You may think you’ve already done had yourses, but you haven’t unless you’ve turned your gaze northward for “Canada’s Drag Race.” The new series kicked off July 2nd featuring Canadian model Stacey McKenzie, Canadian television star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and RPDR season 11 runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes as season-long judges.
In last week’s eighth episode, the five remaining queens met Elton, Rebal, Dennis, Eka and Rainer, five men that came to Canada from other countries through the safety from persecution foundation Rainbow Railroad. The queens transformed those five guys into their drag family members through makeovers with Priyanka and her new sister Elektra (Elton) being name the week’s winners. Rita Baga fell into the bottom and had to lip sync for the first time, but was able to outlast Lemon who was sent home. Priyanka and Rita were joined for a trip to the final four by Jimbo and Scarlett BoBo.
This season “Canada’s Drag Race” is airing on WOW Presents Plus on Thursdays at 9 pm ET in the United States and select territories, which is day-and-date with its run on Crave in Canada. The 10-episode series began airing in the U.S. on Logo on Monday, July 27th at 8 pm ET, starting with the premiere from July 2.
Below is our recap of the August 20 episode featuring guest host Michelle Visage:
After Lemon’s elimination, Priyanka was feeling pretty good because the queen she saw as her closest competition was eliminated, but Scarlett was obviously still concerned by being the only queen without a challenge win. Scarlett attempted to jab at Rita by asking what it’s like to lip sync considering both her and Jimbo haven’t had to do it yet, but Rita knew the score and made sure to remind Scarlett she doesn’t know what it’s like to win.
The next morning Stacey entered the werkroom to present this week’s mini challenge, a screen test with guest comedy writer Sabrina Jalees. Sabrina wanted the girls to test for a fictional role in a fictional musical-comedy project as a Canada national anthem singer. After donning their best “local chanteuse” quick drag, each queen sang the national anthem in a comedic screen test with Sabrina asking a lot of them, like doing it while scared for their lives, in an angry mood, with tongue pops, underwater or directed at an ex husband and kid. By the end of it, Sabrina and Stacey thought that Rita did the best!
Stacey also presented this week’s maxi challenge, the girls’ first drag race ball, “The Snow Ball.” At the ball the queens would have to walk the runway in three different categories: Executive Holiday Party Realness, Icy Walk of Shame, and Ice Queen Eleganza. For the last category the girls would have to construct new garments using materials from the werk room as well as wintery adornments provided by the pit crew.
So the queens spent the rest of the day constructing their garments which Priyanka smartly realized is the final look and the one they’ll each be standing in when the judges decide which three make it to the finale. That being said, she still decided to do something Beyonce-inspired, amounting to “just a corset” that she needed to disguise as best she could by gluing a bunch of stuff to it. Scarlett had much bigger aspirations for her look (“sexy Christmas viking”), but was struggling with her lack of sewing skills.
During a walkthrough in the werk room, Stacey wanted to know from Rita if she was nervous about this challenge since she had already won two design challenges. Rita was confident and determined to make all three of her looks “her own,” as well as hoping to incorporate everything she’s learned from the judges to show that she’s grown. Priyanka spoke to her own growth in the competition, especially after bombing improv challenges despite coming from a comedy background. Stacey was able to settle some of Scarlett’s nerves by stressing that she’s managed to get to the end and that there will only be one ultimate winner. Jimbo said that she hoped to be in the final four and hopes to win, but is not at all surprised. She also reiterated her clown-like persona that is all about pushing boundaries. But the pressure was really dialed up a hundred notches once Stacey disclosed that this week’s special guest host would be Michelle Visage.
The next day as they prepared their faces for the runway, the girls got to talking about their biggest fans. For Rita, that unlikely person is her dad, a CEO of a construction company. But even with such a non-queer career, Rita’s father comes to all her biggest shows and is a huge supporter. Scarlett opened up about her biggest fan, her mother, who endured a painful past with an abusive husband, but managed to always put her kids first. Later, the queens gave us a quick lesson in ball culture, explaining that it began as a safe space for queer people of color to reclaim the signifiers of wealth, prestige and leisure that white people got to live with every day and were commonly not available to QPOC. It was clear that they had a ton of respect and reverence for the culture and knew that as drag queens they owed a lot, especially their lingo, to it.
As promised, Michelle hosted the ball as the special guest and watched as the queens walked in the three categories. For the Executive Holiday Party Realness category: Jimbo opened in a basic business jacket, but underneath revealed red lingerie with mistletoe on the crotch and stumbled off the runway as if drunk, Rita followed in a long purple coat that didn’t look holiday-inspired at all, Priyanka also came out sort of drunk and with jingly bells and tinsel on a pine tree-inspired skirt suit, and Scarlett closed with a CEO-inspired character in a newspaper-print suit. For The Icy Walk of Shame category: Jimbo looked like a rainbow party girl that got so trashed the night before that she had actual trash stuck on her outfit, Rita came out in a mullet and a track suit, Priyanka walked out still drunk and almost falling asleep in a jacket dress and high socks, and Scarlett looked like a pink and blue snow bunny that was dazed and confused. And for the Ice Queen Eleganza category: Jimbo had created a silver dress with a huge silver crown “made of crap,” Rita did a stiff walk in her cumbersome dress made of foam to look like stalagmites, Priyanka arrived in a corset covered in stuff with a paper harness skirt and ice covered, slicked hair, and Scarlett closed in a “punk rock viking princess” look with a fur cape and a bejeweled swim suit.
Michelle was a big fan of Jimbo’s over-the-top approach to her looks, especially the first one. Brooke wasn’t into Jimbo’s final look, saying she could barely walk in it and that the crown kept almost falling off her head. Overall, Michelle asked Jimbo to bring the whiteness of her face down her neck so that it isn’t such a jarring differentiation between her colors. Jeffrey did not like Rita’s first look and expected a reveal because it was so simple, but Michelle called her second look “performance art” and “hilarious.” The judges all had some criticisms of Rita’s final look, despite thinking that it was a great concept. Priyanka got really high praise for both of her first two looks, but then it all came crashing down on her final look that Michelle reminded her is one of pet peeves, “a body suit with stuff stuck on it.” That being said, Michelle said her hair, makeup and the way she sold it actually helped. Of all the queens, Scarlett got the most consistent praise and for all three looks. Stacey especially loved that each of them had a BoBo feel to them.
After critiques the judges showed each of them a photo of their younger selves and asked them to give some words of advice. The moments were emotional, and maybe a little uncomfortable for some of them, but was a great way to remind them how much they’ve grown through their lives and in the competition. Based on the deliberation and critiques, it was a clear decision that tonight’s winner (finally) was Scarlett! Out of the other three, Priyanka was shocked to find out that she was safe, leaving Rita and Jimbo at the bottom to lip sync for their lives and the final spot in the finale. In their performance of Tegan and Sara‘s “Closer,” Rita surprised by giving the more comedic performance of the two and the more sexual one. She also smartly pulled out scissors to snip off the part of the dress that restricted her movement, while Jimbo was stiff and struggled to keep her crown on. In the end, the decision based on the lip sync was pretty clear and the judges kept Rita while sending Jimbo on her way. And what a way it was–Jimbo exited with a fall to the floor, a scream of “whyyyy” and crawling on her hands off the stage while cursing the judges. It doesn’t get more iconic than that.
NEXT TIME: It’s finale time and the final three remix RuPaul’s song “You Wear It Well” and are joined by the eliminated queens for a bish sesh!