Grapevine explores the Icelandic Drag Scene
The theme for this year’s Icelandic Drag Competition was “Opera Horror” and the Drag Queens of Reykjavík delivered. The new Queen, a satirical version of Amy Winehouse, was crowned with a fountain of applause, fantastic prizes and a shiny tiara. The man behind the Drag creation, Magnús Jónsson, was shocked that he had won this year’s title.
“I had already placed bets on who would win, and I placed myself fourth. I’m not lying; I didn’t think I would win. We had only rehearsed for four nights. Yesterday I felt really sick and felt like pulling out.” Jonsson had tried out various other possibilities for acts, including a Eurovision parody when it finally struck him to send up Winehouses’ drug habits with Mary Poppins’ ‘A Spoon Full of Sugar’. Not only was this his first title, it was also his first drag ever.
Last year’s defending Drag King, Ylfa Lind Gylfadóttir, performed superbly, encouraging the growing popularity and positive image of the King Competition. Thanks to Ylfalind’s performance, this year’s King Contestants had nearly doubled, and the winning entry – a softly spoken, tap-dancing old man – swept away the competition to rapturous applause.
It was no coincidence that this year’s winning characters leaned closer towards the theatrical than the musical. Two of the judges, Executive Director of LGBT, Lárus Ari Knútsson, and model Anna Rakel, commented on what they had looked for in 2008’s King and Queen – “Humour, original choreography, comedy, surprises and the X Factor – the whole package”.
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