Once the dux of Daramalan College, Oliver Levi-Malouf’s alter-ego Etcetera Etcetera recently became the youngest drag queen to compete on the inaugural season of reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.
Although Etcetera Etcetera was eliminated in the fifth episode, they say the experience on the show was incredible.
“Drag Race is like the Olympics of drag racing so I was very grateful to be handpicked to be on the show and to take my art to an international audience,” they said.
“It was a dream come true and very surreal.”
Oliver said they first discovered drag after moving to Sydney and not knowing a soul in the city.
“I started going out to clubs, saw a lot of drag artists and thought to myself that it was a wonderful way of making friends,” they said.
Eventually, it also became a way of making a living for them.
Opening up about their own gendered identity was also special for Oliver, who said they grew up without any non-binary or queer role models.
“I present visibly as a queer person, and I think we should use this [LGBTQI+] Pride Month [in June] to highlight how difficult it still remains to be a queer person in today’s society, especially if you’re a person of colour,” they said.
“It’s not about normalising the conversation as it can still be strange, but more about opening up the conversation to people who otherwise wouldn’t have had them.”
Since returning home to Sydney, Olivier has had an abundance of work requests coming through, from shows, weddings and digital work, to reading books to kids at a local library.
“It’s more than I can handle at the moment, which is definitely the best outcome,” they said.
Olivier credits RuPaul’s Drag Race with taking drag to the mainstream, rather than keeping queens tucked away in the back of a club on a Friday evening.
It was a rather unfortunate use of toilet humour in a marketing challenge that led to Etcetera Etcetera’s departure from the Aussie version of the show.
Her commercial was for a jar of urine.
One of the judges, Michelle Visage, suggested Etcetera Etcetera might have crossed the line, while RuPaul said it was a little on the nose.
However, Olivier says they have no regrets.
“I’m a proud Canberran and although I left when I was 17, all of my earliest memories are of the city,” they said.
At one memorable point in the show, Etcetera Etcetera sported a ‘No Place Like Home Look’ which paid homage to Canberra.
“I wanted it to represent the city I grew up in – beautiful grey hills covered in bush and incredible landscapes,” says Olivier.
“Canberra has a different sort of energy to every other city I’ve been to.”
Another dress sported by Etcetera Etcetera on her final episode represented the regenerative powers of the Australian bush after fires.
Their latest project is a new single, Flush, which just dropped on Spotify and other streaming platforms.
Described as a “dance track to get loose to in the club”, the single pays homage to their cheeky toilet humour which saw them get the boot from the reality show.