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 seven remaining performers were split into three groups and tasked with producing commercials for new drag queen law firms. Jimbo impressed for the second week in a row with her outrageous bride-to-be, and Scarlett BoBo got on the judges’ radars more with a good performance, but Rita Baga’s dry humour earned them their third win of the season to date. On the flip side, Lemon was thrown under the bus by her fellow competitors and Ilona Verley screamed her way through a one-note performance. After a great lip-sync performance from Ilona, that meant that BOA, after receiving a formal warning in the previous week for not stepping it up, became the sixth to sashay away from Canada’s Drag Race.
*Warning: This recap contains spoilers of the episode’s results and elimination*
The episode starts with the six remaining queens returning to the Werkroom and reflecting on BOA’s departure. The general feeling in the room is that they are proud of how well BOA did, after apparently having a messy reputation in the Toronto scene. I’m not sure that she ever got out of her head when it came to challenges that were outside of her comfort zone, which ultimately lead to her departure. Top seven is nothing to be sniffed at though.
The six also reflect on the judges asking them who should go home that week, and the fact that four of her competitors said her name does not throw Lemon at all; if anything, it is making her more focused at this point of the competition where it is needed. The person I am worried about already this week is Scarlett BoBo, who simultaneously seems both annoyed and defeated at not having got a challenge win. I can understand this frustration, but the standard of the contest to date has been so intense that you need to blow everyone else out of the water to win. This riles up Ilona, who just had to lip-sync to stay in the competition for the second time, and it is clear that their “Sissy” relationship looks to have come to an end.
There is no mini-challenge this week, which Lemon must be ruing, since she has won most of them this season. Brooke Lynn Hytes, one of the three permanent judges, issues the six with their main challenge, to compete in the first ever drag pageant in Drag Race herstory for the title of “Miss Loose Jaw”. This is abt given that Brooke Lynn won Miss Continental in 2014, one of the biggest pageants in America. Each of the six will be assigned a character to perform as in three categories: talent, swimsuit and the interview round. The characters will have to be able to improv and be hilarious throughout, so should benefit the comedy queens.
Rita Baga gets to assign the characters as last week’s challenge winner; she picks Miss Match’d, the Hopeless Romantic. Jimbo is Miss Behavin’, the Sex Positive Horndogess, to the slight annoyance of Scarlett, who also wanted that role. Scarlett ends up getting the Miss Informed role, a Know-It-Almost. Lemon is delighted to get Miss Fitts, a Bratty Pageant Princess. Miss Erable goes to Ilona, who gives a slightly concerning confession that she is looking to tone it down when personality is needed here. Priyanka ends up with Miss Demeanor, an Angry Hothead, which she is also happy with.
When Brooke Lynn catches up on the contestants, they give some advice to Lemon and Rita Baga based on her experiences of being on Drag Race. They ask Ilona what it is like to be the first First Nation two-spirit individual on the franchise of the show and lets Scarlett know that she is doing well in the competition by not tripping up yet. Priyanka is desperate to prove herself after bombing the last improv challenge in the Snatch Game, and Jimbo is confident about her chances given that they started in Vaudeville and moved to drag from there, so has a lot of experience.
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman is hosting Miss Moose Jaw, and the panel of experts for this combines the oldest performing drag queen (Michelle DuBarry), Canada’s Squirrelfriend (Traci Melchor, making another appearance) and Degrassi royalty Stefan Brogren. The six characters are first introduced to the audience and some get a lot of laughs (Jimbo) and others get that uncomfortable reaction (Ilona, Priyanka). What makes it even more hilarious is that those who are not doing well are giving full confidence in their confessions, especially in the talent portion, several of whom struggle. It is increasingly clear that Ilona and Priyanka are in trouble, struggling with creating a character that isn’t one note. Though Lemon did well, Jimbo smashed it and it is clear who the winner should be tonight based on the challenge.
The runway look will be “Pageant Perfection”, linking into the main challenge. Scarlett is descending into madness and anger, especially towards Ilona. The latter is trying to stay calm and getting to the end of the argument, but Scarlett continues to keep bringing up unrelated things in an angry way. As an excited Priyanka states in her confession “THEY’RE FIGHTING ABOUT NOTHING!” Discussion also turns to Michelle DuBarry and how she pioneered drag in America; it is great that these contestants are grateful to the generations before them, giving them the rights that allowed this show and drag queens to get into mainstream culture. Body dysmorphia also comes up; Lemon was sadly used to picking every fault in her body coming from a dance background. It is great that she has come to accept herself
It is now time for the runway. This week’s Guest Host is singer-songwriter Allie X, one of the biggest stars to host the show to date. Side note, Stacey MacKenzie, the judge who has appeared least in this episode, looks spectacular in a couture dress with a turtleneck collar. Here is what each of the six brought to the main stage:
In the judges critiques, Ilona is admonished for not taking her character anywhere remotely funny, and her runway for once receives lukewarm reception. Lemon is praised for her cute and humourous character, and for taking a risk with her runway look. Rita faded into the background with her character and was one note, but has obviously been saved by her gorgeous dress. Priyanka is another to be completely one-note and playing small, which was a disappointment. She is praised though on her runway look for the colour and style of her dress. Jimbo is called the judges favourite in the pageant for the hilarity of her character, but may have shot herself in the foot with a dress that was called ill-fitting and hideous, which she claps back towards. I’m almost surprised to hear Scarlett getting very good critiques for the challenge, and her dress is also liked.
Backstage, Priyanka is devastated, and is unsure whether quitting their job in children’s TV to do this job was a wise decision financially. Jimbo is completely furious with the judges for giving poor critiques towards her dress, particularly with Jeffrey for saying she looks “not glamourous at all”. Lemon can relate, being in the exact same position in the previous week, but she kept it in and used the anger to become stronger, whereas Jimbo appears to want to pop off. When Rita gives her opinion, that Jimbo looks older than she is in the look, Jimbo goes completely in with Rita’s wig in a pretty mean way, it has to be said.
Lemon is named as the winner of the challenge, which probably is correct when the main challenge and runway is combined. Scarlett must be annoyed though, being pipped to the post once again. Rita is next to be named safe. For a second it seemed as though Jimbo’s look would cost her dear, but she scraped by, meaning Priyanka and Ilona Verley were rightfully up for elimination, lipsyncing to Allie X’s “Hello”. Ilona does a decent job, if a bit similar to her previous lipsyncs, but Priyanka wipes the floor with her with some hilarious moments (miming playing drums and a triangle, waving with a manically happy face). This means Ilona Verley becomes the seventh to leave Canada’s Drag Race, though she goes out smiling, especially when visited backstage post-elimination by Allie X.
Next week’s challenge is another traditional one that has been in the franchise from the start: the makeover challenge. But whose makeover will look sloppy? You can see my recap of Episode 8 very soon!
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.