Drag Race has arrived in the North! In the words of RuPaul, "It's aboot time, eh?!"
Twelve queens from across Canada entered the Werk Room on Canada's Drag Race Season 1 Episode 1 to compete for the title of Canada's Next Drag Superstar.
Just like the mothership show from the States (RuPaul's Drag Race), the queens will face off in challenges, wear stunning looks on the runway, and showcase their drag skills. And, they'll lipsync for their lives to avoid sashaying away.
The series premiere was a jam-packed episode of new faces, old rules with some new changes, and the format we love so much.
Plus, all the Canadian puns that will melt your heart! (So. Many. Puns.)
If you missed "Eh-Leganza Eh-xtravaganza", we're here to get you caught up. So, put down the poutine and snuggle up in your red plaid hoodie, this is your crash course of Canada's Drag Race Season 1 premiere.
See the list below of the highlights!
1. The Canadian Queens Make Their Entrance
The queens have arrived and in style!
The twelve competitors entered the maple leaf-designed room to deliver their iconic entrance lines. Some went for a cheeky Canadian touch while others showcased their drag style.
Jimbo, BOA, Anastarzia Anaquway, Juice Boxx, Lemon, Scarlett BoBo, Priyanka, Tynomi Banks, Kyne, Kiara, Rita Baga, and Ilona Verley make up the cast of Canada's Drag Race Season 1.
Toronto-based drag queen Priyanka got the honor of being the first queen to enter the competition. And the cast includes a range of talent from across the country and living in the U.S., as well as the first-ever First Nations queen on Drag Race (Ilona Verley).
2. Mama Ru In Video Spirit
You can't kick-off a Drag Race series without RuPaul.
The iconic drag superstar and host of the legendary series left a message welcoming the contestants to the Drag Race family. The video was filled with plenty of Canadian puns that set the tone for the kind of show you expect this to be.
Mama Ru may not be hosting the series, but it was a nice touch to see her back and wishing the new queens well.
3. Power Of Three
Speaking of the judging panel, there is a new trio ready to find Canada's Next Drag Superstar. Some of the faces are familiar in the Drag Race world, while one is a legend in the fashion space.
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11 runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes is showcasing why she's "Queen of the North." She's the drag expert on the panel and assuming many of RuPaul's responsibilities, like delivering the victory/elimination results.
The panel also includes UnReal actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Canadian supermodel Stacey McKenzie. If you're familiar with past reality TV shows, you might've seen Stacey teaching runway on Canada's Next Top Model, and a guest stint on America's Next Top Model.
The difference with this judging panel is that all three judges are equally sharing the power as the main host. All three will decide the winners, the losers, and they'll vote on which queen will get eliminated each week. It's a very democratic system.
4. The Rocky Mountains Blow Back
Canadian winters are tough and these queens got dealt a windy ride. For the first Mini Challenge, the queens had to climb a fake mountain and deliver stunning looks. The catch? Harsh winds and snow were blasted to their faces to make it a very uncomfortable (and funny) shoot.
This is a tried-and-true Mini Challenge that has appeared in previous Drag Race series throughout the decade.
Queens like Tynomi Banks, Juice Boxx, Lemon, Kyne, Ilona Verley, Scarlett BoBo, and Anastarzia Anaquway blew this challenge away! Each queen took the wind head-on to own the cameras and deliver fierce photos.
And then there was Jimbo. The GIFs created during that scene alone speak for themselves. She is going to be a funny character this season.
5. You're A Winner, Baby
For every challenge, there is always a winner. And in the case of the Mini Challenge, that distinction was given to Kyne.
Kyne delivered a stunning and energetic photo that wowed the judges.
The win might've been the reason for Kyne's later ego-trip later on in the round (and we'll get to that pretty soon). Still, she served it and won some prizes, including an advantage for the first Maxi Challenge.
6. Pit Crew
Canada's Drag Race has a Pit Crew!
The queens love them, the judges love them, and the fans love them. These speechless cast members add a familiar Drag Race touch that round out the experience and shouldn't be forgotten.
Hopefully, we get to learn more about these guys.
7. A Make-Or-Break Maxi Challenge
Creating and designing outfits is an important skill on Drag Race. If a queen doesn't know how to sew a garment or make an outfit, their chances of winning are slim to none. The first Maxi Challenge of each season typically follows this same format. Canada's Drag Race Season 1 Episode 1 was no exception to this rule.
Kyne gifted each queen a box that included a very Canadian-centric batch of supplies. Cheeky themes like snowy weather to fishing to dance parties were included.
Most of the queens shined on the runway, like Rita Baga and Jimbo, who designed complete looks with these boxes. On the other hand, Kyne, Lemon, and Juice Boxx landed in the bottom for their concepts and sloppy outfits.
8. BOA Wore THIS Look!
No words can describe this outfit on the runway.
You have to give BOA a lot of credit; they ended up at the top and got a lot of recognition from the judges. Sometimes taking a risk works out in your favor. (Case in point: this look.)
Only BOA, and maybe Jimbo, could pull off taping potatoes to their chest.
9. Elisha Cuthbert
The first guest judge for Canada's Drag Race Season 1 is a Canadian darling: Elisha Cuthbert.
Elisha was a great addition! She was fun, sweet, and she gave constructive criticism to the queens about their outfits. Whereas the others shared their concerns, Elisha added a touch of tender care as the guest judge.
You could tell that she loved being on the main stage and interacting with the queens. She was loving the experience. Plus, having the guest judge perform RuPaul's iconic entrance before the runway was a smart decision!
With the main judges sharing equal responsibilities, this move gives the guest judge a special opportunity to shine.
10. Juice Boxx Has A Panic Attack
Competing on a reality TV show can be a stressful time. This is especially true when the competition includes queens who have waited a very long time to live their dreams by competing on Drag Race.
Juice Boxx felt the reality of that pressure when her critiques ended up negative.
For anyone who has ever experienced an anxiety or panic attack, you can relate to Juice Boxx at that moment. There's nothing you can do until the panic/anxiety subsides. Trying to push it off will only make it worse.
Kudos to the queens and the judges for taking the time to look after Juice Boxx and make sure she was feeling well. Also, kudos to the editors for not making it into a shady moment! A panic attack is not the right place for anyone to judge the queen.
11. What Are You Doing, Kyne?!
The shade is real and it's intense. Right from Canada's Drag Race Season 1 Episode 1, some of the queens started coming for each other about their attitudes. The main opponent for these scenes involved the Mini Challenge winner, Kyne.
She let the queens have it with subtle digs in the Werk Room, and she came for BOA's outfit backstage during the mini Untucked. Anastarzia wasn't having it and let it be known that she wasn't going to standby while Kyne talked down to anyone. Who else wasn't having it? The judges.
There was no bigger wig-snatching moment than when Kyne snapped back at the judges during her critiques on the main stage. The judges gave Kyne a piece of humble pie to tone it down. Does she not want to win the competition?!
Drama is a part of the game, but that vibe shouldn't involve the judges.
12. An Ice-Cold Winner
The winner of the first Maxi Challenge won in a snowy and chilly outfit. Rita Baga blew the judges away with her icy makeup, headpiece, and snowy accents.
Her dress underneath the coat wasn't anything special, but the coat itself was perfection. A good mix of high-fashion and camp that fits perfectly on the Drag Race stage.
Plus, the touches of frostbite on her fingers completed the full frosty look.
13. A Jaw-Dropping Lipsync
Now, THIS is a lipsync for your life!
Firstly, it's a shame that both Lemon and Juice Boxx ended up at the bottom two. Both queens are talented performers who have plenty to give for the competition. Unfortunately, their challenge outfits just didn't measure or look refined compared to the other queens.
But, the sad results led to an amazing lipsync. "I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepson was poppy and an upbeat number that allowed the queens to showcase all their talent on the main stage. Lemon delivered acrobatic skills and stunning dance moves while Juice Boxx brought a sexy and energetic flair.
Both queens killed it during the song, but Lemon performed a more cohesive number with many jaw-dropping gags. If this is the type of lipsyncs we'll have in the future, there's a lot of greatness to look forward to in the coming weeks.
14. The First Queen Sashays Aways
It's sad whenever a queen gets the boot. Unfortunately, that person had to be Juice Boxx.
Juice had a rocky start to her Canada's Drag Race experience that ended in her elimination. From slipping during the Mini Challenge to the harsh critiques on the runway, this wasn't her week.
Hopefully, we'll get to see the queen return in the future. Maybe in the future All Stars season, or a crossover with either Drag Race UK or RuPaul's Drag Race?
15. The First Lipstick Message
As with the first sashay away, a lipstick message is closeby.
Juice Boxx gets the honor of being the first eliminated queen on Canada's Drag Race and the queen to write the first lipstick message. It's not a moment many queens would want to experience, especially since it means an elimination. However, it's an honor either way.
The lipstick message is a landmark moment for the series.
Canada's Drag Race Season 1 streams Thursdays on Wow Presents Plus (US) and Crave (Canada).
Justin Carreiro was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in October 2020. Follow him on Twitter.