Hello and welcome to another post recapping the latest spin off of the hit reality TV competition RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show has headed north to assess the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent of the very best of Canadian drag in the debut season of Canada’s Drag Race. Across ten weeks, twelve drag performers will battle it out to win $100,000 and the title of “Canada’s First Drag Superstar”.
Last week, the eleven remaining contestants were split into two groups and overacted in a pair of scenes inspired by old television adverts that detailed the history and achievements of Canada. Lemon bounced back from her bottom two placement in week one to win the challenge. Tynomi Banks struggled with her lines and was up for elimination, but it was Kyne who, after failing to impress with her runway look, became the second to sashay away.
*Warning: This recap contains spoilers to the episode*
The episode starts with the usual “I’m taking no prisoners” commentary accompanied by the dramatic music, this time Tynomi is the one to give the speech. Honestly, I’m not sure Tynomi has found her comfort zone at all in this competition, which surprises me given how strong the feedback was to her walk-in, but I have no doubt that, as one of the most experienced performers in the line-up, can completely turn it around.
It’s a new day and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman enters, along with Traci Melchor, who is named as “Canada’s Best Squirrel Friend” and I’m not sure what that means at this point, other than having yet another person to introduce challenges. Speaking of that, the mini-challenge is to pair up as news anchors, a classic staple on the Drag Race show that goes back to season 1 of the original series, only this news show will be spoken in three languages, English, French and Draglish. This was a really fun challenge, some using their non-knowledge of the French language to their advantage. The winners of this mini-challenge were the fun pairing of Lemon and Priyanka, who delivered high energy throughout in a breezy way, winning $2,000 of drag jewels, to the annoyance of some, especially Jimbo.
The maxi-challenge is another regular one, to split into two rival girl groups and deliver an insult rap battle called “Not Sorry Aboot It”. Lemon’s team comprises of Tynomi Banks, Jimbo, Kiara and BOA, whilst Priyanka is working with Rita Baga, Scarlett BoBo, Anastarzia Anaquway and poor Ilona Verley, who is picked last for the second week in a row. She is over it, especially since she is used to it in her daily life; maybe her personality isn’t rubbing well with the other contestants.
Lemon’s team has given themselves the name of ‘The Dolls’, whilst Priyanka goes with ‘The Moose Knuckles’, a term Anastarzia and Rita are introduced to for the first time. Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman walks in again and doesn’t do much apart from insult Lemon’s taste in rap music. Oh, and the guest host this week is Deborah Cox, which is a pretty big scalp this early on. In recording lyrics, BOA seems to be in trouble again with her annunciation, whereas Jimbo is once again killing it; she deserves a win in these early weeks, and the rest of the team are middling. On the other team, Priyanka, Scarlett and Rita gets good feedback, whilst Anastarzia overcomes some issues to deliver a decent script. In choreography, given by Hollywood Jade (who is apparently a big deal), Jimbo hits her first stumbling block of the competition. Priyanka’s team is a mess, with only the team captain seeming okay with the choreography; Ilona and Anastarzia especially seem to be in trouble.
It is elimination day and there appears to be some tension brewing between Scarlett BoBo and BOA, friends before this competition who are misunderstanding the situation and feeling like the other is attacking them. BOA tries to approach and offer an olive branch but Scarlett has none of it and makes the situation awkward – this tension feels like it will go on for a couple of weeks yet. While getting ready, Priyanka reveals that she comes from a Guyanese background and her father doesn’t know they are gay or does drag – he thinks they are dating a girl called Priyanka. I love this queen already and hope she goes far in the competition.
The maxi-challenge is fun, if a bit chaotic with ten people on stage doing choreography at once, as opposed to each team performing individually. All of the solos go from decently middling to brilliant, but I have a feeling attention will be focused more on the ability (or inability) to keep up with the choreography and perform. Priyanka, Rita Baga and Lemon stand out the most for me, whilst Anastarzia, Jimbo and Ilona are all pictured at one point looking visibly out of place. The category on the runway is “Quebec-ky… with the good hair”, which I guess means a wig runway? Here is what I made of the runways:
|Kiara||Imagine Kyne’s design challenge without the balls and with bigger blonde hair… well that is pretty much Kiara’s look. It’s nice, but is lacking something unique for me. I love the energy she brings to this runway.|
|Jimbo||Typically Jimbo but also meeting the runway brief, this look is comprised of 11 blonde wigs with red tips shooting from her head, shoulders and hips. The black sheer bodysuit and big boobs with ‘X’s on them was also a good choice.|
|Tynomi Banks||Tynomi is wearing a 1960s inspired short dress made of one half green and one half orange hair, and is also wearing what appears to be a flat hat with multicoloured hair coming off it. The hat and the dress are nice on their own but the pieces don’t exactly go together.|
|BOA||At the start of the runway, I was thinking that BOA would go down the beautiful, if slightly dull glamour look. She removes the coat to reveal a green mankini on a body suit with what appears to be a wig stapled to the pubic area. It’s a slightly fun twist but there is a disconnect between the top and bottom half of the look.|
|Lemon||Dressed in brown with the top of a Lemon tree on her head, she is staying true to her brand and showing her style. Not a fan of the shoes though and feel like the silver on the outfit could have been replaced with yellow.|
|Priyanka||Another queen to do the two alternating colours in a look on this runway, in this case an outfit made entirely out of blue and orange hair. The colours pop really well and her energy and runway presentation was very strong too.|
|Anastarzia Anaquway||She had me going there for a second, thinking that she was going down the runway with hair completely covering her face and body a la Cousin It, before turning around showing a Chun Li inspired black latex outfit. It’s a fun twist and another side of her.|
|Rita Baga||A nice and colourful 80s inspired outfit that looks like a purple cloud getting struck by lightning and filling the sky with yellow light. I think the favourite part for me is the thigh-high yellow boots.|
|Scarlett BoBo||In case we forgot her name, her wig spells out BOBO, which is a fun touch. The outfit itself is just okay, with dark and light fringe stuck onto a leotard and three pink pom poms on the front. She also breathes out mist at the start; I guess they are the effects performer after eating fire last week.|
|Ilona Verley||Looking at Ilona’s social media, this powder blue colour is her signature look, and she adds a fun twist by combining it with canine realness. It is like she stuck two large teddy bear dog heads to her shoulders, and her runway presentation is giving puppy realness. Not sold on those shoes though.|
Lemon, Rita Baga and Jimbo were called as safe. The latter is an especially strange decision given how they struggled with choreography; I thought they would scrape by with a bottom three placement in this episode. Kiara, who I believed was extremely safe in this episode, was read by the judges for not standing out and for having a basic taste level in fashion. I can see that but it does feel a tiny bit harsh. Tynomi Banks was read for forgetting her own lyrics, which I actually missed on watching the challenge, and the judges weren’t a fan of her runway look. BOA, another one I thought was safe, was praised for the stupidity of her runway look and for interacting with every other person on stage in the challenge. Priyanka is given universal acclaim on her runway and performance. Anastarzia is given a rough ride for not really combining her two different runway looks well, and was very stiff in the challenge. Scarlett’s ability to sell her runway look and how she gave energy in the challenge made the judges want more of her. Ilona’s inability to sell the fact they weren’t a dancer was heavily critiqued but her runway look was loved, so this could go either way I guess.
The comments have a bad effect on a couple of queens. Anastarzia is confused whether she will lipsync, Kiara is upset but has some fight left in her, but poor Tynomi feels the weight of her reputation in Toronto, combined with her second week towards the bottom. BOA and Scarlett have another moment of tension regarding how BOA interacts with the others in this competition but the latter promises to be better towards Scarlett in the future. I’m not sure whether this tension will continue, because it came out of nowhere.
Priyanka edges out Scarlett BoBo for the win. I think based on this week and last week, this win was deserved. Ilona’s look saves her and she is safe, as is Kiara, who scrapes through based on the fact she gave more energy, meaning the two experienced queens, Anastarzia Anaquway and Tynomi Banks, are up for elimination. That is a fair decision when the runway looks come into deliberation, even though I preferred Anastarzia’s to Kiara’s. The lip-sync, to Deborah Cox’s “Absolutely Not (Club Remix)” is a decent one. Anastarzia knows all of the words and is emoting, but is blown off stage by Tynomi, who lets loose and gives energy and attitude. I really hope that this represents a new start for Tynomi, who wins the lipsync. That means Anastarzia Anaquway, who I tipped as one of the queens to watch out for in this competition, shockingly becomes the third to leave.
Next week, the queens have to work in teams to create a new fashion line made completely out of recyclable materials, and tensions appear to be higher than ever before. My recap of Episode 4 will be published next week.
Do you think the right person was eliminated? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. If you want to keep up to date with the latest posts, subscribe to the blog to receive email notifications when new posts are published, and don’t forget to like this post. See you all next week for another recap of Canada’s Drag Race.