Courtney’s professional dance partner is Joshua Keefe. The stage persona of Queensland born Shane Jenek, Courtney Act is one of the biggest names in today’s drag scene. Courtney’s first television appearance was on the debut season of Australian Idol in 2003 but it wasn’t until she placed Top 3 in Season 6 of cult reality competition Ru Paul’s Drag Race that really catapulted her onto the world stage. Last year saw Courtney enter the UK Celebrity Big Brother house, and, never to let an infamous wardrobe malfunction get a girl down, went on to win the series.
This is your first Australian gig in a while, why the return in 2019?
I think Australia was deliberately avoiding me so I had to go overseas, become a success and come back as ‘our Courtney.’
You’re quite an established performer do you think you have an advantage?
I’m used to performing but ballroom and Latin are a whole different kettle of fish. I think it would be disrespectful to suggest that I could just pick up what these talented athletes have trained a lifetime for.
How do you think Australia will react to seeing a drag queen dance in this competition?
I know that I will be presenting as a woman, but rehearsals are two guys dancing together. I remember as a young queer person looking quite shocked when I first saw two men dancing with each other in a passionate way. I remember thinking wow, I didn’t know you could do that! The female dancers are putting on a costume and the men are putting on a costume, but my costume just happens to be a woman’s.
How has your body reacted to all the dance training?
My balls have been very sore… of my feet. I’m used to high heels hurting but the ballroom shoes are a thin suede sole, my feet are killing me already. I refused to wear the two inch ‘orthopaedic’ shoes and obviously insisted on the 3.5 inch heels.
Are you competitive and who do you think is your biggest competition?
I’m excited for my competitiveness to be revealed to myself. I don’t think I’m competitive but secretly I am. I definitely like pushing myself though, I love working hard and doing my best. I want to see everyone’s moves. I was particularly beguiled by the gentleman who looks like a Hemsworth (Jett Kenny).
Black Rainbow is Australia’s first and only National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Trans* and Intersex Suicide Prevention National Advocacy Platform and National Touchpoint.