Welcome to my pre-season Power Rankings of the queens of Canada’s Drag Race, Season 3!
Canada’s Drag Race kicks off with a first episode tomorrow, which means now is the time to cement our first impressions of their cast of 12 drag artists.
If you’ve never watched Canada’s Drag Race, both of the first two seasons have been high quality, delivering some of the franchises most memorable challenges and lip syncs and a pair of iconic winners.
In fact, both prior casts were thoroughly memorable, and it didn’t take long for their Canadian kindness to give way to serious competitive streaks. If Jimbo is the only Canadian export you know so far, you’re in for a treat!
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes is the dragged up face of the show, but in practice she shares the spotlight and the hosting duties with other hosts each season – which had included supermodel Stacey McKenzie, actors Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Amanda Brugel, sassy stylist Brad Goreski, and TV presenter Traci Melchor. Having a team of talented coaches gives the franchise a decidedly Canadian flair unique from the other Ru-hosted English-language editions.
Canada’s Drag Race Season 3 released a colorful promo trailer that shows off its dozen queens much better than prior promos, which have been slightly drab. Alongside the promo trailer, they also produced a series of 90-second “Meet The Queens” interviews with the cast.
For this initial Power Ranking, I’m only going by what I can see in those 90-second interviews plus the queens’ social media accounts. I’m not even going to review the trailer a second time, since it might make obvious some of the queen’s placements based on how many outfits appear. (Nancy Drews on Reddit are already on top of that, but I’ve abstained from their detective work.)
Remember: this is all in good fun. If I had Power Ranked last season’s queens, I doubt I would’ve picked our top three! These are all outstanding drag artists, but being a great drag artist doesn’t always translate to doing well on Drag Race.
If you want to watch Canada’s Drag Race Season 3 outside of Canada and the UK you can sign up for WowPresentsPlus to watch the many worldwide Drag Race franchises for $4.99 a month or $50 a year. I don’t get any kind of cut off of that – I just want you to watch Drag Race! (Note that if you’re in the US you will need to use a VPN to “visit” another country to see the US Franchise.)
Readers, start your engines! And, may the best Queen (of the North) win!
Reminders: I consistently refer to Drag Race artists with their drag names and with she/her pronouns even when they are not in drag, which is the convention of the show. Some performers may have different personal pronouns. Drag is inherently brave, political, and artistic, and all drag is valid. It’s also hard to do. I’m commenting on drag artistry in how it comes across on this specific television program, but the reason I’m commenting at all is because I celebrate all drag!
Canada’s Drag Race Season 3 Pre-Season Power Rankings
1. Jada Shada Hudson
Jada Shada Hudson (Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube) is Toronto’s “turn-up sensation,” and the other queens are going to have to turn their charisma to the max to have any hope of having her sashay away.
Jada Shada Hudson is giving me good time gal who is here to kiki. She’s got hot sauce in her purse, jerk seasoning in her luggage, and easily the most blended and smooth make-up of this whole cast.
Her Instagram is non-stop fun. Here’s Jada Shada Hudson is in a boudoir shoot. Here she is racing a snowmobile. He she is with her own radio show or repping a major brand.
There is a phenomenon on Drag Race where the queens who have the most real world experience can sometimes falter in the bubble of the show, because their talents are honed to hustle for those deals and entertain those live crowds. When it comes to harnessing all of that power into a set of inane challenges, they can’t focus.
I don’t get that from Jada Shada Hudson at all. She is the real deal. As long as her fashions are on the higher-end of what she shows off on her socials, these queens better beware.
I’m getting finalist energy, unless she is a shocking and undeserved early cut.
2. Miss Fiercalicious
Miss Fiercalicious (Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Twitter) might give a hint of being a vapid young queen, but her social media shows she is already a veteran performer and make-up artist who is made for the Drag Race mold.
Miss Fiercalicious is the most distinctly American style drag queen in this line-up. She has tens of thousands of Instagram followers and millions of TikTok views. She’s all about flawless make-up and she has a distinct stamp of a mug you can recognize across multiple looks.
These things can sometimes be a secret detriment on US Drag Race. Let’s put it this way: the only time the most conventionally social-media-famous queen has won her season was Aquaria, who also happened to be a quintuple threat who was good at every single thing Drag Race requires of a queen. For queens who aren’t Aquaria, being Instagram-famous sometimes means a queen has gone all-in on a few big selling points of their drag that line up with Drag Race (typically their face and doing splits) while ignoring others (like comedy or impersonations, sometimes in favor of spending time on Instagram!)
However, I think this sort of social game negative doesn’t necessarily apply in Canada. If anything, it’s a sign of a queen who is hustling harder than the Canadian drag scene would typical accommodate – because you don’t score that many followers by just playing a regular circuit of Canadian gigs!
Also Miss Fiercalicious is not only a look queen. She has done impersonations and character illusions before! Can you say, “actively practicing for Snatch Game in her free time?”
Also, I don’t know if we have ever seen such bushy realistic brows on a queen on Drag Race. It’s a little disconcerting, actually! Not because it’s not a good look, but because the illusion of them is so deliberate. She doesn’t rock brows this intense in every look, but a thick initial brow line with individually articulated hairs is a staple of her drag (you can watch her apply them in this Cosmo Queens video. Yes, for Cosmopolitan.)
I’m focused heavily on Miss Fiercalicious’s social media, because her Meet The Queens didn’t tell us much. She’s pretty. She’s confident. She’s not afraid to play the villain. But, in terms of personality I didn’t get too much.
Miss Fiercalicious is a queen who is going to be playing this game hard. I think her naked ambition is going to catch a few of these other queens off guard. And, honestly? Being the dramatic queen who stands out from the pack is a good way to ensure you make it to the top half of the competition on plot alone.
To get from that point to the finale, we’re going to have to see her full package of skills on full display.
3. Lady Boom Boom
Lady Boom Boom (Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Twitter) doesn’t have to tell us she’s absurd, because she clearly is. She’s also a dancing diva and a seamstress, which is a killer combo on Drag Race.
Lady Boom Boom is giving me exactly what I want from a Meet The Queens segment – gorgeous make-up, big personality, braggadocio, and silliness without having to explain that she is silly.
Her Instagram is packed with gorgeous look after gorgeous look. She is definitely one of the queens on this cast who is already producing Drag Race calibre make-up and outfits off the show.
Is she my top pick to win? …not quite.
Sometimes queens that are this self-assured and silly wind up with a slightly “oblivious” edit on the show. I’m not necessarily talking about getting an Alyssa Edwards “what the fuck is going on here on this day” type of edit. More like… so into their own brand that they don’t necessarily hear what the judges are saying.
That would be my one fear for Lady Boom Boom. She might be a little too much of her own total package already to work in the Drag Race format.
Or, she might be exactly what they’re looking for. I think she could wind up in the finale or right on the brink of it if she can listen and adapt.
4. Halal Bae
I love, love, love Halal Bae’s promo look. It’s basic and complex at the same time, and also deeply stupid. Each individual item would be unimpressive, and maybe even questionable. Together, they’re stunning – the simple swimsuit topped with the custom geometric full-body cage, the Muppet bolero ending in puppet arms, the tiny crown of blue curls, and the exquisite make-up and contour.
(I know a lot of queens hate feather eyelashes, but this feels like an allowable exception. Also, look at how the wing mirrors that severe eyebrow angle. It’s *chef’s kiss*)
Halal Bae’s Instagram is packed with looks, showing variety in both in fashion and make-up. I think mustached and bearded queens often feel they have to rely on comedy to apologize for their facial hair. Halal Bae is funny, but she’s also gorgeous and smart.
In her Meet The Queens, she says, “I’m here to break down barriers of gender, of religion, of culture – and show that drag is for everyone.” I see a queen who is going to be able to serve a ball just as easy as she can master a branding challenge. I also think she’ll pull out a few unexpected fashion looks if the other queens peg her as a comedy girl early on.
The question is… can she sing and dance? You can’t win Drag Race on brains and beauty alone.
Halal Bae gives me potential main-character energy. I predict a mid-to-high run, if she can get past being the novelty queen with a mustache.
5. Kimmy Couture
The first thing I noticed was how heavily Kimmy Couture was relying on the conversation prompts from the producers. This was hardly noticeable on the other queens, to the extent that I thought perhaps they dropped the prompts. However, you can tell Kimmy is being instructed to repeat the question at the beginning of her answer from just off camera.
While this isn’t the kiss of death for a Drag Race queen, it’s not usually a terrific sign if a queen can’t talk about herself ad nauseam without prompts.
Yet, if I stop harping on Kimmy Couture’s answers for a moment, she seems well-equipped for the show. She’s a dancing performer. Not just a “dancer” who likes to gyrate arrhythmically to lip sync songs, but an actual choreographed dancer comfortable in a troupe with tons of routines up on her Instagram. Not many other queens on this cast can say that.
And, even in her bird-themed promo, she is giving fashion and proportions rather than just neon bird feather overload. Again, her social media is PACKED with amazing fashion, from dance looks to avant guard weirdness. I had the most trouble picking just one featured look for her.
Finally, as Icesis’s drag daughter. You know there’s more to her than meet’s the eye.
Also, real talk: Many, many queens have come on Drag Race claiming they are both Banjee and Bougie, to the point that they don’t even seem like opposite concepts anymore. Very few of those queens have successfully shown off either of those sides of themselves, because it tends to be about how they behave at the club rather than their drag. Not Kimmy. I got the Bougie/Banjee divide from her looks right away.
We’ve never had a back-to-back repeat of queens from the same house win on any Drag Race franchise – in fact, the Yvie/Willow is as close as we’ve come. Could Kimmy be the one to make it happen?
I think she will score some major victories, but I question if she can survive Snatch Game and other “look directly into the camera” types of challenges. She feels like a mid-out with a strong run unless she brings some surprises as a personality. If she does? I see her pounding against these other top queens looking to knock them out.
6. Vivian Vanderpuss
Vivian Vanderpuss (Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Twitter) is doing what she does best – giving it a character! She delivers self-aware, self-effacing camp with a surprisingly fashionable edge. We’ve never had this sort of queen on Canada’s Drag Race before!
We’ve met many queens who have a deliberate drag character over the years on Drag Race, though the show has drifted away from “character” and towards “brand” in recent years.
If we were to look at all of those queens – especially the ones who play themselves as slightly older or more daft than they are in reality – I think we can stratify the field based on their fashion. Are they dressing up to sell their character, such that they are stuck always looking the same? Are they embodying a character and dressing how they’d want to dress, so they have some range but it’s the range of the character’s closet? Or, is their character so strong that they can get away with wearing anything without breaking the illusion?
Vivian Vanderpuss gets away with wearing anything.
She’s got her core of divorcée cat lady looks, but she also has youthful looks, punk looks, and monstrous looks. She is a lady with an attitude who is clearly backing up her character with a lot of talent as a performer and as a make-up artist. Not to make a currently outré comparison, but she reminds me of Season 4 Sharon Needles – who was spooky when she wanted to be, but also served glamorous bitch when she needed to.
Vivian Vanderpuss gives me major “I am NOT going to be ignored” energy. That might get a little tiresome as the season wears on, and at a point she is going to fall into the bottom and need to use her full force of actual personality rather than just rely on her character.
I think that’s going to yield a lot of interesting drag. I can’t see Vivian going very early, but I also don’t think Canada’s Drag Race is ready for a character queen to snatch the crown.
7. Gisèle Lullaby
Maybe this is Raja’s impact from All-Winners, but I am obsessed with the absolute maximalism of this promo look. It’s a kimono dotted with puffy ornamentation that’s also short skirt over a high-collared shirt with a massive bow, huge tulle sleeves, thigh-high boots, streamers, crazy bird hair…
I’m filled with exhausted delight just from looking at it. Yet, for all of that sartorial maximalism, her make-up look is somewhat small for a Drag Race queen. That surprised me, because I’d expect a stage-experienced queen to have a really BIG face that can play to the back row.
On Instagram, Gisèle Lullaby serves so much variety. It’s clear she is a seasoned show-girl who performs constantly. It’s also clear she has a slew of existing fashion to pull from for Drag Race. I think it gives a queen a subtle advantage when she doesn’t have to worry about what drag to pack past the defined looks on the challenge list. In fact, I suspect Giséle probably had some existing looks that fit the bill for some of the runway themes!
I don’t see any random performance challenge causing Giséle to stumble, and I suspect she will be a queen to beat in the design challenges. However, the show doesn’t have a great track record of loving its francophones or completely vibing with their humor. Also, Brooke and Brad aren’t necessarily maximalists at heart, and they go hard on make-up critiques.
I think Giséle is coming into this competition as one of the queens to beat, but some of her habits might earn her negative critiques early and often – even if they’re somewhat unfounded. She also might be a little too earnest for reality TV. I sense a troubled middle-of-the-pack run for her unless she shows a lot of variety very quickly.
It should come as no surprise that in this house we adore a non-binary sober weirdo who mispells their name with a “K” and brings everything including the kitchen sync to their art.
Kaos’s Instagram is packed with looks and adventures. She’s sometimes a bearded queen, sometimes a drag monster, but always giving you more than you ever thought you could get from a drag mug.
If I have a worry about Kaos, it’s that all of the witty asides she had in her Meet The Queens won’t punch through the fuller cast, or might take her down tangential paths when she needs focus in a challenge. We’ve seen many a stellar queen felled by focus issues. Can Kaos control her own chaos?
I can’t imagine an early challenge could knock out a queen this well-rounded, but she might be someone who gets bogged down by the constant context-switching of the format by the middle of the season. If she can stay focused in challenges, Kaos will be significant competition for these queens.
I’m always slightly wary of a queen who shoots a promo look and Meet The Queens interview in a fantastical full-color face. Does that really represent the drag she’ll be presenting all season? The only times proven to be true in the past was for Nina Bonina Brown and GotMik!
That said, I do think Bombae sells the colorful look by branding herself as a “Club Kid” and presenting an abstract dragon outfit as her promo look. She has no problem whipping out an endless stream of silly pull-quotes for the camera, including: “When I’m performing I’m scaring my audiences into hoping I have health insurance” and “I’m not minimal, I’m maximal – that’s not a word, but it’s going to be.”
Bombae’s social media reveals plenty of vivid bodysuits and a lot of bold and varied eye make-up. She is also stunningly handsome as a boy. AND SHE IS AN X-MEN FAN, HEYYYYY!
However, I’m seeing less full-on glamour looks, and I worry that some of her make-up might not be buffed-out enough for HD TV.
Ultimately, Bombae strikes me as a potential fan-favorite. She’s witty and I have no doubt she will bring it to any performance-based challenge. I think she could make a deep run if the challenges line up perfectly for her, but I think there are a few too many well-rounded competitors edging her out in the cast.
10. Irma Gerd
Irma Gerd (Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Twitch / Twitter) is a charming queen and also a self-proclaimed “stupid” queen who loves surprising people, which might be why she’s playing her cards so close to her chest in this Meet the Queens promo.
I was surprised to discover that Irma Gerd isn’t a major social media queen – either that, or she has pulled a lot of looks and content down in advance of the show on every network. I was expecting lots of memes, dunks, and comedy based on her Meet the Queens.
It’s hard to say what to expect from Irma Gerd when she revealed so little about herself in the Meet the Queens and online. Compared to queens who packed their interviews full of story, her segment seems really sparse. When a queen can’t easily fill 60 seconds alone with a camera to the brim with wittiness, it’s often a sign that she is going to fade into the background on the show.
Yet… there is definitely a little twinkle of wit in Irma Gerd’s eye that makes me think she could be holding back. Is this a queen who prefers to show her stuff rather than tell about it? Or, does she have that certain vein of cringe to her that Canada seems to rejoice in on the past two seasons.
Irma Gerd’s make-up in her promo look is a little plain and on the pale side. It’s hard to adapt in-person make-up to read perfectly on camera under TV lighting. From her Instagram, it seems like she serves a lot of camp and enjoys her oversized lashes.
Irma Gerd’s personality and make-up might not be big enough to shine in a crowd of many other queens, and I don’t know if she has the performance chops to go up against some of the heaviest of hitters. She could be an early out – or, perhaps she’s going to be a secret assassin!
11. Miss Moço
Miss Moço (Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube) claims to be a queen who has a lot of tricks up her… sleeve, but one of them will need to be a bolder make-up look if she is going to last long in this competition.
Here’s the thing: you can flip and split and do tricks while also being smart as hell, and that will get you through your first week and your first lip sync. But Drag Race requires a certain level of make-up polish and fashion versatility if you’re going to make a deeper run that that.
I’m not seeing that polish and versatility from Miss Moço in her Meet The Queen or on her social media. She has a very similar, minimal face in almost every look, and wears a very similar “body-suit with accessories” look in almost every shot.
Also, tellingly, in her Meet The Queens she talks about how she sometimes comes off as the quiet one in the room. We’ve certainly had some introspective Drag Race winners before, but I don’t think it’s a good sign to point that out in your entrance interview.
Miss Moço has natural charm, and I have no doubt she is a queen who can turn the party and make a major impact on stage. However, she does not have winner energy when it comes to Drag Race. Even the biggest firecracker of a performer needs to make a major visual impact to stick around in the long run.
12. Chelazon Leroux
I’ve actually seen Chelazon on TikTok before, and I barely ever go on TikTok! That proves that her personality and content already resonate with hundreds of thousands of people, which would make her a heavy-hitter on any version of Drag Race.
However, a lot of that content – and a lot of her content in general – is out-of-drag humor and beauty content. Her drag looks are actually somewhat scarce, by comparison.
I mention this because something about Chelazon Leroux’s promo look is askew for me. I think it is where the poof of fringe starts on her dress, and how big it is. When you have a poof of some kind on your garment, it always exists in relation to the broadest and slimmest points of your silhouette – so, usually the shoulders, waist, and hips. When you have an addition poof that’s below your hips, you need it to be far enough below that it doesn’t create the effect of blending your hips into your waist. Here, I think having such a big poof so close to Chelazon’s hips turns her mid-section into a weird little box.
(Compared to the proportions of Halal Bae’s look.)
That’s just one detail on one garment, right? Well… there are also some aspects of her make-up and wig that pinged my “a little bit off” radar.
I am not saying any of this to pick on Chelazon Leroux. Heck, I have used her make-up tips before! Also, DRAG IS REALLY HARD, Y’ALL. I am not even a tenth as good at any of the things she is doing successfully here.
Yet, these are things that Drag Race judging values highly, and when they’re a little off in the promo it can sometimes be a hint at runway critiques soon to come. Her drag make-up is lovely, but it’s not an indelible stamp like we’re seeing from some of these queens.
I think Chelazon Leroux has the personal fortitude for Drag Race, but I’m afraid that she’s more destined for fame as an out-of-drag influencer and personality than as Canada’s next drag superstar. She might wind up a mid-to-early out.