Mama Ru is keeping us fed this year, huh? This year, the Emmy Award-winning host has continued his bid for world dragination with new seasons of his long-running competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race in the US and UK, as well as brand spanking new iterations in Australasia and Spain. Including the sixth season of All Stars, that’s five seasons of Drag Race within seven – we repeat, seven – months. That’s a lot of drag to keep up with, so we’ve done you an absolute solid and rounded up all of the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent from the franchise in 2021 and what’s coming up next. It’s far from over, heeeeeeenny.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 (1 January)
The 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 13-year herstory with an unprecedented 1.3 million viewers. The premiere welcomed 13 instantly iconic new contestants: 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. After 16(1) episodes, the season concluded 23 April. You can watch it now in the UK on Netflix and/or WOW Presents Plus.
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 to BBC iPlayer 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 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)
Following years of rumours, Down Under sashayed onto our screens on 1 May and became the third series in the franchise to see the return of RuPaul and Michelle Visage after the US and UK. They were joined on the panel by Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson, with special guest appearances from the likes of Taiki Watiti, Kylie Minogue and Dannii Minogue. The 10 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. The entire first season is now available to stream in the UK on BBC iPlayer.
Drag Race España (30 May)
Spanish drag legend Supremme de Luxe followed in the high-heeled footsteps of RuPaul and Fred Van Leer as the franchise’s third solo host as she welcomed 10 incredible Spanish contestants to the franchise: Arantxa Castilla La Mancha, Carmen Farala, Dovima Nurmi, Hugaceo Crujiente, Inti, Killer Queen, Pupi Poisson, Sagittaria, The Macarena and Vulcano. On the panel, Supremme is joined by broadcaster Javier Calvo, actor Javier Ambrossi and fashion designer Ana Locking, with special guest appearances from Jon Kortajarena, Bad Gyal and Drag Race Holland winner Envy Peru. The winner of Drag Race España will be announced 25 July and receives a year’s worth of free Krash Kosmetics, a crown and sceptre, an appearance on the cover of a famous magazine – courtesy of Samsung – and a cash prize of €30,000. You can watch the series now in the UK on WOW Presents Plus.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 (24 June)
The sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars premiered 24 June on Paramount+ and featured the biggest cast in the show’s herstory as 13 fan-favourites sashayed back into the werkroom for a second – and in some cases, third – shot at the crown. The queens competing for a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame are: A’Keria C. Davenport, Eureka O’Hara, Ginger Minj, Jiggly Caliente, Kylie Sonique Love, Pandora Boxx, Ra’Jah O’Hara, Scarlet Envy, Serena Cha Cha, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Trinity K. Bonet and Yara Sofia. The winner will be crowned on 2 September.
Drag Race Holland season 2 (6 August)
Premiering 6 August exclusively on WOW Presents Plus in the UK and internationally, as well as Videoland in Holland, the second season of Drag Race Holland will see the return of the incredible Fred Van Leer as presenter and main judge. Like its inaugural season, the new instalment will feature 10 drag queens from the Netherlands who compete in weekly maxi-challenges, runway walks and lip-sync smackdowns to earn the title of ‘Next Dutch Drag Race Superstar.’ The first season received praise from fans and critics due to Van Leer’s infectious hosting skills and the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the cast – particularly winner Envy Peru, who slaughtered the competition with four maxi-challenge wins.
Canada’s Drag Race season 2 (TBA)
The first season of Canada’s Drag Race became an instant hit last summer, 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.” Sadly, Stacey McKenzie and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman are unable to return for a second stint, so Brooke Lynn Hytes – who made herstory as the first former Drag Race contestant to become a judge on the franchise – will be joined by season one guest host Amanda Brugel, TV personality and celebrity stylist Brad Goreski and Traci Melchor, ETALK Senior Correspondent. A date hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s expected to arrive later this summer.
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.” On 19 July, BBC Three’s Twitter account released a sparkle-filled teaser, featuring each queen’s hands poking through a hole to the beat of RuPaul’s banger Category Is, before confirming the premiere date as Autumn 2021. They added: “Keep your eyes peeled for more #DragRaceUK Series 3 ru-veals coming very, very soon!”
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 All Stars, 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.