The cultural phenomenon that is RuPaul’s Drag Race originated in the United States in 2009. Since then, RuPaul has taken the world by storm with spin-off shows launched globally.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK came to our screens in 2019 and has had tremendous success with its two seasons so far.
Now is the time for RuPaul’s Drag Down Under, with Mama Ru travelling across the world to crown Australia or New Zealand’s finest drag queen.
RuPaul will be joined by Michelle Visage and Rhys Nicholson, who will sit on the judging panel.
As the new series airs on BBC iPlayer and BBC One, here’s everything you need to know about the judges.
Michelle Visage is an American radio DJ, singer, actress, media personality and host, who originally achieved stardom as a member of the band Seduction and later, The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M..
Michelle met RuPaul in the 80s when they both worked at New York parties hosted by revolutionary nightlife host Susanne Bartsch. They have been inseparable ever since.
The media personality co-hosted The RuPaul Show in 1996 and has been a permanent judge on the original RuPaul’s Drag Race in the United States since 2011.
Rhys Nicholson is an Australian comedian who cannot wait to welcome RuPaul and Michelle down under.
Since his win at Sydney comedy festival in 2012, where he was the recipient of Time Out’s award for Best Newcomer, Rhys’ career has flourished. He has performed his stand-up comedy all over the world, even filming a show for the BBC and participating in the Comedy Central UK Roast Battle. (He lost but says he’s OK with it.)
In an Instagram teaser, Rhys shares his utter elation at being selected to sit on the judging panel: “I am still honestly quite shaken by the fact I’m involved in this. I just can’t wait for you to meet these goddam women.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under premieres in the UK on 2nd May at 9am. The eight-part series will be released weekly by BBC Three on BBC iPlayer. If you’re looking for more to watch, head over to our TV Guide.