Vanessa Williams Shares Her Best Pageant Advice for 'Queen of the Universe' Competitors (Exclusive)

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Vanessa Williams is offering up her advice. The 58-year-old actress co-hosts Friday's episode of Entertainment Tonight, and tells ET's Nischelle Turner her best advice for the contestants on Queen of the Universe, a singing competition for drag queens that she's judging. 

Hosted by Graham Norton, Williams is joined at the judges' table by Leona Lewis, Trixie Mattel, and Michelle Visage on the Paramount+ series, which features drag queens from all over the world competing for a $250,000 prize.

"Be yourself," Williams says in way of advice. "I wanna see who you are. I don't wanna see anybody duplicating anyone else's performance. I wanna see who you authentically are."

In addition to being authentic, Williams, who was crowned Miss America in 1983, tells ET that the contestants need to "do your best, breathe, [and] have fun."

On top of all of that, she says, "Make sure you show up on time and you're professional."

Williams knows what she's talking about, as she won her episode of RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race last year, when she competed as Vanqueisha De House. 

Before that, back in 2010, Williams got to see someone channel her in drag, when her brother, Chris Williams, played a drag version of her Ugly Betty character, Wilhelmina Slater, during a season 4 episode of the show.

"The only time I saw myself in drag [was when] I did an episode of Ugly Betty and Wilhelmina Slater had somebody who was called Wilhediva Hater," Williams tells ET. "My brother ended up playing me as my imposter. RuPaul ended up being on that episode."

It seems that all of that led the contestants to take Williams' wisdom to heart, as she has nothing but good things to say about their abilities.

"The singing is out of this world," she praises. "It's a global competition. We have queens that are singing live. No lip syncing here! They're singing live and singing amazingly."

Queen of the Universe is now streaming on Paramount+. Tune in to Friday's episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET's interview with Williams.


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