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Canada’s Drag Race S1:E10 (U Wear it well)

The newly named top three reentered the werkroom fresh from the runway for the very last time. They stumbled in holding hands and talking about sisterly love, recounting how much they’d miss Jimbo. Laughing at her mirror message, the remaining queens did impressions of Jimbo’s oft-quoted “Oh, oh… okay” and compared her to a phenomenal creature from space sent to entertain the masses.

Regrouping on the couches, Priyanka and Rita Baga congratulated Scarlett Bobo on finally snagging her first maxi challenge win. Pri pointed out that Scarlett hadn’t won just any old challenge; she’d won the ball, one of the biggest deals on Drag Race. Scarlett felt vindicated after being so underestimated. Shifting gears, the queens held a “seance” for Pri’s crumpled paper skirt. She whispered “You’re responsible for the most legendary Michelle Visage read and you should be proud of yourself” before tossing it clear across the room.

Pri commended Rita on making top three, given that she’d been a consistent front runner before falling into the bottom twice. Rita sang her verse from many weeks ago about sending team Lemon home, listing the queens on that team- all of whom had, indeed, been eliminated. Calling Rita a witch, the queens then discussed their equal footing in wins, losses, and skills. Priyanka claimed they were wiping the slate clean, and then struggled to explain the phrase when Rita, as francophone as she is, didn’t know what a slate was. The queens linked hands and danced in a circle as they screamed about being top three, then dispersed to de-drag (but not before climbing and crawling all over the furniture).

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The next morning saw more jumping and excited screaming, as well as more clambering on the furniture. Rather than gathering around the table like usual, the queens sat together on top of it to prepare for the day ahead. They spoke more about their disbelief at being there and their individual virtues as strong competitors until the Rumail alarm sounded. This week, Ru’s video message told the contestants that soon all of Canada would know if they “…wear it well”.

Greeting the queens in a swanky blue suit, judge Brooke Lynn Hytes reiterated that one of them would soon be “Canada’s first drag superstar”. This segued into the final maxi challenge: the queens would write and record an all-new remix of Rupaul’s song “U Wear it Well”. After recording their verses with Ralph, just like before, the queens would work once more with choreographer Hollywood Jade to put together a man stage performance. Hollywood would be assisted in this by none other than Brooke Lynn herself.

The queens would have one more thing on their to-do list: sitting down for a personal interview with judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Canada’s Best Squirrelfriend Traci Melchor. Traci would then be the extra special guest host for the Coronation Eleganza/Best Drag runway and eventual crowning. Brooke began the classic line “Good luck, and don’t fuck it up!”, but paused and invited the top three to shout along with her, which they did with gusto. She left the queens with a rather on-brand farewell: “Bye! Don’t suck!”

The top three began their verses. Rita felt pressure to write great lyrics because she’d be up against two strong competitors who both did well on the first recording challenge. Meanwhile, Pri and Scarlett both felt pressure being up against Rita, since she’s a trained singer with a great voice. Priyanka repeatedly lamented her lack of thesaurus while Scarlett teased her for needing one and helped her think of word alternatives.

Rita was firs to record, presenting Ralph a referential mixture of lyrics in French and English. Their session went well, though Ralph requested a little less crazy character and a little more clear enunciation. After struggling a bit with the pronunciation and rhythm of the word “alien”, they found their groove again in Rita’s ability to sing gorgeous harmonies, eventually recording three impressive layers to give her some edge.

While Rita sang, Scarlett kicked off the interviews with Jeffrey and Traci. They asked what had surprised her most about her CDR experience. Scarlett revealed how emotionally, mentally, and physically intense the “Olympics of drag” was. They discussed how many skills the competition required and how adaptable she’d had to be. She’d spent the first few weeks second guessing herself, but she was finally ready to trust her gut. Turning the conversation to Scarlett’s beautiful relationship with her mom, Traci and JBC heard how The Village in Toronto knows and loves “Mama Bobo” (Scarlett’s joke about people beelining past her to hug her mother is true and I’ve been guilty of it). Finally, the judges asked about being dubbed “Safe Bobo” and finally overcoming that. She left them with shouts of “Look at me now, bitch!”

Priyanka joined Ralph to record her verse. She was distracted, however, by “John, the hot producer”, whom she’d spent the first recording challenge flirting with. Gathering herself, she informed Ralph that she’d written three sections with “…a singy thing here”, but that she needed help finding her key. Despite being unsure, Pri agreed to add a run and nailed it so well that the producers were taken aback. With a few more takes, Pri felt confident that her verse- which made fun of herself- was even funnier for how seriously she sang. She hit on John more until leftover lipstick on the mic from earlier in the competition distracted her.

Rita felt hesitant before the interview because she doesn’t enjoy talking about personal things. Even so, she answered questions about her childhood, telling Traci and Jeffrey that it was difficult living between families, but it made her the self sufficient. She also admitted to working on opening up to people more. After detailing her journey from top to bottom, she told the judges that she’d been surprised to find so many Toronto queens in the werkroom when she entered. This fuelled her to rep well for francophone Canadians; she maintained that you don’t have to speak English “…to be a good drag” (a distinctly Quebecois colloquialism). Before taking her leave, she hammered her focus home once more.

In the final recording session, Scarlett was confident in her lyrics but asked Ralph how much autotune was available to fix her singing. Ralph warned Scarlett to watch her pitch and tried to help her find the notes by singing them so Bobo could match her. When that didn’t work, Ralph asked Scarlett to start and she would match, then shift and see if Scarlett could follow. Like a true rebel, however, Scarlett managed to out a pitch that John and Ralph didn’t even recognize. Instead of getting discouraged, Bobo made jokes about inventing things and tried even harder.

Priyanka was last in the interview chair, entering with a confident “Well, well, well”, as though she would be asking the questions. Jeffrey asked whether her perspective on her own drag had changed since arriving on set. Pri was honest that she’d learned something new about herself every time she stood on stage. She also came to terms with how distinctly she’d kept Mark and Priyanka separate, then revelled in combining the two for the first time during the competition. She joked about being “the Hannah Montana of Canada”, but got emotional linking it back to how late she came out. She wanted to encourage younger queer people to come out early, live authentically, and “…just be gay!” She dissected her relationship with her dad, how much she wanted him to be able to be happy for his child, and how little he knew about her life. She finished with strong sentiments about wanting to be someone who uplifts and inspires others.

With interviews and recording done, the queens were ushered into dance rehearsal. They were greeted by Brooke Lynn and Hollywood Jade, wearing matchy velour tracksuits. Diving into the steps, Hollywood set a pace that put the pressure on. Brooke watched from a chair; demure, silent, and unblinking. While Rita struggled to master the moves and keep up, Bobo moved too quickly, getting ahead of the beat. Priyanka danced well but showed every emotion on her face.

Brooke gave each of them feedback, advising Rita to anticipate, Scarlett to slow down, and Priyanka to work on serving face now so it’s habit by the real thing. Brooke also walked them through the dancer’s mantra: even if you mess up, just keep moving. Pretending you know what you’re doing is best because the show must go on! The queens were intimidated by Brooke’s quiet, up front, and professional presence but grateful for her guidance.

The top three burst into the werkroom on coronation day, hitting poses and screaming as usual. They marvelled at their final day in the space and Priyanka felt she’d aged 10 years since arriving. Rita claimed the aging showed and Scarlett offered a referral to her “face lady”. The queens concurred that the choreography had them shaken but that they all felt better after some revision the night before. Letting out more screams, they set off to paint.

The queens spent this week’s prep time remembering their experiences. Scarlett glued Rita’s brows down while Priyanka asked which look they thought was the worst of the whole season. Scarlett disliked Kyne‘s “glow up” look but Rita defended her makeup. Priyanka, however, missed the Ursula reference and thought it looked like “…something from Willie Wonka”. Pivoting to positivity, the queens recalled enjoying the Herritage Moments challenge, particularly the way Rita had teabagged Kiara during their skit.

Memories of the Snatch Game were mixed, as Scarlett complimented Rita’s stellar performance while Pri lamented Miss Cleo. All agreed that Lemon’s Jojo Siwa was still iconic. Scarlett gushed about the puppet challenge being her first mini challenge win, recalling how funny Jimbo’s joke about stuffing her Bobo’s cheeks had been. Pri reflected on how much crying she’d done thus far and Scarlett called herself out too. At least, Pri countered, Scarlett’s face is “so frozen and filled up” that no one could tell when she sobbed; Pri herself looked like “…the girl from the fucking Ring!” Rita dubbed Priyanka “The Popstar”, Scarlett “The Rockstar”, and herself “The French Canadian Diva”.

The judges brought even more glamour to the runway than usual. Stacey’s long, silver-flecked dress had sleeves and cutouts at the waist. The silver matched the band across her forehead and the beads at the ends of her braids. Brooke Lynn floated down the runway in a breathtaking nude and stoned gown hailing from her pageant days as Miss Continental. She accented this with a perfectly curled bob and jewels befitting her gown’s finery. Jeffrey stuck to his usual stylish jacket, this time in black latex, accented with a silk pussy bow. Traci closed in a sequinned gown of deep purple, with a V-shaped neckline, high skirt slit, and sleeves. She joked about squirrels, nuts, and power tops before taking her seat.

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Before walking the runway, the queens dazzled with their main stage performance. They appeared in coordinated but varied looks featuring metallic silver details suiting their own aesthetic. Rita’s hair was piled in a blonde, curled updo, Scarlett’s was a tousled, waving bob, and Pri’s was a caramel high pony. Priyanka rapped in booty shorts, a bra, and boots of matching shattered mirror, pyramid-shaped epaulets on her shoulders. She nailed the choreo and worked in her personality and tag lines. Scarlett wore a cropped jacket with chain fringe at the pockets and hips, above laced thigh high boots. She started on the ground then burst out with high kicks, lifts, and jumps, all while calling on “kings, queens, and queers” who stand up for themselves. Her final dip made everyone scream. Rita wore a corset and choker of high-shine silver and charmed with her French-English lyrics. Her usual character was a hit, as were her harmonies. In group portions, the queens stayed together very well indeed.

Rita walked first in the Coronation Eleganza. The judges gasped when they realized she was painted fully green, like the “alien actress” mentioned in her UWIW verse. Her hair parted in the centre and rose to either side in high, blonde and yellow French braids, meeting down the back. Her deep green sequinned gown faded to pink at the hem and cuffs. The shoulders, bodice, and sleeves featured structured fins with patterned scale and spike detail. Her green paint sparkled thanks to a glitter set as she walked regally under the lights.

Scarlett followed in a look so pretty Brooke Lynn gasped. Her perfectly blown out magenta hair played off the hot pink underlining of her waving, black tiered skirt. The bodice and shoulder cuffs were black too, leading to nude mesh down her arms and black, harness-style straps across her chest and arms connecting to a black choker. Her sparkling black thigh high boots peaked out the front and added that signature edge, as did her sassy attitude.

Priyanka’s dress earned admiration as well; she sashayed in a sparkling Indian lehenga of cream and red, with a deep red veil to match. The garment was detailed in glittering, beautifully shaped appliques of red and gold, matching her jewelry and the gold bangles at her wrists. The appliques patterned the outfit down the bodice and skirt, with matching gold beading along the edges of her veil. Her straight, black hair was parted in the middle and braided loosely down her back. Her walk was regal and culturally suitable, but her personality shone when she grinned and blew kisses.

The queens lined up in front of the panel for their final critiques. Judges turned to Rita first, calling her fantastic in the main stage performance. Stacey enjoyed her fashionable presence with a bit of street to it, while Jeffrey gushed that her couldn’t take her eyes off her; she owned every beat and lyric. Brooke admitted she’d been nervous after watching her rehearse, but said she was incredibly impressed, especially by her harmonies. She also raved about Rita’s butt padding. Traci adored the difference between Rita’s performance and her alien goddess runway, particularly in how nuanced her mannerisms were.

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Turning to Scarlett, Brooke raved about finally seeing Bobo do what she does best- perform. Jeffrey concurred, commending her energy and saying he was grateful to witness it since she never lip synced for her life. Brooke complimented Scarlett’s precision on choreo and the way she used the space. On the runway, Stacey adored the combination of classy elegance and “sexy Bobo”, keeping Scarlett true to who she is. Traci was a fan of the train and the way Scarlett swept it as she walked. All agreed that Bobo was blossoming at just the right time.

When Jeffrey asked her name, the last of the top three screamed “Priyanka!” He theorized that someone must have replaced her battery; she seemed recharged. Stacey deemed her super sexy but could tell she was having fun. Traci commended Pri for making her feel like she could do things too thanks to the effortless nature of her performances. Brooke raved about her look, comparing her to an Indian queen and calling it “…the epitome of someone’s best drag”. Priyanka took a moment to compare the beautiful garment to her habit of screaming her name; it was another representation of her culture. Stacey adored this as an example of how Priyanka owns who she is.

Before dismissing the queens to untuck, Jeffrey asked each contestant to tell them why they deserved to be Canada’s first drag superstar. Stating that “facts are facts”, Rita reminded the panel she’d won the most challenges and been doing drag the longest. She’d worked hard, had a great career, and knew that being atypical had prepared her for carrying the flag with quiet strength. She also drove home her status as the very first francophone in the top three. Scarlett highlighted her unique position in the community too; never pretty enough to be a pageant queen but never weird enough to be alternative. She maintained that every breath she took on that runway was authentic and that she’d be the perfect person to give young queer people the armour they need to rise above. Priyanka got right to the point- she’s a superstar! She’d had her highs and lows, but she grew from it. She wanted to use the title for the people, helping them forget about their stresses and feel loved no matter what.

With that, Brooke dismissed the queens. Seeing them hesitate, she looked at them with bemused confusion and barked “Leave!”, sending them skittering away with exclamations of “Oh, shit!” Returning to the werkroom, the top three were astonished to find every other contestant from the season, dressed in their own best drag, waiting for them. A tense moment ended when Scarlett screamed in excitement. They ran into their returning friends’ arms. Lemon gushed over Priyanka’s look. Scarlett squeezed Juice Boxx‘s hands and told her she missed her so much before grabbing Ilona Verley for a tight hug.

As they settled amidst their friends, Lemon lead a toast for the top three. Ilona asked how it felt and Scarlett, worked up with excitement, yelled about how little they’d slept. Priyanka inquired whether anyone was surprised at those three making it and everyone laughed as Tynomi Banks‘ hand shot into the air immediately. The queens tossed around their original predictions and Juice asked for updates on what she’d missed after leaving first. She was shocked by Pri’s Snatch Game but thrilled when Tynomi scolded Pri- “I told you not to do Miss Cleo!” They spoke to Kyne about her feelings towards being cast as “the villain”, but her sisters did their best to keep shade playful and funny.

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Priyanka sparked a tender moment describing what a phenomenal drag queen Juice Boxx truly is. She hated that Juice left so early and emphasized her talent. This made Juice cry, which made Priyanka cry, which made Scarlett and Tynomi cry. Ilona’s speech about Scarlett’s talent brought more tears. Lemon took the emotional baton next, gushing over Pri’s inspiring attitude. Kiara chimed in too, thanking Rita for representing Quebec so well and switching to French to praise her focus and smart choices.

Meanwhile, the judges had their last deliberation. They deemed Rita good at what she does, which was evident on the runway each week. They also agreed that her lip syncs affirmed her power. Her campy style and old school glamour was a valuable thing for the show. Shifting to Scarlett, they commended her consistency. They also gave her the title of best runway walk. Her willingness to be vulnerable and show precisely however bitchy or happy she felt captivated them with authenticity. They found the way she always stayed true to her “Bobo essence” inspiring. Finally, Priyanka elicited a flurry of compliments. They appreciated her combination of looks and comedy, as well as her fearlessness. They reached consensus about Pri’s star quality; that “it factor” some people just exude. They also praised her humility despite a background that could easily have made her conceited. Her list of achievements despite such a short drag career made her living proof that people can accomplish anything when they set their minds to it.

Before welcoming the top three back from untucked, the rest of the cast graced the runway once more, each showing off their Coronation Eleganza. Juice Boxx sparkled in a form-fitting nude gown adorned in iridescent stones and lilac maribou, with lilac Hollywood waves to match. Kyne repped her culture as well, donning a royal blue Filipiana-style dress with tall shoulders on a cropped jacket, her tall black updo finishing the aesthetic. Anastarzia Anaquway elicited whoops from BLH for her structured gown made entirely of pieced together gold leaves, with matching cuffs and a gorgeous headpiece.

Laying eyes on Tynomi’s hair, which was gathered into little buns all over her head with a small braid hanging down by each ear, the judges made her grin with yells of “Wakanda forever!” Her deep purple dress featured tulle ruffles to the floor. Kiara’s feathered corset and chiffon train showed off her legs, accented by head jewelry from which red beads hung to frame her eyes and adorn her straight black hair. Boa brought sparkle in a long, fully stoned gown with sleeves, a slit, and a deep V bust, slicked blonde hair and jewels finishing the look.

Ilona’s appearance in breathtaking cultural garments stunned the room to silence. They wore an elaborate cream and pink ribbon skirt and jingle dress (Indigenous garments traditionally worn by dancers at powwow ceremonies). These originally belonged to their drag mother, Cree musician and drag queen Quanah Style, but were repurposed for the runway. Ilona’s hands and arms were painted red and they entered with one hand covering their mouth. This was a visual tribute to MMIW; a historically systemic epidemic in Canada of missing and murdered indigenous women (a cause frequently paired with the phrase “No more stolen sisters”). Ilona’s walk, which largely focused on the feather they carried, was calm, respectful, and beautifully resonant, even in its stylized presentation with cotton candy pink hair.

Lemon brought charisma as usual, prancing the runway in her signature bright yellow. Her dress was made from maribou stoles that came down over her shoulders, gathered in the middle, and formed a fluffy skirt over crinoline. Her white and yellow curled updo made the whole thing look very 1960s film star. Jimbo thrilled in bright colours too, with big neon hair and two birthday hats, rainbow platform boots, and a garment made entirely of differently coloured, bright ruffles. At the end of the runway, she dropped the ruffles to reveal a rainbow, colour blocked, latex bodysuit.

The top three walked together, with everyone else across the back of the stage, cheering. Stacey told them it was an honour and pleasure to work with each and every one of them. She confessed to noticing that each of their stories, though unique, involved a lack of acceptance, so she reminded them of the importance of accepting oneself for who you truly are. Brooke Lynn thanked the queens for showing the world that drag, like life, is not about when you fall down, but rather how you rise afterwards. She encouraged the queens to be proud of themselves “…because we sure the fuck are!”

Jeffrey reiterated the positive impact their work on the show would have on thousands of young queer kids, before reminding them of the prize pack- a custom crown and sceptre from Amped Accessories, a year of hotel stays with Hilton, and a cash prize of $100,000. Brooke informed the queens that their main stage performance had lead the judges to a decision… but it wasn’t the one they expected. To choose a winner, they needed to see one more lip sync featuring all three queens at once. This garnered scandalized screams from the queens at the back and nervous shock from most of the top three. While Rita and Priyanka stared at Brooke open-mouthed, Scarlett vibrated with excitement, grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of finally getting to show off her skills without ever having been in the bottom.

Love Inc’s “You’re a Superstar” began as the cast screamed loudly for the top three once more. Each performing queen began with a strong but still power, standing tall and building feeling. Rita remained regal in her green finery while Pri began injecting her personality, pointing to herself on “superstar”. Scarlett, her pent up energy evident, started moving first, swishing her skirt as she strut. In no time, all three queens were dancing, Priyanka squatting low to shake it in a move that shouldn’t have suited her grand look but somehow made sense from her. As the judges laughed, Scarlett got their attention by spinning, gown skirt flaring wide. As she twirled, she tore the skirt away to reveal that the bodice was actually a full catsuit. She flung the skirt aside and broke out dancing and high kicking.

Sensing a rise in energy, Rita walked centre stage and lowered her skirt too, sliding it down to reveal tights that matched her alien leotard. Scarlett, meanwhile, had gone to the back of the runway. Turning to the judges, she walked forward with purpose and suddenly overturned herself into a front walkover, landing on her feet and immediately jumping in the air to land in a dip. This sparked screaming so Pri, not to be outdone, grabbed her long braid and began twirling it above her head like a helicopter. Pretty soon, all three queens were dancing around and in between each other, eventually linking hands in a row and raising their arms in the air like champions, smiling as wide as can be.

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As the judges and queens cheered, the top three pulled each other in for a hug. The judges became serious and began gathering their cards, but the top three were still riding an adrenalin high. Scarlett breathed hard and grinned as Pri yelled “Yes cardio queen!” at her, to which she screamed “I’ve been saving that all season!” Bobo grabbed her skirt, wrapped it back around her waist for the full look, and joined Rita and Pri as Stacey addressed them, telling them a final decision had been reached.

With poise and suspense, Brooke Lynn looked each queen in the eye and said “The winner of Canada’s Drag Race, Canada’s first drag superstar, is…” and paused for dramatic effect. Rita stood stoically, Scarlett took a deep breath, and Priyanka, hands pressed together, rocked ever so slightly from side to side in nerves. Looking suddenly confused, Brooke Lynn said “…What’s her name?” Realization dawned on Priyanka, the new winner, as everyone screamed. In response to Brooke’s “Condragulations!” Priyanka screamed “Holy shit!” and ran into Scarlett’s arms. She hit a mock-Rupaul pose as Jeffrey called her “…unforgettable, just like your name.”

As Brooke Lynn joined Priyanka on stage to hand her a beautifully stoned sceptre, she bowed to her and said “Our queen”. Taking it in shock, Priyanka referred to herself as living proof that a person can do anything if they work hard, even if they fall down on the way there. She thanked “the kids at home” who used to watch her “somewhere else” and then shouted her signature question- “Whats my name?” The entire room screamed “Priyanka!” back at her. Brooke instructed her to take a victory walk and Pri did, starting out regal but soon trading that for a screaming run. The entire cast, including Brooke Lynn and the other judges, joined Priyanka on the stage and danced around her as she told the world how proud she is to be Canadian.

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Thanks for joining us for recaps all season! Don’t forget to check back for more with each new season. In the meantime, check out Talk Aboot It with Drag Coven on our Youtube. We have an interview with the top three coming Monday, and a final segment with the winner of season one on Friday!

Written By

Courtney Conquers is a drag artist and archivist, writer, consultant, public speaker, and live show videographer. She is best known for her work as part of the queer media collective Drag Coven (she's the short one who films the videos). Courtney has a Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from Carleton University in Canada and is an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion in drag and queer spaces. She also regularly promotes, coordinates, talent handles, and casts drag events throughout North America. When she’s not traveling for her own gigs, assisting other drag performers, holding a video camera, or writing about drag and queer fem issues, Courtney can usually be found knitting in obnoxious colours. 

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