TORONTO — Drag queen performer Brooke Lynn Hytes is filling some tall shoes as the first Canadian competitor to be featured on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
The popular reality TV series revealed the lineup of 15 contestants for its 11th season in a live YouTube announcement.
Hytes is the drag queen persona of Etobicoke, Ont.-raised performer Brock Hayhoe, who began as a ballet student before gravitating to drag at Toronto bars and nightclubs.
Canadian fans of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” have long griped that a homegrown performer hadn’t appeared on the series, despite a vibrant array of acts to choose from across the country. Part of the challenge was getting a visa to work in the United States.
“I’ve been watching the show since the very beginning and it’s something I never thought I’d be able to do because I’m Canadian,” Hayhoe said in the unveiling on YouTube.
“I have to be legal to work here, and I made it happen. I make stuff happen, what can I say?”
The winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” takes home a prize of US$100,000 and sets forth on a whirlwind of global appearances at various events that firmly establishes their name in the drag community.
Hayhoe studied at the National Ballet School in Toronto before heading stateside to pursue a drag performance career in New York.
In the years that followed he bounced between Canada and the U.S., eventually landing in Nashville after he won the 2014 Miss Continental pageant with a ballet performance of Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U.”
Hayhoe also dances with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male drag ballet company.
The premiere date of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 11 on OutTV will be announced soon.