Watch out Divina de Campo, there’s another star singer on this year’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Sum Ting Wong.
“My drag comes from singing,” she says. “I can’t be a singer out of drag. I am a Chinese male who’s overweight and losing his hair. I’m never gonna make it like that so drag helped me finally live out my dream of performing and singing.”
But how does she measure up to the other nine competing queens of this year’s Drag Race series? And just what is the story behind that name? Everything you need to know is below…
Sum Ting Wong: key facts
Stage name of: Bo Zeng
Strengths: Her voice. “I think I’ll excel in the singing challenges,” Wong says.
Weaknesses: Dancing, she says, is not her forte.
Why is she called Sum Ting Wong?
There is an explanation behind it, and it originates from a terrible case of fake news where San Francisco television station KTVU fell victim to a prank while reporting on the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in 2013.
“When I started doing drag five years ago, I wanted a name that was cheeky but also reflected my British Vietnamese heritage, so I browsed the internet and came across a meme about an American news report which turned out to be a prank,” Wong recalls.
“It was about a missing Asian plane and all the names of the missing crew were plays on Chinese names, such as Sum Ting Wong and ‘Wi Tu Lo’, and another was ‘Ho Lee Fuk’. It was wrong in so many ways, and that was why I chose my name, as my own act of reclamation!
“I’m here because I’m a drag queen not because I’m Asian. Asian is who I am but does not define who I am. I want to show you that I’m a queen like anyone else.”
Who is Sum Ting Wong?
Originally hailing from Birmingham, Wong has joined the competition determined to inspire all British Asians watching.
“So, let’s get a few things straight,” she says. “I’m first generation born here. I didn’t speak any English until the age of three. I live an oriental Chinese Vietnamese background so going from that and being told I need to go to school, university, you need to get good job, you need to get married, have a house, kids. I am none of that.
“People talk about representation all the time, but if a little Chinese h*** is watching this at home and sees me and thinks wow I’ve been brought up to do those things too.
“If you are unhappy then I am going to tell you to do what you love.”
When is RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on TV?
The first series of Drag Race UK is set to sashay onto our screens on 3rd October 2019. The first episode will be released on BBC Three via BBC iPlayer, with instalments following every Thursday at 8pm.
Handpicked by drag star RuPaul Charles, ten queens will battle it out in the show’s first series, a sister competition to the US version which has run for 12 seasons.
After the main challenge each week, the queens will be judged by a panel including RuPaul, Michelle Visage and rotating judges Graham Norton and Alan Carr. A guest star will also offer their comments on the queen’s efforts each week.