Canadian drag queen will be the first Drag Race alum to hold a fixed gig on a franchise judging panel

By Joey Nolfi
September 26, 2019 at 03:25 PM EDT
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Lip-sync icon Brooke Lynn Hytes is about to serve her Canadian bacon north of the border.

Production company World of Wonder and Canadian network Crave announced Thursday that the Toronto-born RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 runner-up will become the first series alum to hold a permanent gig on a franchise judging panel when Canada’s Drag Race premieres next year.

Hytes, who rose to prominence as a professional ballet dancer before competing for the crown on RuPaul’s Drag Race earlier this year, is set to judge the upcoming reality competition series (originally titled Drag Race Canada) alongside UnREAL actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (whom has guest-starred on several episodes of the American version of the show) and fashion icon (and recurring Next Top Model franchise mentor-judge) Stacey McKenzie.

As a group, the trio of resident judges are poised to preside over all challenges, visit the Werk Room for contestant discussions, and introduce various twists. Canadian media personality Traci Melchor will also serve as a special “Squirrel Friend” for Canada’s Drag Race season 1, which will see her making “special house visits to test the queens with some challenges and provide a dose of reality,” according to a press release.

“I remember a year ago I was in the @worldofwonder offices, just after filming season 11, and I said ‘I want a Canadian Drag Race…and I want to be a judge!'” Hytes wrote of the project on Instagram. “Well, dreams come true! I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be a permanent judge on @canadasdragrace and to be able to help show the amazing talent the north has to offer.”

Via statement, RuPaul added: “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. I have complete confidence in their ability to choose Canada’s first drag superstar!”

Speaking to EW shortly after the RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 finale, Hytes teased a “couple of irons in the fire” that she couldn’t talk about due to “contractual obligations.”

“People forget we’ve all done so well, and all of our lives have changed for the better because of this. I won in so many other ways,” she said. “I’m [also] working on coming up with a one-woman show, I just don’t have time to sit down and write it right now. But soon!”

Canada’s Drag Race season 1 is expected to premiere the first of its 10 episodes on Crave and OUTtv sometime in 2020, while the series’ first British edition, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, debuts stateside on Oct. 3 via the WOW Presents Plus streaming service, with episodes eventually airing on Logo.

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RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who's in and who's out.
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