RuPaul has arrived in New Zealand and is quarantining ahead of the start of filming of RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia later this month.
After a local version was first teased in 2019, production on the long-awaited Australian spinoff is finally beginning in COVID-free Auckland, New Zealand on January 29.
A New Zealand government spokesperson told Stuff.co.nz Immigration New Zealand has welcomed cast and crew members into managed isolation.
A total of sixteen overseas workers, including the cast and crew, will quarantine for 14 days in order to film the show. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokesperson confirmed RuPaul is among them.
Kiwi outlet Express confirmed Ru arrived in Auckland on Thursday morning.
Australian drag queens also flew into Auckland on Wednesday and have all signed non-disclosure agreements. It’s not yet known if longtime judge Michelle Visage is also among them.
Across ten episodes, the ten Australian drag queens and two New Zealand drag queens will compete for the title of our first ever Drag Race Superstar.
Producers moved the show from Sydney to Auckland after New South Wales’ COVID-19 outbreak in December.
Reports now claim the Aussie version of the show could arrive on streaming service Stan before the end of 2021.
Speculation is rife about which Australian drag queens will compete, with names of performers from across the country put forward.
This week we suggested six Brisbane performers we think would slay the Drag Race Australia runway.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia joins spinoffs from around the world
In recent years, RuPaul’s Drag Race spinoffs have also launched in Thailand, the UK, Canada, Holland and Chile. A Spanish version of the show is also on the way.
However, RuPaul and Michelle Visage have so far only hosted and judged the US and UK versions of the show. Others are hosted by local talents.
Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race US is currently underway, streaming in Australia on Stan.
The second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK also arrives in Australia on Stan on January 15.