Hello hello hello, just checkin’ in to confirm if you’ve started those mothertucking engines? If not, REV ‘EM UP because 2021 belongs to RuPaul’s Drag Race, OFFICIALLY. This year, the Emmy Award-winning franchise is continuing its bid for world domination with confirmed new iterations to air in Australia, New Zealand and Spain, as well as returning seasons in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada (maybe Holland, too). We’re a quarter into the year, and the US/UK contestants have already left us slain with their lip-syncs and runways – as well as the werkroom drama slash conflama – and we haven’t even bloody started. Here, we spill the T on all the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent (and synergy) that you can expect in 2021.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 (1 January)
The beloved franchise kicked the year off with a bang thanks to the game-changing season 13 premiere. According to Deadline, the episode – which saw the contestants compete in several lip-sync smackdowns – became the most-watched episode in the franchise’s 12-year herstory with an unprecedented 1.3 million viewers. The premiere welcomed 13 fierce new contestants including: Denali, Elliott with 2 T’s, Gottmik, Joey Jay, Kahmora Hall, Kandy Muse, LaLa Ri, Olivia Lux, Rosé, Symone, Tamisha Iman, Tina Burner and Utica. It concludes 23 April, and will tie the show’s third season as the longest ever with 16 episodes.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 2 (14 January)
Although Miss Rona prevented viewers from another dose of British excellence last year, the UK spin-off made its triumphant return in January with 12 incredible new competitors: A’Whora, Asttina Mandella, Bimini Bon Boulash, Cherry Valentine, Ellie Diamond, Ginny Lemon, Joe Black, Lawrence Chaney, Sister Sister, Tayce, Tia Kofi and Veronica Green. Never has a season boasted as many shock eliminations, from the likes of Joe, Asttina and Ginny ; particularly the latter, who sashayed away from the stage mid lip-sync and failed to return. In the words of Tayce, “The cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity and the gumption!” The runways were also turned up a notch thanks to the likes of A’Whora, Bimini and Sister Sister, as well as the lip-syncs smackdowns. We can’t forget RuPaul’s now-iconic rant about H&M, COVID’s interruption halfway through the series – which resulted in Veronica Green contracting the virus – and the takeover of the United Kingdolls. Now that it’s over, we’re not UK Hun.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under (1 May)
According to World of Wonder, Down Under will sashay onto our screens on – drum roll please! – 1 May. It will be available in the United States and select territories on WOW Presents Plus, TVNZ on New Zealand and Stan in Australia. Full availability for other territories, including the UK, will be confirmed at a later date. Down Under will be the third iteration in the franchise with RuPaul and Michelle Visage, after the US original and Drag Race UK. They will be joined on the panel by Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson. Like Drag Race UK season one, Down Under will run for eight episodes. The 10 fierce Australian and Kiwi contestants are as follows: Anita Wigl’it, Art Simone, Coco Jumbo, Elektra Shock, Etcetera Etcetera, JoJo Zaho, Karen from Finance, Kita Mean, Maxi Shield and Scarlet Adams. You can view their official profiles here.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 (TBA)
You saw this coming, surely? Following Shea Coulee’s long-awaited induction into the Drag Race Hall of Fame last year, Mama Ru has recruited another batch of fan-favourite contestants to compete for a second (or in some cases, third) shot at the crown. We scoured all the potential queens who could be ruturning to the werkroom – and of course, it’s completely speculative and based off their activity (or lack thereof) on social media, cancelled gigs etc. (You can get your jush with the rumoured contestants here.) If All Stars 6 follows in the footsteps of past seasons, then we can expect it to premiere in the summer.
Drag Race Spain (TBA)
In November 2020, World of Wonder and Passion Distribution announced that the new international iteration of Drag Race will take place in Spain. Streaming exclusively on WOW Presents Plus in the UK at the same time as its debut on ATRESplayer PREMIUM, the series will chronicle the search for Spain’s First Drag Superstar. Like the original and its many spin-offs, the contestants will take part in weekly maxi-challenges, and each week, the bottom two queens will lip-sync for their lives to remain in the competition. Spanish drag legend Supremme de Luxe will be on solo hosting duties, following in the high-heeled footsteps of RuPaul and Holland’s Fred Van Leer. On the panel, she will be joined by broadcaster Javier Calvo, actor Javier Ambrossi and fashion designer Ana Locking.
Canada’s Drag Race season 2 (TBA)
The first season of Canada’s Drag Race became an instant hit last summer, introducing several beloved new contestants to the ever-expanding franchise including Lemon, Jimbo, Rita Baga, Scarlett Bobo and winner Priyanka. The latter’s lip-sync to I Drove All Night has also been immortalised as one of the most sickening performances in the show’s history. So, it came as no surprise when the series was renewed for a second run. “We are thrilled to bring another season of Canada’s Drag Race to fans, alongside Blue Ant and Crave,” said World of Wonder. “Audiences can look forward to even more charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that the inspiring drag artists of the Great White North have to offer.”
Drag Race Holland season 2 (TBA)
Okay, so this hasn’t been confirmed, but don’t be surprised to see Drag Race Holland return for a second season at some point this year. In 2020, the Dutch spin-off premiered to critical acclaim thanks to its diverse roster of contestants and the addictive presenting skills of Fred van Leer. Envy Peru also cemented her status as one of the fiercest contestants in the franchise when she won four maxi-challenges and never – not once – placed below safe. If Holland isn’t renewed for a second run, it will be – in all honesty – an absolute travesty.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 3 (TBA)
Due to the lack of Drag Race UK on our screens last year, the BBC will be airing not one, but two seasons in 2021. During the season two announcement, RuPaul confirmed that the producers are “currently casting season three with the best and the brightest Great Britain has to offer.” BBC Three’s Fiona Campbell added: “We wanted to share the news now that there is going to be a third series as well. It’s been a huge hit for us and we love it as much as you do so we’re delighted that we can continue our relationship with World of Wonder and can bring even more Drag Race to BBC Three.” Can we get a “halleloo” up in here?
We’re Here season 2 (TBA)
Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela’s HBO series, We’re Here, was renewed for a second season less than 24 hours after the season one finale. Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said the widely acclaimed six-part documentary series has resonated with viewers “in ways we had hoped for but couldn’t really have anticipated.” We’re Here follows the three legendary Drag Race icons as they “inspire and teach their own drag daughters to step outside their comfort zone” whilst travelling across the United States and empowering local communities. At the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, the series was nominated for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.
To hear our thoughts on the brand new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, subscribe to Snatched! an original podcast from GAY TIMES. Each week, we dissect all of the drama and conflama of the latest episode and chat with the eliminated queen, who spills all the T on their exit and time on the series. Snatched! is now available on all streaming services including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.