Brooke Lynn Hytes admits Canada’s Drag Race judging shake-up was ‘jarring’

Canada’s Drag Race star Brooke Lynn Hytes has addressed Stacey McKenzie’s last-minute exit from the show.

Brooke Lynn Hytes kicked off the Canadian franchise last year, stepping into Mama Ru’s shoes to head up the judging panel with fashion model Stacey McKenzie and American Horror Story actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.

However after being subjected to racist abuse from fans on social media, Bowyer-Chapman departed from the series in March 2021. McKenzie was expected to remain on the panel with Hytes, however just before filming was due to begin in June she also left the show, citing “COVID-related challenges’.

“For Stacey, it was very last minute,” Hytes told Metro.

“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.”
Despite their departures from the show, Brooke Lynn Hytes maintained that the three are still “good friends”.

“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,” she said. “You can see the chemistry, you can see how much fun we’re having and how much we just get along easily.

“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.”
Bowyer-Chapman and McKenzie have been replaced by The Handmaid’s Tale actor Amanda Brugel, Fashion Police co-host Brad Goreski and series one guest judge Traci Melchor.

Hytes told the newspaper the new cast ‘all get along so well’ and they share a ‘magical’ chemistry.

Brooke Lynn Hytes fans will be pleased to learn that the BBC has picked up the rights to stream the new season of Canada’s Drag Race. It’s set to land on BBC iPlayer this December.