Brooke Lynn Hytes on ‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Judging Backlash: ‘Absolutely a Huge Learning Experience’

While RuPaul’s Drag Race fans were in love with the first season of one of the spinoff shows, Canada’s Drag Race, they weren’t too in love with some of the judging. Judge Brooke Lynn Hytes, who is a Drag Race alumna herself, spoke about the fan reactions in a recent interview.

Brooke Lynn Hytes
Brooke Lynn Hytes | Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

‘Canada’s Drag Race’ wrapped its first season run a few weeks ago

As one of the latest international entries in the franchise, Canada’s Drag Race is now popular worldwide. The judging panel includes RuPaul’s Drag Race alumna Hytes (the show’s first Canadian queen), actor and model Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and model/runway coach Stacey McKenzie. A rotating guest host is a part of each week’s show and they are also a guest judge for the panel.

The season one queens included Anastarzia Anaquway, BOA, Ilona Verley, Jimbo, Juice Boxx, Kiara, Kyne, Lemon, Priyanka, Rita Baga, Scarlett BoBo and Tynomi Banks. Priyanka was the winner, while BoBo and Baga were the runner-ups.

Several of the judges’ critiques were controversial

Many fans criticized the judges for harsh and inconsistent critiques of the queens. The most notable of the criticized critiques were Bowyer-Chapman and Hytes’ comments about Ilona Verley during one week. The two were accused of body-shaming Verley.

During the judging, Chapman said, “I think that your mug is painted so gorgeously. However, when I see that booty and the little turnaround, a little full coverage foundation may have helped you out.” After this, Hytes said, “She definitely should’ve put some makeup on that a*s.”

Hytes apologized in a video on social media, saying in part, “We have no problem with the size or shape of Ilona’s bum, she has a beautiful, beautiful body and it was not meant in that way at all. You also can’t cover up cellulite with foundation, so yeah. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding and I understand that you probably couldn’t see that on your TV, but that’s where our critique was coming from.”

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Brooke Lynn Hytes recently spoke about the backlash

In an interview with ET Canada after the finale aired, Hytes spoke about the backlash that she and the other judges received from the Drag Race fandom due to their critiques.

“Season one was absolutely a huge learning experience,” she said. “I think people forget that I had never been in this position that I was in before. Last time I was on Drag Race, I was a contestant, and all of a sudden, I’m the first queen ever to be made a judge. So automatically, I knew I was going to have a target on my back, because whenever you’re put in a position of authority over other people, automatically people are going to be like, well, what does she know? Like didn’t even blah, blah, blah…all of his stuff.”

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Still, Hytes seems to have not a big issue with it, noting that it comes with the territory. “It kind of taught me to have a thicker skin, because when I was on Drag Race, I kind of escaped a lot of negativity from the fandom,” she explained. “And it got really hard for a couple of weeks, but I got over it and I mean, the reality is this is what judges face on reality competition shows, especially something like Drag Race. But I mean, I thought for season one of a show, I thought we did a really good job and I’m really excited to hopefully to dive back in for season two.”

The show hasn’t officially had a second season announced yet but it is expected to come back.