10 Questions with Asia O'Hara

by Steve Duffy

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday July 10, 2019

What do you need when you put contestants from "RuPaul's Drag Race" on the same stage without RuPaul?

That was the question that the producers of "The Official RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 11 Tour" faced when choosing who should host the tour, which brings cast members to 17 cities across the country. This Wednesday the tour lands in Boston at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre.

For tickets for the Boston event, follow this link. For a full list of tour dates, follow this link.

The answer was simple — why not Asia O'Hara? She was the breakout star of the show's tenth season who may not have won the competition (she finished third-runner-up), but due to her humor, humanity and wild creativity proved to be the season's crowd favorite.

The show's avid fans will likely easily recall O'Hara's famous gaffe in the competition: while appearing in the Lip Synch For the Crown competition, O'Hara had planned on unleashing live butterflies from her bra, only to see them fall to the floor dead. It was a moment that spawned a million tweets and a term — ButterflyGate — was coined.

"Although it was a devastating moment for Asia, it earned iconic status — ultimately earning a MTV Movie and TV Award nomination for 'Best Meme-Able Moment'," wrote GayTimes in an interview with O'Hara. "Everything happens for a reason," O'Hara said when asked about the event. "But in that moment it was shocking. In the grand scheme of things, I have been blessed with a marvellous career."

Fans remember O'Hara as a strong competitor with a keen fashion sense and expert lip-synching skills. Her Tweetie-Pie inspired, yellow feathered costume and avant-garde mermaid costume (with a fish mask) turned heads. And she made headlines when she had a fiery confrontation with RuPaul on the Drag Race Season 10 reunion episode that brought to the surface tensions that simmered that season.

She made such an impression that one Twitter fan suggested the next season of the show should be called Asia O'Hara's Drag Race.

The Texas-born O'Hara came to drag when she won an amateur contest in Dallas. She named herself Asia (for a close family member) and was given the last name O'Hara by her drag mother, Josephine O'Hara, and quickly made her way to the top of drag pageant world, winning numerous state titles. O'Hara was crowned Miss Gay America in the October 2016 competition in Memphis, Tennessee.

Earlier this year, Asia released her first single, "Queen of the Night," which she followed with "Crown Up," an empowerment anthem for queer people to "remember their purpose."

For now, though, O'Hara's focus is on the tour. Appearing with Asia O'Hara on the tour (in different configurations) are Yvie Oddly, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Nina West, Soju, Ariel Versace, Honey Davenport, A'Keria Chanel Davenport, Scarlet Envy, Mercedes Iman Diamond, Plastique Tiara, Ra'Jah O'Hara, Kahanna Montrese, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, and Shuga Cain. The line-up will differ from appearance to appearance. In Boston, O'Hara appears with Yvie Oddly, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Brooke Lynn Hytes, A'kiera Chanel Davenport, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, Shuga Cain, Mercedes Iman Diamond, Scarlet Envy.

"This summer I'm hitting the road with the baddest queens in the land...the land of Season 11!" said Asia O'Hara. "All bets are off and all rules are out the window as the Queens show you what they are REALLY made of! And of course, I'll be safe behind the microphone."

EDGE: A drag queen from Texas. How does that happen?

Asia O'Hara: Queens and Texas go hand and hand.

EDGE: Your drag name, Asia O'Hara, was born from?

Asia O'Hara: Well the O'Hara name is a dynasty, considered royalty in the drag world.

EDGE: How did winning Miss Gay America in 2016, prepare you for RuPaul's Drag Race?

Asia O'Hara: I think it got me ready for the 0-100 movement that life can bring on.

EDGE: You finished 4th on season 10 of RuPaul's Drag Race — tell us about that!

Asia O'Hara: I was 3rd runner up, excuse you. LOL. You know it never felt like finishing "4th" as I was there the whole time and in every episode.

EDGE: How has completing on Drag Race changed you as a person and a performer?

Asia O'Hara: I think it has helped my art grow and it has created a new era for myself as Asia & as Antwan.

EDGE: What are the best parts of being a drag queen?

Asia O'Hara: That you have established your truth and get to live a whole part of your life you thought you would have to hide.

EDGE: 16 queens all with huge personalities all on one stage. As the host of the show, how do manage them?

Asia O'Hara: You saw all the personalities I had on my season right? I know how to handle queens, except maybe Miss Oddly. I'm not sure anyone can handle her and that's what makes her so special.

EDGE: I am guessing a semi for all the luggage and make-up?

Asia O'Hara: Two semis! So close, LOL. Actually, I'm a skilled packer these days so I only need one bag, maybe two max.

EDGE: You have already released two singles, any plans to make more music?

Asia O'Hara: Stay tuned!

EDGE: What's next for Asia O'Hara?

Asia O'Hara: What isn't next for Asia O'Hara? I think people should keep their eyes peeled as I just "Crowned Up."

Asia O'Hara hosts "The Official RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 11 Tour" on Wednesday, July 10 at 8pm at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. For more information, follow this link.

Upcoming dates on the tour are 7/12 - Montreal; 7/13 - Providence; 7/14 - Toronto; 7/15 - Winnipeg; 7/17 - Philadelphia; 7/18 - Washington DC; 7/19 - Cincinnati; 7/20 - Atlanta; 7/21 - Nashville; 9/6 - New York (RuPaul's DragCon NYC weekend). For more information, follow this link.

For more about Asia O'Hara, visit her website.

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