C’mon RuPaul’s Drag Race, let’s get international!

The cast for the wildly-anticipated first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World has finally been unveiled.

UK vs the World, which premieres 1 February on BBC Three, will see the queens of Drag Race UK compete against some of the most sickening performers from other global editions of the franchise, including the original US version, Canada’s Drag Race, Drag Race Holland and Drag Race Thailand.

The series was filmed in London and will feature Drag Race UK panellists RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and Alan Carr.

“In a global first, RuPaul takes Drag Race UK to the next level as he opens up the battle to Drag Race queens from around the world,” reads the show’s official description.

“The nine international members of RuPaul’s Drag Race royal alumni will battle it out for the crown. With the UK as host nation, the series will see iconic queens from different franchises and cultures competing in an international arena, showcasing their country’s finest drag.”

Jade Thirlwall, who makes up one third of Little Mix and won the 2021 GAY TIMES Honour for Allyship, will be guest judging – which means we should be in store for a lip-sync to one of the band’s songs.

Jonathan Bailey will also be making an appearance as he will be “swapping the stage and screen for the #DragRaceUK runway.”

Spicing up the judging panel will be Mel C, a former member of the legendary Spice Girls, which is also the best selling girl group of all time. Coronation Street fans will be pleased, as the BBC confirmed Michelle Keegan, who played Tina McIntyre on the show in a whopping 861 episodes, will appear on the season.

BBC Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo will be bringing her well known voice to the screen to judge this season’s international All Stars. Daisy May Cooper, who is known for appearing on This Country, will be making her Drag Race UK debut.

Following Bimini’s iconic Snatch Game impersonation on season two, Katie Price will be one of the celebrity guests appearing to compete as the announcement shows her sitting in the infamous chair.

But now, it’s time for the queens. In the words of Tasha Salad, “Are you ready, are you ready, are you ready?”

Baga Chipz (Drag Race UK season 1)

Baga Chipz memorably competed on the inaugural season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, where she became the first queen in herstory to win three maxi-challenges in five episodes. She ultimately placed third behind Divina De Campo and The Vivienne. Baga became an instant fan-favourite due to her “common as muck” sense of humour, one-liners (“much betta!”) and instantly iconic performance as Margaret Thatcher in Snatch Game. Don’t even get us started on the iTunes number two-peaking hit Break Up Bye Bye! Can she bag(a) the crown this time?

Blu Hydrangea (Drag Race UK season 1)

Northern Irish queen Blu Hydrangea shattered pre-conceived notions of her charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent on Drag Race UK season one. As a self-proclaimed Instagram queen, fans expected Blu to serve looks and not much else. While she killed the runway with her to-die-for mug and quirky fashion, Blu proved her skills as an entertain(t)er with her now-iconic Break Up Bye Bye performance and bonkers ‘Dirty Mary Berry’ impersonation on Snatch Game. It’s been three years since her original stint (which is basically 10 Drag Race years) – can she beat the odds for a second time and triumph as the first ever Irish queen?

Cheryl Hole (Drag Race UK season 1)

We don’t know about you, but we are not ready for another week season of Cheryl Hole doing mediocre. Although the Essex diva sashayed away in fourth place, she failed to land a single maxi-challenge win over the course of the series which was – SAY IT WITH US NOW – undeserved! As one of the most meme-able queens in herstory (facts are facts), Cheryl is guaranteed to make gag-worthy television. If you didn’t see the star decked out in full-glam as she served roast dinners and fell in horse shit on Celebs on the Farm, change that immediately. Oh and we can’t forget, Cheryl is a formidable lip-syncer and girl-group pop princess, so we have no doubt in our minds that she will mothertucking slay. Cheryl Hole will give us a show!

Janey Jacké (Drag Race Holland season 1)

Janey Jacké is hungry for that crown, honey! Shortly after her elimination on Drag Race Holland, where she placed runner-up behind Envy Peru, the fierce competitor told GAY TIMES: “All Stars is calling! I’m hungry. I would love to be there. I cannot wait to see what All Stars is gonna bring out of me and what I can bring to that platform. I just love competing – it felt like my natural habitat!” Janey was one of the highlights of Drag Race Holland thanks to her runways, comedic timing and sharp wit. Her inclusion on UK vs the World feels right…

Jimbo (Canada’s Drag Race season 1)

On the first season of Canada’s Drag Race, Jimbo was the most championed contestant on social media – she even had a change.org petition after her elimination! It was understandable too, as Jimbo cemented her status as one of the franchise’s supreme comedians with her performances in the Heritage short film, law-firm commercial and Snatch Game impersonation of Joan Rivers. The latter, especially, received heaps of praise from fans, the judges and queens online. Justice for Jimbo, honestly.

Jujubee (Drag Race season 2, All Stars 1, All Stars 5)

Jujubee is set to make Drag Race herstory as the first queen to compete on three different seasons of All Stars. Shangela is shaking! The fan-favourite made her first appearance in season two, where she became the franchise’s first ever lip-sync assassin. After stalling in third place, she made her comeback for the first season of All Stars as part of a duo with her best pal, Raven. But, after failing to land a challenge win (again), she lost out on the crown for a second time. Juju refused to give up, however, as she returned for a third time on the fifth season of All Stars. She didn’t win, Shea Coulee put a stop to that, but it worked out in her favour as a new generation of fans were introduced to her fierceness. Maybe fourth time’s the charm?

Lemon (Canada’s Drag Race season 1)

Flips, high-kicks and handstands into the splits – Lemon can do it all! On Canada’s Drag Race season one, the star also proved that she could be an SNL alum with her Snatch Game performance of YouTube personality (and queer icon) Jojo Siwa. Her transformation into Miss Fitts – a spoiled beauty pageant contestant – was killer too, and saw the star beat out comedic heavyweight Jimbo for the win. Her e-lemon-ation at the hands of Rita Baga was controversial as hell, so her inclusion on this list comes as no surprise. Lemon expressed interest in returning after her exit, as she told GAY TIMES that she’s planning on reuniting with Michelle Visage on All Stars when she wins that crown.

Monique Heart (Drag Race season 10, All Stars 4)

You ready to feel the ooh-ahh sensation for a third time? Yes is the only correct answer! Drag Race’s most iconic confessional queen (facts are facts America!), Monique Heart failed to live up to expectations with her short time on season 10. We all know why, don’t we? Budget. With more money at her disposal, she took no prisoners on All Stars – including Latrice Royale – and stomped her way to the final, where she placed joint third/fourth with Naomi Smalls. In retrospect, with three maxi-challenge wins and zero flop performances, Monique was more deserving of that crown than most of her competitors. When she sashays back into that werkroom, we’re in for a show-stopping season.

Pangina Heals (Drag Race Thailand season 1 and 2)

The goopery! The gaggery! The gumption! You have to give full credit to the producers at World of Wonder, right, because how do you top a former winner (Bebe Zahara Benet) strutting back into the werkroom? Put a co-host in there! Alongside Art Arya, Pangina Heals hosted both seasons of the first international version of the series, Drag Race Thailand, which made its debut in 2018. At one point, she even decided which queens made the top five. This is like RuPaul throwing his hat into the ring! As the first All Stars contestant to not compete on a regular series, all eyes will be on Pangina to deliver the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that she’s critiqued the Thailand contestants for over the years. Out of all the queens on this list, she has the most to lose. Can she deliver?