Hello hello hellurrrrrrrr, it’s time to get your engine’s started, because 2021 belongs to RuPaul’s Drag Race, OFFICIALLY!
This year, the Emmy Award-winning franchise is continuing its bid for world domination with confirmed new iterations to air in Australia, New Zealand and Spain, as well as returning seasons in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada (maybe Holland, too).
We’re only three weeks into the year, and the US/UK contestants have already left us slain with their lip-syncs and runways – as well as the werkroom drama slash conflama – and we haven’t even bloody started. Here, we spill the T on all the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent (and synergy) that you can expect in 2021.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 (1 January)
The beloved franchise kicked the year off with a bang thanks to its season 13 premiere. According to Deadline, the episode – which saw the contestants compete in several lip-sync smackdowns – became the most-watched episode in the franchise’s 12-year herstory with an unprecedented 1.3 million viewers. The premiere welcomed 13 fierce new contestants including: Denali, Elliott with 2 T’s, Gottmik, Joey Jay, Kahmora Hall, Kandy Muse, LaLa Ri, Olivia Lux, Rosé, Symone, Tamisha Iman, Tina Burner and Utica. It concludes 16 April, and will tie the show’s third season as the longest ever with 16 episodes.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 2 (14 January)
Although Miss Rona prevented viewers from another dose of British excellence last year, the UK spin-off made its triumphant return in January with 12 incredible new competitors: A’Whora, Asttina Mandella, Bimini Bon Boulash, Cherry Valentine, Ellie Diamond, Ginny Lemon, Joe Black, Lawrence Chaney, Sister Sister, Tayce, Tia Kofi and Veronica Green. Season two, which will run for ten weeks, sees the return of RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and Alan Carr, with Alan and Graham joining the panel on a rotational basis. It also boasts a star-studded line-up of guest judges including Dawn French, Gemma Collins, Lorraine Kelly, Liz Hurley and MNEK.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 (TBA)
You saw this coming, surely? Following Shea Coulee’s long-awaited induction into the Drag Race Hall of Fame last year, Mama Ru has recruited another batch of fan-favourite contestants to compete for a second (or in some cases, third) shot at the crown. We scoured all the potential queens who could be ruturning to the werkroom – and of course, it’s completely speculative and based off their activity (or lack thereof) on social media, cancelled gigs etc. (You can get your jush with the rumoured contestants here.) If All Stars 6 follows in the footsteps of past seasons, then we can expect it to premiere immediately after the season 13 finale in April.
Drag Race Spain (TBA)
In November 2020, World of Wonder and Passion Distribution announced that the new international iteration of Drag Race will take place in Spain. Streaming exclusively on WOW Presents Plus in the UK at the same time as its debut on ATRESplayer PREMIUM, the series will chronicle the search for Spain’s First Drag Superstar. Like the original and its many spin-offs, the contestants will take part in weekly maxi-challenges, and each week, the bottom two queens will lip-sync for their lives to remain in the competition. So far, there’s no T on the host, judges, cast and premiere date, but according to World of Wonder, it will all be “ruvealed in the months to come.”
Canada’s Drag Race season 2 (TBA)
The first season of Canada’s Drag Race became an instant hit last summer, introducing several beloved new contestants to the ever-expanding franchise including Lemon, Jimbo, Rita Baga, Scarlett Bobo and winner Priyanka. The latter’s lip-sync to I Drove All Night has also been immortalised as one of the most sickening performances in the show’s history. So, it came as no surprise when the series was renewed for a second run. “We are thrilled to bring another season of Canada’s Drag Race to fans, alongside Blue Ant and Crave,” said World of Wonder. “Audiences can look forward to even more charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that the inspiring drag artists of the Great White North have to offer.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under (TBA)
The Drag Race Runiverse has also been confirmed to sashay over to Australasia, with Mama Ru and Michelle Visage reprising their roles as host and panellist. Drag Race Down Under will sashay onto our screens later this year, where it will be available to watch on Stan, TVNZ OnDemand and WOW Presents Plus. In a statement, Ru said she cannot wait “for everyone to see that Down Under queens have some of the biggest charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talents in the world.” She continued: “Thank you to Stan and TVNZ OnDemand for providing a platform for these outrageous drag artists to share their heart, soul and humor.”
Drag Race Holland season 2 (TBA)
Okay, so this hasn’t been confirmed, but don’t be surprised to see Drag Race Holland return for a second season at some point this year. In 2020, the Dutch spin-off premiered to critical acclaim thanks to its diverse roster of contestants and the addictive presenting skills of Fred van Leer. Envy Peru also cemented her status as one of the fiercest contestants in the franchise when she won four maxi-challenges and never – not once – placed below safe. If Holland isn’t renewed for a second run, it will be – in all honesty – an absolute travesty.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 3 (TBA)
Due to the lack of Drag Race UK on our screens last year, the BBC will be airing not one, but two seasons in 2021. During the season two announcement, RuPaul confirmed that the producers are “currently casting season three with the best and the brightest Great Britain has to offer.” BBC Three’s Fiona Campbell added: “We wanted to share the news now that there is going to be a third series as well. It’s been a huge hit for us and we love it as much as you do so we’re delighted that we can continue our relationship with World of Wonder and can bring even more Drag Race to BBC Three.” Can we get a “halleloo” up in here?
We’re Here season 2 (TBA)
Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela’s HBO series, We’re Here, was renewed for a second season less than 24 hours after the season one finale. Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said the widely acclaimed six-part documentary series has resonated with viewers “in ways we had hoped for but couldn’t really have anticipated.” We’re Here follows the three legendary Drag Race icons as they “inspire and teach their own drag daughters to step outside their comfort zone” whilst travelling across the United States and empowering local communities. At the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, the series was nominated for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.