Willam slams Michelle Visage’s appointment as Drag Race Down Under host

RuPaul’s right-hand woman Michelle Visage was recently announced as the new host of the show’s Australasian spin-off, Drag Race Down Under – but Drag Race firebrand Willam has some choice words about the move.

The judging panel switch up, which will see Visage take the reigns of Drag Race Down Under as head judge for its fourth season alongside comedian Rhys Nicholson and a rotating panel of celebs and show alumni, marks the only time RuPaul has ever stepped down from an edition of the franchise.

Despite Visage’s extensive history as a queer ally and roots in the New York Ballroom scene, some have still managed to take issue with the appointment of the star, who has been a Drag Race fixture since the flagship show’s third season and has even hosted an episode before.

Speaking on Drag Race recap podcast Race Chaser, season four alumnus and perpetual behind-the-scenes tea spiller Willam has slammed the move, explaining that the role should have gone to a – you’ll never guess – drag queen.

“It is confirmed that Michelle Visage will be hosting Drag Race Down Under next season,” said co-host and All Stars 2 champion Alaska Thunderf**k on the episode, which was broadcast March 15.

To that, Willam had a typically acerbic reply. “I don’t understand why a drag ally is the host of a drag show,” she said. “I don’t get it. This is like someone who enjoys painting hosting an art competition but they’re not a painter.”

Defending Visage, Alaska said, “She has earned her due. She has been on that panel by RuPaul’s side for over a decade-“

Interrupting, Willam argued: “That doesn’t make her a drag queen! Why would you have someone who is not a drag queen hosting a drag show?”


— james (@jamescoulee) March 15, 2024

After a brief, tongue-in-cheek argument over whether Visage qualified as a drag queen herself, Willam – to this day the only queen to be disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race during filming argued that there were plenty of suitable replacements for the gig; not least the franchise’s most famous Aussie queen, Courtney Act.

“I don’t understand why there are hundreds of drag queens in the world, some of them very famous like Courtney Act or Vanity, or Kween Kong, and they’re not hosting Drag Race [Down Under]...

“And now they have Michelle hosting, who’s not a drag queen. It’s like someone who is coeliac hosting a baking competition.”

Alaska interjected with, “I don’t know that that’s an apt comparison,” to which Willam concluded: “It’s a limiting factor. They don’t do drag, Michelle does not do drag… I don’t think people want to see Michelle Visage host a drag show…”

Again referring to her The AAA Girls bandmate, Willam asked, “Why isn’t Courtney there? … It’s a gross oversight, it’s a blight on your history that you do not have Courtney Act hosting.”

they should be the cohost of drag race down under season 4 pic.twitter.com/tEx122hXQ1

— hugeasmammoth.films (@hugeasmammoth_) September 15, 2023

Co-host Alaska reminded Willam that Courtney and RuPaul have “personal reasons”, meaning that the return of Act to the francchise is unlikely – despite the Celebrity Big Brother winner previously telling PinkNews that she had let Down Under producers know that she was available, ahead of its inaugural season.

Willam added that “apt candidates” from Australasia had been “ignored” for the role.

When her gig as host was announced, Visage released a statement thanking RuPaul for entrusting her with the role and expressing her excitement.

“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.”

DragR Race Down Under has thus far crowned three queens since 2021 – Kita Mean, Spankie Jackzon and Isis Avis Loren. 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.

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