Drag Race Down Under’s RuPaul steps down: Michelle Visage announced as new host

Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 March 2024, 4:45PM

Drag Race Down Under is getting a new host after news RuPaul is stepping down.

Entertainment Weekly exclusively announced earlier this week that the star - who has hosted the Australian-based spinoff of RuPaul’s Drag Race for three seasons - will step down from hosting duties, handing the responsibility over to long time friend, Michelle Visage.

“It has been my great honour to bring Drag Race to Australasia. I can’t wait to see the franchise continue to flourish under the leadership of the incredible Michelle Visage,” the star told the outlet in a statement.

RuPaul will continue to play a part in the production of the show, serving as an executive producer.

Following news of the take over, Visage also spoke to the outlet paying tribute to the iconic former host, “Thank you, RuPaul, for entrusting me with one of your beloved shows. The colour, humour, and outrageousness of Down Under drag holds a special place in my heart. I’m ready to do everything in my power to encourage these beautiful queens to believe in themselves and let their inner light shine through.”

Visage has worked with RuPaul since the early days of her career. First starring in The RuPaul Show between 1996 and 1998, she joined the American Drag Race franchise as a permanent host in 2011 when the show reached its third season.

Drag Race Down Under released its first season in 2021. Bringing together drag queens from Australia and New Zealand, the show quickly gained popularity as Kiwi queens Anita Wigl’it and Kita Mean both competed for the Drag Superstar title.

Kita - also known as Nick Nash, ultimately won the title however Anita - also known as Nick Hall, became a fan favourite of the show and earned a New Zealand Television Award nomination for TV Personality of the Year.

It comes after speculation last month by the LQTBQIA+ community that RuPaul may be in doubt as the head judge for the season due to a clash with the book tour for his memoir The House of Hidden Meanings, with the American book tour scheduled from early March through April.

At the time, there was heavy speculation Hawaiian drag performer Sasha Kekauoha, best known by the stage name Sasha Colby, would replace RuPaul for this season of Down Under.

Drag queens from both sides of the Tasman are understood to have descended on Auckland in February to prepare to film the fourth season of the show.

First published by the NZ Herald, republished here with permission. 

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