Asia O’Hara brought Texas-sized talent and a pageant pedigree to Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and proved herself a force to be reckoned with, making it all the way to the top four.
While a butterfly mishap contributed to O’Hara’s wings being clipped in the last round of the competition, that was hardly the last we’ll see of Asia O’Hara.
Hornet sat down to chat with Asia O’Hara about what made her most proud this season, her brand-new single, “Queen for Tonight” and that infamous onstage butterfly incident.
HORNET: Asia O’Hara, you had a stellar run on Drag Race this year, and from a Tweetie Bird-esque moment to a full-on sea monster mask, you had some of the most creative looks.
ASIA O’HARA: I love trying new things and being versatile with my drag. Many times things I do are me recreating things that I have seen other people do. I definitely do try to keep an open mind, and I approach everything in my life with an open mind. That is definitely one of the most interesting things to me about drag.
We read your heartfelt statement last night after the finale, and your lip sync — complete with live butterflies — is going to go down in history as one of the most talked-about performances to ever hit the runway. The live butterflies weren’t cooperating, but what were they supposed to do?
Well, they were supposed to fly. Anytime you work with anything temperamental and live like that, there are many factors that go into it. It just did not go as planned for me. It’s like taking a group of kindergarten kids to the zoo — it could go a hundred ways. They may be terrified, they may run amok or they may lay down and take a nap. It’s kind of hard to plan things like that, but I did my best.
When the butterfly reveal didn’t execute as you had planned, what was your immediate feeling?
Definitely a feeling of disappointment. I was embarrassed. I am an entertainer, though. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten onstage and a mishap transpired. I mean, Janet Jackson’s entire breast popped out in front of the entire world. I had to push through it and remember that my entire career and being will not be defined by this moment.
Well, there’s always a silver lining. If Vanessa Vanjie Mateo started the season as a meme queen with #MissVanjie, you can end it as a meme queen with butterfly memes popping up all over the internet.
I know! I haven’t gotten to see that many of them, but my boyfriend has sent me a few. I had an early flight back to Dallas this morning, but I know they’re there. [Laughs]
Do you think you’d go back to do RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars? You’re one of the names on everyone’s lips for an All Stars season now.
I’m definitely not opposed to it, but I’m also not gung-ho about competing right now for it. It would all depend on when I got an invitation, and then I would take it from there — depending on when, where and what’s going on in my life at the moment.
Texas drag is known for some insanely talented queens. Who do you think would hit the werqroom and really turn the party?
There’s a queen I work with named Jenna Sky, and I know she has auditioned for the show several times. She’s an extremely intelligent and well-spoken person, and she’s very creative and driven to be both competitive and successful. I think her super-creative mind and being super-competitive would be a force to be reckoned with.
You just released the track “Queen for Tonight.” Is making your own music something you’ve always wanted to do?
Not exactly. I have always wanted to entertain and create art. It’s the same with drag — that was not something I always wanted to do either. When I was leaving one part of performing I found that I could find a different way to connect with people and do things that I love.
What from your season on RuPaul’s Drag Race is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment wasn’t something during the competition but just people’s perception. In Texas we have people who have been in the drag world and in entertainment, and people who are truly pillars in the LGBT community for decades. I’m lucky enough to work in an establishment that has been around since 1978, so there are many people around who have been around a long time.
My proudest moments during the season were when I would get emails or texts from people that I really look up to and admire, telling me they are proud of me or that they see real value in what I do. That has been the proudest moment for me.
I feel like many people who know me still see that little girl who came out on the scene and started winning pageants. For people to start seeing me for more than that — people I really look up to and whose opinions really matter to me — that is my proudest moment.