RuPaul’s Drag Race royalty Courtney Act has weighed in on Drag Race Down Under and also spilled some behind-the-scenes tea on the show.
Courtney, who appeared on Drag Race season 6 and was runner-up, co-hosts the podcast Brenda, Call Me with drag BFF Vanity Faire.
On the newest episode, the pair discussed the upcoming Aussie spinoff and shed some light on the unusual casting process.
“They didn’t put out a call for people to submit auditions which they normally do,” Courtney explained.
“Instead one of the casting producers just sent messages. But the thing is, it wasn’t from an official account.
“She had an Instagram account that exclusively had photos of those hairless sphinx cats.
“All of these drag queens around Australia and New Zealand keep getting messages in their DMs – in the ‘Other’ folder on their Instagram accounts.
“[Messages] from some lovely but seemingly crazy cat lady saying ‘Oh, uh, could you please send me an email? I have an important opportunity.’”
Production on Drag Race Down Under moved from Sydney to Auckland due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Joining RuPaul and Michelle Visage on the judging panel is Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson.
Courtney also said the fourth guest judge may “beamed in” virtually to get around closed borders and quarantine.
If this is true, it means we may see Kylie Minogue judge a Night of 1000 Kylies runway after all.
Courtney went on, “People don’t realise once you get the ‘yes’ from Drag Race, you only have a couple of weeks [to prepare].
“These poor bitches had to prepare over Christmas during COVID.”
Courtney Act welcomes Down Under queens ‘to the Ru girl family’
Courtney Act sent her love to the Australian and New Zealand drag queens and “personally welcomed them into the Ru girl family.”
In the podcast, the duo also discussed the evolution of RuPaul’s Drag Race between seasons 1 and 13.
“[The show] has changed a lot. There’s a lot more money in it and the stakes are a lot higher,” Courtney explained.
“When we saw Drag Race UK, it wasn’t like Drag Race season 1, but we saw it very differently. With UK season 2, they’ve upped the ante.
“I’m really interested to see how Drag Race Down Under affects the Australian drag scene.
“Before, Australian drag queens strived for greatness and excellence and did a brilliant job but there was never the financial incentive.
“The Ru girls would come here and get paid huge amounts of money and the local girls [wouldn’t].”
Courtney went on, “I think Australian drag is like the best bits of US drag and the best bits of UK drag.
“We don’t take ourselves seriously but we’ve got this gorgeous polish and glamour that US drag does. I just can’t wait.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under is arriving on Stan later this year.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.