It’s the news fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race have been waiting for, and finally we can reveal to you the ten fabulous queens joining the cast of the hotly anticipated Stan Original Series RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. Announced by judges Michelle Visage and Rhys Nicholson at this evening’s Mardi Gras parade, and featured on the Homecoming Queens float – which celebrated diversity, inclusion, love and everything else that RuPaul’s Drag Race represents – these ten queens will certainly keep viewers entertained later this year.
Announcing the news, Rhys Nicholson, who spoke with Star Observer earlier this week, said “We do a very special kind of drag down here that I think we can sometimes take for granted. I know for a fact that Ru, Michelle and the whole Drag Race team were blown away by the queens. Each one already a star, but now the world can give them the recognition they deserve. They should be so proud.”
So here they are…
Representing Newcastle is First Nations drag queen JoJo Zaho who started her drag career in 2015 as a political response to a council member stating that homosexuality is not part of the indigenous culture. In response Zaho, as part of Dubbo’s first annual Central West Pride March, walked the parade in a costumes she made with both the indigenous and gay pride flag and she hasn’t looked back since.
One of the of original members of the award winning, cult queer cabaret YUMMY Karen From Finance has built an international fan-base, touring the world with her singular brand of office-themed character drag. She has also appeared at RuPaul’s DragCon in LA in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in headlining performances, alongside touring across the US, including the Austin International Festival in Texas.
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 Jumbo has performed on the Mardi Gras party mainstage many times alongside other career highlights, such as working Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, Conchita Wurst and with Australia’s very own Sandra Sully
Also from Sydney is striking non-binary drag artist, Etecetera Etcetera who at only 22 years of age 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 Erskineville.
Fellow Sydney queen Maxi Shield will also be representing the harbour city, and is a name many Sydney locals would know, having performed for 23 years and winning Entertainer of the year” at the DIVA awards in 2015 and was Madonna’s national hostess for her Australian Rebel Heart Tour and performed as part of Sydney Olympics closing ceremony.
From Geelong in Victoria, comes a queen who needs no introduction. Art Simone, who is the current reigning “Queen of Australia” and has played roles in Australian, theatrical shows, feature films television programmes, and commercials; as well as being awarded Drag Performer of the Year for the last two years running.
Flying the flag for Western Australia is Perth native Scarlet Adams who is a pole dancer, burlesque performer, costume designer and self- proclaimed “party girl.” Since turning 18 they have worked tirelessly to build a reputation and brand as a drag artist. After just one year in drag, in 2016 Scarlet won the prestigious title of Queen of the Court, ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR at the annual PROUD Awards, and even took out the title for “Miss Burlesque Western Australia” two years later.
From across the ditch in New Zealand, comes three queens who will be joining the casting, starting with Elektra Shock from Auckland. Starting Drag in 2012, she is now a resident performer at a number of venues on Karangahape Rd and was the Dancing Queen of Tāmaki Makaurau! Runner up on Season 2 of TVNZ House of Drag and star of Pleasuredome The Musical.
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. Anita Wigl’it has over the last decade 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, and has performed at Mardi Gras twice and at Adele’s 2017 world tour after party.
Kita Mean, another Auckland local rounds out the cast, a queen who says she started drag when after dressing up for a New Year’s Eve party and wowing all her friends. Before long she found herself in the thick of the nightlife, firmly making her mark on the Auckland scene. 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.