An Indian drag queen could win ‘Queen of the Universe’

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When it comes to singing competitions, you’ve probably heard of The Voice, The factor, Eurovision and Indian Idol. Few in the Indian diaspora are aware that right now, drag queens from around the world are competing in a global singing competition for the title of ‘Queen of the Universe‘. And representing India on the singing show is Sushant Divgikr, better known by their drag name Rani Ko-He-Nur, who has quickly become an audience favourite.


The first season of Queen of the Universe hosted by Graham Norton and judged by Leona Lewis, Trixie Mattel, Michelle Visage, and Vanessa Williams premiered on 2 December this year.

A global cast of drag queens from USA, UK, France, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and more must produce and perform their versions of famous songs before a live audience; who will vote to either keep or eliminate the queens from the competition.

All the participants write their own lyrics and produce original tracks (FYI).

So far, Rani’s vocals and performances have caught the attention of viewers and they are on track to win the title of ‘Queen of the Universe’ if they make it through the semifinals.

Rani is a well-known celebrity in India, the talented multi-hyphenate (drag queen/actor/model/singer/dancer/psychologist/motivational speaker/writer) won Mr Gay India in 2014 and was the first participant from the queer community to be in the top 15 of the Indian singing show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in 2018.

They were also a contestant in India’s popular reality show Big Boss’s season 8.

A Mumbaikar born to Goan Konkani parents, they were born and raised in Bandra West.

While homosexuality has been decriminalised in India by law, societal stigma surrounding LGBTQ+ people is yet to be fully addressed. Some look at Sushant Divgikr/Rani KoHeNur’s participation on Queen of the Universe as a major win for the country’s queer community.

Tonight, in episode 5, another queen will join Rani KoHeNur and others in the semifinals. Tune in to see if India’s Rani will be the first ‘Queen of the Universe’.

READ ALSO: Advocate Saurabh Kirpal could be India’s first gay HC judge

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Bageshri Savyasachi
Bageshri Savyasachi
Truth-telling, tree-hugging journalist.

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