Speaking exclusively to GAY TIMES, Brooke Lynn Hytes revealed what we can expect from the brand new season of Canada’s Drag Race.
After making herstory as the first Drag Race contestant to become a full-time judge in the franchise, the Queen of the North is back, back, back again to judge the fresh batch of queens.
“I think the word I hear most to describe season one is ‘chaotic,’ which is very true and like season one of any show,” Brooke says as she explains what’s new in season two.
She adds: “I think this season’s queens’ strong suit is that they were such performers and that they had really no inhibitions when it came to being on reality TV, so they had really no problems with just kind of letting it all hang out and stuff.”
The season 11 finalist reveals that there is even an element of “competition” between the queens competing across the first two seasons of Canada’s Drag Race.
Brooke explains: “Season two is not that different, I just think we have maybe stronger looks on season two than we saw on season one, which is something that just comes with seeing a season of a show and kind of figuring things out and being like, ‘Okay I need to up my ante a little bit.’
“I feel like there was a little bit of competition between the seasons almost, like, ‘okay well we have to outdo season one’ a little bit, like in the looks department or something – I don’t know. But yeah, I found that…we had more kind of gag-worthy looks this season if anything.”
She shares: “These queens were so incredible and just the level of drag they brought to the competition, it just, the whole show really kind of got a facelift and an upgrade and it was so cool to just see what else Canada has to offer.
“You can expect a lot of incredible looks, first of all, the looks this season are just insane. We have some amazing challenges, Snatch Game is phenomenal again, which I was very happy about, so it’s just going to be a great season.”
Like all of Drag Race’s recent seasons, the Canadian follow-up was filmed under heavy COVID-19 protocols.
“Well, obviously filming during COVID is no one’s dream,” Brooke says.
Although it was “annoying” and presented its challenges, the Drag Race legend says everyone was just happy to be back working after extensive lockdowns and time spent at home.
She explains: “It was annoying at certain points, like someone running up to you and you’re [being told] ‘You can’t be that close to somebody!’ and just stuff like that.
“But, I mean, at the end of the day we were all just happy to be working and we were happy to be on a set and we were all willing to do what we needed to do to keep everyone safe.”
Given that Brooke finished as the runner-up after her time on the American show and she slayed the game as an All Star lip-sync assassin, she’s a well rounded judge, to say the least.
The main difference for Brooke now that she’s back on the panel for a second time? How “comfortable” she has become.
“I didn’t really have a lot of time [before] season one because I was literally touring from my year and the year after you’re on Drag Race is just insane,” Brooke shares. “You’re just going non-stop and I literally flew from Africa to Toronto to do the show – and I was just like ugh!
“The thing is about season one is that we were all very new to our roles and figuring things out. So I think and also realised that the way I say things sometimes, I don’t mean them in such a harsh way, but they come across harsh.”
As a former contestant herself, Brooke reveals that she often wants “to ramble on and tell all the queens so many things and give them so much advice, but then you have to remember that we’re making a TV show and the TV show is an hour long and if you ramble on and on, that’s not going to make it to TV.”
Brooke’s time on Drag Race US was often defined by taking risks (Sequins on the Runway, anyone?), which ended up paying off as she placed second.
When it comes to becoming Canada’s Next Drag Superstar, she believes playing it safe will never be enough.
“Obviously, you should always play to your strengths and know your wheelhouse and know what you are good at,” she shares with GAY TIMES. “But yeah, I think it’s all about taking a risk. I really do. You gotta put yourself out there, you gotta kind of, just go balls to the wall!”
Brooke continues: “They always want more and more and more, especially in the acting challenges. That’s a critique I was getting, ‘we wanted more’ and I was like ‘I thought I was giving you more!’ and it wasn’t until I was literally naked slathering myself in baby oil that they were like ‘we loved it!’ and I was like ‘Oh okay, so that’s what you wanted.’
“I think it’s better to take a risk because if it pays off then it’s amazing, and if it doesn’t pay off then it will probably make for a great TV moment and at the end of the day we are creating a television show here, so, either way it’s a win!”
Canada’s Drag Race just kicked off a sickening second season, with 12 queens battling it out for the crown and title of Canada’s Next Drag Superstar.