How is the new drag show ‘Call Me Mother’ different from ‘Drag Race’?

Competing houses, superstar mentors—plus kings, things and everyone in between

We are living in a moment of endless RuPaul: fresh off the heels of a RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars run that saw Kylie Sonique Love snatch the crown, Drag Race fans are now knee-deep in not one but two international spinoffs of the series in the second season of Canada’s Drag Race and third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. 

It’s a lot of drag to digest. Call Me Mother, which premieres tonight, is the latest entry into the crowded TV drag calendar. The show is similar to Drag Race, with a slew of talented contestants, a workroom and some jaw-dropping looks based on the promos. 

But this ain’t RuPaul’s drag race—it’s something different entirely. If Drag Race is American Idol, Call Me Mother is more akin to The Voice, with mentors and a whole new format. And it has the star billing of some high-profile Drag Race alumni, including Broadway star and Season 9 stand-out Peppermint. 

But is it worthy of adding to your weekly drag TV viewing? Here’s what you need to know about the newest drag series to hit streaming services. 

What is Call Me Mother

Call Me Mother is an eight-episode drag reality TV competition series on OutTV, premiering Oct. 25. Up-and-coming drag performers join one of three drag houses and compete to see who will be named the “First Child of Drag.” 

The three houses are led by three drag stalwarts: Peppermint is mother of the House of Dulcet; Crystal from Drag Race UK Season 1 leads the House of Glass; and drag veteran Barbada de Barbades is the head of the House of Harmonie. 

The houses compete as teams, and each week one of the drag mothers eliminates one of their own. So it’s basically The Voice but with Peppermint instead of Blake Shelton, which is a strict upgrade in my books. 

Who’s the host?

Dallas Dixon from Entertainment Tonight Canada is the host of the series. And as a fun bonus, Canada’s Drag Race host Brooke Lynne Hytes’ drag mother, Farra N. Hyte, will serve as a judge. 

Who’s the cast of Call Me Mother?

Ten performers from across Canada will compete. Why Canada? Despite the involvement of high-profile queens from the U.S. and the U.K., it’s actually a Canadian production filmed in North Bay, Ontario. So the true North strong and free it is—though there are no promises of a Shoppers sponsorship like on Drag Race Canada

 

The performers competing on Call Me Mother are: 
Calypso Cosmic (Toronto, Ontario)
Ella Lamoureux (Kelowna, British Columbia)
Felicia Bonée (Edmonton, Alberta)
HercuSleaze (Montreal, Quebec)
Kiki Coe (Ottawa, Ontario)
Narcissa Wolfe (Trois-Rivières, Quebec)
Rosie (Richmond Hill, Ontario)
Sanjina Dabish Queen (Toronto, Ontario)
Toddy (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Valerie Hunt (Calgary, Alberta).

The show is also different from Drag Race in that queens, kings, things and everyone in between will be competing, rather than the predominatly cis-male performers of Drag Race

Is this the first non-Drag Race drag reality competition show?

Not at all! Several creators have attempted to break out of the RuPaul mold, most notably the Boulet Brothers with Dragula. That show takes more of a horror twist, including not just looks challenges but also Fear Factor-esque challenges, like being buried alive in a coffin or going through a haunted house. 

Dragula was the first drag show to feature a drag king and assigned-female-at-birth (AFAB) drag performers, long before Victoria Scone made her Drag Race UK debut this season. 

The series’ fourth season just premiered on the horror streaming service Shudder. 

Where can I watch Call Me Mother?

Call Me Mother premieres Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. EDT/PT on OutTV, the OutTV Apple TV channel and the OutTV Amazon Prime Channel in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. 

Senior editor Mel Woods is an English-speaking Vancouver-based writer and audio producer and a former associate editor with HuffPost Canada. A proud prairie queer and ranch dressing expert, their work has also appeared in Vice, Slate, the Tyee, the CBC, the Globe and Mail and the Walrus.

Read More About:
TV & Film, Culture, Explainer/FAQ, Drag

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