Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Brings out the Best in Asia O'Hara -- Butterflies Notwithstanding

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Brings out the Best in Asia O'Hara -- Butterflies Notwithstanding

Article excerpt

Fans of "RuPaul's Drag Race" watch as burgeoning performers put their best foot forward in a number of weekly challenges, including comedy routines, musical numbers, skits and runway displays.

But on the "RuPaul's Drag Race: Werq the World" tour, coming Friday to the Pageant, the entertainers will perform minus the pressures of competition, editing and backstage drama.

"Fans get to see the girls they love doing the thing they love most: You'll get to see us in our natural element doing what we do," says Asia O'Hara (who goes by Antwan Mason Lee when not in drag). She placed fourth on Season 10 of "RuPaul's Drag Race."

Of her set, O'Hara's says, "I don't want to give away too many details, but it does involve butterflies."

That's especially significant for "Drag Race" viewers who saw O'Hara's talent flop in the season finale. The routine was to feature live butterflies, but O'Hara's fluttering friends failed to cooperate.

It became one of the most memorable moments on the series.

"There were technical difficulties after technical difficulties," she says. "What I attempted was 100 percent humane with a company that specializes in butterfly releases. Technically I didn't prepare for it the way something like that had to be prepared."

The butterfly bit on tour is more successful, she promises.

O'Hara, who is from Dallas, auditioned for VH1's "Drag Race" after having been a fan for several seasons. At the time, she was having success in pageantry, winning the title of Miss Gay America in 2016, and was working at a prestigious show bar. Some of her popular illusions have included Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson and Shirley Bassey.

She has also done some Aretha Franklin over the years and plans to incorporate the Queen of Soul into her routine on tour. O'Hara has performed songs such as "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "A Rose Is Still a Rose" and "I Say A Little Prayer. …

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