All the winners of Melbourne’s new drag awards the MEDEAs

Winners of the new Melbourne drag awards the MEDEAs
Image: Supplied

The inaugural Melbourne Excellence in Drag and Entertainment Awards (MEDEAs) took place last night, announcing the winners of 26 categories celebrating the vibrant queer performing culture in Naarm.

“I’ll continue to strive each year to give you all the awards and recognition that you all truly deserve,” founder and president of the MEDEA’s Leasa Mann said in her opening address.

“I’d like to thank you, my community, for allowing me to present these awards to you. For understanding that it’s my first year doing so and allowing me time and grace to work on improving things as we continue to move forward.”

She continued before announcing the Trailblazer Award to Cerulean & Stone Motherless Cold for their strength, excellence, commitment to education and fighting for the rights of others as well as celebrating their own communities in the First Nations and drag community.

Image by Dean Arcuri

And the winners are…

“It’s been a tough year but I am so grateful every single day that I get to express myself with this art form,” Drag Performer of the Year Max the Drag Queen said.

“I am so honoured to be part of this community. Thanks to every single person that has been in a venue that has paved the way for drag in these spaces.

“My mom always said that I was I was put on this planet to perform, and that’s what I’m gonna keep on doing!”

‘Favourite Drag King’ winner Freddie Merkin took a moment to acknowledge all the fellow Kings he shared the nomination with, as well as the communities he continues to be a part of thanks to this art form.

“Thank you to every single person here who I’ve had the honour to work with. Honestly, I see drag performers doing incredible things, especially those Queens and sisters of mine. The time and effort and costuming that you put in has really pushed me to be a better king. So thank you all from the bottom of my,” Freddie said.

Highlights from the night of nights

Besides the amazing outfits on display and a red carpet livestream hosted by 2Joocee, highlights of the night include D Flowers winning ‘Belle of the Ball’ looking glamourise in a ballgown while still wearing Crocs, a stand up set the had everyone in stiches by ‘Bitch of the Year’ Missy La’Minx, Art Simone announcing a return season in Melbourne for Fringe Festival of Fountain Lakes in Lockdown which won ‘Best Drag Production Show’ which soon heads to Canberra and the Opera House in Sydney, and the Lifetime Achievement Award going to the CEO of Melbourne Drag, the one and only Paris.

“As soon as I walked into the room, I just felt the love and spirit of our community, and I felt what we have to offer,” Paris said in her acceptance speech.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work over five decades and I’ve seen a lot of changes, and I’ve seen so much good that we’ve all done.”

But just because she has won a Lifetime Achievement Award doesn’t mean Paris is done with the spotlight, having moved to the country during Covid, she took the opportunity at the MEDEA’s to announce that she is moving back to the city to thunderous applause from the crowd.

Image by Dean Arcuri

The full list of winners:

Cerulean & Stone Motherless Cold – The Trailblazer Award

Maison Burlesque – Favourite Burlesque Related Business

Styled by Esther – Favourite Drag Related Business

Egson Ham – Favourite Dancer

Freddie Merkin – Favourite Drag King

Art Simone – Favourite Drag Queen

Bettie Bombshell – Favourite Burlesque Performer

MX Burlesque – Favourite Burlesque Event

The 86 – Favourite Burlesque Venue

Sircuit / Mollies Bar & Diner – Favourite Queer Venue

Kat Zowthabag – Rising Drag Star of the Year

Winter Greene – Rising Burlesque Star of the Year

Dazza & Keif Reenact the Romeo & Juliet Movie playing all the roles – Best King Event

Baby Drag – Best Variety Event

Bonez – Best Large Event / Festival

Fountain Lakes in Lockdown – Best Drag Production Show

Paris – Lifetime Achievement Award

D Flowers – Belle of the Ball

Mitchell Sheldrick – Technical Contribution of the Year

Tamara Keane – Costume Designer of the Year

DJ Argonaught – DJ of the Year

Justin Teliqure – MX Congeniality

Jemima Handful – Choreographer of the Year

Missy La’Minx – Bitch of the Year 

Bettie Bombshell – Burlesque Performer of the Year

Max the Drag Queen – Drag Performer of the Year

Congratulations to all the winners as well as those nominated.

It was a night where hundreds of artists and creatives came together in full style and glamour to celebrate their communities.

Image by Dean Arcuri

Find out more about the MEDEAs here.

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Dean Arcuri

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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