A vegan drag queen has been crowned the winner of Celebrity Big Brother [CBB].
Australian entertainer Courtney Act (male name Shane Jenek) went into the live finale as a favourite against conservative politician Ann Widdecombe, vegan model Jess Impiazzi, dancer Wayne Sleep and singer Shane Lynch, before making it down to the last two with Widdecombe.
Act, 36, who describes herself as a 'Prius-driving, vegan, pansexual, polyamorous, genderfluid, Burner hippy child who is passionate about human rights and the environment', said it was 'amazing' that the public had voted for her.
She also noted it was 'ironic' that a drag queen won this particular competition whose theme was the ‘Year of the Woman’.
"My inspiration coming into the house was that teenage boy who didn’t quite know where he belonged or how he fitted in and feeling inspired by the Spice Girls and not knowing what that meant but knowing if it was ok for them to be different then it was ok for me to be different.
"I guess it’s validation that it's ok to be different," said Act during her post-win interview.
Widdecombe, 70, whose views were branded homophobic by Act and fellow CBB contestant Andrew Brady because she voted against every single LGBTIQ equality reform during her political career, won 33 percent of the show’s votes, while Act scooped up 49 percent.
Born in Brisbane, Queensland, Act entered Australian Idol in 2003 as his male persona Jenek without much success.
After re-auditioning as his drag alter-ego, Act made it into the semi-finals and was signed by Sony/BMG.
Her career highlights include performances at Sydney Opera House and Lady Gaga’s private party as well as singing alongside fellow vegan Miley Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.
She also starred in season six of the popular US TV show Ru Paul’s Drag Race, coming in the top three.
Courtney Act was named one of Australia’s sexiest vegan celebrities by PETA
After being named one of Australia’s sexiest vegan celebrities (along with actor Liam Hemsworth) by PETA in 2017, Act made this video explaining that she’s vegan 'because it's better for me, better for the environment and better for the animals'.
She added: "I haven’t looked back."
When asked how she coped as a vegan in the CBB house, Act said it helped to have the support of some of the other contestants.
"Thankfully I had a fellow vegan in Jess and a pescatarian in Malika [Haqq], so it was a case of strength in numbers," she told PBN.
"The three of us always made sure we had something vegan and delicious to eat!"
Act became a vegetarian in 2011, then went vegan three years later.
"When I started touring after Drag Race I thought it would be too hard, but I was blessed with a vegan assistant who showed me it was possible and I haven’t looked back,” she added.
Courtney Act will return to Australia to tour her solo show Courtney Act – Under the Covers. This includes a two-night performance as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival on 1-2 March, followed by a UK tour in June.
Katrina Fox is an award-winning journalist, PR consultant, founder of VeganBusinessMedia.com, host of Vegan Business Talk podcast and author of Vegan Ventures: Start and Grow an Ethical Business, the first global book providing success strategies for aspiring and existing vegan business owners. She has written extensively for niche and mainstream media for 17 years on animal advocacy and ethical business and is a regular Forbes contributor specialising in writing about vegan and plant-based businesses. Katrina teaches vegan business owners how to do their own PR and get free media coverage through her signature online course and group coaching program Vegans in the Limelight. She loves glitter, bling and disco.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.