RuPaul’s Drag Race has been renewed: for a season 13, for all-stars season six, and Untucked. But season 13 is just finished filming, with production on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 6 following.
That’s a pretty typical production schedule for the franchise. While VH1 typically premieres new seasons of Drag Race in the spring, following it by a new all-stars season, both seasons are filmed the preceding summer. With production underway, there are lists of rumored queens online.
When the two shows and Untucked were announced as renewed on Aug. 20, season 13 was at or near the end of production. VH1 said season 12 brought “VH1 its highest-rated Friday night in 12 years,” while All Stars season 5 “was up +9% from the previous season and ranked as the #1 series in its time period with [people 18 to 34] and [women 18 to 34.”
But a former cast member beat VH1 to its announcement by weeks. Jaremi Carey, who was on Drag Race performing as Phi Phi O’Hara, tweeted in early August, “I know the cast of 6,” which was an early clue that the show was going to be in production as usual. Jaremi also tweeted on Aug. 6 that the returning queens “film shortly” and would be in isolation for two weeks before production began.
That aligns with a production start date of Aug. 24 mentioned in a casting ad that was noticed by a Redditor. It announced a search for “male models for popular television show”—specifically, “An LGBTQ theme [sic] show” for which models “must be comfortable in your underwear.”
That ad—which might as well just say it’s looking for pit crew members— seems to be All-Stars 6, because the regular season began production in mid-July, according to a summary of information compiled by the Spoiled Drag Race subreddit.
Today, Variety reported that the show’s production company, World of Wonder, “altered the main stage set in order to incorporate concerns over social distancing, expanding the judges’ table and placing glass panels between each judge.”
Meanwhile, crew members are wearing masks and being tested weekly—unless they have more direct contact with the queens, in which case they get tests “three times per week.”
While Variety notes that there are “obvious questions about how any production involving regular interpersonal interaction could operate safely,” it insists the producers are following all rules and guidelines, and adds an incredibly confident paragraph about just how safe all this must be:
“In some ways, Drag Race was already set up to operate during a pandemic. The drag queens who compete on the show historically have been sequestered for the duration of their time on the series, and one of the bigger sticking points for COVID-safe production, hair and makeup application, is a non-issue, since the competing queens all do it themselves.”
Of course, contestants on every competition reality show are sequestered. Crew members, never mind their families and everyone they interact with, are not.
Potential Drag Race 13’s queens and All-Stars 6’s cast
So who are the drag queens competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race 13 and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6?
For All-Stars 6, Reddit’s sleuths have so far identified just three “likely” all-stars: Sonique, Scarlet Envy, and Jan.
Pandora Boxx, Yara Sofia, Jiggly Caliente, Trinity K Bonet, Ginger Minj, A’keria Davenport, and Ja’jah O’Hara are on the “possible” list.
Drawing from these, someone even created a mock promo image for the upcoming season.
VH1 typically doesn’t officially announce the casts until just