), Michelle did reveal to Wiwibloggs that Robin Bengtsson's 'I Can't Go On' was her favourite 2017 entry.



Of course the most famous Eurovision commentator goes to Graham Norton who has been doing the BBC's coverage since 2009. He appeared as a guest judge on the American Drag Race before becoming a regular panelists on the two seasons of Drag Race UK. No doubt he will be involved in this week's episode.




Frock Destroyers



We couldn't leave the links between the two shows without mentioning the Frock Destroyers. The trio of Queens: Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, and Divina de Campo, were put together for a 'girl group' challenge which they won with 'Break Up Bye Bye'. The song was so popular it reached no.35 on the UK Chart and there was a campaign to get them to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision.


The change.org petition so far has just over 10,000 signatures.



Have we missed any connections? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.


This week's Eurovision themed Drag Race UK episode will be available to watch on Friday in Australia on subcription streaming channel Stan.










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