Canada’s Drag Race star wants a ‘rematch’ as Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman lifts lid on shady judging
Canada’s Drag Race star Ilona Verley has claimed that ‘judging was f****d’ during series one after former judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman opened up about his exit.
The first season of Canada’s Drag Race launched last year with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Brooke Lynn Hytes, model Stacey McKenzie and Bowyer-Chapman at the helm of the judging panel. After the show finished, producers announced that McKenzie and Bowyer-Chapman wouldn’t be returning for another season.
The UnREAL actor opened up to the Hollywood Reporters that judges wore earpieces for producers to feed them prompts during judging. He recalled how producers would make them “come up with something negative” even if “we didn’t have anything negative to say” to the queens.
The actor claimed one showrunner even handed him a list of pre-written negative critiques for him to deliver to contestants. He said he “very naively” thought producers were doing this because there was “endless footage of me connecting with the queens and being loving and king and guiding them”. But after the first show aired, he was shocked to see how he was portrayed.
“I remember watching the first episode on the couch with my partner,” Bowyer-Chapman recalled. “And by the time the credits rolled, just feeling this pit in my stomach.”
Ilona Verley, who came in sixth on series one, said that Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman’s explosive interview was proof of how “f****d” judging was on season one.
“Y’all, finally evidence the judging on our season was F****D,” Verley wrote on Twitter.
In a later tweet, she shared that she was “proud” of Bowyer-Chapman for “speaking truth and telling it like it is”.
They also called on their followers to retweet if they wanted to see a “rematch” between the season one queens which they dubbed “Canada’s Drag Race Season 1.5”.
Proud of JBC for speaking truth and telling it like it is… RT of you want Canada’s Drag Race Season 1.5: a Season 1 rematch
— Ilona Verley (@IlonaVerley) September 16, 2021
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Ilona has previously criticised the Canadian drag competition online, claiming she was told not to discuss her trans identity on the series.
They said they “sacrificed everything” to appear on the high-profile show which they thought was “gonna change my life”. But instead of support, Ilona said producers said they shouldn’t talk about their trans identity or the “trans agenda” on the show.
“Oh ya they also instructed me not to discuss my trans identity on the show and even after they instructed me not to discuss the trans agenda because they were saving that story line for the American franchise,” she wrote.
In his interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman also opened up about the negative experience he had working on Canada’s Drag Race and the “shocking” amount of racist bullying he encountered from viewers.
He cited multiple instances that made him uncomfortable on the show including being called “man-candy” who was “there for the queens to drool over” by a “white, gay, male showrunner”. The actor added he was called racist slurs and suffered death threats online over his participation on the show.