'What a message that’s going to send': N.B.'s Contessa makes history as first drag queen on Family Feud

·2 min read

Atlantic Canada's favourite drag queen is making television history as the first drag queen to compete on the Canadian version of the quiz show Family Feud, set to air Monday night.

“It was not just a family coming on and playing a game, but it was a family coming on and making history," said Scott Bosse, who goes by drag queen persona, Contessa.

"I was there in full drag as the team captain coming with her family, and what a message that’s going to send to so many communities – especially here in New Brunswick."

Bosse, a self-described game-show fanatic, grew up watching Family Feud. To be selected to compete with his father and two siblings, who live in Ottawa, was "surreal."

"They fly you up there. Put you in a hotel, and it’s just a whirlwind," said Bosse, who lives in Saint John, but has held drag-themed events in Halifax for years, with Contessa’s Cosmic Drag Bingo being the most widely known.

"Everything is a blur. It was an incredible experience.”

The Bosse-LaRose team, who will be featured on the season premiere to air Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. Atlantic standard time, includes Contessa as the captain, Bosse's husband Andrew, his father John, and his two siblings, Brianna and Jason.

Being so familiar with the show as a kid, growing up screaming answers at the television, Bosse said he was used to the "sparkle and the glitter" of Family Feud.

"We were super, laser-focused. Our family, we're super competitive," he said, laughing.

Bosse is no stranger to reality television game show appearances. In 2014, he was featured on Big Brother Canada. The same producers reached out years later to see if he was interested in Family Feud, as they recalled all the laughs he brought to the show, he said.

“It was really just the most humbling and rewarding experience to just get to, as a gay rights activist for over 25 years, to get that moment to go on television and do something good for your community by being visible.”

In its third season, Family Feud Canada features families from across the country competing to take home up to $30,000.

Robin Grant, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal

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