It seems third time’s the charm for Courtney Act. The drag star, whose real name is Shane Jenek, has starred on Australian Idol and RuPaul’s Drag Race, competing for titles that she barely lost out on.
But on Friday (Feb. 2), Courtney raked in her first win on the 21st season of Celebrity Big Brother UK. She beat out Conservative UK politician Ann Widdecombe with 49.43 percent of the public vote, while Widdecombe took in 39.50 percent of the vote, with the three other remaining contestants rounding out the last 11.07 percent.
When asked how she felt after her win by host Emma Willis, Courtney responded by saying, “I guess coming into the house is validation that it’s okay to be different.”
Act was a fan favorite from the show’s start, and was heavily favored to beat out Widdecombe in the finale. Perhaps that had something to do with Widdecombe’s somewhat homophobic behavior while on the show, including getting into clashes with Act over gay marriage and her history of voting on anti-LGBTQ bills in Parliament.
But more than simply connecting with fans, Act used her role on the show to educate her fellow contestants, helping them learn more about LGBTQ and gender issues. She also caught the audience’s attention when she and her fellow housemate, former Apprentice star Andrew Brady, began a budding bromance (Brady is straight, but called Courtney “hot”).
This win just adds to Act’s already flowering career as a drag queen and musician. After her run on Drag Race, Act has toured around the world and recorded multiple albums, both solo and with The AAA Girls, made up of her, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season two winner Alaska Thunderfuck, and Drag Race season 4’s Willam Belli.
Check out Courtney’s winning moment below: