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 third episode, the queens spiced things up as dueling pop music girl groups featuring shady rap battle lyrics in “Not Sorry Aboot It.” Priyanka nabbed her first overall win while Tynomi Banks fell into the bottom two for the second straight week. Luckily she was able to pull off another win in the lip sync for your life, but that meant that her opponent Anastarzia Anaquway went home instead.
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 23 episode featuring guest host Biddell.
After their friendship hit a rough patch in episode 3, BOA and Scarlett BoBo began this episode agreeing to mend the wound by vowing to not be so shady to one another anymore. For Rita Baga, one of the top drag performers out of Montreal, their tiff was a sign of the difference between the Montreal girls and the Toronto girls who, according to her, tend to be more catty and competitive. Rita made it clear that this isn’t “Toronto’s Drag Race” and that they all have value and are threats.
Heading into the next challenge, no one was more aware of their need to step up their game than Tynomi. After she won her second lip sync, the judges told her that she needs to bring that fire and energy to every runway and every challenge rather than reserving it for the lip syncs.
For this week’s mini challenge, Stacey was in the werkroom to oversee a memory challenge game using the pit crew boys as pieces. One by the one the queens had a member of the pit crew drop their shorts to reveal a pair of undies that match another member. Guessing all members in the same undies in the fastest time was the goal. After all the shorts were on the floor, Jimbo emerged as the winner!
After the mini challenge the girls divided themselves into three groups of three: Jimbo, Tynomi & Ilona Verley, Priyanka, BOA & Lemon, and Scarlett, Rita & Kiara. In these groups they’d compete as teams in a maxi challenge to create a fashion line using recyclable materials (paper, plastic or metal). As the winner of the mini challenge, Jimbo got to decide the materials for each group. He took paper for his team, gave Priyanka’s group metal and Rita’s group plastic.
As the queens got started on their looks, Lemon was very aware that in the previous design challenge she fell into the bottom and barely escaped elimination. For her that meant this was a redemption opportunity to show the judges her creativity and a high level of execution. Meanwhile, Rita took the lead on her team as a former club kid used to creating garments from whatever she had available to her. With her experience and Scarlett and Kiara’s usefulness as “glue gun queens,” they were excited about the prospect of coming out on top.
True to Rita’s previous claim, the Toronto queens took glances around the room and started gossiping about how poorly constructed everyone’s garments were turning out. Ilona was the biggest mouth, even taking aim at her close pal Scarlett’s work. That being said, it was all in good fun and with laughs. Ilona’s biggest frustration came within the ranks of her own team when Jimbo’s creation didn’t serve their initial “Sherbert Showgirl” vision so they had to switch course to do “Recycled Royalty” in order to keep their looks cohesive.
To help get the teams in the mindset of high fashion, Stacey held a runway walk workshop with each set of three. She was able to give the queens advice on their posture, pacing and body language. Not a great walker by nature, Jimbo was receptive to Stacey’s advice and remained determined to use it to get her first win this week. Already having decent walks, both Priyanka and Rita were able to tighten up their walks into stronger ones.
On elimination day, while getting ready for the runway Scarlett and Rita got on the topic of drag mothers, leading to Scarlett opening up about her own drag mother passing away right before she left for the show. It was a sudden and unexpected death that clearly still hit Scarlett hard, but she was proud and happy to spread the legacy of the BoBo family. Rita was pleased to have bonded with Scarlett, despite her being one of the Toronto queens.
On the runway, the girls walked the “Single-Use Queens” category in their three fashion houses. First to walk was La Maison Boraga, starting with Scarlett in what she called “post-apocalyptic couture” made from plastic zip ties and tarp with spray paint. Kiara used the same materials, but with more of an evening gown look. And then Rita closed their segment with a burned look of the tarp that registered as much more couture and avant-garde than the others.
BOA opened up for House of Rust in a silver garment made from foil and pop-open strainers (as tits). Priyanka also wore silver, but more sleek and with an enormous umbrella attached to her head that just looked like a broken antenna. Lemon closed also with a broken umbrella, but her look was copper as opposed to silver and stylistically didn’t speak to either of the other dresses whatsoever.
Ilona was the first to walk for Maison Papier and she stunned in a chic pink knight look that was very much still within the Ilona aesthetic. Tynomi followed in a very similar look, but in blue and different enough from Ilona’s to be specifically Tynomi’s style instead. Then, as promised, Jimbo closed as the knight’s queen in a huge paper gown and a perfectly Jimbo-esque ghoulish white face.
Based on their presentations, Jeffrey announced that La Maison Boraga was the winning team, but of the three Rita was the overall winner for outshining even her teammates. That was a second win for Rita, making her the first queen on CDR to win two challenges! As the winners, Rita, Scarlett and Kiara were all safe, leaving the other girls to hear critiques from the judges.
Biddell gave the metal team credit for having the toughest material to work with, but he still clocked them for their execution of an otherwise solid vision. For BOA, the judges want her to not rely on gimmicks and instead just serve a confident and fully realized look without the humor. Stacey and Brooke Lynn loved Priyanka’s look though, and the other judges liked Lemon’s a lot despite it not being part of a cohesive collection.
Stacey really loved the storytelling of the paper team’s looks and commended their creativity. Brooke Lynn, however, called it “gay pride at the Renaissance fair” and not fashion. Jeffrey came down hardest on Ilona for admitting that Jimbo’s vision for her own dress determined which direction they went in, leaving herself to blend in “once again.” For Tynomi, these criticisms were especially hard to take, causing Brooke Lynn to ask her what’s wrong with her spark throughout the competition. She and Biddell both gave her huge compliments that she’s fierce and strong, but that she just needs to get out of her head and believe in herself. The judges did like Jimbo’s look a lot, but they questioned her decision to paint her face white to look dead even when that wasn’t her actual goal. Jeffrey went in hard for Jimbo not painting her arms as well, saying “use it better” about her time in the werkroom.
Backstage, Ilona was pissed at her critique, questioning the judges’ taste for thinking that costumey looks aren’t fashion, but even their teammate Jimbo thought her and Tynomi looked like a party favor. When Jimbo complained that it was cold in the room, Ilona blew up at her and said that it’s unimportant compared to the fact that she and a few others have to be concerned about possibly going home. The fight caused Jimbo to go off on Ilona in a very uncharacteristic way, but one that was exciting to see! Tynomi was also taking the critiques hard, but the other girls rallied around her in support because they all understood how difficult it was for someone so genuinely talented be beat down by the judges week after week.
After deliberating, the judges declared that Tynomi was returning to the lip sync for a third straight time and against her teammate Ilona. Immediately Ilona was shaken by the prospect of having to lip sync against her friend, but Tynomi urged her to pull it together and perform. And so she did, to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.” Right out of the gate Ilona came through with strong personality and a clear familiarity with the song while Tynomi took some time to kick into high gear. By the end of the song the two queens were feeding off of each other’s energy and creating a great joint performance, but as always only one could stay while the other would sashay away. After three weeks in the bottom, tonight was Tynomi’s last stand and so we said goodbye to her.
NEXT TIME: The girls up north get to compete in the iconic “Snatch Game.”