BOA Spills the Tea on Her Snatch Game Regrets

"It wasn't the right choice."


From the moment BOA walked in the Canada’s Drag Race workroom we knew she wasn’t like “udder queens.”

BOA—which stands for “Bitch on Arrival”—is a Toronto-based queen who definitely had a reputation before she set foot on the competition series. Though she may have a tough exterior and suffers no fools, BOA proved she was a great team player and has a softer side, which she showed in emotional scenes like when she revealed she was attacked by a man she brought home after a night out.

Even though she never won a maxi challenge, BOA proved herself to be tough competition, especially on the runway where she served everything from potatoes to mighty merkins and giant angel wings covered in denim. BOA called up NewNowNext and spoke about her malfunctioning fashion, if she’s ever seen a UFO, and if she has regrets about her Snatch Game character.

So I’ve been talking to the eliminated girls every week, and I ask them who they were most surprised to see when they walked in the workroom, and I think almost all of them said you. Why do you think that is?

Because I listened to the rules, and I didn’t tell anyone that I got on. [laughs]

Because they were like, “Yeah, it just didn’t seem like BOA’s thing to go on Drag Race.”

Well, I mean I applied. It was announced, and I felt just obligated to apply.

Did you know a lot of the girls?

Yeah. I knew all the Toronto girls.

Where did your cow and UFO entrance look come from?

So last year, Missy Elliot performed at the VMAs. And she did “Pass That Dutch,” dressed as a scarecrow, and then one of her dancers got sucked up by a UFO. And it was so amazing. It was such a great performance, I was thought it would be so cool to do a look that’s like inspired by farms and UFOs because you see that in pop culture a lot. So then I was brainstorming with my friend, Eve. She was like, “How funny would it be if you were a cow that got sucked up in the UFO?”

Have you ever seen a UFO?

No, but I wore one on my head.

Close enough.

Do you want to hear a funny story about that actually? So I, at the time cow print was so hard to get, it was so difficult. I went to every store in Toronto to find cow print, let alone stretch cow print because I’m a big girl. I need four-way stretch. So then it would fit me properly. I could not find it anywhere. So so I went to a costume shop and I bought a cow costume, and then we took it apart and created the outfit out of that.

I think the other girls were intimidated by you, or think you have this rough exterior, but I thought you were a really great team player and we saw your soft side come out…

Yeah. I’m me, and I think I’m a big softy… I don’t know. I’ve never been mean spirited, or try to be hurtful. I wasn’t raised that way, and my mom always said, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” And I think I’m pretty kind. I like to think that I’m a kind person. I’m welcoming. Sorry, what was the question?

No, you definitely came off that way on the show. When you told the story about being attacked by the guy who you brought home, what made you tell that story?

I think because we were talking about actually our [bachelorette party] maxi challenge. I think because of that we talked about safety because as drag entertainers people like to grab us and everything. And so the topic of safety came up and then I thought it was a good time to kind talk about what happened to me. I was public about it, and I had a lot of support, and it can happen to anybody. So please if somebody’s going through this then you’re not alone, you know?

No, it definitely was a really touching moment. And I wanted to ask about Snatch Game. Did you get any blowback online for doing Gypsy Rose Blanchard?

Yes, I did. And it wasn’t the right choice, I should have stuck with Cyndi Lauper because I do a great Cyndi Lauper. And I had a weird feeling that it might have been a bit problematic, I wasn’t sure. Because the thing is, I like to take a lot of risks and look at my hair runway, like hairy pussy. I’m always trying to do things out of the box and differently to differentiate myself from the other girls. I knew it was a risk, and unfortunately, not all risks pay off. And I think some feelings were hurt, and I think some fans in general, were a bit upset. And I took credibility, and I made a public apology. And all I can do is learn from that, and educate myself, and hopefully, others will be educated by seeing that, and will maybe look further into that.

Did you feel that while you were doing Snatch Game? Is that why you didn’t go bigger?

I knew she was such a touchy character because I was obsessed with her. I saw the documentary, and I was like, oh my God, this is so crazy. So, I knew she was a touchy character, and I guess I just wasn’t sensitive enough and I didn’t think with my heart about it, I just kind of thought what can be most shocking. So, that’s why I held back because I was nervous if I went too far with it where’s the fine line, right?

Yeah. And so the Canadian tuxedo runway look, those wings, how did you pack those for the competition? They were huge.

Those wings, okay so those wings were actually … so you know in Season 6 where Courtney Act had those wings that shot out? Those were supposed to do that, and we built the skeleton of the wings, all the mechanics and everything. And they worked perfectly at home, they folded up, they kind of feathered out. And yeah, so I packed them in my bag with other things, and just tried to do it really smartly, but I don’t know what happened. I think something got shifted on the gears, so I actually was unable to go out with them closed, I had to go out with them open.

Oh, I thought it still looked great.

Thank you, I appreciate that. Can you tell Brooke Lynn Hytes? [laughs] I’m just joking.

When you said Lemon should go home, and then you all went back to the workroom and there was some tension between you and Lemon. Have you two made amends since then?

Yes, absolutely. Like with Drag Race, it’s such a pressure cooker. We’re episode six, we’re six weeks in the competition. So, I think I was just at my wit’s end, and I was tired, I missed my partner, I was hungry, and you know what I mean? It was just a lot. And with the workroom, a lot of us are new faces to each other. And all of the other girls talk like every day, I have a great relationship with Lemon. We talk all the time, I love her, I have her merch, I wear her merch. And yeah, the thing is everything that’s done is done. We’re all past it, we’re all laughing about it. No one will have the experience of doing the first season of Canada’s Drag Race other than the 12 of us. So, we’re all pretty tight-knit, and we’re all like a family. We all have each other’s backs, we all love each other.

When I’ve talked to some of the other eliminated girls, they said that they knew that they were going to be in the bottom, or they’re going to be lip-syncing before it was called. Were you surprised that you were in the bottom two?

No, because of my track record, because I started strong and then I kind of held myself back, and I got in my head. So looking around the room looking at everyone’s videos, I felt like I was the weakest link on the stage, and I wasn’t surprised that it was my time to lip-sync. I just wish it was more of an upbeat song, to be honest. I do high kicks, I do flips, and I do cartwheels. So if I were lip-synching to “Girlfriend” or something, I could have slayed to that. But it’s very different doing such an emotional soulful song.

It looked like a hard song to lip sync to.

It was really hard.

And then, it might just be the editing of the episode, but in the episode, it keeps showing you like pointing to Ilona [Verley], and she’s like not even looking at you. Was that how it was on stage, you kept trying to play to her, and serve to her, and she wasn’t even looking at you.

Yeah, it was weird because the judges were staring right at Ilona. And I’m like, “Okay hello, you motherfuckers, really?”

What song would you have wanted to lip-sync to?

Anything but that song.

After Drag Race, did you take a break from drag? Or did you get back out there right away?

After Drag Race I had a really hard time coming back. Drag Race was hands down the most stressful thing I’ve ever gone through in my entire life. For the better though, obviously. Like we’re all growing as humans, we’re all growing as people. And I think it’s just been a very crazy year for me with my sobriety and everything too. That I think I cracked under the pressure, and I needed to take time for myself. So, I was still doing drag regularly, but I quit my day job. And I was focusing on my mental health. Trying to get better, because I was having anxiety attacks every day, I was crying every day, laying in bed every day, just really having a hard time. And I also put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best I can be. Because when you do Drag Race, you’re at another level now, like you have to really step your game up. Because if you don’t then you can fizzle out, you can not be taken seriously. And you don’t want to be that girl, you know? So, I really put a lot of pressure on myself. But I thankfully I took a step back in the right direction, and I still have been growing, and doing my strides at my own pace.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."