She was the Illuminati princess they tried to silence, but this bitch is still gonna talk! Currently the youngest All Stars queen evvvver, get ready to be cooped and ga ed as it’s about to go down with Aja.
Just call her the queen of the club. Back on the Drag Race stage after leading the charge on the downfall of Valentina, AJA talks her new-found confidence post-cosmetic surgery and dishes on all things All Stars 3. AJA, your smile is beautiful.
Best known as the breakout star of Untucked season nine with her infamous Valentina rant, Brooklyn queen and Harajuku-inspired babe Aja is back for All Stars 3, and this time, she’s come to slay… henny. She speaks to Gay Times about BenDeLaCreme’s unexpected slayage, Drag Race fashion ru-grets, and missing out on an Emmy… SD: Describe Aja in five words…
A: Eclectic. Weirdo. Awkward. Pretty. Stupid. SD: How important is queer solidarity in the
age of Trump?
A: Extremely important! Looking how far we’ve come already, for someone like him to come in and ruin all that… it would defy everything we’ve worked for. Right now, we need to push harder and harder, and no pun intended, to break that wall. Being yourself is also the best form of protest.
SD: What are your thoughts on renaming RuPaul’s Drag Race as BenDeLaCreme’s Drag Race?
A: It’s like in season six, when Bianca (Del Rio) walked in and everyone that said it’s Bianca’s Drag Race. I think after seeing BenDeLaCreme win so much, everyone is waiting for the ball to drop. Obviously, I can’t comment on whether that will happen or not, but… I’ll just say that BenDeLaCreme is doing extremely well, so far! SD: How much do you think you’ve grown since
season 9? A: It’s so surreal to see how different I look on camera. Me and my boyfriend were watching season nine the other day, and I’m kinda embarrassed to watch it now, but I’m also like ‘lol’. Seeing where I came from is insane. When you’re the artist, you don’t realise how much of a glow-up there is until you see it for yourself. In season nine, I thought I was gonna go the whole way, and when I look back, I’m like ‘there’s no chance!’. SD: Which runway look do you regret the most?
A: In terms of looks, all of them! My favourite runways were the ones I saved for after my elimination. If I had to, I’d remake all the runways because there was a lack of finesse. I might recreate all the looks, like I did with my Princess Disastah. I regret it all, but I don’t regret anything on All Stars 3.
SD: How does it feel to receive a RuDemption edit on All Stars 3? A: I know a lot of people think it’s a RuDemption edit, but I think they’re setting me up for the win! That’s the T. But really, this season, fans really have no idea. Everyone walked in and was terrified of Trixie, nobody thought Ben would do anything revolutionary, and it’s funny seeing where we are in the competition because everyone has reevaluated where we’re at. Some girls have been in the bottom so often, and it’s just going in so many different directions, that I can’t wait to see where it goes… Well, I know where it goes, but I can’t wait for everyone else to see!
SD: You were the breakout comedy star of season nine with your Untucked rant. How have you changed since then?
A: I think that my Snatch Game for All Stars was so much crazier and better, and there’s a lot to look forward to. Season nine wasn’t really known for comedy queens, but everyone in All Stars had a pretty big personality. I will say this… I didn’t understand my comedy in season nine until I realised that I was the comedic star of Untucked. Watching Untucked, some of the things that I do and say are of the utmost ridiculousness. Like, what was I thinking? I really think I missed out on my Emmy for the host of Untucked.
SD: What is your relationship like now with the infamous Valentina?
A: Valentina and I are very great friends. I admire her a lot and the feeling is mutual. We keep in contact, we’re both very young, influential and successful individuals who continue to set an example for the younger generation. Hopefully we stay on that positive road, because when you’re young and in the spotlight, sometimes it’s very hard to maintain a sense of reality. All we can do is stay true to ourselves, and continue to aim higher.
SD: And the show is all about learning from each other and building your profile, no? A: A lot of girls who walk through that door… their drag is messier than Nina Bo’Nina Brown. Like Shangela on her season, she was a fucking mess, and I was a fucking mess, and here we are! We have the money and the resources, but also the personality. At the end of the day, you need to sell yourself. Drag Race is not just about competing for a crown, it’s about branding yourself, and learning how to sell your product. Not everyone who does Drag Race is successful. Queens like Alaska, Willam, Shangela, Trixie, these are queens who took the Drag Race experience and monopolised their brand to solidify their spot. Especially Trixie, she went home very early in her season, came back, and she is the queen that’s probably just underneath Bianca Del Rio.
SD: And finally, what’s the one thing you’d change about queer culture today?
A: The necessity to label things. Queer culture is more about blurring lines and labels. For a community that is supposed to be blurring the lines, there’s so much emphasis on specifics. One of the best parts of queer culture is forgetting about labels, that we’re co-existing as humans, and expressing ourselves in the most unique way we can. It doesn’t matter if you’re a he or a she, a they or a them, just be you.