Australian drag star Courtney Act won the 21st series of the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother in a landslide. She achieved 49% of the vote out of the five finalists.
Courtney later left the Big Brother house dressed in a gold mini dress with her pink hair in a high ponytail. She then told host Ema Willis: “I don’t know what this means … is it real life? This is amazing.”
She described everything as feeling “very surreal right now.”
“It’s amazing to think that the public have chosen me. I guess it’s validation of the things I came here believing in.”
“My inspiration for coming into the house was a teenage boy who didn’t quite know where he belonged or how he fit in, and not knowing what that meant.
“I learned that it’s okay to be different.”
?We’ve done it, Courtney is crowned #CBB queen!?
A huge thank you to everyone who voted and cheered along the way, we couldn’t have done it with you! ?ﾟﾦﾄ?￢ﾝﾤ️
— Courtney Act (@courtneyact) February 2, 2018
The topic of gender and sexuality came up frequently during the show, often in clashes with runner-up Ann Widdecombe. Widdecombe is a former British politician.
“I was just having conversations with people about things that I’m passionate about,” Courtney said.
Courtney Act/Shane Jenek
Courtney Act is the drag persona of Shane Jenek. They went by both names during their time on the show, depending on their attire at the time.
Many viewers praised Courtney/Shane for their intelligent and calm stance throughout the show. Indeed one fan called them “amazing for the entire gay community”.
Several fans also called Courtney’s victory over Widdecombe a symbolic one for the LGBT+ community. Widdecombe opposes many LGBT rights, including marriage equality and also the right for gay people to adopt.
Courtney made a strong impression on the viewing audience as soon as she made her first entrance on the show. She suffered a wardrobe malfunction when she tripped and subsequently lost her skirt.
However, speaking to host Emma Willis after winning Celebrity Big Brother, she insisted that it wasn’t a stunt.
“Of course it wasn’t planned. I didn’t want to flash my gash to the nation.”
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