SPOILERS AHEAD FOR CANADA’S DRAG RACE
RuPaul’s Drag Race has finally ventured north in search of Canada’s next drag superstar on the inaugural season of Canada’s Drag Race. The premiere episode introduced us to the judges’ panel—Drag Race Season 11 queen Brooke Lynn Hytes, Canadian cutie Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and fashion icon Stacey McKenzie Bowyer—as well the 12 contestants who would be competing to snatch the crown.
After Juice Boxx sashayed away on the premiere, there were 11 queens left trying to snatch the Canadian crown. In the second episode, the girls were tasked with recreating Heritage Moments, a series of short films celebrating Canada’s history. After receiving critiques for her first time in drag runway glow-up, Kyne faced off against Tynomi Banks in the lip-sync for your life. Kyne was eventually sent packing, but she definitely made some impressions during her short time on the show.
Kyne spoke with NewNowNext about her confrontation with Brooke Lynn Hytes in the workroom, getting the “villain edit,” and how her math TikToks have taken on a life of their own.
So, what was it like when you got the call to be on the show?
It was crazy. I was over the moon, jumping off the walls. It was my dream.
And did you know a lot of the other girls on the show?
I did. I’ve worked with Priyanka before, Juice Boxx, BOA, and Ilona Verley. It was good to see some familiar faces.
Yeah. It seems like BOA has a reputation.
Well, I’m not from Toronto, so I wouldn’t be able to speak to that. But…[laughs]
What was your reaction to the first episode? Because I saw online, you were like, “Am I the villain?”
Yes. To tell you the truth. I came out of that, thinking that the big embarrassment and the big shock would be that Kyne was in the bottom for a sewing challenge because I put so much pressure on myself to excel in sewing. I feel like lots of people were expecting me to succeed in that. And I mean, you saw how confident I was going into it. So I felt that the big reaction was going to be one of embarrassment over failing the challenge, but turned out to be even worse.
And in the second episode you had that confrontation with Brooke Lynn in the workroom…
Listen. I was being roasted in front of everyone. “You’re in the bottom. And you were really shitty and that challenge and really overconfident, what do you have to say for yourself?” And I was, “Okay. Point taken. I’ve been knocked down a peg. I understand. Won’t happen again.” And this is just my sense of humor. It’s very dry, sarcastic. And I dropped that line to loosen the tension. Obviously she did not apologize to me. Obviously I wasn’t waiting for her to apologize. I guess I just being a bit too cheeky.
And, did you and Brooke Lynn make amends or did she just walk off?
Well, she certainly didn’t forgive me.
— Kyne (@onlinekyne) July 9, 2020
Can you explain to us ignorant Americans, what these Heritage Moments are?
Well, they’re like these little, I guess skits, I would call them, that tell the story of part of Canada’s history. So I remember growing up, watching them, they all tell a little piece of the story from the perspective of, in our case it was the suffragettes. And so it’s these little tidbits of Canadian history, just enveloped in these cute little packages, which I definitely remember growing up.
And then with the glow up runway challenge, were you surprised by the judge’s reaction, how they actually preferred your original first night out to your glow up runway?
You could say that. I’m not going to go up on their own stage and disparage my own look and what I’m wearing. I’m always going to like what I’m wearing. I mean, I’m a drag queen, come on.
And, did I hear right, in the episode that you said you first started doing drag three years ago?
Yeah, it’s a bit of a blurry line because I really evolved into it from being a little makeup gay to being, who I am today. I didn’t really have a first time in drag, but that was one of my first nights out that I was wearing a wig. But it wasn’t my first time doing drag makeup. It wasn’t my first time being artistic. So, as RuPaul said you’re born naked and the rest is Drag.
I had no idea you were such a Youtuber. Some of your wigs videos have huge numbers. How did you start doing YouTube?
Well, that started when I was in high school, I was just looking for a hobby and I fell into YouTube and I was doing makeups tutorials and blogs. And that’s how I started getting into drag because I started experimenting with makeup and technically finding it interesting and to feel how I could play with colors and lines and shapes. And I was very interested in the artistry of it all. I then started to wear more and more makeup and experiment with maybe some costumes and some headpieces. It gave me an excuse to make YouTube videos and making YouTube videos gave me an excuse to play with makeup. And it just evolved into doing drag as I started making tutorials because nobody was teaching me how to do it. And other people weren’t really eager to share their secrets. And I had to learn everything, my own. Do some little bits from other tutorials. And so I started making those videos to just help out other artists who were in my position.
Is there a topic that you’re looking to tackle in an upcoming YouTube video?
I’d love to do more math videos on YouTube. I’ve been doing the 60-second ones on Tiktok and those have been going over really well. I’d love to do a longer one and just talk as much that I like.
Where did those math TikToks come from? Because I was watching it and it was like you were speaking another language…
Underneath the drag, I am a math student at university. And, I’m just such a big math nerd. My brain is very analytical. I’m always crunching numbers. And I’m very passionate about helping other people see math or the beauty and the elegance that it is. It’s not just this boring, frustrating thing that you’re forced to do in school. It’s something that can be quite poignant. And yeah, I was so surprised by the reaction because I never thought that drag and math really go together. But I guess drag is the thing that draws people in. Once they’ve clicked on the video, then I teach them the math, when they’re least expecting it.
And have you heard from people being like, “Wow, you really helped me understand that.”
Oh yes. And that’s been a great reaction. People say that I’m better than their teachers. People say that it’s pumped them to like math more and be more curious about it and want to research on their own, which is the best reaction.
So going back to Drag Race, first off the lip sync to “If You Could Read My Mind,” one of my all-time favorite songs…
What was it like performing to that song? And then afterwards, you said that you knew it was your time and you knew you were going home. How did you know?
I felt that in the air, right when they started ripping on my look, I felt, “Okay, if they don’t like me this week, and then they really will never like me and this is not the competition for me. I clearly am not the queen that I think I am.” I just really felt like the competition was taking a toll on me. I really felt like I had embarrassed myself for two weeks in a row and I didn’t want to do it a third week. And so I knew it was my time. I could tell that Tynomi still had lots of fire left in her, that I didn’t have. Doing the lip sync, I felt like I was doing my goodbye message.
me leaving the club: pic.twitter.com/d6Zz1sGosJ
— lemon (@thatbitchlemon) July 11, 2020
Who are some of your favorite queens from Drag Race?
Oh, Bob the Drag Queen, Monét X Change, Shannel from Season 1. Those are the few that come to mind.
Is there a Canadian celebrity that you would have loved to see on Canada’s Drag Race?
Oh my God. Well, I have to give the obvious answer, which is Celine Dion, but Celine Dion is my number one celebrity of all time. I think if she went on an episode that I had been eliminated for, I would have to break back into the studio.
What’s coming up next for you? What do you have planned?
Ooh, I don’t know. I’d love to be on the American show someday. And maybe I can fight with RuPaul and Michelle. Joke. That’s a joke. People can find me on YouTube. People are going to find me on TikTok teaching math, wigs, anything, and everything.
If there’s someone who wants to understand math better, is there one piece of advice that you can give them?
I would tell you that math is not about memorization. If you’re having trouble memorizing the formulas, what you need to do is understand where the formulas come from. Nothing in math is taken for granted. Everything has a logical explanation from point A to point B. And you just have to trace it back until you reach the point where you have a hard time understanding and you just take it one step at a time. And that whole chain of understanding will all fall into place.
Canada’s Drag Race is available on WOW Presents Plus and premieres Monday, July 27 at 8pm ET on Logo.