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 the second episode, the queens rewrote herstory by overacting in spoofs of famed Canadian history ads “Heritage Minutes.” Lemon, who was in the bottom two the first week, rose to the top to become the second challenge winner. Kyne and Tynomi Banks faced off in the lip sync for your life with Tynomi winning out, sending Kyne on her way home.
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 will begin 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 July 16 episode featuring guest host Deborah Cox.
Once again, the elimination shook the cast. Like Juice Boxx before her, Kyne has made a large name for herself in Canada and online and so the realization that both of them could go home so early meant that anyone was vulnerable at any given time. For Tynomi, returning to the bottom would not be an option and if she did she was vowing to continue to take no prisoners.
The following morning, Jeffrey arrived with special guest, Canadian TV personality Traci Melchor. Together they introduced this week’s paired mini challenge, co-anchoring for a potential news show “Canada Gay-M” with scripts scrolling the teleprompter in English, French and “Draglish.” The challenge unraveled in a montage of clips of their readings from the desk, with most of them utterly failing at pronouncing French and a lot of them even stumbling over English words and tongue pops. After all was said and done, Traci and Jeffrey declared Lemon and Priyanka the best pair of the bunch.
As winners, Lemon and Priyanka got to serve as the captains of two teams for the week’s maxi challenge, a rap battle where each team would perform raps taking jabs at members of the other team in a song called “Not Sorry About It.” Lemon chose the team Tynomi, Jimbo, Kiara & BOA and Priyanka pulled together Rita Baga, Scarlett BoBo, Anastarzia Anaquway & Ilona Verley.
When the teams assembled to begin planning their strategy, Ilona voiced her frustration that she was chosen last for the second straight time. The other girls comforted her to make it clear that it wasn’t personal and then moved on to picking their girl group name, The Mooseknuckles. Meanwhile, on the other side of the room Lemon’s squad was gelling quickly and named themselves The Dwolls.
The next step in their transformation into pop star girl groups was to record their verses with singer songwriter Ralph. First up was The Dwolls. Self-proclaimed “rapstress” Lemon and Kiara performed their verses comfortably while Ralph asked both BOA and Tynomi to “kick it up” a notch with more personality. Naturally, their fifth member Jimbo, had everyone laughing their butts off with his delivery. As for The Mooseknuckles, Priyanka, BOA and Scarlett impressed their teammates with solid recordings just before Anastarzia took the mic to stumble over her words with intimidation. Luckily, Rita closed out their session by surprising everyone with professionally trained vocals… though it wasn’t quite rap.
After recording they returned to the stage to learn choreography with Hollywood Jade. Trained dancers Lemon and Tynomi were solid in their steps, but Jimbo had a rough go at picking up the quick and sultry moves. With no technical dancers on their team, The Mooseknuckles collectively groaned through the rapid fire instructions that Jade gave them and realized that they might be in trouble.
While getting ready on elimination day, it became apparent that long-standing friends BOA and Scarlett had tension between them. Scarlett felt like she couldn’t come to BOA with her frustrations or stress in the context of the show without BOA turning it into a comedic moment, but with the current challenge being so out of her wheelhouse, Scarlett didn’t want to address the issue head on yet.
In the final performance, both teams took the stage together in a musical-like number where they alternated verses from team to team. In addition, the song began and ended with group numbers that brought them all together. While some queens clearly never got comfortable with the choreo, most of them were on top of their verses and had compiled some pretty slick lyrics.
After performing, each queen walked the runway in a “Quebecky with the Good Hair” category, focusing on wig use. Kiara opened in a big ‘fro and golden jumpsuit reminiscent of the disco look that got Kyne low marks in the first week. Jimbo went for sexy rock goddess with a humongous red and yellow puffed out number made of 11 (!!) wigs, Tynomi took acid in a rainbow wig that matched a rainbow wig dress, BOA interpreted the category by revealing an oversized merkin, and Lemon created a lemon tree made of hair on her head. Priyanka came out in a blue and orange braided buns that matched a braided hair harness dress, Anastarzia got creative as Cousin It on her back side and Chun Li on her front side, Rita had an 80s theme with yellow and purple lightning hair, Scarlett had a full weave dress and then spelled BoBo out in her hair, and then Ilona closed the runway in a powder blue number using wigs as fur for her garment.
Though they performed in groups, the judges made it clear that all their critiques would be based on individual performances. Rita, Lemon and Jimbo were all declared safe, leaving seven other girls on stage to hear from the panel. Among the bottom were Kiara who took heat for fading into the background and not getting creative enough with her outfits, Tynomi who was acknowledged for great dancing but also didn’t know the words to her own song and had a very basic look, Anastarzia whose runway look confused the heck out of the judges and for failing to loosen up in the dancing, and Ilona who was uncomfortable in the performance challenge but they thought looked expensive and polished on the runway. On the top were BOA who was called a stand out and whose outfit shouldn’t have worked but did, Priyanka who was loved as a performer and for an impeccably styled outfit, and Scarlett who they thought made the most of a weave dress and who finally showed her personality in the challenge.
Backstage, the Scarlett and BOA tension erupted in Scarlett telling BOA that she’s constantly saying shading things to her in the competition and not understanding why. From the outside perspective, Priyanka thought that maybe it had to do with BOA finally getting some recognition where back home in Toronto she is lower on the totem pole than most of the other girls. Rita pointed out that the Toronto queens are much more catty than the Montreal girls, as she stroked Kiara’s hand in a sign of solidarity.
Based on their performance and runway presentation, the judges selected Priyanka as the overall winner! BOA and Scarlett, as well as Ilona, were all declared safe. Of the bottom three, Anastarzia and Tynomi were placed on the very bottom and asked to lip sync for their lives. They went head to head with Deborah’s hit “Absolutely Not,” a classic anthem in the gay clubs! In the performance, Anastarzia went down the more regal path, giving us pageantry and poised perfection, while Tynomi left it all on the floor, revealing a smaller all black hair body suit underneath to make way for a sleek and dance-heavy performance of the song. Ultimately, it seems Anastarzia played it too safe with her performance and so the judges decided that she should sashay away while Tynomi shantayed well enough to stay another week.
NEXT TIME: The queens work in teams (again!) to create fashion lines using recyclable materials as their fabrics.