Thankfully, a new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars begins airing this week. Though the Drag Race industrial complex has ensured practically no breakage in content this year — with a (mostly) strong run that has thus far included RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 13, RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K., season 2, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, season 1, and Drag Race España, the latter three of which streamed on WOW Presents Plus in the United States — there’s something about the mothership and its All Stars spinoff that makes fans feel most at home.
That brings us to today’s All Stars news: We’ve long-known the series would air exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. But this afternoon, as has long been rumored among fans, the official Drag Race Twitter account announced that All Stars, season 6, would start streaming on the service every Thursday … at 3 a.m. ET.
That’s not an unprecedented move for a streaming service; in fact, most streamers upload new original content at that hour, including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. The difference with any and every iteration of Drag Race, however, is how much of a physical economy the series has created at queer spaces around the country. With bars open again in cities including New York and Los Angeles, All Stars, season 6, was set to be the first major in-person viewing experience for the community in more than a year. But now, longtime viewers and fans will be left dodging spoilers when they awaken on Thursday mornings. The difficulty of getting through a full work day without finding out which queen got eliminated cannot be overstated; so, it’s fair to say, there will almost certainly be smaller Thursday-night turnouts at the bars dependent on the weekly Drag Race influx of revenue and support.
Earlier today, the Drag Race Twitter account even went as far as to suggest a list of words to mute on social media if you’re not willing to stay up until three in the morning to watch these queens fight their way to the top, including a very spoiler-y keyword that those not combing for clues wouldn’t have known about had this list not existed. Only time will tell how the new strategy will be received by the fans, but a quick scroll through Drag Race’s Twitter mentions right now certainly indicates a growing swell of discontent.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 6 premieres tonight — er, tomorrow morning — at 3 a.m. on Paramount+. The show’s first act is actually already streaming on YouTube, so feel free to sashay over there if you’re not planning to stay up late.