Production begins this week for RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. (Instagram/ michellevisage)
RuPaul’s Drag Race is officially going Down Under, and RuPaul and Michelle Visage have already been confirmed as judges.
An Australian spin-off was first announced in August 2019, when ITV’s Australian production arm confirmed that it has secured the local rights for the show.
Rumours began swirling that the show would be filming soon, after it was reported that RuPaul was quarantining in Auckland, New Zealand.
Now, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under has officially been announced by production company World of Wonder, and the first season will be hitting screens later this year via streaming platforms Stan, TVNZ OnDemand and WOW Presents Plus.
The brand-new spin-off will feature queens from Australia and New Zealand competing to be the first-ever Down Under Drag Superstar, and production will begin this week.
Shantay g’day! 🇦🇺🇳🇿
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, hosted by @rupaul w/ #DragRace‘s @michellevisage on the judges’ panel, is coming this year 🏁#DragRaceDownUnder will stream on #WOWPresentsPlus in the U.S., @stanaustralia in AUS, & @tvnz in NZ. Full availability TBA soon! 👑 pic.twitter.com/S9AQ2RStwA
— World of Wonder (@WorldOfWonder) January 18, 2021
RuPaul will be taking the roles of host, judge and executive producer, and Drag Race icon Michelle Visage will also be sitting on the judging panel. The third judge and celebrity guests are yet to be announced.
RuPaul said in a statement: “I cannot wait for everyone to see that Down Under queens have some of the biggest charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talents in the world.
“Thank you to Stan and TVNZ OnDemand for providing a platform for these outrageous drag artists to share their heart, soul and humor.”
Executive producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of World of Wonder said that the “dazzling queens of Australia and New Zealand have always been an inspiration to us”, while Nick Tanner, director of sales and co-productions at Passion Distribution added: “I can’t wait to see the best queens from Australia and New Zealand bring it to RuPaul’s main stage.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under will be a fantastic addition to the ever expanding ‘ru-niverse’.”
The Down Under spin-off of Drag Race will join franchise versions of the show in the UK, Canada, Thailand, Chile, Holland and Spain.