Courtney Act is the stage name of Shane Jenek, an Australian drag performer, reality TV show contestant and singer. Jenek is well known for being a contestant on Season 1 of Australian Idol in 2003 and on Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race in 2014.
Shane Jenek was born in Brisbane, Australia to Gill Jenek and Annette Jenek. He has two siblings. He attended Sandgate District High School. Later moving to Sydney at the age of 18. Initially, Jenek had gone to audition for theater schools, but found himself in a year long contract with Nickolodeon as a movie night host. After the contract expired, he came up with the concept of a drag queen selling candy at nightclubs as a means of making money. Unable to find a performer who was fit for the job, Jenek created the Courtney Act identity.
In 2003, Jenek auditioned for the first season of Australian Idol with not much success. He came back the next day and auditioned as Courtney Act, his drag alter ego. He made it through to the next rounds. Courtney Act was considered to be "strangely, the sexiest woman on the show" and became a semi-finalist on Australian Idol and was the third singer of the competition to release an official solo single. The single, "Rub Me Wright", was released in 2004, which peaked at #79 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
During Jenek's 20s, he struggled with both an unresolved anxiety disorder as well as with his gender identity. Ultimately, Jenek began to identify as gender-fluid and viewing his identity as Courtney as an extension of himself. Jenek also became a vegan during these years.
In December 2013, Logo announced that Courtney Act was amongst 14 drag queens who would be competing on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race.
RuPaul's Drag Race
Courtney won the main challenge on Episode 4 "Shade The Rusical". On Episode 6, RuPaul told Courtney to "turn it up" since she was "resting on pretty", a comment on which Act felt offended by, since he considered other queens in the competition to be "resting on ugly".
He won her second main challenge during the 'Talk Show' challenge where he interviewed singer Georgia Holt (The mother of Cher) and her grandson Chaz Bono. Chaz showed a lot of interest in Courtney announcing that he was comfortable enough in his heterosexuality to say that he liked Australian women.
Courtney, along with fellow contestant Bianca Del Rio both went on to place in the top 3 without ever placing in the bottom 2 on any episode. The first time two contestants have accomplished this feat during the same season. Although Courtney did not win the competition, she did place as a runner-up with fellow contestant Adore Delano, who coincidentally was also a former "Idol" contestant.
- I dont do dairy, but for Milk I'll make an exception
- I was a runner up of the first season of Australian Idol
- Is this America's next top model? Sorry...
- Courtney... First time, every time.
- My voice is really high I could be lying?
- I can look good, I can sing good, I can dance good.
- Sewing is not my forte but... everything else is.]
- (As a response to BenDeLaCreme) In her own unique way, so no.
|Season Competed:||Season 6|
|Ranking:||2nd & 3rd (Runner-Up)|
|Times as Team Captain:||0|
|Main Challenges Won:||2 (ep. 4, ep. 9)|
|Times in Bottom Two:||0|
2nd & 3rd: Adore Delano & Courtney Act
4th: Darienne Lake, 5th: BenDeLaCreme (Ms. Congeniality), 6th Joslyn Fox, 7th: Trinity K. Bonet, 8th: Laganja Estranja, 9th: Milk, 10th: Gia Gunn, 11th: April Carrión, 12th: Vivacious, 13th & 14th: Magnolia Crawford & Kelly Mantle
Jason Carter • Shawn Morales • Miles Davis Moody • Simon Sherry-Wood