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Racers, Start Your Engines: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under’ Has A Premiere Date

RuPaul is not letting us rest and I, for one, am thankful.

RuPaul Drag Race Down Under

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Just two months after filming wrapped, Stan have announced that Drag Race Down Under will be hitting screens next month.

Ten of Australia and New Zealand’s best drag superstars are set to sashay onto our screens on May 1. The eight-part series will be hosted by RuPaul himself, as he’s joined by bestie Michelle Visage, Aussie comedian Rhys Nicholson, and a bunch of celebrity guest judges who are yet to be announced.

The queens, who were first revealed at the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras back in February, include Kiwis Anita Wigl’it, Elektra Shock, and Kita Mean, and Aussies Art Simone, Coco Jumbo, Etcetera Etcetera, JoJo Zaho, Karen from Finance, Maxi Shield, and Scarlet Adams.

When the series was first announced, RuPaul shared that he thought the Down Under queens “have some of the biggest charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talents in the world”.

“I cannot wait for everyone to see that Down Under queens have some of the biggest charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talents in the world,” RuPaul said in a statement. “Thank you to Stan and TVNZ for providing a platform for these outrageous drag artists to share their heart, soul, and humour.”

And to prove just how much charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent the queens actually have, Stan released a Q&A with the Drag Race Down Under contestants earlier this week as a little teaser for what’s to come.

 

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But if that’s not enough, and you’re itching to find out more about each competing queen — here’s a handy guide on the iconic queens gracing our screens next month:

Anita Wigl’it (Auckland, NZ)

 

 

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Anita Wigl’it is the owner and resident queen of Auckland’s Caluzzi Cabaret, and host of TVNZ’s House of Drag and monthly comedy show, Drag Wars. She also already has a few titles under her belt, like Vancouver’s Next Top Drag Superstar and 2013 Drag Entertainer of the Year.

Art Simone (Geelong, VIC)

 

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Art Simone is the current reigning “Queen of Australia” and has been awarded Drag Performer of the Year for the last two years. But Art Simone is no stranger to the big screen with roles in feature films, theatrical and television shows, and commercials. Plus, she even represented Australia last year at RuPaul’s DragCon.

If Art Simone’s Instagram is anything to go by, we can expect flawless looks and even better makeup.

Coco Jumbo (Sydney, NSW)

 

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Coco Jumbo is a Mardi Gras party mainstage regular and has won a number of Drag Industry Variety Awards during her career, including Rising Star in 2015, Entertainer of the Year in 2017, and Sydney’s Favourite Showgirl for three years running.

Elektra Shock (Auckland, NZ)

 

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Another one of the season’s Kiwi queens, Elektra Shock was the runner-up on Season 2 of House of Drag and was the star of Pleasuredome The Musical. Likely to be the dancer of the season, Elektra Shock has been doing drag for almost a decade and is well-known for her “amazing dance ability, shocking high-kicks, and live locals”.

Etcetera Etcetera (Sydney, NSW)

 

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Etcetera Etcetera is known as the “glamour bug” in Sydney’s drag scene, so I’m sure we can expect nothing short of stunning looks from this 22-year-old, non-binary artist. Etcetera is known for their aesthetic and activism and runs the shows at the iconic Imperial in Erskineville.

JoJo Zaho (Newcastle, NSW)

 

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JoJo Zaho started her drag career in 2015 as a giant fuck you to a council member who said that homosexuality isn’t part of Indigenous culture. In response, Jojo walked in Dubbo’s first annual Central West Pride March in a costume she created from both the Aboriginal and gay pride flags.

JoJo has also starred in the Black Divaz documentary, had a cameo in the TV show Get Krackin, and competed in the inaugural Miss First Nation Indigenous drag queen pageant.

Karen from Finance (Melbourne, VIC)

Karen from Finance is one of Australia’s most notable and renowned drag queens, with the office-themed character not only giving headline performances at RuPaul’s DragCon from 2017 to 2019, but also headlining shows all over the US including one at the Austin International Festival in Texas.

She was one of the original members of cult-queer cabaret ‘YUMMY’ and was appointed as an ambassador for DragExpo in Melbourne earlier this year.

Kita Mean (Auckland, NZ)

 

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Along with Anita Wigl’it, Kita Mean also co-owns the Caluzzi Cabaret and Pheonix Venue and hosts TVNZ’s House of Drag. Kita and Anita actually became a drag duo over the years, and together formed Drag Wars as a way to give local Kiwi artists a platform to perform on.

Maxi Shield (Sydney, NSW)

 

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With 23 years of experience in the drag industry, Maxi Shield is one of the most experienced artists on Down Under. Maxi Shield is most well-known for her work with Drag Storytime, a program where drag artists read stories to children in engaging and creative ways to promote the importance of inclusion.

She also won the title of Entertainer of the Year in 2015, was named Madonna’s National Hostess for the Australian Rebel Heart Tour, and closed the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Scarlet Adams (Perth, WA)

A jack of all trades, Scarlet Adams is a burlesque performer, pole dancer, costume designer and self-proclaimed “party girl”. Starting in the industry when she was just 18, Scarlet quickly earned accolades for her drag with titles like Queen of Court, 2016 Entertainer of the Year and Miss Burlesque Western Australia in 2018.

*Note: While the concept of a “Down Under” season of Drag Race is exciting, it should also be noted that some of the competing queens have already been called out for past cultural appropriation and blackface featured in their previous looks.*


‘Drag Race Down Under’ is set to premiere on Stan on May 1. You can watch all other seasons of ‘Drag Race’ on Stan now.