Mag
Articles
Cramming Glitter And Glam Into Harpa

Cramming Glitter And Glam Into Harpa

Published August 8, 2012

A drag queen named Jennifer Hudson Obama, clutching a red dildo like a microphone, captured the hearts of judges last year to win the Icelandic Drag Competition. This year, the fifteenth time that sequins and eye shadow will glimmer on stage, it’s anyone’s competition to win when the drag queens and kings file into Harpa’s Eldborg Hall on August 8.
But the nine competitors, who take part in a photo shoot, question-and-answer session and talent display, will have a tough time outmatching last year’s year champion, Ms. Hudson Obama, said competition organizer Georg Erlingsson Merritt. “The queen last year, at least in my mind, stands out as one of the best. She was just so brilliant. She made you laugh, she made you cry, she made you scream. She made you wish you were her,” Georg said.
Georg, who also won the competition in 1998, has run the event every year since his victory. To celebrate the Icelandic Drag Competition’s fifteenth year (it took a break in 2004), the event will get a piece of the spotlight, taking space in the main hall of Harpa, which shimmers just as brightly as the contestants’ outfits. For the anniversary, Georg chose a short and simple theme: drag. “So anything goes basically,” he said.
“It’s just a big carnival,” Georg added. “People are struck by glimmer and glamour and outrageousness. Everything has to be outrageous.
Some contestants go all out for the competition, buying wigs from out of the country “because we don’t have a very big wig market in Iceland,” Georg said. Others make their own clothes or use materials from home. Previous themes for the competition included Eurovision, burlesque and the Oscars.
The competition, one of the earliest events of Gay Pride Week in Reykjavík, is financially independent from gay pride, but builds excitement for the con-certs, parades and performances to come. While media and pop culture have popularized drag queen competitions, like in the American reality show “Ru-Paul’s Drag Race,” the Icelandic Drag Competition will also feature drag kings, who put on ties, moustaches and sailor outfits. Georg said Iceland is one of the few countries that include drag kings in drag competitions—showing the overall growth and increased acceptance of drag.
“People are realizing today that it basically is an art performance. People didn’t know that much about it and just thought contestants were just getting on stage, not prepared, and miming to their favourite song,” Georg said. “But people are registering today that it takes a lot of time and preparation to make your acts really good. They people are really putting it on the line to do their best and get the most out of it.”



Mag
Articles
Hekla: The Medieval Gate To Hell

Hekla: The Medieval Gate To Hell

by

Elevation: 1491 m Ascent time: 3.5-5.0 hrs Length: 7-8 km Map: 57 Elevation gain: 1040 m Iceland’s best-known volcano Hekla

Mag
Articles
Hero of the Issue / Villain of the Issue

Hero of the Issue / Villain of the Issue

by

The hero of this issue is lawyers. People like to speak ill of lawyers as blood-sucking parasites who prey upon

Mag
Articles
Word of the Issue: Frek(ur)

Word of the Issue: Frek(ur)

by

The word of the issue is frek(ur). This is a very useful word when describing everyday behavior. Frekur describes people

Mag
Articles
The Hot Button: Early Elections

The Hot Button: Early Elections

by

The hot button issue of this issue is early elections. However anyone feels about the current government, this is an

Mag
Articles
Do Winter & Summer “Freeze Together?” Weather Myth EXPOSED

Do Winter & Summer “Freeze Together?” Weather Myth EXPOSED

by

Each year in Iceland, the first Thursday after the 18th April each year is the official beginning of the summer,

Mag
Articles
Why Doesn’t Anyone Whistle To Me On The Street?

Why Doesn’t Anyone Whistle To Me On The Street?

by

Having grown up in Belgium, where you get catcalled often, I was surprised that no one whistled or looked at

Show Me More!