Say G’Day To Drag Race Down Under

Since its inception in 2009, the reality drag competition has been on a rollercoaster that only goes up. Hosted by RuPaul, arguably the most famous drag queen internationally, the show has had 13 seasons producing some of the world’s most beloved drag superstars.

Drag Race Down Under will feature Australia and New Zealand queens and was filmed in Auckland, New Zealand earlier this year, with ten contestants vying for the crown. The show airs Saturday, May 2 2021 on Stan.

RuPaul will be joined regular judge, Michelle Visage, Aussie comedian Rhys Nicholson, and extra special guest judges including Kylie. The full cast was revealed during the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras in March this year and features popular Down Under queens. Here’s the list…

Art Simone from Geelong, Victoria
The current reigning “Queen Of Australia” has played roles in Australian feature films, theatrical shows, television programmes, and commercials; as well as being awarded Drag Performer of the Year for the last two years running. Last year, Art travelled to Los Angeles and New York, representing Australia in the world’s largest drag convention, RuPaul’s DragCon.

Coco Jumbo from Sydney, NSW
Coco has performed on the Mardi Gras party mainstage many times and is a multi DIVA (Drag Industry Variety Awards) award-winner most prestigious Entertainer of the Year in 2017, Sydney’s Favourite Showgirl in 2016-2019 and Rising Star in 2015. Coco has worked with Absolutely Fabulous’ Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, and has performed at the DNA Pool Party.

Etecetera Etcetera from Sydney, NSW
Etcetera is a striking non-binary drag artist, who at only 22 has already made a splash within the Australian drag community for her aesthetic and activism. Known as the “glamour bug”, she runs the shows at one of Sydney’s iconic establishments: The Imperial Erskinevill

Elektra Shock from Auckland, New Zealand
Elektra Shock is the Dancing Queen of Tāmaki Makaurau! Runner up on Season 2 of TVNZ House of Drag and star of Pleasuredome The Musical, the NZ Herald describes her as “utterly charismatic”. Starting Drag in 2012, she is now a resident performer at a number of venues on Karangahape Rd. Her amazing dance ability, shocking high kicks and live vocals, puts her in high demand for corporate events and theatre performances around Aotearoa.

Jojo Zaho from Newcastle, NSW
In 2015 Jojo started her drag career as a political response to a council member stating that homosexuality is not part of Indigenous culture. So for Dubbo’s first annual Central West Pride March she walked the parade in a costumes she made with both the Indigenous and gay pride flag and she hasn’t looked back since. Since then, she has made her first television cameo on Get Krackin, competing in the inaugural Miss First Nation Indigenous drag queen pageant, the documentary Black Divaz, and hosting the VIP party for the Newcastle leg of Cher’s Australian tour.

Karen From Finance from Melbourne, VIC
Karen was one of the original members of the award winning, cult queer cabaret Yummy and has built an international fan-base, touring the world with her singular brand of office-themed drag. At the beginning of this year, Karen was appointed as an Ambassador for DragExpo in Melbourne. She has appeared at RuPaul’s DragCon in LA in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in headlining performances, as well as headlining shows all over the US, including the Austin International Festival in Texas.

Maxi Shield from Sydney, NSW
Maxi has been a drag artist for 23 years and 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. Maxi won Entertainer Of The Year at the Drag Industry Variety Awards in 2015, has been named Madonna’s national Hostess for her Australian Rebel Heart Tour and has closed both a straight Olympics (Sydney 2000) and opened a gay one (Gay Games 2022). Maxi is a regular performer at the DNA Pool Party.

Scarlet Adams from Perth, WA
Scarlet is a burlesque performer, pole dancer, costume designer and self- proclaimed party girl. Since she turned 18, Scarlet has worked tirelessly to build her reputation and brand as a drag artist. After only a year of doing drag, Scarlet won the prestigious title of Queen Of The Court, Entertainer Of The Year 2016 at the annual Proud Awards, even becoming Miss Burlesque Western Australia in 2018, the first drag queen to compete in Miss Burlesque Australia.

Anita Wigl’it from Auckland, NZ
Anita is the owner and resident queen of Auckland’s famous Caluzzi Cabaret and the host of the TVNZ show House Of Drag as well as the monthly comedy show Drag Wars. Over the last decade she has wiggled her way into the hearts of many, winning both Vancouver’s next top Drag Superstar and Drag Entertainer of the year in 2013, before returning to Auckland. Her favourite performances to date include Mardi Gras (Sydney 2016 and 2019) as well as Adele’s world tour after party in 2017.

Kita Mean from Auckland, NZ
Kita started drag when she dressed up for a New Year’s Eve party and wowed all her friends. Before long she found herself in the thick of the nightlife, firmly making her mark on the Auckland scene. A few years down the line she joined Anita Wigl’it as a drag duo where the two started a monthly event which gave local kiwi drag artists a platform to perform on called Drag Wars. Kita now co-owns the iconic Caluzzi Cabaret and Phoenix Venue in Auckland and has since hosted two series of TVNZ’s House of Drag as well as maintaining her position as resident Drag Queen at Family Bar and Club.

by Joshua Donovan
Source – DNA Magazine