Who is Michelle Visage? Strictly Come Dancing 2019 contestant and Drag Race judge

Formidable RuPaul's Drag Race star Michelle Visage used to be in a dance group in the 1990s, now she's heading to Strictly Come Dancing

Michelle Visage Strictly (BBC)

Gentlemen, start your engines: RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage is set to sashay into the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom, the TV judge Ru-vealed as the ninth star in this year’s line-up.

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But who exactly is the American singer and TV host? And how much dance experience does she have? Here’s the tea on the latest Strictly Come Dancing contestant in the line-up.


Who is Michelle Visage?

Born Michelle Lynn Shupack, she adopted the name Visage (which means “face” in French) after spending time in the New York ball scene in the 1980s, where she met a certain RuPaul Charles.

However, it was in 1988 when (a blonde-haired) Visage got her big break, successfully auditioning for R&B and dance vocal trio Seduction. Although not making much of a splash in the UK, the group did reach number two in the US charts with single Two to Make It Right.

The group may have broken up a year later, but Visage soon found fame alongside drag queen RuPaul Charles, co-hosting his chat show called – would you believe it – The RuPaul Show. Then, in 2011,  she became a permanent no-nonsense judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and its All-Star spin-off.

And, in great news for Drag Race fans, Visage has also been confirmed as a permanent judge on the show’s UK version, set to air this October.

Key Facts

Age: 50

Twitter: @michellevisage

Instagram: @michellevisage

What’s Michelle Visage known for? Being a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race

Who is Michelle Visage’s professional partner? Giovanni Pernice

What other reality shows has Michelle Visage been on?

Apart from Drag Race, Visage has also appeared as a judge on the first two seasons of Ireland’s Got Talent, alongside Louis Walsh, Jason Byrne and Denise van Outen.

Big Brother fans will also remember Visage from the 15th series of the show’s Celebrity version, where she finished in fifth place.

Does Michelle Visage have any dance experience?

Simple answer: yes. Remember she was in band Seduction during the early 1990s? Well, they had to learn some pretty swish dance routines for their videos. And around the same time she learnt voguing from Willi Ninja, the choreographer prominent in seminal drag documentary Paris is Burning.

However, it remains to be seen how much of this experience Visage remembers 30 years on.

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