Canada’s Drag Race announces new judges after Stacey McKenzie and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman sashay away

RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 alum, Brooke Lynn Hytes. (Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

Canada’s Drag Race has announced three new judges after both Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Stacey McKenzie stepped down.

Bowyer-Chapman was forced to bow out of the show in March while McKenzie’s departure was unexpectedly announced Monday (28 June). She left due to “COVID-related challenges”.

On Tuesday evening (29 June), the show revealed their replacements: stylist Brad Goreski and The Handmaid’s Tale star Amanda Brugel, as well as Traci Melchor, who was the resident “Squirrel Friend” on season one and has now been promoted to the judging panel.

The trio will join RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 runner-up Brooke Lynn Hytes, who will remain on the panel.

Both Goreski and Brugel previously appeared on the show as guest judges.

“The secret’s out!” said Canada’s Drag Race showrunner Trevor Boris.

“We are so excited about our judging panel this season.

“They make a fabulous team, and the fans are going to love what each brings to the table.

“Brooke Lynn Hytes is drag royalty and brings so much experience from season one, while Brad is a style icon, who is as funny as he is fashionable.

“We’re also thrilled that Amanda and Traci are joining the team. Amanda was such a hit on the panel last season and is of course an award-winning actress who will share her talents with our queens.

“And Traci is a legend of the Canadian entertainment industry and a huge supporter of Canada’s 2SLGBTQ+ and drag communities.”

Brugel said she is “honoured” to be joining the show.

“Now that the world has been introduced to the exceptional talent of our northern queens, I feel so fortunate to be able to champion the next class of drag royalty!”

Mega-fan Goreski said he is “thrilled” to be joining Canada’s Drag Race.

“The drag in Canada is incredible,” he said, “so I can’t wait to see the amazing looks and artistry that the season two queens are going to bring to the runway.”