Sydney drag set to shine in RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under

RuPaul will co-host RuPaul'sDrag Race Down Under - the first time she has taken on hosting duties for the franchise outside the US. Photo: RuCo.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under is currently filming in New Zealand – and the Sentinel can exclusively confirm three of the Sydney queens taking part. By Travis de Jonk.

It is the world’s most famous drag queen competition and one of the most loved reality TV shows – and it’s finally Australia’s time to shine as RuPaul’s Drag Race begins its highly anticipated ‘Down Under’ production. 

The eight episode season, set to premiere on streaming service Stan later this year, has been in production since late January 2021. We can confirm that at least three of Sydney’s brightest and most talented drag stars are among its contestants representing Australia. They include up-and-comer performance artist Etcetera Etcetera; multi-DIVA Award winning Coco Jumbo; and Sydney drag veteran and ‘Unapologetic Bitch’, Maxi Shield.

Etcetera Etcetera (pictured) will appear in RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. Photo: Oliver Levi-Malouf (Etcetera Etcetera)/Facebook.
WATCH: ‘Unapologetic Bitch’ Maxi Shield on stage with Madonna on her Rebel Heart Tour in 2016. Video: Madfan/YouTube.

The transnational ‘Down Under’ version, currently being filmed in New Zealand, has been a long time coming, with production originally slated for 2020 but postponed till January 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the production makes up for the delay in a huge way: while other international series featured local hosts, ours will be hosted by both the shows originators, RuPaul and Michelle Visage.

All international crew, including the two infamous judges, had to endure 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival in New Zealand before production could begin. But as soon as it was over, they proudly made the long awaited announcement about the show.

WATCH: Watch Michelle Visage making the official Drag Race Down Under announcement on NZ morning news and talk show, Breakfast. Video: 1 NEWS/YouTube.

A self confessed Australia-phile, RuPaul has an important Aussie connection other than the show’s huge fan base here: his Aussie husband, Perth-born rancher Georges LeBar, with whom he has been in a relationship for 27 years and married in 2017. 

Georges LeBar (left) and RuPaul at the 2018 Time 100 Gala, Lincoln Center, New York City. File photo.

In case you’ve been living under a rock or have just woken up from a 15 year coma (hey, it happens) Drag Race is an international hit TV phenomenon hosted by arguably the world’s most famous drag queen, RuPaul.

The show pits a selection of a nation’s best drag queens against each other, competing to outshine the rest in performance-based elimination challenges to attain the ultimate honour of drag superstar.

Originally launched in the US back in 2009, the five time Emmy-winning American series is now in its 13th season, and has spawned a number of official international franchises, including Thailand (2018), the UK (2019), Canada (2020) and most recently Holland (2020). 

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under will debut in late 2021 on Stan.

WATCH: RuPaul spruiks the upcoming Drag Race Down Under series, which will screen on Stan in late 2021. Video: Stan Australia/YouTube.