Produced by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producers World of Wonder, the Eurovision-style series finds countries going head to head with their top drag queens putting their real singing voices to the test (no lip synching here!).
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Early promotional materials for the show teased: “High heels, high octaves, high competition — this drag queen singing competition will blow your wig off.” Interestingly, drag has been a recurring sight on the Eurovision stage, with Austria’s Conchita Wurst taking the crown in 2014 with her song “Rise Like a Phoenix.”
Norton, the beloved host of long-running, star-studded talk show “The Graham Norton Show,” is no stranger to the “Drag Race” world, having judged the BBC’s enormously successful “RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.” alongside RuPaul, Michelle Visage and Alan Carr over three seasons. He also hosts the U.K. edition of “Eurovision Song Contest” every year, and even appeared in Netflix’s “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”
Variety understands Norton’s deal has been in the works for a number of months and was very recently signed.
“Queen of the Universe” will be one of Norton’s most high-profile international hosting gigs to date. The show, which was first revealed in February during ViacomCBS’s investor day presentation, will premiere on the company’s streaming service Paramount Plus on Dec. 2.
ViacomCBS is betting big on the “Drag Race” franchise, with the first 11 seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on the fledgling streamer in the U.S. Meanwhile, “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars” has also migrated to Paramount Plus, with season 6 enjoying a streaming launch instead of launching on its usual network home, VH1.
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