With ten years under its belt, including three seasons of All Stars, RuPaul’s Drag Race has maintained its place in the hearts of millions of fans, evident in social media commentary and following. We’ve heard whispers for years about Drag Race launching internationally in places like the UK, but this year, it’s finally gone global in one of the biggest LGBT friendly countries in the world, Thailand!
There’s no doubt that Thailand Drag race was stepping into some gigantic shoes that it needed to fill. Re-imagining all of the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent abroad of the original might take a bit of work, especially since this is the first time we’ve ever had a chance to see RuPaul’s show directly take on an international audience. The original show has had over a hundred episodes worth of experience, and at this point, it has become formulaic, yet simultaneously never boring (let’s not talk about All Stars Season Three, though (We love you Shangela!)
Anyway, let’s head back to the untucked lounge and critique the differences and similarities between the two, as well as some of the top reasons why you just have to watch Thailand Drag Race for yourself.
In America’s variant of Drag Race, RuPaul reigns supreme, commanding attention at the center of the judge’s table. For the Thailand Drag Race adaptation, Art-Arya, commonly known as the “RuPaul of Thailand,” takes the mantle to fill in RuPaul’s position, but co-hosts with Pangina Heals.
In addition to these two, you can expect to see more than one or two judges taking charge in drag. More often than not, some of the judges can become inadvertently showed up by their co-hosts, which makes for an interesting and welcome dynamic within the group, where more than one person can sit on the throne and slay at the same time. It brings up an interesting duality because RuPaul has consistently been the only queen on the panel of judges in RuPaul’s Drag Race. Then again, who can really compete with RuPaul’s flair?
Speaking of, as the host and judge of Thailand’s version of RuPaul, Art-Arya quips here and there in phrases familiar to American audiences of the original show. She’s still expectedly the show’s voice of authority, and it’s good, as an American to hear those familiar phrases.
Let’s talk about where things get really creative, the place where you’ll really fall in love with each and every single queen on the show. The Thailand Drag Race workroom, runway and contestant confessional spaces are unique in their own right, from design to color scheme, and so are the contestants. Thailand Drag race has stuck to the tried and true runway challenges, and offers a fresh mix of younger, less experienced contestants, directly alongside some of the fiercest competitors we’ve seen across all ten seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
With the bevy of queens of all shapes, sizes and most importantly, personality, you’re going to see massive amounts of shade, and a truckload of style delivered weekly. We feel a little guilty that we have to say this, but some of RuPaul’s best competitors might want to take a few tips from the girls here as they work the runway and fight for their spot to stay. We’re already stanning for our new favorites. Who are you rooting for?
Until next time, good luck! Or in Thai, Pop Kan Mai Krao Nha, Chok Dee Na Kaa!