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Monday 08 November 2010

Queen crowned in "Bright & bawdy" QWU show

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 7th November 2010

Miss France
"Bright, bawdy and just a bit beautiful" was how two laughing audience members summed up tonight's Queen of the Whole Universe fundraiser pageant which saw Miss France, portrayed by Alan Parata, take the winner's sash and tiara.

Before an almost capacity crowd at Auckland's ASB Theatre 32 glamourous drag divas, including some who had never performed on stage before, presented their assets to best effect in a contrived first Act. As the evening progressed the show became a serious competition with six fabulously attired 'finalists' competing in categories such as Headgear of Nations, Maternity Wear, an Interview and Artistic Performances.

The winner was decided by a judging panel headed by TV personality and presenter Alison Mau and including trans-Tasman tranny goddess Carmen.

As Miss France, Parata, aka Fleur Dilly, wowed the crowd and the judges with a pastiche of French musical culture which artfully blended Gigi, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Edith Piaf and a host of other gallic motifs.

Second place getter was Clint Woolly whose arch and slightly stoned Miss Jamaica - Marie Jo'Anna - ran through every Caribbean stereotype in the book, proudly  revealing that her 'baby' in the Maternity section was in fact a giant joint "raised down on the plantation."

Other highlights included entertainment from the stage cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Nancy Boys dancers and flashes of over the top drag brilliance such as Miss Russia's nouveau-riche arrogance and Miss Narnia's fabulous wardrobe.

In the customary pre-show announcement of entrants who were unable to appear Miss Fiji was said to have been refused admission to New Zealand for the seventh year in a row, this time by Immigration Official P. Henry who turned her back for not looking Fijian enough. Miss Australia had been banned from appearing on stage due to a problem with Actor's Equity.

Throughout the evening,which was compered by drag duo Buffy and Bimbo, category prizes were presented, including Miss MSD Personality to Miss Narnia (David Franklin-Ross), the Mr Pure to Hugh Jorgan (Ron New) and the IBM Pins and Needles category was won by  Miss France (Alan Parata - the eventual overall winner).

Pageant creator Jonathan Smith says the evening exceeded his expectations and left him feeling "ecstatic."  "The general vibe and support from all the glbt communities and all those people in the audience was just wonderful," he says.

Proceeds from the show will be handed over to the QWU trust which will disburse the money to glbt health and welfare projects.

Smith, aka co-compere Bimbo, announced that next year's Auckland QWU show will be staged in the giant Telstra Events Centre on the eve of the final of the Rugby World Cup.

Photos from photographers at the event will appear in our Scene Pics section progressively throughout tomorrow and early this coming week.

You can discuss this New Zealand glbt community news story in the Forum

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