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Campy, Funny Drag Competition ‘Camp Wannakiki’ Is Back For 2nd Season

The show, run by the owners of Hamburger Mary's, will feature at least one Chicago drag queen (or king) this season.

The Sugarbaker twins, Cherry Pi (left) and Apple Brown Betty, host "Camp Wannakiki."
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CHICAGO — “Camp Wannakiki” is back for a second season of campy camping queens.

The competition show, which releases episodes on YouTube, pits campy and comedic drag performers against one another to see who will become the Ultimate Queen of Camp. It’s created by Ashley and Brandon Wright, owners of Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 N. Clark St.

The first season of “Camp Wannakiki” premiered last summer and featured four Chicago drag queens, including Alexis Bevels, who ultimately won the show. Its first episode has been watched more than 34,000 times and the show’s YouTube channel has 5,500 subscribers.

The Wrights brought it back “because it’s amazing and the world needs more ‘Camp Wannakiki,'” Brandon Wright joked. “The response was tremendous. … We were thrilled, especially because the campers were all from the Midwest but the reach was much further than that.”

The duo announced the second season this week. They haven’t revealed the lineup yet, but Wright said it’ll feature at least one Chicago queen. The rest of the competitors will come from all over the United States.

“We’re definitely hoping with the campers [being] from all over, that … it’s even gonna get bigger,” Wright said.

Watch the second season trailer:

The cast will be bigger this season — it’s now up to 12 drag performers — and it will have people who practice “nontraditional drag forms,” Wright said. He wouldn’t say if that meant a drag king would be in the cast this time around but noted the lineup will be revealed in the next week or two.

The show has a few other changes: It’s been bumped up from seven to nine episodes, the first of which will come out toward the end of summer, and “Camp Wannakiki” is filmed at a larger camp this time around.

And though there will be new challenges, the competitors will still perform typical camping activities, like practicing archery or paddling a canoe, while in drag during the day before getting dolled up for a themed talent show at night.

The competitors who successfully make it through those challenges will earn a badge; each episode, one queen who doesn’t succeed will have to “take a hike” and get kicked off, Wright said.

“We definitely push the campers further this year than last season,” Wright said.

The season will also feature a few guest appearances, including at least one of the queens from the show’s first season.

Fans who want to catch up on “Camp Wannakiki’s” first season can watch all the episodes and bonus clips on YouTube.

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