The long-awaited spinoff RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia will begin filming this month in New Zealand, according to a report.
In August 2019, word first emerged that an Australian spinoff of the drag juggernaut was in development. Australian drag performers soon began whispering about calls from producers. But then the COVID-19 pandemic happened.
Now New Zealand LGBTIQ publication Express has confirmed speculation on social media the production is going ahead and has set up in Auckland.
A TV industry source claimed producers moved the show from Sydney to Auckland after New South Wales’ coronavirus outbreak in December.
“The Australian girls fly in on January 6th to start their 14 days of isolation, with filming beginning on the 29th,” the source told Express last week.
The source also suggested some Kiwi queens are appearing. However there’s no indication yet who will host and judge the show.
Drag Race Australia likely delayed due to COVID-19
An Aussie version of the program was originally in development to air in 2020, but was likely delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic which wreaked havoc on TV production for months.
“ITV Studios Australia have secured the rights to arguably one of the biggest formats globally at the moment,” ITV Studios Australia CEO David Mott said in August 2019.
“With Drag Race UK about to launch and already a major hit in the US and other territories we are set to shantay onto Australian screens in 2020.
“Drag Race has moved on to being a show that captures the imagination of everyone, no matter their age or gender.”
Courtney Act was the first Australian drag performer to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Courtney was runner-up on the show’s sixth season in 2014.
At 11pm I decided to see if there were any flights to Australia. There were. I’m on a flight right now! See you when it’s 2021, Sydney!
— Courtney Act (@courtneyact) December 31, 2020
However Courtney is performing her Fluid stage show in Sydney from February 28.
Last year, Australian drag star Art Simone scored herself her own web series Highway to Heel, streaming on WOW Presents Plus.
— Art Simone (@ArtSimone) October 8, 2020
In recent years, Drag Race spinoffs have also launched in Thailand, the UK, Canada, Holland and Chile.
Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race 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.