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Interview | Divina De Campo on new music and why she’d ‘love’ to do Eurovision

The ‘Drag Race UK’ runner-up delivers a lip-sync extravaganza for Attitude and Netflix’s BIG Eurovision Song Contest Quiz, on Saturday 27 June.

By Thomas Stichbury

Divina De Campo came tantalisingly close to being crowned the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK – and now she’s set her sights on Eurovision.

What better way to prepare than with an epic performance for Attitude and Netflix’s BIG Eurovision Song Contest Quiz, this Saturday 27 June from 6.30pm BST on YouTube.

To mark the release of Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, starring Will Ferrell and Rachel Adams – out Friday 26 June – we recruited Divina for a lip-sync to Conchita Wurst’s iconic anthem ‘Rise Like a Phoenix.’

Douze points from Team Attitude – yes, we’re bias, so totally capturing the spirit of Eurovision!

In an exclusive interview ahead of the quiz, we chatted to the former The Voice UK contestant about the chances of her one day representing the UK, her new single ‘Gratify’ (out June 26) and the worst thing that’s ever happened to her at a gig…

How big a Eurovision fan are you?

I am a massive Eurovision fan. It’s always around my birthday and it’s the best present: a dollop of camp music and staging. Peace, peace, love, love.

You’ve competed on The Voice UK and famously have a four-octave range. Fancy representing the UK at Eurovision? We need all the help we can get!

I would love this! Can you imagine? It would be like Australia’s entry last year – high drama, high notes and me sitting on a long pole…

Who did you grow up listening to as a kid?

It was almost all musical theatre: Elaine Paige, Barbara Dickson, and choral music. I didn’t really discover pop music till I was 14 or 15, which was super camp kitsch stuff, from Spice Girls and Steps to queen Celine.

Which three songs would appear on the soundtrack to your life and why?

‘Lady Marmalade’ – the Xtina, P!nk, Lil’ Kim and Mya version. That was a moment of awakening for me.

‘Wuthering Heights’ – My friend James and I used to terrorise the local gay bar with it every Wednesday for karaoke. Kate Bush is a staple on my playlists.

‘Break Up (Bye Bye)’ – Who would have thought this little ‘queerdo’ would have made it into the charts?!

Your new single is called ‘Gratify.’ What was the inspiration behind the song?

I am a people pleaser – always have been – and that’s the premise of the lyrics, the old ‘seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given.’ Musically, it’s a reflection of my career really: a blending of classical technique with more commercial influences. Plus, some nods to Madonna and queer culture in general.

If you could collaborate, musically, with any of your ‘Drag Race’ sisters – here, or from across the pond – who would it be and why?

There are so many I’d love to work with, but Jan [formerly Jan Sport] and I won best vocal at the Digital Drag Fest Awards, so I think it would be fun to do a collab with her. We’re similar in that slightly Rachel Berry [from Glee] show kid thing. Just with less of the surrounding drama…

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you whilst performing?

I’ve spent a lot of time falling over and damaging myself. The worst was probably doing a Cheryl Cole (as she was then) number and recreating the swan dive… only without any backing dancers and rather a lot more fixed seating.

As I landed, I smacked my eyebrow which exploded. [There was] blood everywhere, all down my face and outfit, and the stage. I finished the song, gave someone a birthday cake – with blood still pouring down my face – took a three-minute break to put a plaster over my eye, drew my eyebrow on with a sharpie and finished the show before going to A&E to get patched back up. I still have the scar!

Pride is, of course, upon us. What is your favourite Pride anthem and why?

‘Proud’ by M People every day of the week. [There’s] the drama and mystery at the beginning, then the banging chorus with Heather Smalls’ vocal – brilliant.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride is the one time of the year [where] you don’t have to make any effort to disguise or hide. There is no need to conform to society’s expectations. Wear what you like, kiss who you like and be proud of who you are.

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What is your most cherished Pride memory?

Dancing through Piccadilly Gardens Fountains with James after we crashed the parade. It was a fantastically camp afternoon!

Who is your Pride hero and why?

Sir Ian McKellen. He has achieved extraordinary things in his life but still retained his humour and connection to LGBT causes and local communities. Seeing it from the beginning to now.

Attitude and Netflix present The BIG Eurovision Song Contest Quiz this Saturday 27 June on YouTube. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga arrives on Netflix this Friday 26 June.