Our First Look At RuPaul in ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under’ Is Here

[UPDATE: 19th January 2021]

As of this morning, the Australian edition of Rupaul’s Drag Race is officially called RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under and is coming exclusively to Stan.

In a video message most likely shot on set—or in hotel quarantine—RuPaul put on his best Aussie accent and said, “how ya going Austraya’? This is RuPaul and I’m so thrilled to announce RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. That’s right, we’re coming at ya from Stan so you better watch.”

According to Stan, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under is going into production this week. The drag queen contestants, the third judge on the main panel and the show’s spectacular celebrity guest appearances will be announced later this year. In the meantime, we have RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 2, god bless.

Keep reading for the original story.

[ORIGINAL: 8th January 2021]
Attn gays, gals and non-binary pals, start your ute engines because RuPaul’s Drag Race is getting an Aussie season.

According to Daily Mail Australia (lol), a source said that “it’s 100 percent going ahead. Queens have been cast and they’ve signed NDAs to keep it hush-hush.” Thanks to Australia’s current sitch with Miss Rona, the show will be filmed in New Zealand, where RuPaul Charles and Michelle Visage are currently sequestered in hotel quarantine, per Gay Express. RIP to everyone who hoped that Courtney Act would be the host—me included.

Despite being filmed in New Zealand, the show is allegedly titled RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia and features 10 Aussie queens and 2 Kiwis. Rumours are flying out of the Drag Race Australian Facebook groups’ wazoo, but we don’t wanna ruin the fun—or get in the way of the opportunity of these girls—so here are some queens we think should be on. 

Felicia Foxx 

Felicia Foxx is a First Nations queen from Sydney’s South-West. Since starting her drag career at 16, she’s become “The Realest Tidda,”—her words!—opened shows for Charli XCX and headlined festivals.

Etcetera Etcetera

Etcetera Etcetera is a stunning and stupidly funny queen from Sydney’s Inner-West and a regular hostess at The Imperial and Universal. They’ve also appeared on My Kitchen Rules.

Coco Jumbo

Coco Jumbo is a Sydney legend, being named Sydney’s Favourite Drag Queen several years in a row.

Vanity

Vanity is the Sydney beauty mogul behind Wigs by Vanity, one of the world’s leading drag wig brands, and Courtney Act’s drag sister.

Karen From Finance

Karen From Finance is a veteran hostess doing the mostess from Melbourne. She’s probably best known for MCing every official RuPaul’s Drag Race event in Australia, so we suspect she’s a total shoe-in.

Art Simone

Art Simone is a Melbourne-based exceptional makeup artist and drag performer. With a WOWPresents web series, she’s not only a faux Rugirl already but is a shoe-in for the show and the crown.

The Celebs We Want To See On RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia 

As of publishing, if you’re heading to New Zealand, you need to stay in a hotel quarantined for 14 days. For a guest judge, who’ll most likely only be filming for a day, that’s a lot, so we fully expect some of these to phone it in via Zoom. But, anyway, I digress. Here are some legendary Aussie staples we think deserve a seat at the Ru-Table.

Jane Turner and Gina Riley

Honestly, you can’t have an Australian edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race without the true queens of Australia, comedians Jane Turner and Gina Riley Aka The Kath & Kim. The perfect pair for Snatch Game or an acting challenge.

Magda Szubanski

Out lesbian, comedian and fellow Kath & Kim star, Magda Szubanski is another shoe-in to judge, potentially even as a recurring Ross Matthews-like figure. 

Benjamin Law

Queer Asian-Australian writer, radio presenter and creator behind Family Law, Benjamin Law would be a perfect recurring judge ala Ross Matthews.

Marcia Hines

Marcia Hines is an iconic and legendary singer and former judge of Australian Idol. While it’s unlikely Courtney Act could be involved given RuPaul and Michelle are, Hines would be a nice addition to a musical episode—say, a Kylie Minogue Rusical? She’s also a staple within the drag community. 

Nakkiah Lui

Nakkia Lui is a First Nations writer, actress and comedian. Lui would be a perfect judge for a comedy or acting challenge. 

Miranda Tapsell

Miranda Tapsell is a legendary First Nations actress and comedian, and would be another perfect judge for a comedy or acting challenge. Given her and Lui are close pals and have great chemistry—they have a fair few podcasts together—we would love to see them in the same ep.

Hannah Gadsby

When it comes to Australian queer standup comedians, no one does it better than Hannah Gadsby, the Tasmania-born comedian and wordsmith. If RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia has a standup challenge, you can’t have anyone better than her on to judge it.

The Veronicas

Another pop culture staple, The Veronicas are the classic pop sister duo down under. 

Lee Lin Chin

Lee Lin Chin is a former SBS news presenter of 30 plus years and a fashion icon. All I’m saying is she deserves a Night of 1000 Lee Lin Chins runway. 

Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe is an Australian retired Olympic swimmer. In 2013, the five gold medal winning athlete came out as gay.

Casey Conway

Casey Conway is a First Nations former professional rugby player. In 2005, after he retired from a shoulder injury, Conway came out as gay, giving a voice to young gay First Nation peoples.

Missy Higgins

Missy Higgins is a legendary ARIA-award-winning pop and folk singer. Like Marcia Hines, she’d be a great judge for a performance challenge using live vocals. 

Kylie Kwong

Kylie Kwong is a former contestant of Masterchef Australia, arguably one of the cornerstones of Australian pop culture in the 21st century and something we can see referenced in RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia. In 2019, the Australian chef recounted her coming out to her family as a lesbian woman in a heartbreaking interview.

Gina Liano

The Real Housewives Of Melbourne star, Gina Liano, is it when it comes to cisgender women who exude drag queen energy. The Italian-Australian barrister and TV personality isn’t afraid to call someone a mole, be feisty and look glamorous while doing so.

BENEE

With the show being filmed in New Zealand, we fully expect to see some New Zealand celebs make a guest judge appearance, who better than BENEE. The New Zealand indie-pop star has quickly become one of TikTok’s favourite artists, releasing an incredible debut EP late last year. At the very least, we fully expect a song of hers as a lip-sync. 

The Songs We Want To See As Lip-Syncs On RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia

In virtually no order:

  • “Untouched” by The Veronicas.
  • “Supalonely” by BENEE.
  • “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye and Kimbra.
  • “Scar” by Missy Higgins.
  • “2000 And Whatever” by Electric Fields.
  • “You” by Marcia Hines.
  • “Voodoo Child” by Rogue Traders.
  • “UFO” by Sneaky Sound System.
  • “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I.
  • “I Begin To Wonder” by Dani Minogue.
  • “Spinning Around” by Kylie Minogue.
  • “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia.
  • “Absolutely Everybody” by Vanessa Amorosi.
  • “Strawberry Kisses” by Nikki Webster.
  • “Chains” by Tina Arena
  • “Can’t Touch It” by Ricki-Lee
  • “Molotov” by Kira Piru.
  • “Burn” by Jessica Mauboy.
  • “Sound of Silence” by Dani Im.

Julian Rizzo-Smith is a writer and producer. He also claims to be a vine historian, avid connoisseur of low-fi beats, indie hip hop and Kermit memes. In a perfect world, he’d be married to Tyler the Creator, own an Arcanine and a Lapras, and don his own Sailor Scouts uniform. He tweets @GayWeebDisaster, which is also, coincidentally, how one might describe him.