The cast for the upcoming RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under has been unveiled to coincide with Sydney’s Mardi Gras, welcoming 10 queens from Australia and New Zealand who hope to be crowned Down Under’s next drag superstar. Among the cast is Australia’s reigning Drag Performer of the Year, the host of House of Drag and a First Nation Indigenous drag queen.
Much like the original show and its spin-offs the queens will compete in main challenges to test their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, and take their best looks to the runway to impress the judges; RuPaul, Michelle Visage, and comedian Rhys Nicholson. Ru and Michelle have already completed filming in Auckland, and Drag Race Down Under will air later this year.
So who will you be rooting for? Meet the cast of season one:
Anita is one of the best known queens of the season, having hosted the TVNZ show House of Drag, as well as the monthly comedy show Drag Wars. Among her achievements are owning Auckland’s famous Caluzzi Cabaret, performing at Adele’s world tour after-party and being named Vancouver’s next top Drag Superstar and Drag Entertainer of the Year.
Anita will know Elektra well, as she was runner-up on season two of House of Drag. Known for her killer dance ability, kicks and drops, and live vocals, Elektra is a resident performer at a number of venues on Karangahape Road, and this dancing queen has been working in drag for nine years.
Voted Sydney’s favourite showgirl between 2016 and 2019, Coco Jumbo has brought the house down on the main stage of Australia’s Mardi Gras on numerous occasions. She can list some famous names as former collaborators, including Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.
Perhaps the most experienced queen of the season, Maxi has been doing drag for 23 years. In her career she has won entertainer of the year at the Drag Industry Variety Awards, closed the Sydney Olympics, opened the Gay Games and been named Madonna’s national hostess for her Rebel Heart tour in Australia. Maxi is also known for her work in the community, and promotes inclusion with Drag Storytime, where drag artists read stories to children.
As well as having an utterly brilliant name, Etcetera Etcetera is one of the youngest queens this season at just 22. This non-binary performer calls herself a ‘glamour bug’ and runs the shows at Sydney’s iconic The Imperial Erskineville.
Another title holder, Art Simone is the current reigning Queen of Australia, and has been named Drag Performer of the Year for the past two years. She’s also known in the Drag Race family, having represented Australia at RuPaul’s DragCon last year.
Jojo started her drag career in 2015 after a council member stated that ‘homosexuality is not part of the indigenous culture’. Well, she’s showed them. After walking in Dubbo’s Central West Pride March in a costume made with both the indigenous and gay pride flags, Jojo’s profile has been on the up, and she competed in the inaugural Miss First Nation Indigenous drag queen pageant.
Karen From Finance is not only the owner of this year’s best name, she is one of Australia’s most renowned queens, having been one of the original members of the queer cabaret YUMMY. Having appeared at DragCon on numerous occasions, headlined shows all over the States and being named an ambassador for Melbourne’s DragExpo, we reckon Karen could be one to beat.
Another House of Drag host, Kita will have to go up against her friend and drag partner Anita Wigl’it in the competition. The pair started a monthly event in Auckland for local drag artists and Kita co-owns the Caluzzi Cabaret and Phoenix Venue – so will loyalties come into play?
This year’s burlesque queen, Scarlet calls herself a ‘party girl’, but don’t let that fool you – this queen has a serious work ethic. Just one year into doing drag, Scarlet was named Queen of the Court at the 2016 Proud Awards and in 2018, she became the first ever drag queen to compete – and then win – in Miss Burlesque Western Australia when she took the title in 2018.
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