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Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman Won’t Be Returning As A Judge On “Canada’s Drag Race”

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Because everything RuPaul touches turns into a multi-series franchise, Canada’s Drag Race, the lower-budget but highly entertaining northern equivalent of RuPaul’s Drag Race, will be back for a second season. If they’re bringing back elements of the inaugural season, I hope to once again see plenty of plaid and fighting in a range of accents (west coast, francophone, Durham Region). But one element that won’t be returning for Season 2 of Canada’s Drag Race is Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. I guess you could call Jeffrey the Merle Ginsberg of Canada’s Drag Race because he’s a one-and-done kind of judge.

Yesterday, Canada’s Drag Race’s official Instagram account posted a video of previous Season 1 judges Brooke Lynn Hytes (who looks like Jessica Rabbit after she divorced Roger and rebounded with Chester Cheetah) and Canadian catwalk legend Stacey McKenzie, having a chat and talking about the upcoming second season. Around the 2:05 mark below, Brooke Lynn Hytes announces that there’s a reason there are only two previous judges present for their little kiki, and that’s because Jeffrey isn’t coming back.

“Unfortunately, our third will not be joining us this season. He’s filming his new show. He’s busy, he’s booked, and he’s getting paid. Unfortunately, with scheduling, things just didn’t work out for him to come back this season. He’s going to be so missed. We love you so much Jeffrey.”

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A post shared by Canada’s Drag Race (@canadasdragrace)

Jeffrey landed a recurring role on the gender-flipped Doogie Howser M.D. reboot for Disney+, Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.. Filming started late last year. Casting for S2 of Canada’s Drag Race began in January of this year, so there’s a clear overlap in the timing and the scheduling.

I’m sure there are plenty of conspiracy theories popping up about why Jeffrey isn’t coming back. Jeffrey didn’t have the warmest reception with fans online, as Queerty points out. This might kill the stereotype that Canadians are all nice. Because Jeffrey, a Canadian person, was accused of bullying contestants or giving unhelpful critique. Then after the episodes would air, the fans (many of which were Canadian) were accused of bullying Jeffrey for having no knowledge of the art of drag. Eventually, the hate got so bad, Jeffrey had to delete his Twitter account. Jeffrey’s still on Instagram, where he addressed the situation of his absence from the upcoming season of Drag Race:

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A post shared by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (@jeffreybchapman)

But who will replace Jeffrey as a judge? Canada is small, we’re kind of running out of options. Can they afford Marco from Degrassi: The Next Generation? Maybe they should see if Diamond, the thotty lady Blue Jays mascot, is available? I guess if they get desperate, Drag Race producers can always call in the judge who they know will fill in at a moment’s notice. But I wonder if MICKAYYY! has a valid passport? And I really hope he’s not afraid of the long flight from London to Toronto. Think about how uncomfortable he’d be with limited legroom in coach. After all, he doesn’t have bendable knees.

Pic: Crave

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