Rhys Nicholson on ‘bonkers’ Drag Race Down Under guest judges


Rhys Nicholson on the judging panel of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under
Image: Stan

Rhys Nicholson has promised “proper pop megastar people” will guest judge the RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under queens during season three.

Rhys joined RuPaul and Michelle Visage in Auckland to film with the next crop of Aussie and Kiwi queens last month.

And Rhys, who uses they/them pronouns, has said the new season will feature many more in-person guest judges.

“We’ve had guest stars before, but we filmed the first two seasons through pretty deep Covid-y times,” they told ABC Radio.

“For the first time we got to have real people in the studios. The lineup is pretty bonkers. I got to sit next to some pretty wild guests.

“I’m sitting next to proper pop megastar people, and then on the other side is RuPaul and Michelle Visage.”

‘It never gets old to me’

Rhys Nicholson added while he wasn’t a guest judge, Backstreet Boy AJ McLean also dropped in to the Auckland studio to see Ru.

The comedian said meeting and filming with such big stars is overwhelming for a humble Aussie and “never gets old”.

“The greatest part of it is… the token press line is ‘We’re a family, we’re a family,’ but [on DRDU] we really are,” Rhys said.

“I was really nervous getting that job a couple of years ago.

“They’ve been making that show for 15 years. So they’re well within their rights to say, ‘Look, this is your job but we don’t need to be friends.’

“This isn’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race. But they’ve really welcomed me into the family.

“We go for dinners, go for lunches and hang out… Michelle and I are pretty good buddies now, we text pretty regularly. It never gets old to me.

“Just being able to see her on the BRITs and I can text her and say, ‘Great outfit’ and she’ll reply.

“Ru continues to be as incredible and as warm as she is. It’s never lost on me and I hope it’s never lost on me that I’m sitting next to RuPaul.”

Who’s on the lineup of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under season three?

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under season three has wrapped in Auckland.

Australian queens Amyl, Ashley Madison, Bumpa Love, Gabriella Labucci, Hollywould Star, Isis Avis Loren, and Ivory Glaze are tipped to compete.

They’re said to be joining New Zealand performers Flor, Ivanna Drink and Rita Menu.

All will be revealed later this year when RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under begins streaming on Stan.

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.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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