CELEBRITY

Bianca Del Rio’s shock news amid Drag Race Australia hosting controversy

The hugely successful show is hit by drama before the cameras even roll

Controversy has erupted over the Australian version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, before casting has even been confirmed.

With rumoured hot contender for hosting duties, drag superstar Bianca Del Rio, set to make history as the first drag queen ever to headline at London’s huge Wembley Arena, critics of the mega-popular insult comic are out to get her turfed from the Aussie gig in favour of local girl Courtney Act.

WATCH: Bianca Del Rio on a mission to make the ‘politically incorrect funny again’ 

Despite – or because of, her abrasive humour – Bianca’s star continues to rise dramatically, and with the announcement of her British arena dates, she is by far the most successful act to ever come out of RuPaul’s Drag Race.  

‘I’ve been told I’ll be the first drag queen to headline at Wembley Arena!’ Bianca told the Express newspaper today, confirming the shock news, which has seen drag step squarely into the mainstream of mass entertainment.

‘I’m excited…but also concerned that they aren’t prepared for glitter and wig hair clogs in the dressing room sinks!

‘I’m incredibly grateful to perform at this beloved British venue before the retirement home comes knocking for me!’

Bianca Del Rio
Bianca will be headlining Wembley Arena (Credit: Getty)

Retirement hardly seems likely for the spectacularly successful comic – whose four successful tours of Australia are believed to have caught the attention of Drag Race Australia producers as they cast an anchor for the show.

Adding to her ascent to the A-list, she was recently named the most powerful drag queen in America by New York magazine.

With regular host RuPaul not believed to be locked in for the Down Under series – he’s already stretched across the US and UK versions, as well as overseeing numerous branding ventures – many had expected Courtney Act to be a shoe-in for the role. But with her many controversial statements about RuPaul and his best friend Michelle Visage, sources say that Courtney’s casting in the local show seems ‘pretty damned unlikely’.

That’s upset some fans – as has the fact that Bianca’s name is being mentioned.

Prominent Drag Race vlogger Jacob Sandt, who runs the JakeyonceTV channel, suggested to his 64,000 subscribers over the weekend that Courtney deserved the role, and complained that he wouldn’t like to see the ‘extremely problematic’ Del Rio get the gig.

‘The issue with Courtney being on is her history with RuPaul,’ admitted the host.

‘Right now, if Bianca were to host, it would make sense. But Bianca in the past has been extremely problematic.’

Referencing an incident in which Bianca joked about former Drag Race contestant Blair St Clair’s revelation she had been raped at a college party, Sandt said he had not forgiven Del Rio for making the joke.

‘You all know my opinions on Bianca, ever since she never apologised to Blair St Clair. She said some very questionable statements about Blair St Clair, onstage at Montreal Pride, in front of an all ages audience.’

St Clair herself called out Del Rio at the time, commenting that rape jokes are never acceptable, and ‘contribute to rape culture.’

Bianca Courtney
Biance, Adore Delano and Courtney Act (Credit: Getty Images)

Del Rio said the following about the inflammatory routine:

‘I wasn’t questioning the validity of anyone’s personal struggles, but bringing it up right before you “lip sync for your life” was strategic … in my opinion,’ she said. ‘Back in the day, when a man in a wig had to “lip sync for their life,” they relied on a wig reveal, rose petals or picking up their opponent and twirling them around.

‘Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the old days when drag was fun, not personal.’

Sandt, who has a history of critiquing Del Rio, added that while the comedian’s huge success in Australia meant it ‘made sense’ for her to host the show, he wasn’t on board, saying, ‘That would be a gag to me, just because of her past.’

‘Everyone gives Bianca the Bianca pass every time she has ever done something remotely wrong,’ he complained.

‘Her comedy show has had extreme success in Australia, and that’s because of the crass humour.’

Fans online appear to be divided over whether Courtney or Bianca should get the hosting gig.

‘If it weren’t for Courtney’s beef with RuPaul, she’d be the one hosting this,’ wrote one.

Shared another, ‘RuPaul should put his pride aside and get Courtney to host. She is the most eloquent and well-behaved queen to ever come out of the show.’

But another quipped, ‘Courtney Act is gunning for Ru’s spot. Savage level Rich Soccer Mom trying to take over the PTA meeting.’

Others had less time for critiques of Bianca’s comedy style.

‘The problematic thing has to stop. Grow up, it’s comedy,’ added one fan.

Another summed up the feelings of many by writing, ‘It would be so iconic if Bianca and Courtney Act hosted it [together].’

Del Rio herself hasn’t directly commented on the rumoured casting, but did post a grab of New Idea’s prior report on the matter, sparking a frenzied reaction from fans.

WATCH: Courtney Act drops bombshell on friendship with RuPaul

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