21 November 2014

The Sydney showgirl talent keeps on flowing

The DIVA Board held a tremendous Awards event a few weeks ago with Minnie Cooper, as this year’s host and headliner, getting reviews that will be remembered as some of the best.  One aspect of the show that really interested me was that Minnie had awarded the weekly winners of duets week at her current talent quest ‘Drags to Riches’ with a DIVA performance – can you just imagine?

Talent quests have been one of showgirls main sources of ‘being discovered’ since regular drag shows became popular on the scene. The prizes can vary from a holiday, to cash, to casting in a show - but the biggest prize is being seen.
We learnt in the recent SX interview that the 2014 DIVA Hall of Fame inductee, Keren St James, got her start through a talent quest called ‘Search for a Tragedy’ at The Albury Hotel in 1984. I’ve discovered that Amelia Airhead won the ‘Supermodel’ talent quest at The Flinders Hotel in 1994 and she has 12 DIVA trophies in the pool room.  Charisma Belle our new Entertainer of the Year got her breakthrough from Mitzi Macintosh in 2002, when she won the role of ‘Janet’ in a talent quest to find the cast of ‘Rocky the Drag Show’ at the Imperial Hotel.
Talent quests have had a resurgence in popularity since RuPaul’s Drag Race became a massive hit all over the world. It may have the biggest prizes - a cash prize of $100,000 and the title of ‘America's Next Drag Superstar’ but the winner can travel the world for years as a ‘new’ headline act.
With Bianca Del Rio, photo In the Dark
I got a moment to chat with Bianca Del Rio, the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6, after her spectacular performance in Sydney some weeks ago. Del Rio told me she has been performing regularly in various New York City nightclubs for the last ten years - but here she was playing to thousands of adoring fans in Australia because of the opportunity this particular talent quest has given her.