Brooke recalled how Stacey’s exit from the show was ‘last minute’ (Picture: Crave/WOW Presents Plus)
Canada’s Drag Race star Brooke Lynn Hytes has opened up about how ‘jarring’ it was when Stacey McKenzie left the show as a judge after Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman’s exit, saying that they’re ‘all still great friends’.
For season 2 of Canada’s Drag Race, the show has returned with a brand new panel of judges, starring Brooke as the only returning member from the first series.
The former RuPaul’s Drag Race star has been joined by TV personality Traci Melchor – who was on season 1 as the resident ‘Squirrel Friend’ – The Handmaid’s Tale star Amanda Brugel and stylist Brad Goreski, with the group demonstrating their strong chemistry from the get-go.
During a recent chat with Metro.co.uk, Brooke – who was a runner-up on Drag Race season 11 in the US – opened up about what it was like when she found out Stacey and Jeffrey were not coming back for season two, which came as a huge shock to fans.
While Jeffrey’s exit was announced in March 2021, the explanation provided referencing the actor and model’s busy schedule, three months later, it emerged that model Stacey was also leaving the programme due to ‘Covid-related challenges’.
Brooke recalled how this news threw her for a loop, as Stacey’s departure occurred right at the last minute.
Jeffrey previously made guest appearances on Drag Race (Picture: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
‘For Stacey, it was very last minute, it was like a last-minute switch up,’ the drag queen recollected, stating that she, Stacey and Jeffrey are ‘all still great friends’.
‘It was very jarring, because I knew Jeffrey wasn’t going to be coming back, and that sucked, and then I was like, “Well at least I still have Stacey,” and then Stacey wasn’t coming back, and it was like everything I knew from season one was like torn away from me. So it was very jarring and it happened very much at the last minute.’
Nonetheless, Brooke has found solace with her new fellow judges on the second season, saying that the chemistry that they share is ‘magical’ because they ‘all get along so well’.
The new Canada’s Drag Race judges have a strong bond (Picture: WOW Presents Plus)
‘It’s one of those things – they say everything happens for a reason and I believe that’s true, I think we just had so much fun together, we’ve had the best time and I think you can see that if you’re watching the season, you can see the chemistry, you can see how much fun we’re having and how much we just get along easily,’ she said.
‘That’s something that’s really special and that’s something that does not happen very often on TV. So it was hard, but everything happens for a reason and it all worked out.’
Ever since showcasing her talent on season 11 of Drag Race in 2019, Brooke has continued to make her mark on the Drag Race franchise, making her debut as a judge on Canada’s Drag Race in 2020 and recently making a guest appearance on All Stars as a lip sync assassin.
Brooke is undeniably Drag Race royalty (Picture: WOW Presents Plus)
At this point in her career, she explained that if she were to be asked to compete on All Stars, she likely wouldn’t accept, considering she’s ‘moved on from competing’ and is now a judge – although she added: ‘Never say never.’
Brooke praised the steps that Drag Race has taken to become more inclusive and diverse in recent years, saying that she’s ‘very happy for the evolution that’s happened’.
However, she acknowledged that more can be done, expressing a hope for ‘more trans representation’ on the show and the introduction of drag kings.
‘I believe drag is for everybody, I believe it should be, as long as it’s done well,’ she said. ‘But I also definitely agree – there can always be more. We can always get better.
‘I would love to see it continue to rise in diversity and inclusivity. I would love to see maybe drag kings on the show, a bearded queen, everything. More trans representation would be great, but I’m really happy with the strides that have been made. I think there’s always room for improvement.’
Canada’s Drag Race is available to watch on WOW Presents Plus in the UK.