Drag Race winner Raja spoke to GAY TIMES about her run on the franchise’s first season made up entirely of winners, All Stars 7.
The legendary season saw eight former winners return to battle it out for the Queen of All Queens title, which was eventually won by season five victor Jinkx Monsoon.
After winning two challenges and receiving special mentions from the judges after each critique in almost every episode, Raja was declared the Queen of She Done Already Done Had Herses following a fierce lip-sync tournament.
The fact that no one went home on the season took a “huge layer of potential bitterness and angst” away from the queen because “there was no game being played where anyone had to be kicked off”.
“I just went up there and I was like, whatever anyone has to say, whether it be negative or positive, I wasn’t going home and I wasn’t worried about it,” they explained during an interview in November. “I was like, you know what? I spent a lot of money on these fucking costumes, so at least I get to feature those.”
Raja won before any of her competitors on All Stars 7, returning 11 years after originally competing – something she said came with a lot of pressure.
“I just jumped into it and I said, okay, I’m going to take on this challenge and I have a lot to share with people,” she added. “I have a lot to show people about my growth and about my journey. And I definitely wanted to do the things that I wasn’t able to do the first time.”
Her experience was, however, a “validating” one as they were able to show their talents to an audience that may not have been as familiar with season three and their work beyond the show.
“It felt validating, first of all, and it also felt very redeeming, like I was able to go there and showcase something, showcase the evolution that an artist should have,” she shared. “So yeah, I was nervous at first, but then, now, in hindsight, I think I’m very, very glad that I did it – it was fun. It is still fun.”
Despite this, Raja stated that deciding to return to the franchise as a contestant wasn’t an easy thing to do.
“It was a lot of conversations in the mirror to really convince myself because I am a person who loathes being inconvenienced and it was very inconvenient,” she said. “It was tough. It brought out emotions that I didn’t want to deal with.”
Comparing Drag Race to a “boot camp” that isn’t “easy at all”, they explained that “it wouldn’t be fun if it were too easy.”
“But what was easy was for me to just go into the place of, you know, I already won this before once, so I don’t really have anything – whether I win or lose in this, however way it happens – [to prove],” they continued. “I am going to just enjoy this process, enjoy the people that are in this process with me and just sort of let go of the stressful parts of it and not be so in my head about things because I am not that type of person now.”
You can read Raja’s interview with GAY TIMES in full here.
All Stars 7 is streaming now on WOW Presents Plus in the UK and you can watch the trailer below or by clicking here.