Icelandic-born drag performer HANS has been chosen to represent Iceland in the first Eurovision-style television show, made exclusively for drag artists. Previously named Drag King of Iceland in 2019, HANS is set to appear in the show, named EuroDrag hosted by Drag Race stars Janey Jack and Sedergine. The contestants will perform in front of a star-studded group of judges including Ru Paul Drag race stars Kandy Ho and Cherry Valentine, as well as Real Housewives of New York star Sonja Morgan. Gaylceland caught up with HANS, ahead of their exciting new venture.
“To be blunt, I am just so tired of not seeing people like me in mainstream drag that I took a big contest like this as an opportunity to show people that there’s so much more to drag than just what you see on certain TV shows.
“There’s so much more to drag than just what you see on certain TV shows.”
Drag can be ugly and sexy and disgusting and done by weirdos who maybe aren’t good at makeup but have a lot of passion.”
HANS views their appointment to the competition as a chance to represent the Icelandic drag community, which they see as unique and wonderfully inclusive, rather than the ‘mainstream Icelandic world’.
“Our scene is incredibly diverse and the standard for drag acts here is so high. Seriously, I think we are the most welcoming and experimental scene in the world. I hear a lot about drag scenes in other countries being very exclusive and catty, but literally, you couldn’t find a nicer group of people than here who are just so up for helping everyone.
I’m genuinely really, really proud to represent a place where everyone is given a space and encouragement to perform.”
Of course, the classic image of a drag performer and the most pervasive in mainstream media is that of the Drag Queen, but this is opening up. Not identifying either as a Drag King or Queen, HANS’s involvement in the show illustrates the changing face of drag.
“I don’t necessarily identify as a drag king anymore—probably because I’ve moved away from things that play with masculinity and more into things that play with humanity so I feel weird co-opting that label. I’m a drag performer or a drag monster.
That said, as a female (and AFAB person), I am obviously in the minority in the drag scene, especially abroad).
In my mind, the standard for drag shouldn’t be how fishy you are, it should be how many fish would swim away from you in a pool because of how smelly your hip pads are after excessive use.”
“I’m genuinely really, really proud to represent a place where everyone is given a space and encouragement to perform.”
As an unconventional Drag Performer, HANS emphasizes the importance of local and alternative drag.
“There is so much good stuff out there and I’d urge anyone reading this to support their local scene.
Drag is so much more than what you see on certain famous drag television shows.
Most drag is done by people who don’t have access to custom wigmakers and famous designers and lots of money. We dye our wigs with highlighter, we make outfits from whatever we have and we mix our own music. We do it for the love of it.”
Never straightforward and always thought-provoking, HANS performance on the show will be angsty and ‘designed to make people think’.
The contest will be shown live across the local UK networks and online across the world via various streaming services. The dates of the episodes will be released on April 1.