It looks like the premiere season was taped before the world went into quarantine. I'm not sure if that includes the finale but if it's like Drag Race UK, it does.
RuPaul does not appear in this version -- Brooke Lynn Hytes, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Stacey McKenzie are the three main judges. and it's not clear from the trailer how they split the hosting/workroom duties.
It premieres Thursday July 2nd on Crave in Canada. It will also stream on Wow Presents Plus, and in the UK on BBC Three. At some point it will probably air on LogoTV as well, like Drag Race UK did. Here's the trailer that just dropped:
And here's a playlist of videos featuring each of the season 1 queens:
Canada's Drag Race will air weekly in the US on Logo starting Monday, July 27th at 8PM ET.
Two episodes have already aired in Canada, and on the streaming service Wow Presents Plus.
It's pretty good so far! Once you get used to Ru not being there and see how the three judges trade all the hosting/mentoring duties, it runs just as smoothly as the other franchises. And of course, being Canada, the queens are nicer to each other.
The more episodes I watch, the less I love this version of Drag Race. The absence of RuPaul as the driving force is really felt. It feels more like a bunch of fans/amateurs getting access to a studio to put on their own bootleg version of the show.
The trouble is, none of the three judge/hosts are an adequate replacement for Ru. But they must realize this, since they bring in a guest judge/host each week, and the guest does Ru's parts on the runway and on the panel, moderating the others.
One would think that Brooke Lynn Hytes could handle Ru's role solo, but I can see why they had her share the job. Stacey Mackenzie is valuable as another voice on the judges panel. But neither of them have a commanding enough presence (or are comfy enough reading cue cards) to take center stage.
Which brings us to Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. He's the "name" star with the big personality, but he's not the best or most qualified judge of drag queens. He also lacks tact in his critiques, which has enraged the fans on social media.
And there's the latest problem: Social media has become out of control over the show. There are petitions to get Jeffrey fired, and the hate thrown his way has been so loud and ugly that he has deleted his Twitter account. That's no good. All this does is make Ru or the production companies rethink whether they should keep putting out shows.
Here's an article about how Crave (the Canadian streaming channel that airs the show) is dealing with it:
As for the queens themselves, they're okay, but the Lip Syncs For Your Life are really subdued/boring compared to the US or even UK versions. They all just sort of stand there or walk around, with a few of them throwing in a split here and there. For me, it's an anticlimactic ending to each show.
I always hope any Drag Race spinoff will succeed. But this one will need some tinkering before there's a season 2.