You may think you’ve already done had yourses, but you haven’t unless you’re 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 the series premiere, the 12 queens introduced us to some of Canada’s most iconic fashion statements in a fabric-in-a-box costume challenge. Self-described weirdo Jimbo and the girl with a bad reputation BOA were among the top performers, but were bested by the first maxi challenge winner of the season, Montreal’s Rita Baga.
Showing much less versatility were the bottoms of the week: mini challenge winner Kyne and then Lemon and Juice Boxx who battled for their lives in the lip sync. Ultimately, Juice’s shake-and-go wig and overall lack of creativity didn’t stand up to Lemon’s New York-trained dancing skills and so she was asked to “sashay away.”
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. Below is our recap of the July 9 episode featuring guest host Jade Hassouné.
Following Juice’s elimination, the remaining queens realized that anyone could go at any point. Juice was a queen they all thought would last longer in the competition. For Priyanka, relatively new to the drag game, that was a good sign because it meant that some of the queens with longer careers and more experience aren’t necessarily the favorites to win. Meanwhile, despite being named in the bottom by the judges and her garment falling apart all over the stage, Kyne was still insisting that she should have won the challenge.
The morning after, Brooke Lynn greeted the queens in the werk room for their next mini challenge, an audition in ballerina quick-drag. Based on their looks, ballet and booty-shaking, BOA and Anastarzia Anaquway were named joint-winners. As winners, they became the two captains of the team-based maxi challenge, over-acting in spoofs of the Canadian historical ads “Heritage Minutes.” BOA’s group (Priyanka, Kyne, Scarlett BoBo, Jimbo, Ilona Verley) would perform in “The Muffragettes” and Anastarzia’s group (Tynomi Banks, Rita, Kiara, Lemon) would perform in “Burnt Tuck.”
During rehearsals, Jimbo questioned the approach that Ilona and Scarlett were taking to their twin characters, but the two of them felt like it was an organic pairing considering how close they’d already gotten in the competition. On the other team, Tynomi was already struggling stringing the phrases in her script together, worrying her teammates.
Later that day when Brooke Lynn returned for a visit, she wanted to know Kyne’s feelings about her critiques on the runway. While acknowledging that her expectations for herself were high because of her sewing skills, Kyne told Brooke Lynn that she forgives the judges for their critiques (!!!). For the rest of the queens, this was indicative of Kyne’s growing ego in the competition. Tynomi, however, was receptive to Brooke Lynn’s advice on how to improve upon her previous performance.
Jeffrey was on set to direct both teams through the filming of their spoofs. First up was “The Muffragettes” and immediately BOA flopped on her opening lines. Through different scenes she didn’t get any better, but luckily Jimbo was there to make Jeffrey laugh with needing very little direction. With “Burnt Tuck,” Kiara got her team off to a great start with a one-take delivery of her scene, but Tynomi had to repeatedly ask for a cut and to have her lines fed to her.
For this week’s runway the category was “Not My First Time,” calling for the queens to recreate their first ever drag look in an updated way. While preparing those looks, both Tynomi and BOA were mentally preparing themselves for the lip sync, knowing that they were the weakest links in their teams. The theme also inspired the queens to talk about their upbringings, like Kyne’s parents not being supportive, Lemon’s being her biggest cheerleaders, and Anastarzia’s experience having friends murdered for being gay in the Bahamas. Anastarzia also disclosed that she was shot with three bullets hitting her and having to drive herself to the hospital in order to save her own life. That experience is what made her escape to Canada and claim asylum.
On the runway, Lemon opened in a glamorous midnight blue gown showing legggg, Rita turned the corner in a black swimsuit with sunflower adornments, Tynomi elevated a simple gray turtleneck dress into a fierce glitzy redux, Kiara made sure she felt expensive in a gold slip dress, and Anastarzia reimagined a zebra-inspired pageant dress. BOA says her look went from “back alley hooker” to “front alley escort,” Kyne was painted purple in an Ursula way, Priyanka had a hard time walking in a too-tight latex dress, Scarlett was full “circus freak” with a fire-swallowing trick to boot, Ilona was pure punk in black and red and Jimbo closed in a horrifying zombie cheerleader look.
After the runway we got to watch the final production of their Her-itage Moment shorts. I’d say both Priyanka and Kiara stole the show in their respective teams, mostly because they had the most prominent roles and executed them perfectly. Because the judgment was done as individuals and not in groups, both Kiara and Priyanka were able to be among the tops of the week.
Lemon impressed the judges this week in both acting and the runway, specifically because it was a huge step up from her poor performance last week. Tynomi was expectedly in the bottom, but the surprise was that Brooke Lynn read her runway look down to pure filth. The judges felt like Lemon was propping Tynomi up in the acting. While the judges loved Kiara in the acting challenge, they were disappointed that her runway look was not much of an improvement upon the photo of her first drag look. On the flip side, the judges loved BOA’s runway presentation while hating her acting performance. Kyne was disappointed to find out that she was once again among the bottom for failing to stand out in any memorable way. Priyanka got high marks for committing so fully to her character and Jimbo was loved, too, but the judges thought she could have been louder as a character.
After deliberating, the judges decided that Lemon rose to the top as this week’s overall winner! That meant that Jimbo, Kiara and Priyanka were all safe at the top as well. Of the other three, Kyne and Tynomi fell to the very bottom while BOA was saved for another week.
For this week’s lip sync Kyne and Tynomi battled to “If You Could Read My Mind.” Tynomi truly turned it out with high energy, lots of passion and some effortlessly fluid dance moves while Kyne seemed checked out and more lackluster in her performance. Despite that visible difference, Tynomi began crying once the song stopped and Kyne consoled her, assuring her that she’d be the one to go home. Sure enough, the judges agreed and sent Kyne on her way with a “sashay away.”
NEXT TIME: The queens perform in teams again, this time as rival girl groups responsible for recording their own vocals and learning choreo.