Who is ‘Drag Race Holland’ Host Fred Van Leer?

It’s time for Holland’s best drag queens to start their engines. Hot on the heels of Canada’s Drag Race, a new international RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise is about to kick off in the Netherlands on September 18.

RuPaul on The Price is Right
RuPaul on The Price is Right | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

How many international ‘Drag Race’ franchises are there?

Drag Race Holland will be the first Drag Race franchise on the European continent, but it’s not the first time the Race will be crossing the pond. Last year, RuPaul and Michelle Visage launched RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which has since been confirmed for a second season. Canada’s Drag Race, the US version’s Canuck counterpart, just wrapped up its first season with RPDR runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes behind the judges’ table.

Drag Race has already been adapted into other languages in other parts of the world, so Drag Race Holland won’t be the first Race not running in English. The show’s first international offshoot was Drag Race Thailand, which featured an open casting process and two effervescent hosts: Art Arya and Pangina Heals.

In South America, The Switch Drag Race is a unique take on the Drag Race formula. Despite being in Spanish, The Switch Drag Race attracted two familiar faces in its second season: RPDR alumnae Gia Gunn and Kandy Ho.

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How are international ‘Drag Race’ shows different from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ in the US?

The most glaring difference between RuPaul’s Drag Race and the other international Drag Race franchises (with the exception of UK) is the absence of RuPaul and Michelle Visage. Each show is run differently, with judging taking different formats.

On Canada’s Drag Race, for example, decisions are made as a group by the three main judges: Brooke Lynn Hytes, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and Stacey McKenzie. The Switch Drag Race is part-singing competition, part-Drag Race, and has a much greater emphasis on live singing and dancing than any other Drag Race franchise.

Drag Race Thailand differs from every other Drag Race franchise in that casting is open to all drag performers, and even made history last year by crowning Drag Race‘s first and only transgender winner. Thailand is also a much tougher competition for everyone involved: the queens have to create their own runway looks every week; by contrast, most queens who appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race nowadays spend a pretty penny paying designers before going off to film.

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TBT fijne donderdag iedereen ❤️

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Who is hosting ‘Drag Race Holland’?

Details around Drag Race Holland have been pretty sparse besides the host announcement. The show will be hosted by Fred van Leer, a Dutch TV personality and celebrity stylist best known as a former judge and host on Holland’s Next Top Model.

Prior to his time on TV, Fred van Leer spent 15 years as a working drag queen in Rotterdam. From there, he made the career jump to stylist, and eventually crossed over into the TV world on celebrity gossip show RTL Boulevard and Holland’s version of The X-Factor.

Is there more international ‘Drag Race’ on the way?

The Drag Race machine never stops, even in the midst of a global pandemic. RuPaul’s Drag Race just announced that it already filmed Season 13 over the summer and that All Stars 6 is set to begin production soon. If the show goes on in the US, where the coronavirus still remains a large problem, then there’s no reason why production wouldn’t continue on Drag Race franchises in countries that have the virus under control.

Drag Race Australia was confirmed last year, but no details have emerged since then about filming or judges. COVID-19 has seemingly put a stop to it for the time being.

Besides Australia, RuPaul’s Drag Race producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have said there are “three or four [Drag Race franchises] in the works right now” around the world. While nothing has been confirmed, some speculate that France could be in the mix. Given that two Francophones have recently competed in different Drag Race franchises, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.