The Canadian version of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will have three resident judges and one “squirrel friend,” but no host — presumably because no one in Canada can fill RuPaul’s shoes.
Crave, which will air “Canada’s Drag Race,” announced the judges’ panel on Thursday. It will feature Canadian drag queen and “Drag Race” runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes, actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and fashion model Stacey McKenzie. A different celebrity guest will join them every week.
Traci Melchor of CTV’s “etalk” will fill the role of “Canada’s very first Squirrel Friend,” according to the press release. That apparently means that she’ll make house visits to test the queens with challenges, and “provide a dose of reality when needed.”
But she’s not the host — a Crave representative explained to HuffPost Canada that the judges “will fulfill the role of hosts.”
RuPaul sounded excited about the development. “I’m thrilled to reveal my hand-picked judges for ‘Canada’s Drag Race.’ By the power vested in me, I command them to go forth and be my ‘Judge Judys’ of the North,” he said in a press release. “I have complete confidence in their ability to choose Canada’s first drag superstar!”
Brooke Lynn Hytes, a Toronto-born drag queen and dancer now based in Nashville, almost snatched the crown on the 11th season of the wildly popular drag competition show. The “Queen of the North” showed off her exceptional dance skills, helping place her an impressive second.
Bowyer-Chapman, who was born in Edmonton, has also appeared on the American version of show. He was a guest judge in season three of “All Stars,” the “Drag Race” spinoff which pits popular queens from previous seasons against one another. His episode was memorable for the “Bachelor”-style challenge where the contestants competed for Bowyer-Chapman’s affection.
McKenzie isn’t new to the world of reality TV, either. The model, who was born in Jamaica but moved to Toronto as a teen, was a runway coach on “America’s Next Top Model” and a judge on the Canadian version.
Traci Melchor is a longtime TV presenter, with credits including “The Social,” “The Marilyn Denis Show,” and MuchMusic.
Which queens will make the cut? How will a host-less show function? Will we ever understand the true meaning of what it is to be Canada’s first squirrel friend? All we know for now is that the show will begin production this fall.