In full drag, Toronto’s Miss Conception plunged headfirst into the obstacle course, diving into freezing cold water, crawling through mud and bouncing off big red balls, all the time with her kohl-painted eye on the $50,000 prize.
Proud FM’s Miss Conception, aka Kevin Levesque, was whisked away to Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Oct 12 to 18 to shoot an episode for the first season of Wipeout Canada, a reality show featuring hilariously cringe-inducing obstacle courses.
Levesque was one of 20 Canadian contestants, including seven from Toronto, on the episode, dubbed “Beauties and Geeks.”
The episode will air in March on TVtropolis.
“It was, honestly, one of the best experiences of my life,” Levesque said. “I met the most amazing people and had the time of my life.”
Wearing a Richard Ryder-designed pink sequined bathing suit, tear-away skirt, glitter-covered sneakers and black wig, the singer/dancer/drag performer extraordinaire finished the course injury-free, albeit slightly soggy with dripping makeup.
If he’s declared the winner – something viewers won’t know until the episode hits the screen – he wants to take his parents to Las Vegas and pay off some debt.
Levesque plans to auction off one of the three costumes he had made for the show at a launch party at Woody’s on the night the episode airs.
The proceeds from the auction will go to the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation Friends for Life bike rally, which he will participate in in July, riding from Toronto to Montreal.
The Wipeout adventure began at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre at an audition in July, where Levesque showed the producers why Miss Conception should be the show’s first drag queen contestant.
“I wore a green sequined Lady Gaga costume and everyone was blown away,” he said. “They were like, ‘Who the hell are you?’
“Hey, drag queens make good television. There’s nothing funnier than a fat drag queen falling in the mud.”
In the audition he gave the panel a taste of what his victory dance would look like.
“I just started doing cartwheels across the floor in high heels,” he said.
A month later, while at the CNE with his parents, Levesque found out he was one of 300 finalists chosen from 45,000 people across Canada.
“But I had to keep it a secret for over a month,” he said. “It was awful. I couldn’t even tell my friends. No one.”
While at the airport he met his 20 fellow contestants, a colourful collection of characters that included a stripper named Reid (“my future ex-husband,” Levesque says), a Playboy bunny, a firefighter (“a delicious beefy old thing,” he says), Star Wars nerds and a guy who researches garbage for a living.
“One guy on the show had never met a gay guy before in his life,” he said. “By the end of the show we were hugging.”
On the day of the shoot, Levesque was up at 3am getting dolled up in drag to be on set by 4am for an interview with host Jessica Phillips.
After a quick scan of the course, contestants were sequestered in a tent while they waited their turn. There, the motley crew bonded, sang songs and shared stories, he said.
“When it was my turn I had no idea what went through my mind,” he said. “I was crawling through mud, things flying off the punching wall at me, bouncing off the big red balls, all in full drag,” he said. “It was so crazy.
“I went into the water in drag and came out as Daddy Warbucks because I lost my wig,” he said.
The course takes all of about two or three minutes to complete. For Levesque, it was mostly a blur.
But he’s contractually bound not to reveal the results until after the episode hits screens.
“I ran through this course like a bitch, drenched and covered in mud,” he laughed. “Then they announced the top 12. And I can’t say any more till it airs in March.”
Would he do it all again?
“Absolutely,” he said enthusiastically. “I can’t apply to another reality show for a year and a half.”
After the shoot, he had about two days to see the sights, including Eva Perón’s grave.
“I stood under the balcony and sang ‘Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,’” he laughed. “And I went to a straight club, which I haven’t been to in forever, and had the best time.”
He also made lifelong friends with his fellow contestants, people he’s still in close contact with today.
“We were all hugging and crying at the airport,” he said. “It was amazing.”
Check out at Miss Conception’s website at missconception.ca.