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Courtesy of World of Wonder

RuPaul’s international empire grows: meet Drag Race Italia’s debut queens

Adding to its collection of international spin-offs, the first-ever Italian version of RuPaul’s Drag Race will hit screens in November

RuPaul’s empire is once again expanding – and no, we don’t mean his 60-acre fracking ranch. Officially adding to Ru’s interminable carousel of international spin-offs in Thailand, South America, the UK, Holland, Spain, Australia, and Canada is Drag Race Italia – which will premiere both in the UK and in Italy.

So far – the eight queens competing for the title of Italy’s first drag superstar have been Ru-vealed, including 1950s ‘soubrette’ Ava Hangar, Neapolitan queen Divinity, MUA and drag queen Elecktra Bionic, and ‘rich Milanese’ comedy queen Enorma Jean.

The show will also feature fashion queen and dancer Farida Kant, opera singer turned drag queen Ivana Vamp, Rome-based ‘muscle’ queen Le Riche, and confident queen Luquisha Lubamba.

Otherwise – as Ru resides stateside to film US Drag Race (or tend to his ranch… who knows) – the judges panel will be led by international drag superstar Priscilla, and joined by actor Chiara Francini and influencer Tommaso Zorzi. 

Last May, RuPaul’s Australian spin-off – titled Drag Race Down Under – made headlines as fans theorised that Ru was edited into the series through a green screen due to odd camera angles and “scripted” responses. “It’s sus… and if RuPaul is there, the production quality is just weirdly low. It feels clunky, it feels awkward, it feels unrealistic,” explained TikToker Abbie Chatfield.

Runner-up Art Simone, however, spoke to the rumours on Twitter, suggesting that they were “delusional”. “Just here to quash the rumours that RuPaul was green-screened onto set,” she wrote. “There’s no way we would have the budget after we splurged on those beautiful cement cherubs.”

Drag Race Italia premieres November 18 at 11pm on WOW Presents Plus in the UK and Discovery+ in Italy. Take a look at the teaser below.