RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under

The Premiere Of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: Down Under’ Left Me So Damn Emotional

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The world premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under happened over the weekend and it’s safe to say, I had a lot of thoughts running through my brain.

Like, do we really swear this much? Who are the problematic queens, again? And, why on earth is Taika Waititi pretending this is more than a simple pre-recorded message? That was just weird.  

But, ultimately, after watching the premiere of the Stan original series, I felt emotional. Granted I watched the premiere in a packed viewing room with plenty of screaming fans, so all the feels were already heightened, but still! Let’s get into why the season premiere of Drag Race Down Under was so emotional. 

Why RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Had Me All Up In My Feels

First and foremost, we need to talk about the general impact of airing Australian entertainment on an international scale.

Let’s be real, Aussie TV shows never really make it big overseas. Sometimes they do and it’s amazing (like Neighbours and Home & Away) and sometimes it’s a little bit of an embarrassing reflection on our culture (like Chris Lilley’s shows). And when we do look at the small number of Aussie shows that have made it big overseas, a very tiny, tiny portion of them have queer storylines. Genuinely, the only one that I can think of would be Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under felt like a huge moment for the Australian queer community. Whether you watch the show or not, you can’t deny that Drag Race has become a massive cultural phenomenon. But, amazingly, this show didn’t feel like an American format with Aussie contestants. The show felt unmistakably Australian.

RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under

From the Aussie references (like ‘G’Day, G’Day, G’Day’ and ‘the tradie of the season’) to our incredibly thick accents, the reality show felt like it belonged to us. The idea that Australians were portraying their most authentic selves to a guaranteed worldwide audience filled me with excitement. 

JoJo Zaho Is A Drag Race Legend… Officially

I think I just felt really proud of the show. All the queens are super talented — especially the first eliminated queen JoJo Zaho. It was extremely sad to see JoJo Zaho leave the show on her first episode, but let me tell you she made a solid impact on the Aussie instalment. Not only did she make iconic jokes that will be remembered for the rest of Drag Race herstory, but the way she brought Indigenous activism to the forefront of Aussie reality TV is incredibly aspirational.

As a result of JoJo Zaho’s presence, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under felt like it was participating in the conversation instead of trying to catch up to the conversation. 

All in all, I just wish I had this when I was growing up. The idea of Australian queerness to not only be tolerated but celebrated on TV? That would have meant everything to young, closeted me. I can’t begin to imagine what this show is doing for young, Aussie queer kids — but I’m so happy for them.

Speaking of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, they’re playing the Snatch Game next week! Here are all the characters I’m hoping for