Start your engines RuPaul Drag Race fans, because the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under has finally been announced.
With three out of the 10 queens representing Aotearoa in this trans-Tasman series, they are even the first Kiwis to compete on Drag Race worldwide.
Anita Wigl’it New Zealand
Owner and resident queen of Auckland’s Caluzzi Cabaret, Anita Wigl’it is a well known Kiwi queen. However, she isn’t just a household name her in Aotearoa, over the past decade she won both Vancouver’s next top Drag Superstar and Drag Entertainer of the year in 2013, before returning to Auckland. This isn’t the first time she has crossed our screen as she is the host of the TVNZ series House of Drag as well as the monthly comedy show Drag Wars.
Art Simone Australia
The current reigning “Queen of Australia” Art Simone is no stranger to the screen. Before being cast for this seasons of Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under, Art Simone feature in a few films, theatrical shows, television programmes, and commercials. She has even had a taste at what life is like for a Drag Queen to star in RuPaul’s Drag Races as she represented her home country in the world’s largest drag convention, RuPaul’s DragCon.
Coco Jumbo Australia
Coco Jumbo has spent a lot of time in the spotlight and even worked with superstars like Absolutely Fabulous’ Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley and 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. The queen is even a multi-DIVA (DragIndustry Variety Awards) award winner.
Elektra Shock New Zealand
The second queen from New Zealand is Tmaki Makaurau’s own Dancing Queen Elektra Shock, who you may know from TVNZ’s House of Drag and Star of Pleasuredome The Musical. A resident performer at a number of Karangahape Rd venues, Elektra Shock is a performing queen who has amazing dance abilities and live vocals.
Etcetera Etcetera Australia
At the age of 22, non-binary drag artist, Etcetera Etcetera has already put her mark on Australian Drag. She is known for her aesthetic and activism within the Australian Drag community. Not only that, she is also known as the “glamour bug”.
Jojo Zaho Australia
Jojo Zaho, started her drag career as a political response back in 2015. When a council member stated that homosexuality was not part of the indigenous culture. She walked Dubbo’s first annual Central West Pride March in a costumes making both the indigenous and gay pride flag.
Karen from Finance Australia
Karen from Finance is one of the most renowned drag artists in her home country but she also has quite the international fanbase. Just like her fellow competitor Art Simone, she has appeared at RuPaul’s DragCon in LA in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Karen from Finance is a singular brand, which is office-themed character drag.
Kita Mean New Zealand
The third and final queen from Aotearoa is Kita Mean, co-owner of the iconic Caluzzi Cabaret and Phoenix Venue in Auckland. Her drag journey started when she dressed in drag for a New Year’s Eve party and wowed all her friends. You may also know her from TVNZ’s House of Drag as well as a resident Drag Queen at Family Bar and Club.
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Maxi Shield Australia
For 23 years, Maxi Shield has been doing drag where she has won may titles including “Entertainer of the year” at the Drag Industry Variety Awards in 2015. She is noted for her work within the community, including “Drag Storytime” where drag artists read stories to children, engaging them in fun and creative ways and conveying the overall message of inclusion.
Scarlet Adams Australia
Since turning 18, Scarlet Adams has worked to build her reputation and brand as a drag artist. She is a burlesque performer, pole dancer, costume designer and self-proclaimed “party girl.” She even won “Miss Burlesque Western Australia 2018”, becoming not only the first drag queen to compete in Miss Burlesque Australia history but to go on and win the title.
The series will feature eight episodes which will premiere on TVNZ OnDemand later this year.
The queens prove their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent RuPaul, with Drag Race veteran Michelle Visage and award-winning comedian Rhys Nicholson, with celebrity guests yet to be announced.
RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered in 2009, and is airing its 13th season on Netflix. In the show, a dozen drag queens each season compete for the title of the next Drag Superstar. American and Canadian contestants win $100,000 alongside the title and crown.
The show is the most-lauded reality show in the history of the Emmy Awards. RuPaul entered the Guinness Book of World Records last year for the most consecutive wins for Best Reality Host.
The NZ and Australian co-production version will be the sixth international spinoff to go into production, but only the second to be hosted by RuPaul.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under will premiere on TVNZ OnDemand in 2021.