Canada’s Drag Race: It’s Not Her First Time
In the words of the immortal Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman:
“Skippity doo dah gay!”
Welcome back to episode two of Canada’s Drag Race, where the only thing keeping me going is Scarlett BoBo throwing side-eye at every given opportunity.
Jumping in from last week, the queens mourn the departure of Toronto-favourite Juice Boxx for a few seconds before Lemon wipes her lipstick message off the mirror. I couldn't tell if she was crying, or if her god-awful mascara was mixing in with all the sweat on her face.
A new week in the werkroom and Brooke Lynn Heights shows up with a fresh fade ready to call in the pit crew for the Mini Challenge: The Nutsmaker. The queens have to show off their ballet skills but… also, be sexy? Kudos to the producers for not editing out Priyanka pretending to unzip a man’s fly and going to town; say what you want about Crave TV, but they want to be risque.
After a challenge of quick-drag, tutus, and twerking, Brooke Lynn names BOA and Anastarzia the winners, which means they’re team captains for this week’s Maxi Challenge: an acting challenge based on Heritage Minutes.
Heritage Minutes is a series of short films that dramatize important moments in Canadian history, you most likely watched a few in your middle school social studies class. This is what’s making Canada’s Drag Race fun to watch — effortlessly incorporating Canadiana into the overall franchise mythos, something that just didn’t seem to work as well with RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
The two captains carve out their teams, with Ilona Verley the last to be picked; she chooses to go with Team “I Smell Burnt Tucks” BOA.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that BOA may not be ready for a leadership role. While it’s great to see her be open about her ADHD in confessional, it’s unclear if the other queens know what we know, and so to them, BOA comes off as simply unfocused.
Jeffery directs the two groups separately; on Team Anastarzia, it’s veteran queen Tynomi Banks who stumbles the most and practically has all her lines fed to her. She’s stressing the whole time — even with all the help, the acting is one dimensional at best. Meanwhile, Team BOA’s weakest link continues to be BOA herself, who is barely able to get through an entire scene.
In the werkroom, Anastarzia tells the others a shocking story about being gay in the Caribbean, in which she was a victim of a homophobic attack and was shot multiple times; she claimed asylum as a refugee in Canada. It’s hard to see her cry on screen, because we aren’t seeing the tears of someone acting for reality television, but of someone who’s experienced true pain for living their truth.
With guest judge Jade Hassouné, category on the runway tonight is Not My First Time, in which the queens have to take their first-ever drag look and elevate it for the main stage; whereas last week was lackluster, the queens more than makeup for it tonight. Rita Baga as a field of sunflowers! Scarlett BoBo eating fire! Jimbo manifesting herself as Pennywise the Clown’s older, more terrifying sister! Fresh looks all around.
Kiara hits the runway in a skin-tone slip-on that reminds me of Carrie Bradshaw’s “nude dress” from the first season of Sex and the City, (drag queens and SATC in the same sentence, it really doesn’t get gayer than that).
Lemon, in a reversal from last week, is this week’s winner, earning acclaim for both her acting and her “on-my-way-to-the-Vanity-Fair-Oscars-after-party” look.
Kyne’s Ursula-inspired outfit and Tynomi’s knights-of-the-round table look falls flat for the judges, and they land in the bottom two. I actually didn’t mind Kyne’s acting, but the judges tore her outfit apart, with Brooke Lynne saying she preferred her “before” picture compared to the current iteration of the look. I can’t help thinking that Kyne’s fate was sealed the minute she sarcastically said she “forgives” Brooke Lynn in the werkroom for critiquing her last week. Poor Tynomi is hit with Jeffrey directly comparing her to Lemon when she says that she isn’t an experienced actor — it’s even more awkward given that the queens are standing right next to each other on the stage.
After a lipsync of Ultra Naté, Amber, and Jocelyn Enriquez’s “If You Could Read My Mind”, the judges send Kyne home, with Tynomi left crying on the stage. BOA better be careful, because if she doesn't step up, Kyne won’t be there next time take her place in the bottom two.
Canada’s Drag Race airs Thursday at 9 PM EST on Crave TV