Talent Recap

RuPaul Announces ‘Drag Race Philippines’ on the Heels of Manila Luzon’s ‘Drag Den’

Drag Race PhilippinesDan MacMedan/Getty Images, Manila Luzon Instagram

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise is finally headed to the Philippines! Drag Race Philippines was announced with a casting call from RuPaul herself. Because RuPaul left her name out of the title of this show, it is assumed she will not be joining the judging panel. That leaves the door wide open for a whole new panel of judges and a host.

Will fan-favorite drag queen Manila Luzon join the judging panel? Fans think some major shade could be brewing between Manila and RuPaul. RuPaul made the announcement just hours after Manila put out a casting call for her own drag competition show in the Philippines called Drag Den.

Will ‘Drag Race Philippines’ Compete with Manila Luzon’s ‘Drag Den’?

Manila literally posted a casting call for Drag Den on Instagram just 20 hours before RuPaul’s casting call for Drag Race Philippines hit YouTube. Manila is searching for “the next Philippine Drag Supreme.” She announced Drag Den officially in July, and marketed it as “the first ever drag reality show in the Philippines.”

“In the Philippines, the drag scene is still quite small and underground, so I’m excited to bring it to the forefront,” Manila told Entertainment Weekly. “Hopefully, they’ll have a similar journey that I’ve had and that the rest of us queens have had [and] we’ll take over the world, one little island at a time!”


Drag Den will premiere in the near-future on WeTV. TikTok was announced as the official social media partner of the show. Meanwhile, Drag Race Philippines is headed to WOW Presents Plus, a streaming app available through a subscription. Hopefully, both shows will bring in a large amount of viewership to give more recognition to the drag scene in the Philippines.

“Show us your charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, and this could be the beginning of the rest of your life,” RuPaul says in the casting announcement.

To sign up for Drag Race Philippines, you can find all of the information here. To sign up for Drag Den, Manila instructed potential contestants to create a drag transformation video. They must also post an introduction video on TikTok and fill out a couple of forms.

Twitter Thinks RuPaul is Being Shady with This Casting Announcement

Fans have been waiting a long time for Drag Race Philippines to finally happen. It does feel a bit bittersweet for some who feel like RuPaul is stealing Manila’s spotlight. Others feel like RuPaul has a personal vendetta against the popular Filipino queen. Manila was eliminated way too early on each season of the show she was on.

Manila was brought back for RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars after finishing as the runner-up in Season 3. The team twist led Manila to be eliminated with Latrice Royale, an episode that caused widespread outrage. Both Latrice and Manila were brought back for a second chance at redemption for Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars. History repeated itself and Manila landed in sixth place.

Most recently, Manila was brought back as a lip-sync assassin in Season 6 of the spin-off currently airing on Paramount+. It just always seemed like Manila wasn’t dealt a fair hand when it comes to competing on the show. Now, Twitter is running wild with memes about RuPaul and Manila’s shows going head to head.

“RuPaul announcing Drag Race Philippines literally just hours after Manila Luzon had opened the auditions for Drag Den. The shade of it all!” one fan wrote on Twitter.

Neither Drag Den nor Drag Race Philippines have announced any judging panels with fan-favorite queens of the franchise just yet. Popular Filipino drag queens that have been featured on the show include Ongina, Jiggly Caliente, and Rock M. Sakura.


Do you think RuPaul meant to be shady or was she just trying to provide more global opportunities for people to showcase their drag?

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