Season one of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Down Under is finally here and ready to sashay its way into our living rooms. After months of speculation and many hours scrolling through reddit, the official cast has been dropped and we’re here to spill, sip and kiki with you, heeeennnnny!
Earlier tonight at the 2021 Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, Stan – Australian streaming platform and the home of Drag Race in Australia – ruvealed the highly anticipated drag queens that will be walking down the runway of the Stan original series RuPaul’s Drag Race: Down Under.
But Mama Ru took a leaf out of the always iconic and sometimes “very attacked right now” Laganja Estranja’s book and asked us “so y’all wanted a twist ey?”. And a twist he did deliver. Not only was this season filmed in The Land of the Long White Cloud (that’s New Zealand for those of you who didn’t get that reference), three of the ten girls competing for the crown are kiwis themselves!
So… without further ado (drumroll, please) here are the ten queens competing to be Down Under’s next drag superstar…
Art Simone (Geelong, VIC) – @rtist_
If the name Art Simone is ringing in a bell then chances are you probably don’t live under a Rock M Sakura, because she has been everywhere, from future length films, tv shows, commercials as well as being awarded Drag Performer of the Year for not one but two years running. Not only that, but just last year, Art travelled to New York and Los Angles to represent Australia at the world’s largest drag convention, RuPaul’s DragCon.
Coco Jumbo (Sydney, NSW) – @_cocojumbo
No, that annoyingly catchy song from the 90’s isn’t competing to be the next drag superstar – it’s Sydney’s favourite Show Girl, Coco Jumbo! Coco is no stranger to the Mardi Gras main stage and is a multi DIVA (Drag Industry Variety Awards) award winner, most prestigious Entertainer of the Year in 2017, Sydney’s Favourite Showgirl in 2016-2019 and Rising Star in 2015. Coco has worked with Ab Fab’s Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders (who we also know as the Fairy Godmother herself… did somebody say they needed a hero?), 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, and Australia’s very own Sandra Sully, so it’s safe to say the limelight is her calling.
Etecetera Etcetera (Sydney, NSW) – @etcetera__etcetera
Etcetera is a stunning nonbinary drag artist who at the very tender age of 22 has already made a splash on the Australian drag scene with her eye-catching aesthetics and passion for activism. Known as the ‘glamour bug’, she runs the shows at one of Sydney’s iconic establishments: The Imperial Erskineville. Young, talented and pretty. What’s to hate? Oh yeah, everything.
Elektra Shock (Auckland, NZ) – @therealelektrashock
With a name like that Elektra Shock is sure to shock and elektrify us with her high kicks, live vocals and showstopping dance ability. There’s no wondering why she is known as the Dancing Queen of Tāmaki Makaurau. Elektra was runner up on Season 2 of TVNZ House of Drag and star of Pleasuredome The Musical, and the NZ Herald describes her as “utterly charismatic” so we know she’s one to look out for. Starting drag in 2012, she is now a resident performer at a number of venues on Karangahape Rd and is in high demand for corporate events and theatre performances around Aotearoa.
Jojo Zaho (Newcastle, NSW) – @jojo_zaho
Jojo – whose name we absolutely cannot get over – started her drag career just six years ago as a big fuck you to a council member who said that homosexuality is not part of the Indigenous culture. So, for Dubbo’s first annual Central West Pride March she walked the parade in a costume she made with both the Indigenous flag and gay pride flag and she hasn’t looked back since. She also has a pretty impressive resume – before entering the werk room she made her television debut on ‘Get Krackin’, then went on to compete in the inaugural Miss First Nation Indigenous drag queen pageant, appeared in the documentary ‘Black Divaz’ AND she hosted the VIP party for the Newcastle leg of Cher’s Australian tour so you know she’ll make you a believer.
Karen From Finance (Melbourne, VIC) – @karenfromfinance
Next up is Karen From Finance, arguably one of the most prominent drag artists in Australia. Karen was one of the OG members of the award winning, cult queer cabaret YUMMY and has established a worldwide fan-base, touring the world with her singular brand of office-themed character drag. At the start of this year, Karen was appointed as an Ambassador for DragExpo in Melbourne. But before that – in 2017, 2018, and 2019 – she appeared at RuPaul’s DragCon in LA in headlining performances, as well as headlined shows all over the US, like the Austin International Festival in Texas.
Maxi Shield (Sydney, NSW) – @maxishield
Maxi has been a drag artist for twenty- three years, and is noted for her work within the community, including “Drag Storytime” where drag artists read stories to children, engaging them in fun and creative ways and conveying the overall message of inclusion. Maxi won “Entertainer of the year” at the Drag Industry Variety Awards in 2015, has been names Madonna’s national Hostess for her Australian Rebel Heart Tour and has closed both a straight Olympics (Sydney 2000) and opened a gay one (Gay Games 2022).
Scarlet Adams (Perth, WA) – @scarletadamsdragqueen
A self-proclaimed “party girl”, Scarlet is a pole dancer, burlesque performer and costume designer. Since the age of 18, Scarlet has worked tirelessly to build her reputation and brand as a drag artist. And after only a year of doing drag, Scarlet won the prestigious title of Queen of the Court, Entertainer Of The Year 2016 at the annual PROUD Awards, and even took out the title for “Miss Burlesque Western Australia 2018”, becoming not only the first drag queen to compete in Miss Burlesque Australia history but also to win the title.
Anita Wigl’it (Auckland, NZ) – @anitawiglit
Anita is the owner and resident queen of Auckland’s famed Caluzzi Cabaret, and the host of both the TVNZ show House of Drag and the monthly comedy show Drag Wars. Over the last decade Anita has tucked herself into the hearts of many, being crowned the winner at both Vancouver’s next top Drag Superstar and Drag Entertainer of the year in 2013, before returning to Auckland. She says her favourite performances include Mardi Gras (Sydney 2016 and 2019) as well as Adele’s world tour after party in 2017.
Kita Mean (Auckland, NZ) – @kitamean
And finally, we have Kita Mean (you’ve gotta say this one out loud to really appreciate) who got her first taste of drag at a New Year’s Eve party where she got dragged up and wowed her friends. Before long she found herself in the thick of the club scene, firmly making her presence known in Auckland. A few years down the line, she joined Anita Wigl’it to become a drag duo who then started a monthly event giving local kiwi drag artists a platform to perform on called Drag Wars. Kita now co-owns the iconic Caluzzi Cabaret, and Phoenix Venue in Auckland, has since hosted two series of TVNZ’s House of Drag, all while maintaining her position as resident Drag Queen at Family Bar and Club.
The 8-part Stan Original Series will premiere later this year and be hosted by RuPaul, along with his bestie/drag icon Michelle Visage and Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson by his side on the main judging panel.
Oh and one last thing… if you click here, you can see a small snippet of the queens in action.
Don’t ever say we never did nothing for ya!