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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex native to compete in inaugural Canada’s Drag Race

by Sylene Argent

Photos of Juice Boxx provided by Bell Media.

Essex native, Jo Primeau’s drag race persona, Juice Boxx, will be one of 12 competitors from across the nation vying to win the first season of Canada’s Drag Race, a 10-episode competition that will premier on Crave on July 2. New episodes will be viewable on Thursday nights.

  The competitors will contend for the $100,000 grand prize in the show’s inaugural appearance in Canada, which is an adaption of RuPaul’S Drag Race. The panel of expert judges for the show are Brooke Lynn Hytes, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and Stacey McKenzie. - RuPaul serves as Executive Producer.

  Primeau said he is a big fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and when he heard a Canadian version of the show was going to be created, “I jumped on it immediately.”

  To audition to make the top 12 list, Primeau, as Juice Boxx said, she, “Just had to show them how wonderful, and beautiful, and sparkly I am.”

  Juice Boxx, Primeau said, is “fun, flirty, adorable, and talks like a trucker.” She also loves wearing rhinestones.

  When Primeau got the word that Juice Boxx was accepted as a competitor on the show, “I thought it was fake. I kept asking them if it was a prank show. I thought this was just some big, elaborate prank and that Ashton Kutcher was going to come out and be like, ‘psych.’”

  To make the cast is incredible, Primeau said, because it elevates careers to a global audience. “A lot of the girls who end up getting on the show, they travel the entire world, they get massive fan bases, their career elevates.”

  In regards to being involved with the filming of the show, Primeau said, “It was great, it was incredible. It was a super fun experience. It was definitely different than what you would expect it to be, but it was cool and it was definitely something that I can put down in my life as something I got to do.”

  Primeau summed up the show. “It’s drama, its funny, its creative. You get to see a piece of the gay community become something bigger than just a dingy bar in a city that tourists go to or no body really goes to because it’s the gay bar. It’s just this elevated, beautiful, wonderful platform.”   

  “Watch it,” Primeau said, “mostly because I’m fun and I’m stunning.”

  Primeau always enjoyed creating beauty. Back in high school, he was interested in theatre and got into playing with makeup. He later attended the University of Windsor to pursue a degree in fine arts, then attended CMU in Toronto, which is private school that offers an eight-month program in fashion makeup, prosthetic design, and how to design creature creation.

  Primeau did worked in film and TV as a makeup artist for around three years, but left the industry to work at MAC Cosmetics in Toronto as an artist. He remained at MAC Cosmetics until he decided to do drag full time as Juice Boxx a few years back.

  Originally, Primeau did not see himself getting into drag. Several years ago, Primeau and a group of friends decided they were going to enter the annual Crews & Tangos Drag Race competition in Toronto, which took place every Sunday night over an eight-week duration. That first year, he placed fourth as Juice Boxx, which is what introduced the artist to drag. He said he was friends with a lot of drag queens and was helping them at the time to get ready for their performances as a makeup artist.

  He was hesitant to perform himself. “But I did it,” and Juice Boxx has found success in the industry since making that decision, which has grown into a full-time gig.

  Primeau is excited for everyone to watch the show on the Crave app on July 2.  

  Juice Boxx can be followed on Instagram @Juiceboxxofficial. Primeau encourages everyone to follow all cast members, “because they are all so incredible.”

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