Article Title:A right-royal finale
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:22nd July 2012 - 02:46 pm
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Story ID:12022
Text:Jacqui Stanford reviews the final-ever Queen of the Whole Universe at Auckland’s ASB Theatre on 21 July, 2012. Buffy and Bimbo flank Mr GayNZ and Mr Gay World title holder Andreas Derleth at the final QWU show. From the opening voice over the jam-packed crowd was shrieking. Miss New Zealand, we were told, had been disqualified due to residency issues – she was born in Stewart Island. Miss Israel was thrown out, puzzlingly for the gender-bending show, because she had a penis. Lady Gaga was the most popular music choice on the night, and fittingly Born This Way was the opener, as the entire cast donned circus outfits and the ‘girls’ showed off their skill dancing in heels, if not overly in time, but with plenty of vigour. Buffy and Bimbo welcomed the audience, and pointed out some in the front row seemed a little shocked about what they’d seen, and might be in the wrong place. “No it’s not Jersey Boys,” Bimbo cried. “No it’s not f-ing Mary Poppins.” Compere Brad Hills then joined the pair, returning freshly wed from his new home in LA to reprise his role between Buffy and Bimbo as the third host, and allowing the odd threesome to raise the camp comedy level to even sillier realms, as he gave Bimbo endless stick, even leaving her speechless, to which he added: “Are the three pairs of pantyhose cutting off oxygen to your brain?” It was then revealed that the real drive of Queen of the Whole Universe, aside from pure entertainment, had been incredibly successful – the final show raised another $40,000 for HIV-support charities, bringing the total raised since its inception in 2004 to $215,000. Miss Congeniality was awarded to Miss Bermuda Triangle Seamus Gormley (with the competition widened after the requirement the winner must be a virgin removed). Mr Gay World Andy Derleth, no stranger to pageantry, handed out the prize. Buffy and Bimbo’s attempts to place the sash on the winner somehow left it upside down and back to front, and typically it was hard to establish whether this was all part of the act, or an actual malfunction. Mr Personality was given to one of the talented ‘men’, Boy 4 “Johnny Gash” (Mel Church) after we were told “tucking is not a judging criteria, in fact it’s the exact opposite. The bigger the bulge the better the chances!” Being the closing show, it also touched on entrants of the past, with Owen Anderson given the ‘Directors Choice’ award for his Miss Morocco entry. This resulted in the most disastrous sash-placing attempt of the evening: in the end it was placed around Anderson’s neck like a scarf. It was a giant cock which ultimately won the section The 2x2 metre size limitation for the crowd favourite Headgear of Nations was thrown out for the final show, and size really did matter, with the hugest entries; Miss Egypt, Miss Portugal and Miss Tartarus making the final three, and Portugal winning thanks to the cock she donned (yes, it was actually a rooster). Miss Cuba really lit things up with her giant cigar headpiece Other entries popular with the crowd were Miss Cuba “Isla Crisis” with a giant smoke-blowing cigar, Miss England “Lezzie Beth” complete with Charles as her guide and a corgi, on wheels, while Miss Turkey “Gobble Gobble Delight” was dressed in full turkey suit. One of the best parts of Queen of the Whole Universe is the entrants’ fake names. Picks of the final have to be Miss “Dirty Cashinhergash” Cayman Islands, Miss “Camille Toe” Dubai, Miss “Pooja Pantees” India, Miss “Sheila Carlotta Tongue” Pacific Rim and “Little Miss Afro Bush” representing Teen Black America. We were then taken back in time once again as the only multiple winner of Queen of the Whole Universe Steve Lawrence reprised his 2008 classic performance of Miss Transylvania “Nora Vein”, busting out Thriller, the Time Warp and Sweet Transvesite with the help of talented dancers from the Apollo Theatre Company and including the full Hillary Barry spoof newsroom cross. The crowd was then whipped up with an unforgettable rendition of Poi E, where the poi was twirled with a hilariously mixed variety of skill and eagerness led by adept spinner Miss Teen Black America Te Herekiekie Herewini. Buffy and Bimbo then announced they had picked up an agony aunt style gig on TVNZ’s Good Morning every Friday morning, no doubt thanks to their fabulous recent appearance promoting QWU. They asked people to email in questions for the weekly slot. The top 10 was announced and Berlin was quickly knocked out, literally, by Galapagos Islands, who was disqualified for the head-butt. Belgium was also thrown out of the final line-up, much to the disappointment of rows and rows of flag-waving fans in the front section of the theatre. “She said she got through so you bought seats,” Bimbo laughed. A blonde and light-skinned Miss Fiji was also given the heave-ho for not appearing native enough. “You don’t have frizzy hair,” she was told. Miss Teen Black America made the final 10 but was turfed out for “poor taste” after performing a Whitney Houston tribute, lying in a bath, which the crowd first gasped at but ultimately loved. Miss Egypt Miss Egypt walked like an Egyptian and shook like Shakira, and then Miss Spain raced ahead of the competition with a racy mixture of sexiness and slapstick. Her mile-a-minute mixture of Lady Gaga’s Alejandro and Ricky Martin’s She Bangs was punctuated with a hilarious bit of Monty Python and slapstick comedy, which led compere Hills to remark “I feel like I just watched Ricky Martin banging a Spanish Benny Hill”. Miss Spain’s performance was as flawless as it was colourful, her dancers were sexy and impeccable and her costume changes were seamless. We then found out that the show had, subject to official confirmation, once again broken its own Guinness record for most drag performers on stage at one time. Miss Bali Hai then graced the stage with a love story involving a Captain Stubbing-esque figure with some fabulous rock and roll moves and luscious lashes, as we went back in time with Lonely Teardrops and the Conga. Miss Portugal was, thankfully, halted when she began to bust out My Heart Will Go On, then allowed to continue when Celine Dion fans in the crowd protested. Then she lost all her clothes and was left with nothing but a huge fake dong, bush and balls, leaving the crowd screaming in laughter as she sprinted from the stage. Miss Vatican City Miss Vatican City gave Miss Spain a real run for her money with a brilliantly unholy display involving a stunning baroque backdrop, pews, a pulpit and candles, with dancers in revolving rainbow tinted habits, which would have the Pope shaking in his robe. You could almost hear the screams of horror from the real Vatican City as “Sister Mary Eve Anne Jellicle” donned red leather for Lady Gaga’s Judas, complete with a ride on stage on a motorbike. “I’m not quite sure what religion that was but can I get a Hallelujah?” Hills quipped after the performance. Karleen Edmonds with her fiance, head judge Ali Mau As the judges, led by Ali Mau and including Wellington popular Wellington bar owners Scotty and Mal, deliberated, Buffy and Bimbo reprised their infamous It’s Raining Men routine with backing from the again marvellous Apollo Theatre Company dancers. A montage of the past winners through the years of QWU was shown, then Mau took the stage to joke “I have nothing at all to announce this time,” after declaring she was bi at her last appearance on the QWU stage. The deserving top two were announced: Miss Vatican City was declared runner-up and Miss Spain the winner. “Miss Spain won by a long way,” Mau announced. “You know you wanted her to, she’s smoking hot,” she told the crowd. Winner Miss Spain Miss Spain took the final moment of glory in QWU’s proud competitive history, before Buffy and Bimbo announced that in two years’ time the concept will be back as musical, documenting its journey. Lady Gaga was back once again to close out the final Queen of the Whole Universe, as the emotion on Buffy and Bimbo’s faces was clear as the curtain fell for the final time. That was until the curtain came up again, and went down again, and came up again, ending Queen of the Whole Universe with the same fabulously silly humour it’s given us for ten years. Jacqui Stanford - 22nd July 2012    
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