It was a fight to the bitter end for Asia O'Hara as a stunt gone awry knocked the drag queen out of the running for the crown of the tenth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Had it not been for a small swarm of ill-performing butterflies, O'Hara could have easily found herself in a lip sync showdown against the newly-crowned Aquaria.
Though she fell just shy of glory, the Texan drag queen was a favorite among fans of the show and her fellow competitors. With an actual real life pageant personality full of smiles and optimism, it's not hard to see why.
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OUT: After everything that happened how would you rate your overall Drag Race experience?
Asia O'Hara: Definitely a 10. The experience had its ups and downs but I've experienced and am currently experiencing things that I would never have encountered in my day-to-day life had it not been for the show, so I definitely contribute a lot of growth and positivity to that.
What was it like spending all that time away from the show after taping finished and then coming back to do the reunion and the finale?
You're kind of on pins and needles for a while. Unlike the other contestants who weren't fortunate enough to make it into the top four, you're still in competition mode. You're kind of on pause. It's nerve-racking and you still need to keep your head in the game and stay focused.
Tell me a bit about when you stood up for The Vixen after she walked out of the reunion - had the two of you talked at all about everything that happened between her and Eureka on the show?
We hadn't discussed anything about how she was feeling or what she was thinking or anything like that. We've talked and performed together and been together several times since filming, but our conversations have always been lighthearted and in the moment. I wasn't really abreast of her thought process regarding what had happened on the show.
What were some of your favorite moments from the season as far as runway looks and challenges?
I have so many favorite runways but one of my standouts is Blaire's Hats Incredible look, because that's something I would wear on a day-to-day basis if I could. And my favorite challenge was probably the PharmaRusical from episode two. We all got to work together and it was a real teambuilding experience. That's where I felt like I really got to know most of the girls and the girls on my team. That, and being a team captain and being able to showcase my leadership abilities was great.
And what about looking forward to All Stars? Is that something you're interested in?
I'm not certain. I'm trying to think of that in an organic way. If they call me today my answer might be different than it would be a week for a month from now. I'm not opposed, but I'm definitely not 'Game on, let's go.' It just depends on when and if I ever get a call and where my life is at that point.
Tell me a bit about these looks you've been doing over the last couple of weeks with your face fully covered - what's the message behind those?
There comes a time in the competition when certain non-majority queens start to fade or disappear from the fandom, and those were physical representations of how I felt I was being perceived at that moment in time by the fans of the show.
And tell me about the butterflies during the finale lip sync - I saw your Instagram post earlier this morning about it - what were you hoping those butterflies would signify if everything had gone according to plan?
I was hoping that it would just be a wow moment for everybody. I kept thinking about that image that's burned into our minds from when Roxxxy Andrews did her wig reveal and you see RuPaul look over to Michelle and say 'Wow.' I was really trying to create a moment that was as impactful as that and that's what I wanted it to be - a way to get Ru to say 'Wow' after 10 seasons and three All Stars of girls. It would have symbolized the fact that drag is still growing and the bar is being raised and set and achieved every year.
And what's next for Asia O'Hara?
Of course I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next couple of months, but I'm looking forward to getting back to creating things from scratch. That is something that I love about drag, but with the competition everything that I've created in the last year has been for a very specific purpose, so I'm looking forward to getting back and writing my own story and creating my own art again. Whether it's visual, or costuming, or fashion, or music - I'm just looking forward to creating more.
This interview has been edited and condensed.