“Drag Race” Winner Aquaria: “If Not for Me, Asia Deserved the Crown”

The Season 10 champ talks personal strengths, plans for the future, and of course, Asia O'Hara's #ButterflyGate.

The winner of last night’s finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, Aquaria, is a young, feisty creature who had already sparked up the New York night scene with her talent and style. NewNowNext caught up with Aquaria not long after her dazzling crowning, and she paused to catch a breath, and share some thoughts.

Hi, Aquaria! How does it feel the be the youngest Drag Race winner ever?

Tyra and Violet were also in the young group when they won, but to be a representative of the youth and the young, up-and-coming scene in New York City, it feels great. It’s so nice that I was able to compete with all of these incredible drag performers who’ve been doing this for many years, probably longer than me, and I’m very honored to have had the opportunity and to make the most of it.

What do you feel are your strongest qualities as a performer?

I like to keep things exciting and I like to be very captivating. I like to draw a crowd in and keep you for whatever reason, whether it’s my dance moves or how I emote or the music I’m performing. I want to engage all the time and keep all your eyes on me and all your senses.

Are you proudly superficial?

In what sense?

You like to be photographed and be fabulous.

I think as a drag queen and performer, that’s ideal. I’m very interested in arts, and my drag is my art as it’s presented in photos and whatnot. I suppose yes, but I don’t think any of that is necessarily superficial but more of a personal expression of my creativity.

How will winning this title help you in the world?

It gives me a really strong foot to start running with. I have so many different possible things I can do with my life, and for me, drag isn’t just about lip-syncing onstage, despite how much I love to do that. It’s about doing anything in drag, whether it’s about being involved in fashion, which I have been doing recently and doing that in drag. I’m also very interested in starting to make music, and I have a new single, “Burn Rubber.” It’s another example of how to keep this ball running and do as may things as possible. Why the fuck not? Let’s keep us entertained.

Speaking of which: What did you think of Asia O’Hara’s butterfly routine?

Had anyone deserved the crown, it would have been Asia, had it not been me. It was really unfortunate because she practiced many times with the butterflies and was very professional as far as the rehearsing of that went. To have something not work out in front of an audience is very upsetting as a performer, but to have something so dramatic not work out, it’s sad, but she has the biggest heart in the world and she means well with everything she does. I hope people are very understanding of this choice and they see the beauty and love she was trying to express.

Michael Musto is the long running, award-winning entertainment journalist and TV commentator.