Courtney Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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
Years active2000–present
Associated acts

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 queer contestant to openly appear on a reality TV talent show.[6] 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 will appear as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars Australia.

Early life[edit]

Jenek was born in Brisbane, Australia, and moved to Sydney at age 18.[8] He originally intended to take the name Ginger Le'Bon and be a "redheaded, smoky voiced nightclub singer."[9] Instead, he 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.[10]


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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

Courtney also has a Wig Company called Wigs by Vanity that was created in 2015 for drag queens with a business partner and fellow drag queen, Vanity Faire.[14]

In December 2015, Courtney 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 has been 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.[citation needed]

In October 2017, Courtney appeared in Single AF, a celebrity dating show on MTV UK.[15]

Courtney/Shane J, who is known as both in this series, competed in season 21 of the UK edition of the Celebrity Big Brother, eventually winning the season.[16]

Jenek also hosted the dating reality show The Bi Life, appearing both as Courtney and Shane, and which premiered in Ireland and the United Kingdom on the 25 October 2018 on E![17][18][19] Jenek will also host the late-night talk show The Courtney Act Show on Channel 4.[20]

Jenek competed with the song "Fight for Love" on Eurovision: Australia Decides in February 2019 to represent Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, but was not successful, losing out to Kate Miller-Heidke, with her song the song Zero Gravity.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Jenek is a vegan, and identifies as pansexual, genderfluid and polyamorous.[22][23] As of 2018, he is based in London, having previously lived in Sydney and Los Angeles.[citation needed]

Solo discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
  • Released: 7 July 2015[24]
  • Label: self-released
  • Formats: CD, digital download


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"Rub Me Wrong"[27] 2004 29 Non-album singles
"Welcome to Disgraceland" 2010
"To Russia with Love" 2014
"Mean Gays"
"Ecstasy" 2015 Kaleidoscope
"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 artist[edit]

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)
"Dance Again"
(Bielfield featuring Courtney Act)

Other appearances[edit]

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

With The AAA Girls[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Access All Areas
  • Released: 7 July 2017
  • Label: The AAA Girls
  • Formats: digital download


Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"American Apparel Ad Girls"
(with Willam and Alaska)
2014 10 Shartistry in Motion
"Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man"
(with Willam and Alaska)
Non-album single
(with Willam and Alaska)
2017 2 Access All Areas
"A Lacefront Like This"
(with Willam and Alaska)
(with Willam, Alaska and Stacy Layne Matthews)
Title Year Album
"The Shade of It All" 2015 Anus
"Christmas Sweater" Christmas Queens


Co-Headlining Tours



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Meet the Glamcocks Herself Documentary [30]
2015 Luna Goes Cruising Koda (voice) Shortfilm [31]
This Is Drag Herself Documentary [32]


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 [33]
2010 Sleek Geeks Herself Season 2, Episode 8: "Wee Across the World"
2012 Are You There, Chelsea? Herself Episode 8: "Dee Dee's Pillow" [34]
2012 I Will Survive Herself Episode 4
2014 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (contestant) Season 6 – Runner-up
2014 Candidly Nicole Herself Episode 2 [35]
2017 Single AF Herself (contestant) Series 1 [36]
2018 Celebrity Big Brother Herself / Himself (contestant) Series 21 – Winner
The Bi Life Herself / Himself (host)
The Courtney Act Show Herself (host) Christmas special [37]
2019 Eurovision - Australia Decides Herself (contestant) 4th Place [21]
Dancing with the Stars Season 16

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2012–13 Transfashionable Herself // Herself Produced by The Stylish [38]
2014 Reality Relapse Herself Produced by BiteSizeTV
Transformations Herself Produced by WOWPresents [39]
Hey Qween! Herself Produced by Jonny McGovern [40]

Music videos[edit]

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 appearances[edit]

Title Year Director Ref.
"Applause" (Lyric video)
(Lady Gaga)
2013 Lady Gaga [41]
"Sissy That Walk"
2014 Steven Corfe
"Jump the Gun"
(Adore Delano)
2015 Josef J. Weber
(Little Mix feat. Stormzy)
2017 Hannah Lux Davis [42]


  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, 2018-03-19, retrieved 2018-04-04
  7. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother final voting stats reveal Courtney Act was clear winner". Metro. 2018-02-03. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  8. ^ "Courtney Act: Boys Like Me". 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  9. ^ "GIRL TALK: A Candid Conversation with Courtney Act". 21 April 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Marco Marco Fashion Show at LA Fashion Week - Courtney Act". 7 November 2013.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Music From the Movies with Cheyenne Jackson and the SF Symphony". San Francisco Symphony. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Ethically Made - Sweatshop Free - American Apparel".
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Newman, Vicki (31 October 2017). "Drag Race star Courtney Act says Single AF was like "Big Brother on steroids"".
  16. ^ "Shane J/Courtney Act Is Your Winner (Annie runner up )!".
  17. ^ Ritman, Alex (21 August 2018). "E! Orders Bisexual Dating Show 'The Bi Life' for U.K." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Megarry, Daniel (21 August 2018). "Courtney Act to host new bisexual dating show The Bi Life". Gay Times. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  20. ^ Chase, Stephanie (4 July 2018). "Courtney Act has just landed her very own TV show with Channel 4". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "13 Things You Need To Know About Single AF's Courtney Act". MTV UK. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  23. ^ "Caught In The Act - Courtney Act". Courtney Act official website. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  24. ^ "Courtney Act – Kaleidoscope EP". Kickstarter. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  25. ^ "Discography Courtney Act". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "Courtney Act – Rub Me Wrong (Song)". ARIA. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  28. ^ "Discography Courtney Act". Billboard. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  29. ^ "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.
  30. ^ "Meet The Glamcocks". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "This Is Drag – OUTTv". Out TV. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  33. ^ "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.
  34. ^ "Catch Pandora on "Are You There, Chelsea?" 3/1/12 on NBC!". 22 February 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  35. ^ "A Party By Candidly Nicole's Rules". VH1. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  36. ^ "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.
  37. ^ Curtis, Liam (28 November 2018). "The Courtney Act SHOW Channel 4: When is the Christmas special?". Reality Titbit. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  38. ^ "Death by Drag!". OUT. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  39. ^ "James St. James and Courtney Act: Transformations". 7 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2016 – via YouTube.
  40. ^ "Watch: 'Hey Qween!' Season 2 Debuts with Special Guest Courtney Act". Queerty. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  41. ^ "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.
  42. ^ Salandra, Anam (6 June 2017). "Alaska, Courtney Act, Willam Will Have The "Power" In New Little Mix Video". NewNowNext. Retrieved 6 June 2017.

External links[edit]

External video
Courtney Act on changing the world through conversation, Matter Of Fact With Stan Grant, ABC News
Preceded by
Sarah Harding
Celebrity Big Brother UK winner
Series 21 (2018)
Succeeded by
Ryan Thomas