Drag Race stars address rumour RuPaul never actually stepped foot on set

The Drag Race Down Under judging panel

Drag Race Down Under’s Art Simone and Rhys Nicholson have addressed hearsay that RuPaul was green-screened in for the show.

Speculation that RuPaul never attended filming in person have been rife since the first Down Under series aired in 2021.

According to the rumour mill, RuPaul was only ever there by the power of green screen. As unlikely as it sounds, season one alum Art Simone and returning judge Rhys Nicholson felt compelled to shut down the rumours once and for all.

Talking to Daily Mail Australia, Nicholson said: “The most annoying thing to have come out where the show should be filmed is people thinking that RuPaul wasn’t there.”

“Ru was there!” Simone agreed, before suggesting to Nicholson that the two of them should start their own rumour. “Let’s start a rumour, there was a tennis ball on a stick, and we had to look at a tennis ball.”

The theory that RuPaul was absent from Drag Race Down Under started on Reddit and Twitter, with countless users suggesting that something “felt off” about the way it was filmed.

One user drew attention to a lack of shots of RuPaul and the drag queens together during the Snatch Game episode.

Others thought it more likely that low production quality was to blame, with user adrienne43 referring to the debut series as “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Budget Down Under”.

Art Simone joked at the time that the show couldn’t afford to green screen RuPaul in.

Drag Race Down Under was originally set to be filmed in Australia, but due to COVID restrictions established its base as New Zealand, with queens from both countries competing.

Simone admitted: “I do think it should have been filmed in Australia,”

“I had to fly to New Zealand, go in quarantine and then film.”

Nicholson then added how he had his own quarantine issues in preparation of filming the show, “I had to do five [separate] quarantines”.

The new series of Drag Race Down Under premieres on Stan in Australia and WOW Presents Plus elsewhere on 30 July.