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Canada’s Drag Race Season 4 Episode 1 RECAP: Premiere Ball

Season four kicks off with a crop of new queens from coast to coast who quickly learn that first impressions matter. Canadian music icons Tegan and Sara guest judge…

The new season of Canada’s Drag Race has arrived and with it is a cast of 11 fierce new goddesses from coast to coast. It feels like it’s been a hot minute since the last season (which aired during the summer of 2022), so in case you need a quick refresher…Our reigning queen is currently Gisèle Lullaby.This season promises a lot of Drag Race firsts, such as the oldest queen who has ever competed in the franchise. I’m sure there will also be no shortage of twists and turns for our new Canadian queens as they battle through challenges each week. I can’t wait any longer. Let’s get into it!

Season four begins on the main stage with our Queen of the North Brooke Lynn Hytes officially welcoming us to season four and letting us know that the queens we’re about to meet have no idea that this competition will be totally different than what we’re used to. We’re then transported to the fierce Canadian werk room where we meet our first queen of the season. Venus is the first to enter wearing an outfit that reveals more than a mid-season plot twist. She doesn’t tuck with her drag and she promises to be the most unfiltered queen of the season. After her entrance she walks right back out. Denim is out next and she’s a self-proclaimed socially awkward hairy bimbo clown. She’s giving us everything in a Y2K full denim outfit. Out of drag Denim is a trans man and says being here feels really validating. Denim makes her exit and Kiki Coe enters. She’s a fashion queen from the nation’s capital and she says her biggest strength is fashion and designing (she’s designed some of the stunning lewks we’ve seen on the runway in seasons past). Next in is Luna Dubois who says she’s the shadiest person we’ll ever meet. She’s a look queen who is all about the looks and the body. Following Luna Sisi Superstar who calls herself the queen of the sewers since she helps run the underground scene in Montreal. She’s serving goth bimbo and it’s certainly a moment. 

So far each queen has made their solo entrance and then left the werk room right after. That’s no different for our next queen Melinda Verga. She is the first queen from Edminton to ever compete on the show. Next is Kitten Kaboodle, who at 57 is the oldest queen to ever compete in the franchise. Kitten is giving us full 70s showgirl, and she’s been doing drag since 1981, which is so fierce. Nearah Nuff makes her entrance and she’s got a big ego (and she loves it). Nearah’s Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend era Marilyn inspired look is cute but it’s also falling apart. Did you forget to sew that material…girl? (I couldn’t resist). Aurora Matrix is next in the room and she is ready to serve her hyper-femme popstar fantasy in the competition. The Girlfriend Experience has arrived and she is here to serve trans girl realness dressed as an anime herro mixed with an early 2000s socialite. Aimee Yonce Shennel is the last to enter the werk room and she’s the Bey of Ottawa here to slay the competition. All this diva is missing is her crown (and a wind machine).

All of the queens enter the room together and celebrate while meeting the competition. While some of the queens know each other from back home others are getting to sniff out who their biggest threat is. Denim is feeling confident that her drag stands out among the initial pageant looks from the other queens and The Girlfriend Experience is relieved to see her bestie Venus from back home in the werk room. The queens excitedly set up their wardrobes and werk stations and groups are already starting to form. In their trios they talk about who they think will be in the top and bottom based on first impressions. The queens are interrupted with a video message from Ru herself giving all of the queens a warm welcome and a riddle about this week’s main challenge. Brooke enters the room to give the girls a proper Bonjour and welcome to season four. Brad, Traci join Brooke in the werk room to welcome the queens, and tell them what their prize will be for winning this season. Brooke tells the queens that this season things will be a little different for the queens. Traci tells them that the first maxi challenge of the season is already well underway. It’s time for The Premiere Ball, and the judges have already been watching and judging the queens just based on their first impressions. Each judge has a rosebud that they will present to a queen that caught their attention during the entrances. Brooke gives her rosebud to Denim, Brad picks Aimee, and Traci presents hers to Venus. The second category is “Shimmering Showgirls” which the queens will have to present in the werk room and later on the main stage the category is “Me, Myself, and I: Your Very Best Drag”.

The queens quickly get to work room and those that didn’t receive a rosebud are already feeling some type of way about it (mainly Melinda), which the other queens are quick to tell her it was probably due to her outfit not serving the way she thought it was. They need to hustle to get into their shimmering showgirl looks and Kitten reveals to the other girls that she is the oldest queen to ever compete in drag race herstory. For this category the queens will have to work a 360 set to sell their showgirl lewks. One-by-one each of them make their way to the set to present their showgirl-inspired outfits. Following the second part of the maxi challenge all of the queens de-drag and meet each other with their bare faces. Reality starts to set in that two of the queens will be in the bottom.

It’s elimination day and the queens gather around the table to chat about how they were thrown into the deep end with the competition the day before. Canadian music legends Tegan and Sara walk into the werk room and introduce themselves as the guest judges and offer some words of encouragement and advice for performing on a stage. The queens get into drag for the final look of their first ball challenge. They do a quick pronoun roll call and some of the queens and a temperature check with how everyone feels with what’s going on with drag south of the border. Some of the queens talk about how they’ve been targeted during drag queen storytimes and by American politicians. The Girlfriend Experience opens up to the other queens about struggles she’s faced since transitioning and the other queens give her love and support in exchange. Out on the mainstage Brooke makes her entrance and introduces this week’s judges panel. The queens each make their way on stage in their best drag looks to give the best impressions they can to the judges for the last time. Based on the runway presentations Brooke announces Aurora, Aimee, Luna, Kitten, and The Girlfriend Experience are all safe for the week. This means the remaining queens represent the tops and the bottoms of the week.

Critiques start with Venus and Traci tells her she served a three for three Canada’s Drag Race hat trick. Brooke loved her first look and Brad says it really showcased who she was as a queen. Brooke asks if Venus does all of her looks untucked and says it’s a nice twist on drag. Brad tells her she has the ability to command the space she’s in and all of the judges adore her final look. Sisi is up next and Traci loved her punk rock inspired look, but Brooke and Brad say the same energy isn’t coming through with her energy. Brad tells Kiki Coe she is serving drag from head to toe in her final look which is also a feast for the eyes. Traci agrees and says it came through in all of her looks. All of the judges are blown away with the fact Kiki makes all of her own outfits. The judges clock Nearah’s wardrobe mishap during her introduction and Tegan and Sara tell her she needs to have more energy on stage, but her dance routine had the judges entranced. Brad tells her to be mindful of the fact she’s worn a corset three times already. Melinda is next and Brad didn’t feel her entrance look showed off what she was all about, but her second look checked all of the boxes. Finally, Brooke tells Denim they’ve never seen anyone quite like them. All of the judges love how cohesive and polished all three of her looks were.

Backstage all of the queens kiki with some drinks on the couch. Venus gets the idea that some of the other girls are jealous of her and denim is feeling great about her critiques this week. Sisi throws a little shade at the Toronto queens and Denim tells Sisi she’s grateful for the opportunities she’s been given because of the events Sisi runs. Melinda opens up to the rest of the queens that just before she left to race her partner suffered a mini stroke, and it’s taken her mind off of the competition. Back out on the main stage Brooke announces that both Kiki and Nearah are safe for the week. Then she announces that this season the queens have to expect the unexpected. Tonight none of the queens are going home. Venus and Denim are the top two queens of the week and they will lip sync for the win. This means Melinda and Sisi are both safe. The top two queens lip sync for the win to Feel It In My Bones by Tiësto (feat. Tegan and Sara). Both queens give fierce performances and in the end the judges decide that it’s Venus who is the first maxi challenge winner of the season and everybody lives to slay another day!

Next week on Canada’s Drag Race: The queens become live TV personalities as they try to sell products on their very own shopping channel and Brooke reveals the first twist of the season.

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