RuPaul and Michelle Visage are headed to Australia and New Zealand for the latest Drag Race spin-off.
Drag Race Down Under will sashay onto our screens later this year, where it will be available to watch on Stan, TVNZ OnDemand and WOW Presents Plus.
In a statement, Mama Ru said she cannot wait “for everyone to see that Down Under queens have some of the biggest charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talents in the world.”
She continued: “Thank you to Stan and TVNZ OnDemand for providing a platform for these outrageous drag artists to share their heart, soul and humor.”
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, Executive Producers at World of Wonder, said the queens of Australia and New Zealand have “always been an inspiration” to them.
Nick Tanner, Director of Sales and Co-Productions at Passion Distribution, said: “We’re proud to bring the Drag Race phenomenon down under in an antipodean showdown for Stan and TVNZ OnDemand!
“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.”
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.
Drag Race Down Under will follow in the footsteps of Drag Race Thailand, Drag Race UK, Canada’s Drag Race and Drag Race Holland, as well as South America’s The Switch Drag Race.
It has also been announced that the franchise will head to Spain.
Speaking with Variety last year, Bailey said he and Barbato are developing seven new international versions of the Emmy-winning phenomenon.
“We’re excited. None of them can be announced yet, but there is more on the way. It’s been a long process. I think what we’ve seen is a reframing of drag as a cultural/artistic phenomenon,” he explained.
“Every country has a rich tradition of drag, and it’s different in every country. What is true in every country is that it hasn’t been a television proposition. I think it’s taken broadcasters in different territories a little time to adjust, to recognize that.”
Drag Race UK, the first international version of the show to see the return of RuPaul and Michelle Visage, was streamed over 10 million times on BBC iPlayer.
Bailey credits its success with opening the door for more spin-offs.
“I think that encouraged other international territories to come along for the ride. The BBC is doing it! It can’t be that scary a proposition!’” he said.
You can watch RuPaul’s statement about Drag Race Down Under here or below.
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