RuPaul steps down as Drag Race Down Under host, Michelle Visage to replace him

Drag Race Down Under host RuPaul (left) and Michelle Visage (right)

Drag titan RuPaul has officially stepped down as the host of the franchise’s Australian spinoff RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under and is set to be replaced by none other than Michelle Visage.

The Australasian version of flagship show RuPaul’s Drag Race has seen three seasons air since it launched in 2021, crowning three champions: Kita Mean, Spankie Jackzon and Isis Avis Loren.

As exclusively revealed by Entertainment Weekly, Michelle Visage – RuPaul’s right-hand woman in each series hosted by the House of Hidden Meanings author – is set to take centre stage for season four and beyond.

That’s not the only shakeup for the panel: EW has confirmed that while comedian Rhys Nicholson will remain a permanent fixture, the rest of the judges each week will be made up of a rotating cast of previous Drag Race Down Under queens and regular celebrities.

In a statement via the publication, RuPaul said of handing over the Drag Race Down Under reigns: “It has been my great honor 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.”

RuPaul will continue to serve as an executive producer for the series. 

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In her own statement, Visage said: “Thank you, RuPaul, for entrusting me with one of your beloved shows. The color, humor, 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.”

Although Michelle Visage has been a RuPaul’s Drag Race fixture since season three of the US version in 2011, she has only hosted one episode by herself date – a Drag Race UK instalment that saw Dakota Schiffer eliminated in season 4.

It is the first time she will host an entire franchise herself. Notably, RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s most famous Aussie contestant, Courtney Act, is nowhere to be seen near the franchise.

Queens from Drag Race Down Under include Hannah Conda, who is currently competing on Drag Race UK vs the World‘s season two, and Kween Kong, who is highly rumoured to be part of the upcoming Global All Stars.

Drag Race Down Under season 4 has already been confirmed to premiere later this year on the WOW Presents Plus in the United States and other select territories (including New Zealand), as well as on Stan in Australia.