Entertainment

Monday 19 August 2019

Who is Strictly Come Dancing contestant Michelle Visage?

The star of RuPaul’s Drag Race will no doubt inject even more glamour into the series.

Who is Strictly Come Dancing contestant Michelle Visage? (Ian West/PA)
Who is Strictly Come Dancing contestant Michelle Visage? (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Michelle Visage could find Strictly Come Dancing rather mundane due to her wide-ranging career in the entertainment industry.

Born Michelle Lynn Shupack, the American singer, radio and TV presenter studied performing arts in her younger years before finding her feet on New York’s drag scene during the late 1980s, where she picked her stage name, Visage.

Around that time she joined female urban dance-pop and house trio Seduction, landing a clutch of semi-successful singles Stateside, including their biggest hit Two To Make It Right.

Following the group’s split, Visage continued with a music career, joining R&B group The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M., landing a hit with It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day, which featured on the soundtrack to 1992 film The Bodyguard.

In 1996, she joined forces with drag queen and long-time friend RuPaul Charles for his talk show, which ran for two years.

She then landed a plum role on his global smash hit RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2011.

Visage has been a permanent judge on the popular series since season three and on all seasons of the spin-off show, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.

She will also appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which will air later this year.

Over the years Visage has also scored success as a radio broadcaster, hosting a number of shows in the US – in New York, Florida and Los Angeles.

The 50-year-old became well-known to UK audiences when she took part in Celebrity Big Brother in 2015, where she came fifth.

More recently, she has been a judge on Ireland’s Got Talent for its first two seasons, and she made her West End debut in Everybody Loves Jamie as Miss Hedge last year.

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Michelle Visage with RuPaul (PA)

Now with her Strictly challenge ahead of her, Visage has pledged to add some glamour to the series while also proving that age is just a number.

She said: “Getting to do Strictly in my favourite place on Earth is an actual DREAM!

“I’m so excited to show that being 50 doesn’t mean life stops. Things may not work like they did when I was 20, but 50 also means ‘FABULOUS!’

“There are plenty of women like me out there who still ‘got it’ and we still ‘plan to use it!’ so slap on the sequins, point me to the dance floor and watch me Paso my Doble!”

PA Media

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