The devil works hard, but RuPaul works harder.
It’s been over a decade since the very first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race — a small but proud production that premiered in 2009 on LogoTV — and RuPaul Charles is not done making world herstory, with new franchises in India, Singapore, and South Korea reportedly just around the corner.
And if you’re having trouble keeping track of just where drag queens have started their engines to compete in a RuPaul’s Drag Race show, most of which are available to stream on WOWPresentsPlus, here’s our guide to the Drag Race Universe.
Drag Race Thailand (2018-)
Hosts: Art Arya and Pangina Heals
Judges: Art Arya and Pangina Heals
Drag Race Thailand is the first international show in the Drag Race Universe, though the country has been home to drag competitions before it. In fact, one of Drag Race Thailand’s co-hosts, fashion icon Art Arya, was the winner of the country’s first TV drag contest, a show called T-Battle. Her co-host, Pangina Heals, went on to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. The World (see below).
The show not only opened plenty of doors for its contestants, who came from all over Southeast Asia, but it also paved the way for more international franchises — combining the winning Drag Race formula with stunning runway presentations and unique cultural identity.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (2019-)
Judges: Michelle Visage, Graham Norton, and Alan Carr
A year after Drag Race Thailand, RuPaul herself crossed the pond to host the second international title in RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. She brought BFF Michelle Visage along with her and, together with UK TV personalities Graham Norton and Alan Carr, welcomed the most talented queens across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Across four seasons, the show has been home to shining stars and hilarious moments — from Choriza May’s entrance line (“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful – hate me because I’m an immigrant.”) to Tayce’s expert narration of Season 2 (“The cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity, and the gumption!”).
And if you end up obsessed with Season 2’s Eurovision song “UK, Hun?” the good news is that the franchise has been renewed for a fifth season.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. The World (2022-)
Judges: Michelle Visage, Graham Norton, and Alan Carr
The first cross-national Drag Race spin-off series, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. The World, saw UK-based queens battle it out with contestants from the US, Canada, Holland, and Thailand to snatch the crown and be the Queen of the Mothertucking World.
The same group of judges presides over the competition, and there’s no shortage of global glamazon drama across the franchise’s six episodes.
A second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. The World is rumored to be in the works. And if the rumors are to be believed, then fans will be seeing RuPaul’s Drag Race UK alumni like Tia Kofi and Choriza May start their engines against the likes of Drag Race Philippines’ Marina Summers and Drag Race España’s Arantxa Castilla La Mancha.
Drag Race Canada (2020-)
Host: Brooke Lynn Hytes
Judges: Brad Goreski and Traci Melchor, with Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Stacey MacKenzie, and Amanda Brugel in earlier seasons
Brooke Lynn Hytes is a big name in Drag Race herstory for two reasons. For starters, she was the first Canadian to shantay into RuPaul’s Drag Race — specifically, into the show’s 11th season in 2019. Second, she went on to be the first Drag Race alumna (or RuGirl) to host her own Drag Race spin-off. With her are celebrity stylist Brad Goreski and Canadian TV personality Traci Melchor.
There are three seasons so far on the Canadian streaming service Crave, with a fourth expected to air sometime this year.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Canada vs. The World (2022)
Host: Brooke Lynn Hytes
Judges: Brad Goreski and Traci Melchor
In RuPaul’s Drag Race Canada vs. The World, Brooke Lynn Hytes and her squirrel friends are back to judge nine competitors across the Canadian, American, British, Australian, and New Zealand Drag Race franchises.
Guest judges include All Stars 4 winner Monét X Change and Goreski’s husband and actor Gary Janetti. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also makes an appearance as a special guest.
Drag Race Holland (2020-2021)
Host: Fred van Leer
Judges: Carlo Boszhard, Marieke Samallo, and Raven van Dorst
Drag Race Holland sees Dutch drag queen Fred van Leer as host and main judge alongside Carlo Boszhard, Marieke Samallo, and Raven van Dorst, who must find the world’s first and second Dutch Drag Superstar. Notable guest judges include NikkieTutorials.
The franchise welcomed queens from the Netherlands and Belgium (which has a Dutch-speaking population), provided that the Belgian queens have a Dutch passport.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under (2021-)
Judges: Michelle Visage and Rhys Nicholson
RuPaul has traveled down under to find the next drag superstar of Australia and New Zealand in RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, which she judges alongside Michelle Visage and Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson.
Aside from the exciting competition, fans would enjoy Down Under’s gag-worthy roster of guest judges, including Queen of Aussie Pop, Kylie Minogue, New Zealand director Taika Waititi, and Aussie singer-songwriter Troye Sivan in Season 1 alone.
An upcoming third season was announced in October 2022.
Drag Race España (2021-)
Host: Supremme De Luxe
Judges: Ana Locking, Javier Calvo, and Javier Ambrossi
There’s something about how iconic Spanish drag queen and Drag Race España host Supremme De Luxe says, “Hola, hola, hola!” and we’re here for it. On the judging panel, she is joined by fashion designer Ana Locking and actor-creators Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo.
Guest judges include RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Alexis Mateo, Spanish acting siblings Paco and María León, and the Mexican songstress Gloria Trevi herself.
Premiering in 2021, the Spanish iteration of Drag Race is currently on its third season, so it’s worth tuning in to follow the ongoing drama between the remaining contestants, led by Pink Chadora and Pitita, with two wins each. You can tune in via ATRESplayer Premium if you are in Spain or on WOW Presents Plus everywhere else.
There’s also an upcoming All Stars season for Drag Race España queens to be released after the current third season.
Drag Race Italia (2021-)
Judges: Tommaso Zorzi and Chiara Francini
Drag Race Italia is hosted by veteran drag queen Priscilla, who judges alongside actress Chiara Francini and television personality Tommaso Zorzi. The show is a big step forward for Italy, which unfortunately has taken a few steps back (and to the far-right) since last year’s election. For most of the Drag Race Italia contestants, just getting to exist is a maxi challenge in itself.
A third season, to be aired on Paramount+ is expected to premiere this year.
Drag Race France (2022-)
Host: Nicky Doll
Judges: Kiddy Smile and Daphné Bürkí
For French drag queen Nicky Doll, placing 10th in the 12th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2020 was only the beginning. After her too-short stint on the US show, she went on to lead Drag Race France, sharing the judging panel with French TV personalities Kiddy Smile and Daphné Bürkí. Guest judges include Miss Universe 2016, Iris Mittenaere, and fashion icon Jean Paul Gaultier.
A second season, announced in 2022, is set to premiere soon.
Drag Race Philippines (2022-)
Host: Paolo Ballesteros
Judges: Jiggly Caliente and KaladKaren
Filipino queens have shantayed and sashayed on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which might see one or two of them in a single season, but in Drag Race Philippines — an extra loud, extra colorful celebration of Filipino culture — there are 12 of them.
Led by Filipino drag queen Paolo Ballesteros, the judging panel includes Drag Race alumna Jiggly Caliente and trans actress KaladKaren. Guest judges include makeup influencer Patrick Starrr and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
A Season 2 of Drag Race Philippines is in the works.
Drag Race Belgique (2023-)
Host: Rita Baga
Judges: Mustii and Lufy
Drag Race Canada finalist Rita Baga takes on the hosting duties for Drag Race Belgique, which provides Belgium-based queens a home after having competed on Drag Race Holland and Drag Race España. With her on the judging panel are singer-actor Mustii and content creator Lufy.
The eight-episode Season 1 was released earlier this year, with a Season 2 officially in the casting stage.
Drag Race Sverige (2023)
Host: Robert Fux
Judges: Farao Groth and Kayo Shekoni
Hot on the heels of its Belgian cousin is Drag Race Sverige, which ended just last April.
Scandinavia’s first-ever Drag Race show — officially the 12th international franchise — is led by Swedish drag queen Robert Fux, who presides over a panel of judges composed of Swedish personalities Kayo Shekoni and Farao Groth.
Where to Next?
The year is far from over, and there’s plenty more of RuPaul’s Drag Race still to come.
For instance, Drag Race fan favorite Valentina was recently announced as co-host of the upcoming Drag Race Mexico franchise alongside Mexican-French queen Lolita Banana, who competed in the first season of Drag Race France. Meanwhile, the long-awaited Drag Race Brasil show is also set to premiere sometime this year.
Those of us in the Eastern Hemisphere can look forward to Drag Race shows in Japan, India, Singapore, and South Korea alongside a third season of Drag Race Thailand. The RuPaul empire is also looking into producing a Secret Celebrity Drag Race — a spin-off where famous people try out drag — for Asian audiences.