That's right, it's being reported that the popular drag queen competition show, RuPaul's Drag Race, just finished filming season 13 – despite the pandemic. Though the cast hasn't been announced yet, there are plenty of rumors and speculation, as the competing queens are not allowed phones, social media, or the internet during filming. Season 13 started filming in LA in mid-July, making them among the first to return to production in the area. They wrapped officially August 31, and the rumored queens resumed their social media posting and returned their 5,482 text messages (based on exclusive reporting from Variety).
If you think about it, the Drag Race structure is naturally suited for pandemic production – the contestants are already bubbled and cut off from outside interaction, and they do their own hair, makeup, and wardrobe – which has been a big concern for on-set safety due to those departments direct contact with actors.
Among the more shocking and interesting choices (in a good way) is GottMik – not to be confused with the Drag Race alumn – this LA queen would be the first "bio queen" (that's assigned female at birth) in the show's history. That's big, especially for RuPaul and the show's history of insensitivity towards the trans community. There's a fine line between mocking the construct of gender and mocking those who fall somewhere on the scale of gender different from that ascribed to them at birth, and hopefully, if GottMik really is on season 13, challenges and language in the show will change to reflect how far we've come as a society.
Other rumored queens who have been noticeably absent from the internet for the last month and a half include Denali Foxx, Elliott Puckett, Joey Jay, Kahmora Hall, LaLa Ri, Symone, Tamisha Iman, Utica, and NYC queens Tina Burner, Olivia Lux, Rose, and Kandy Muse. Remember, this cast list is just rumored based on absence online and in shows – it's not official or confirmed. The official season 13 cast and promo photos won't be released until closer to the premiere date, which is early next year.
Personally, I would love to see a lineup with even more comedy and character queens in it (not just reigning Miss Comedy Queen Tina Burner), but that's just personal preference. It does feel like the challenges are best suited to that style of drag though, which makes this cast an interesting mix, though it's season 13 – everything could be different! However, I'm getting ahead of myself – one can't judge a drag queen by her makeup, nor the cast list by rumors.