Who is ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under’ Judge Rhys Nicholson and What is His Net Worth?

In just a few short years, RuPaul’s Drag Race has become a worldwide phenomenon. The Emmy-winning drag competition show has led to spin-off franchises based in Thailand, the UK, Latin America, Holland, and more. RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under showcases some of the best drag that Australia and New Zealand has to offer, complete with commentary from Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson.

Rhys Nicholson
Rhys Nicholson performs live at State Theatre on February 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia | Don Arnold/WireImage

Rhys Nicholson is the only Australian on the judges’ panel

As the only Australian on the judges’ panel, Nicholson understands queens’ creative choices and references that often go over other audiences’ heads. For example, RuPaul wasn’t familiar with Karen From Finance’s runway look that referenced Australian international drug smuggler Schapelle Corby.

As a result of being the only Aussie regular judge on Drag Race Down Under, Nicholson is able to critique looks such as Karen From Finance’s Schapelle Corby with the background knowledge of the story and acknowledging that the concept wasn’t well executed.

Rhys Nicholson
Rhys Nicholson performs live at State Theatre on February 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia | Don Arnold/WireImage

Rhys Nicholson is an out and proud member of the LGBTQ community

Nicholson moved to Sydney in 2009 and began to gain notoriety as a comedian in 2012 when he won the Time Out Award for Best Newcomer at the Sydney Comedy Festival.

Nicholson has been a loud advocate for LGBTQ rights since he emerged on the comedy scene a decade ago. In 2016, to draw attention to the importance of marriage equality in Australia, Nicholson publicly married lesbian and fellow comedian Zoe Coombs Marr at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

In 2018, Nicholson shared on social media a violent homophobic incident he was involved in. “He loudly said, ‘You can always spot a f*ggot in Melbourne,'” Nicholson recalled. “I looked up and rolled my eyes. He continued, ‘It’s looking at me. If it keeps looking at me, something’s going to happen to it.'”

“He paced up and down the carriage for a few minutes and said directly at me ‘if there was no one here I’d bash you. Bash you to death,'” Nicholson said honestly. “This type of fun went on for about 10 minutes. As they got off the older guy announced that ‘the yes vote [to equal marriage] was allowing schools to teach young boys how to have sex with men.'”

Ultimately, Nicholson resolved that he must remain an outspoken advocate because homophobic behavior shouldn’t be normalized. “I’m fine. That’s the problem,” he said. “This sh*t is still so common that it barely phased me. It should phase me.”

Rhys Nicholson
Rhys Nicholson performs on stage during Underbelly Press Launch for Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Udderbelly on August 03, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland | Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

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Rhys Nicholson’s net worth

Nicholson has risen to become one of Australia’s hottest new comedians over the past decade. RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under is possibly his biggest project yet, and certainly the one with the most worldwide appeal.

Nicholson’s years of hard work are reflected in his estimated net worth. According to BuzzLearn, Nicholson is reportedly worth between $1 million and $6 million.