Canada’s Drag Race: Season 1, Episode 8 Recap – “Welcome to the Family”

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”.

*Warning: This review contains spoilers regarding this week’s challenge*

Canada’s Drag Race Season 1 Promo (Crave/Out TV, 2020)

Last week, the performers had to overact as they played contestants in the first pageant in Drag Race her-story. Some, such as Lemon and Scarlett BoBo, flourished, with the former taking her second win of the competition. Jimbo had a great performance but her runway look was panned across the board, leading to great frustration backstage. Though Priyanka once again lost her wit that has made her so loved in the challenge, it was Ilona Verley who became the seventh to leave Canada’s Drag Race. Now just five contestants remain in the competition; who will triumph?

The five come back into the Werk-room following the departure of Ilona Verley. I think that after her brash entrance in the season premiere, people underestimated the strength of Ilona’s fight and message; winning two lip-syncs is nothing to be sniffed at. Attention then turns to Lemon, and the fact that she has just had her second challenge win a week after the majority of the other contestants voted on her to leave. Priyanka’s bottom placing means three out of the final five have not lip-synced yet; odds are that this will change this week. Scarlett also needs to win a challenge, consistency can only take you so far.

I love this week’s mini-challenge: reading each other with puppets, because everyone loves puppets! I think everyone does well in this challenge and gets some good reads in, including Rita Baga who gets to shadily reveal to Jeffrey what Jimbo said about him in Untucked last week. Rita is the winner, in puppet form at least, as Scarlett BoBo takes the prize, which may be her first win of the season.

This week’s main challenge is a staple of the competition, as it is the makeover challenge. The people being made over are from Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps LGBTQ+ people who are persecuted in their own countries by assisting them in getting to Canada. It is a beautiful charity, and it is little wonder Scarlett is crying as they enter the room. Scarlett assigns them in a typically Canadian fashion and doesn’t try to sabotage anyone, which would make it even more of a problem if the queen does not do well in this challenge.

The best part about this challenge is the stories that we hear from the Rainbow Railroad individuals. In 2020, the privilege that we have as LGBTQ+ individuals living in countries where we are able to be ourselves is there. Sometimes it is easy to forget that many are not as fortunate, and hearing these stories reminds me that we still need to push for change for those who don’t have a voice. This is definitely an emotional challenge for the competitors and the viewers. In rehearsals, Scarlett is worried as their makeover is very butch when they walk, so they are worried that they have shot themselves in the foot. Jimbo meanwhile is stressed to make sure everything is done in time and Rita Baga is read by the others when they put the makeup on their person, despite having six drag children already.

The guest host for this week’s challenge is actress from The Handmaid’s Tale Amanda Brugel. Here is what the queens brought to the runway for the makeover challenge:

Priyanka
Lemon
Scarlett BoBo
Rita Baga
Jimbo

In the judges’ critiques, Priyanka is praised highly for the cohesiveness of her look and for serving it on the runway. Lemon was praised for her 1920s look but critiqued for making her sister look older in makeup than she should have been, something Lemon was not happy about. Scarlett BoBo is praised for a cohesive look in spite of her partner’s different complexion, and for bringing joy to the runway, but the costume is read for being a bit simple. Jimbo was praised on the runway looks but maybe went on the wrong side of sexy with her and her partners’ energy. Finally, Rita Baga missed the mark with not being familial and for having the least put together looks, which is a surprise considering her pedigree.

Backstage, Rita Baga is determined to stay true to her drag style in spite of the critiques, a fact that Jimbo gleefully pounces on. A slightly hurt Lemon takes aim at Scarlett for an outfit that she says would be ripped off her if she tried to wear it – honestly, I can see where she is coming from, but the make-up job of her partner wasn’t great so I think Lemon may be in big trouble for the first time since the first week, which in itself is testament to how much she picked herself up after that week.

As expected, Priyanka takes her second win of the competition, which means that once again Scarlett misses out. To her credit, herself and Jimbo are named as safe, which means that Lemon and Rita Baga are up for elimination. They have to lipsync to Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”. Lemon gives it all she can, with some great gymnastics, but Rita is feeling every word of the song, every layer of emotion in the lyrics, and it is an incredibly powerful performance. She gets to remain in the competition, whilst Lemon sadly departs, accompanied by some lovely words from judge Brooke Lynn Hytes.

Next time, the final four will have to create three looks for the Snow Ball. But who will be frozen out of the finale? You can catch my recap of Episode 9 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.

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