After one season of “Canada’s Drag Race,” we’re all feeling “true north strong and fierce,” right? The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise branched out this summer for its first season in Canada, featuring a cast of some of the country’s most established queens and some of its freshest. Judging duties were shared between Canadian model Stacey McKenzie, Canadian television star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and RPDR season 11 runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes. The season came to a close Thursday night in a season finale to decide if Canada’s first drag superstar would be Rita Baga, Priyanka or Scarlett BoBo.
In last week’s penultimate episode, the final four walked three different categories in the event of the season, “The Snow Ball.” After strutting down the runway in categories Executive Holiday Party Realness, Icy Walk of Shame, and Ice Queen Eleganza, Scarlett was declared the challenge winner for the first time this season, earning her the first spot in the finale. Priyanka was called safe, giving her a spot and leaving Rita and Jimbo to fight it out in the final lip sync. Rita won that head-to-head to claim the final spot in the top three.
This season “Canada’s Drag Race” aired on WOW Presents Plus on Thursdays at 9 pm ET in the United States and select territories, which was 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.
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Below is our recap of the September 3 finale episode featuring guest host Traci Melchor:
Following her first win, Scarlett was in high spirits and on an upward trajectory as the girls looked toward the finale. On the flip side, Rita was on the downward spiral with two consecutive trips to the bottom two after beginning the season in a strong position. Regardless of their journeys, the three queens decided that their score cards pretty much evened out and they were all entering the final challenge with an equal chance of winning.
The next morning Brooke Lynn joined the girls in the werkroom to let them know for their final maxi challenge they’d write and record a new remix of the RuPaul Charles song “U Wear It Well.” They’d perform the song on the main stage in a choreographed lip sync extravaganza before walking the runway for one final time.
In sitting down to write their verses, Priyanka and Scarlett were well aware that Rita is a singer and so they had stiff competition in that regard. Rita was first to record her verse with Ralph, who told her to focus on enunciation on words like “alien.” Priyanka was having a fun time during her session, stressing the importance of making fun of herself in the process. Scarlett’s time with Ralph was a struggle, mostly to get the notes right which concerned Scarlett.
The queens also sat down with Jeffrey and Traci to discuss what the journey on the show has been like for them. Scarlett called the experience intense and marks her journey by the amount of growth she’s shown in learning to create looks on the fly and the support she’s always had from her mother. Rita explained that her childhood spent between two households caused her to become independent, but that the show helped her discover that it’s okay to open up and be vulnerable sometimes. Priyanka learned on the show that she gets to be “both versions” of herself at once and has found the confidence to move forward with her life by opening up and coming out.
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Later all three came together again to learn the choreography for their number with Hollywood Jade and Brooke Lynn. At this point, Rita’s confidence slipped since she is not a quick learner with choreo and is pitted against two queens comfortable on the dance floor. That Brooke Lynn was there watching them learn made the whole thing much more stressful than it otherwise would have been, and Brooke Lynn had a lot of notes for them throughout the session.
The next day, “coronation day,” as the queens got ready for the stage they gossiped a bit about the season and their peers. Priyanka didn’t mince words when it came to Kyne‘s overconfidence and how “The Snatch Game” was a high point for Rita as well as Lemon. Little did they know that later that day, while the judges deliberate, they’d get the chance to reunite with all of them.
But first, on the main stage with the judges and the finalists we got to see their remix of Ru’s song and the eleganza they saved for the final runway. In the performance, each of the queens delivered a strong verse that revealed who they are as queens perfectly. Rita was indeed stiff in the dancing, but made up for that by showcasing vocals that the other girls couldn’t come close to. For their final runway, Rita walked in full body green paint and a green dress for an “alien actress” look, Scarlett wore her most glamour black and pink dress with a loud red wig, and Priyanka represented her Indian heritage in a gorgeous lengha.
In critiques, Brooke Lynn pointed out that she was worried about Rita during rehearsals, but that in the final performance she killed it. Traci liked that her final look was a surprise, allowing Rita to explain that she entered as a baby alien and finished as an alien goddess. The judges thought that Scarlett finally had the opportunity to show her skills as a lip sync performer and Stacey especially loved the “classy with an edge” choice for her runway look. Jeffrey was ecstatic for Priyanka who was clearly having fun and Traci called her energy effortless. The judges also really loved her representing her culture on the runway and showing such pride. When asked why each of them should win, Rita pointed out her record as a three-time maxi challenge winner, Scarlett made it clear that she remained herself all season and wants to be a voice for all the queer performers, and Priyanka relied on how much of a “superstar” she already is as someone who is a born performer.
When the queens retreated back to the werkroom, they were greeted by all the eliminated queens. Once they all sat down it was the perfect time for them to all gag together over the season’s moments, including the ones that some of the early boots weren’t around to see. Some of them expected Priyanka to win Snatch Game (she bombed it) and were surprised Jimbo won it instead. Priyanka did get the chance to ask Kyne if she intended to be “the bitch of the season,” to which Kyne said she wasn’t even aware she was portrayed that way. They all made it clear that Juice Boxx is not representative of a first eliminated queen because her drag is so amazing. Lemon and Kiara both voiced their support for Rita and Ilona Verley stood up for her sissy Scarlett.
The judges also had a discussion of their own where they dissected each of the journeys of the top three. They agreed that Rita’s positive is her old style, campy drag that is so rarely represented in the finals. For Scarlett they love her consistency and ability to rise to the top at the right time. And with Priyanka they love that she allowed herself to be quirky and fun while also being a humble, but great all around entertainer.
Ahead of the coronation, all the eliminated queens walked the runway in their best drag as well, and remained on stage to hear from the judges. But before they could make a decision, the judges asked all three of the finalists to lip sync one last time to “You’re a Superstar” by Love Inc. After each eliminating two queens each in lip syncs, Rita and Priyanka had already proven themselves to be assassins, but Scarlett stepped up to the plate to hold her own on the stage with the two of them. All three queens put on a great final show, including high kicks, splits, and costume tear-aways in the last moments of the season. But after all was said and done, versatility was the key because Priyanka was named by the judges as Canada’s first ever drag superstar!