Canada’s Drag Race unveils new judges for Season 2

Traci Melchor, Brad Goreski, and Amanda Brugel will join returning judge Brooke Lynn Hytes

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      The judging panel for Canada’s Drag Race is getting a makeover for Season 2.

      The Handmaid’s Tale actor Amanda Brugel and celebrity stylist and reality TV vet Brad Goreski (The Rachel Zoe Project) will join returning judge and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes. ETalk host Traci Melchor, who appeared on the reality competition’s first season as Canada’s Squirrel Friend, is being promoted to judge, streaming platform Crave said on Tuesday.

      The shake-up comes after actor and polarizing Season 1 judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman exited the show in March, citing scheduling conflicts.

      Earlier this week, producers said model Stacey McKenzie was also bowing out due to “COVID-related challenges.” Unnamed production sources told Entertainment Weekly that McKenzie was unable to travel to Toronto for filming due to Canada’s pandemic-related travel restrictions. 

      Hytes and Goreski will appear on the judge’s panel in every episode, while Brugel—who was a guest judge in Season 1—and Melchor will appear regularly throughout the season, producers said.

      The contestants and premiere date for Season 2 have yet to be announced, though the show is expected to air on Crave later in 2021.

      Season 1 of the series, which is produced by Blue Ant Studios and RuPaul’s Drag Race producer World Of Wonder, was a pandemic hit last summer. Toronto queen Priyanka snatched the crown and has become a national concern, gracing the cover of Elle Canada’s July issue and hosting the 40th annual Toronto Pride Parade.

      Canada’s Drag Race also has a new showrunner, Trevor Boris of Big Brother Canada, at the helm for Season 2.