C’mon worldwide domination!
RuPaul’s Drag Race is continuing to expand its Emmy-winning format.
In a new interview with Variety, Fenton Bailey – the show’s executive producer and World of Wonder co-founder – said he and his business partner Randy Barbato are developing seven new international versions of the series.
“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.
World of Wonder have also produced two highly successful seasons of Drag Race Thailand with “other Asian territories coming on board.” Despite this, Bailey said there’s “still a question mark about season three of Thailand.”
Canada’s Drag Race is also sashaying onto our screens this summer with Drag Race season 11 alumni Brooke Lynn Hytes as a main judge, while ITV Studios Australia has landed a deal to air Drag Race Australia in the near-future.
“It’s very much our intention to bring ‘Drag Race’ to Australia, and we would be very much involved,” continued Bailey.
The 12th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race came to a sickening end last week after being marred with controversy (Sherry Pie) and uncertainty due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
After participating in three gag-worthy lip-sync rounds, Jaida Essence Hall ultimately triumphed over her competitors, Crystal Methyd and Gigi Goode, taking home $100,000 doollahz and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.
This Friday will see the premiere of All Stars 5, which welcomes back legendary contestants such as Ongina, Jujubee, Mariah, India Ferrah, Alexis Mateo, Derrick Barry, Shea Coulee, Blair St. Clair, Mayhem Miller and Miz Cracker.
Watch the trailer for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 below.