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Shane Gilberto Jenek[1] (born 18 February 1982),[2] better known under the stage name Courtney Act, is an Australian drag queen, pop singer, entertainer and reality television personality.[3] Jenek first came to prominence, as Courtney, competing on the first season of Australian Idol in 2003. After the show she released her debut single, "Rub Me Wrong", which peaked at No. 29 on the ARIA Singles Chart.[4][5] In 2003, while auditioning for Australian Idol, he also became the first LGBT contestant to openly appear on a reality TV talent show.[6]

Courtney Act
Courtney Act.jpg
Courtney in 2014
Background information
Birth nameShane Gilberto Jenek
Born (1982-02-18) 18 February 1982 (age 37)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
GenresPop, dance
Occupation(s)
Years active2000–present
Associated acts
Websitecourtneyact.com

In 2014, Jenek was one of the runners-up in season six of RuPaul's Drag Race.

In January 2018, Jenek appeared on season twenty one of Celebrity Big Brother UK and ultimately won the series with 49.43% of the final public vote.[7] Jenek also began hosting The Bi Life, the UK's first bisexual reality dating show, on E!.

In 2019 Act competed and was runner-up on Season 16 of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars, where Act was paired with Joshua Keefe. This made Act and Keefe the first same-sex pairing in the history of the Australian version, as well as the second same-sex pairing on any version of the show.[8]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Jenek was born in Brisbane, Australia, and moved to Sydney at age 18.[9] He originally intended to take the name Ginger Le'Bon and be a "redheaded, smoky voiced nightclub singer."[10] Instead, she took the stage name Courtney Act, which is a pun on the phrase caught in the act as pronounced in a non-rhotic accent such as Australian English.[11]

CareerEdit

In December 2013, Logo announced that Courtney Act was among 14 drag queens who would be competing on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race.[12] She placed as a joint runner-up alongside Adore Delano.

In July 2014, Courtney Act became the first drag performer in history to sing live with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Jenek appeared as a guest performer with Cheyenne Jackson in "Hello, Gorgeous! Cheyenne Jackson Goes to the Movies". The two sang a duet of "Elephant Love Song" from the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge![13]

In September 2014, Courtney Act, along with Willam Belli and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, were the first drag queens to become ad girls for American Apparel. She worked for the campaign Support Artists, Support Ethical Manufacturing of the fashion brand, featuring three limited exclusive T-shirts that honours each drag queen's talents and allure.[14]

Together with business partner and fellow drag queen Vanity Faire, Courtney operates Wigs by Vanity; they started the company in 2003 with the aim of producing wigs for drag queens.[15]

In December 2015, Courtney Act was featured on two singles from the Christmas Queens LP, "From Head to Mistletoe", and "Christmas Sweater" with fellow American Apparel ad girls Willam and Alaska.[citation needed]

As of 2016, Jenek was a foreign correspondent for the Australian news website, Junkee. Jenek covered the Presidential election of 2016 for the site, attending rallies of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Following Trump's election, Jenek also participated in and reported on the 2017 Women's March.[16]

In October 2017, Courtney Act appeared in Single AF, a celebrity dating show on MTV UK.[17]

In February 2018, Courtney Act was appointed one of two Fringe Ambassadors at the Adelaide Fringe, presenting the show Under the Covers there.[18]

Courtney Act/Shane J, known as both in this series, competed in season 21 of the UK edition of the Celebrity Big Brother in 2018, eventually winning the season.[19]

Jenek also hosted the dating reality show The Bi Life, appearing both as Courtney Act and Shane, and which premiered in Ireland and the United Kingdom on the 25 October 2018 on E![20][21][22] Jenek will also host the late-night talk show The Courtney Act Show on Channel 4.[23]

Jenek competed with the song "Fight for Love" on Eurovision – Australia Decides – Gold Coast 2019 in February 2019 to represent Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, but was not successful, losing out to Kate Miller-Heidke, with the song "Zero Gravity".[24]

In 2019 Act competed in the 16th season of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Joshua Keefe where they came second place.[8] Act is the first drag performer in the history of the Dancing with the Stars franchise[25], but not the first to perform in a same-sex pairing[26] – fashion designer Giovanni Ciacci [it] and professional dancer Raimondo Todaro [it] reached the grand final in the 2018 series of Ballando con le Stelle, the show's Italian counterpart.[27] Keefe was visibly surprised when Janek arrived for their first meeting, before realising that he is the alter-ego of Act.[8] Jenek and Keefe dance as a same-sex pairing in the rehearsal footage for each week's performance[26] and he has expressed a desire to perform as Jenek as well, according to Gay Star News.[28] Act and Keefe topped the leader board with their performance in the first episode.[26]

On 1 March 2019, it was announced that Courtney Act had filmed a guest role as herself in the Australian soap opera Neighbours. Her scenes are scheduled to air in 2020.[29].

Personal lifeEdit

Jenek is a vegan, and identifies as pansexual, genderfluid and polyamorous.[30][31] As of 2018, he is based in London, having previously lived in Sydney and Los Angeles.[32]

DiscographyEdit

See also: The AAA Girls#Discography

Extended playsEdit

Title Details
Kaleidoscope
  • Released: 7 July 2015[33]
  • Label: self-released
  • Formats: CD, digital download

SinglesEdit

As lead artistEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
AUS
[34]
US
Comedy
Digital

[35]
"Rub Me Wrong"[36] 2004 29 Non-album singles
"Welcome to Disgraceland" 2010
"To Russia with Love" 2014
"Mean Gays"
"Ecstasy" 2015 Kaleidoscope
"Ugly"
"Body Parts"
"Kaleidoscope" 2016
"Wigs by Vanity Single Jingle"
(with Vanity Faire)
Non-album singles
"Chandelier/Diamonds/Titanium (Medley)"
"Stayin' Alive"
"Fight for Love" 2018

As featured artistEdit

Title Year Album
"Downton Abbey...Snore"
(Jimmy Ray Bennett, Stephen Guarino & Jeff Hiller featuring Willam Belli, Vicky Vox & Courtney Act)
2013 Non-album singles
"Oh No She Better Don't"
(RuPaul featuring Drag Race Season 6 Cast)
2014
"Dance Again"
(Bielfield featuring Courtney Act)
2017

Other appearancesEdit

Title Year Album
"Champion"
(RuPaul featuring Courtney Act)
2014 RuPaul Presents: The CoverGurlz
"From Head to Mistletoe" 2015 Christmas Queens

ToursEdit

Co-Headlining Tours

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Meet the Glamcocks Herself Documentary [37]
2015 Luna Goes Cruising Koda (voice) Shortfilm [38]
This Is Drag Herself Documentary [39]

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2000 Snick Flicks Herself (host) Aired on Nickelodeon Australia for 6 months on Saturdays
2003 Australian Idol Herself (contestant) Season 1 – Placed joint 13th with wildcard contenders [40]
2010 Sleek Geeks Herself Season 2, Episode 8: "Wee Across the World"
2012 Are You There, Chelsea? Herself Episode 8: "Dee Dee's Pillow" [41]
2012 I Will Survive Herself Episode 4
2014 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (contestant) Season 6 – Runner-up
2014 Candidly Nicole Herself Episode 2 [42]
2017 Single AF Herself (contestant) Series 1 [43]
2018 Celebrity Big Brother Herself / Himself (contestant) Series 21 – Winner
The Bi Life Herself / Himself (host)
The Courtney Act Show Herself (host) Christmas special [44]
2019 Eurovision - Australia Decides Herself (contestant) 4th Place [24]
Dancing with the Stars Season 16 runner up
2020 Neighbours Herself Guest role [29]

Web seriesEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2012–13 Transfashionable Herself // Herself Produced by The Stylish [45]
2014 Reality Relapse Herself Produced by BiteSizeTV
Transformations Herself Produced by WOWPresents [46]
Hey Qween! Herself Produced by Jonny McGovern [47]

Music videosEdit

Title Year Director Ref.
"Rub Me Wrong" 2004 Anthony Rose
"Welcome to Disgraceland" 2010 Kain O'Keeffe
"Oh No She Better Don't" 2014 Eve, Trina
"To Russia with Love" Rami Mikhail
"Mean Gays" Kain O'Keeffe
"American Apparel Ad Girls" Shawn Adeli
"Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man" Mairin Hart
"Ecstasy" 2015 William Baker
"Ugly" Courtney Act, Kain O'Keefe
"Body Parts" Marvin Joseph
"Christmas Sweater" Kain O'Keefe
"From Head To Mistletoe" Kain O'Keefe
"Kaleidoscope" 2016 Wallaby Way
"Wigs by Vanity Single Jingle" N/A
"Stayin' Alive"
"Chandelier / Diamonds / Titanium (Medley)"

Music video appearancesEdit

Title Year Director Ref.
"Applause" (Lyric video)
(Lady Gaga)
2013 Lady Gaga [48]
"Sissy That Walk"
(RuPaul)
2014 Steven Corfe
"Jump the Gun"
(Adore Delano)
2015 Josef J. Weber
"Power"
(Little Mix feat. Stormzy)
2017 Hannah Lux Davis [49]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Vivinetto, Gina (3 June 2015). "Courtney Act Is No Dumb Blonde". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  2. ^ Act, Courtney [@courtneyact] (9 February 2018). "Dear Press! I am not 36 (till next Sunday) please cease and desist!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 10 February 2018 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Bruno, Bel (9 December 2003). "Drag idol: Sydney's Shane Jenek was rejected by Australian Idol until he became Courtney Act. Now he's headed to the USA". The Advocate. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Discography Courtney Act". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Drag idol: Sydney's Shane Jenek was rejected by Australian Idol until she became Courtney Act. Now he's headed to the USA.(Interview)". The Advocate. 9 December 2003.
  6. ^ Under The Covers with Courtney Act, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 19 March 2018, retrieved 4 April 2018
  7. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother final voting stats reveal Courtney Act was clear winner". Metro. 3 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Braidwood, Ella (18 February 2019). "Courtney Act makes Dancing with the Stars Australia debut with male partner". PinkNews. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Courtney Act: Boys Like Me". Nytheatre.com. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  10. ^ "GIRL TALK: A Candid Conversation with Courtney Act". Phillymag.com. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Marco Marco Fashion Show at LA Fashion Week - Courtney Act". 7 November 2013.
  12. ^ Beard, Lanford (9 December 2013). "'RuPaul's Drag Race': Check out the sickening season 6 supertease and meet the queens – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Music From the Movies with Cheyenne Jackson and the SF Symphony". San Francisco Symphony. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Ethically Made - Sweatshop Free - American Apparel". store.americanapparel.net. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Wigs by Vanity: About Us". Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  16. ^ Courtney Act at the Women's March, retrieved 30 May 2019
  17. ^ Newman, Vicki (31 October 2017). "Drag Race star Courtney Act says Single AF was like "Big Brother on steroids"". mirror.co.uk.
  18. ^ Staff Writer, Broadway World (31 October 2017). "Adelaide Fringe Announces 2018 Ambassadors". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Shane J/Courtney Act Is Your Winner (Annie runner up )!".
  20. ^ Ritman, Alex (21 August 2018). "E! Orders Bisexual Dating Show 'The Bi Life' for U.K." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  21. ^ EOL (20 August 2018). "The Bi Life: E! Is Bringing You A New British Bisexual+ Dating Show Hosted By Courtney Act on The Bi Life". E! News. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  22. ^ Megarry, Daniel (21 August 2018). "Courtney Act to host new bisexual dating show The Bi Life". Gay Times. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  23. ^ Chase, Stephanie (4 July 2018). "Courtney Act has just landed her very own TV show with Channel 4". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  24. ^ a b Rudolph, Christopher (18 December 2018). "Courtney Act Will Compete to Represent Australia in Next Year's Eurovision Song Contest". NewNowNext. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  25. ^ Rodriguez, Matthew (15 April 2019). "Courtney Act Makes 'Dancing With the Stars' History While Out of Drag". Out Magazine.
  26. ^ a b c McLaughlin, Chelsea (19 February 2019). "Everything you need to know about Courtney Act, Dancing With The Stars' 2019 frontrunner". MamaM!a. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  27. ^ Hudson, David (11 May 2018). "Same-sex couple reach Dancing with the Stars grand final". Gay Star News. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  28. ^ Morgan, Joe (18 February 2019). "Courtney Act wows with first Dancing With The Stars Australia same-sex pairing". Gay Star News. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  29. ^ a b Houghton, Rianne (1 March 2019). "RuPaul's Drag Race icon Courtney Act to appear in Neighbours". Digital Spy.
  30. ^ "13 Things You Need To Know About Single AF's Courtney Act". MTV UK. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  31. ^ "Caught In The Act - Courtney Act". Courtney Act official website. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  32. ^ Duggins, Tom (9 October 2018). "The Bi Life: Who is Courtney Act? Here's the lowdown on the show's host". PinkNews. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  33. ^ "Courtney Act – Kaleidoscope EP". Kickstarter. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  34. ^ "Discography Courtney Act". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  35. ^ "Billboard Chart Archive" (To access, type "Courtney" in the artist bar, then select "Comedy Digital Tracks" in the chart name bar). Billboard. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  36. ^ "Courtney Act – Rub Me Wrong (Song)". ARIA. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  37. ^ "Meet The Glamcocks". MeetTheGlamcocks.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  38. ^ Tharrett, Matthew (23 April 2015). "Darren Criss, Robbie Rogers and Lance Bass Are Total Dogs in Adorable Short, "Luna Goes Cruising"". New Now Next. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  39. ^ "This Is Drag – OUTTv". Out TV. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  40. ^ "Shane Jenek set Australian Idol on fire more than a decade ago as Courtney Act, now she takes on Ru Paul in the US". The Daily Telegraphy. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  41. ^ "Catch Pandora on "Are You There, Chelsea?" 3/1/12 on NBC!". PandoraBoxx.com. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  42. ^ "A Party By Candidly Nicole's Rules". VH1. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  43. ^ "Courtney Act vows to date men, women, and couples while searching for love on MTV's new dating show Single AF". 27 June 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  44. ^ Curtis, Liam (28 November 2018). "The Courtney Act SHOW Channel 4: When is the Christmas special?". Reality Titbit. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  45. ^ "Death by Drag!". OUT. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  46. ^ "James St. James and Courtney Act: Transformations". 7 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2016 – via YouTube.
  47. ^ "Watch: 'Hey Qween!' Season 2 Debuts with Special Guest Courtney Act". Queerty. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  48. ^ "Sydney drag sweetheart Courtney Act performs for megastar Lady Gaga at Micky's, West Hollywood". The Daily Telegraph. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  49. ^ Salandra, Anam (6 June 2017). "Alaska, Courtney Act, Willam Will Have The "Power" In New Little Mix Video". NewNowNext. Retrieved 6 June 2017.

External linksEdit