In a world of hoes, be A’Whora! You read books and she’s on the cover, so. For the past eight weeks, the fashionista has bing, bang bong’d the Drag Race UK competition with her exquisite runway looks and “caricature of a cartoon villain” persona, resulting in some of the most iconic moments and showdowns in the show’s herstory. In the immortal words of Bimini, “Not a joke, just a fact.”
While her two maxi-challenge wins and zero bottom placements convinced viewers that she would land a coveted spot in the final three, A’Whora stumbled this week after serving a raunchy, blue-inspired comedy routine. (The bleeps said it all.) Sadly, the Worksop-born entertainer fell into the bottom for the first time, where she competed against her best friend Tayce to the beat of Dusty Springfield’s classic ballad, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. Following a riveting and emotionally-fused smackdown, A’Whora was told to sashay away from the competition – becoming the latest in a string of shocking eliminations.
“I saw it coming. As gays, we know what kind of drama we live for and we all love to see a best friend fight against a best friend, or a lover against a lover, as they say!” admits A’Whora. “But, at that moment, I felt confident. I thought, ‘This bitch has lip-synced more times than me, I’ve got more wins than her. I’ve got this in the bag!’ I thought if worst comes to, it will be a double save. No, I went home!”
Following her exit, we spoke with A’Whora about her highly entertainting run on Drag Race UK season two; including all of the drama and conflama from the last episode, her relationships with the queens, and the misconceptions viewers have about her. She also ‘stirs the pot’ as she reveals the unaired moments from the main stage and why her stand-up routine was censored by the BBC. Get your jush, because there’s a lot of T here.
How did it feel to lip-sync against your bestie in the competition?
I mean… I saw it coming. It’s one of those things in Drag Race where you can sense… As gays, we know what kind of drama we live for, and we all love to see a best friend fight against a best friend, or a lover against a lover – as they say! So, I felt it was coming. But, at that moment, I felt confident. I thought, ‘This bitch has lip-synced more times than me, I’ve got more wins than her. I’ve got this in the bag!’ I thought if worst comes to, it will be a double save. No, I went home!
When she got back from Drag Race, what was that reunion like between you both, as you live together?
Because I was so close to the finale, I stayed in the hotel so the next time I saw her was the finale. So, I don’t wanna tell you what happened because you’ll see it on telly! But, it was hard to come back home to our housemates and tell them the news.
I assume your friendship has conquered over that one little lip-sync?
Yeah. We sat and watched it together last night and laughed about it. She’s a lip-sync assassin and I’ve probably performed a handful of times. It’s not my thing. She was like, ‘Girl, you gave me some good competition!’ I was happy with it. I felt like I did a good job. I looked great. I left looking gawjus. That’s all that matters to me babes!
On Twitter, you revealed that after you left the stage, you came back and paid tribute to the iconic “WHO’S DONE A SHIT?!” video, right?
Yes! I was like, ‘In a world full of hoes, be A’Whora!’ then walked off. They were clapping and I came back and went, ‘WHICH ONE OF YAS HAS HAD A FUCKING SHIT AND NOT FLUSHED THE TOILET?!’ Lawrence Chaney went, ‘Well it weren’t me!’ I then looked at RuPaul and went, ‘DISGUSTING!’ They didn’t use it! I’m fuming!
You also said they cut a moment from the main stage where the queens said who they’d like to go home…
I think I’ve stirred the pot a bit here, haven’t I? Shit stirring all the leaks! But yeah, they didn’t use it. We were all stood on the stage and RuPaul went, ‘Girls, I have a question for you tonight. Who should go home and why?’ We all answered the famous question and that’s why it was so heated in Untucked, because we all had that prompted to us. When people are attacking me and Lawrence online and stuff, yeah, they’re in their right to attack us. We were quite spiteful towards Ellie, hands up. We were in our feels. It’s a competition, you get heated! But, it was more because that does get your blood going. It’s one of those pressure cooker moments on the main stage when you hear that question. That is why we were all riled. Bimini and Tayce were just sat there and everyone was a bit delirious. It was a hard one, that week.
So which queen said your name? This is me stirring the pot now!
Everyone said the same name except for Ellie Diamond, who said me.
Considering you had two wins and no bottom placements at that point, I don’t get it…
Well, if you look at the statistics as of last week, I had the highest track record with two wins and never being in the bottom. So, I think it was me, Bimini then Lawrence, Ellie and then Tayce. So of course she’s going to say me, I’m the frontrunner! Duh.
You and Lawrence were quite furious with Ellie throughout the episode. It was great entertainment, however, because this is what we like to see, right? The drama!
This is the thing. Episodes one until three or four, I was causing the drama and being the reality TV queen. People were hating on me for it. When it died down and I took a step back, I’m being accused online of being boring! It’s like, what do you want from me? I live for the drama. I love to sit there and have those eyeroll moments with the straw, so… I live for it.
Watching it back, do you feel the same way about Ellie’s decision?
It’s a weird one. Again, I don’t know what I can and can’t say, because I did the stand-up, came out and did my full set. Then they said, ‘A’Whora, your mic isn’t working. You need to do it all again.’ I did it twice, whereas everyone else did it once. That’s why I kept stumbling. I was thrown off by it. It’s hard to watch it back, out of frustration, because I felt like I was at a disadvantage with everything. I was blaming every other thing for it. Watching it back now, at the end of the day, I was crude, I was rude, I was vulgar and I slayed. So, it’s fine.
It seemed like the judges were living for it?
I’ve seen the uncensored version circulating social media, and it doesn’t even feel that crude?
Someone accidentally leaked what I said, which I was aware of, but we move, we roll. It wasn’t that bad, but I think it was more because my family watch the show. The show wanted to be respectful to my family because my nan didn’t want people talking online about her genitalia or whatever’s going on down there. I think that’s why it was done. It was more out of respect for my family. It wasn’t the BBC or anything like that.
Every beep made me laugh more. I was like, ‘WTF is going on?!’
I live for it! We had to do a full eight-minute set and you saw probably 40 seconds of it. There was so much more to it. Lawrence’s was hilarious, but they didn’t show all of that as well. It was clear watching it that Bimini had it in the bag. The way she was landing everything was spot on. It was a great show. I got mine out of the way first. I sat there and enjoyed the whole thing with popcorn, watching people bomb!
I find it strange that some queens don’t consider you a comedy queen. My two all-time favourite moments from this season are down to you: “100% Essex!” of course, and “SING SANG SONG!” during the UK Hun? rehearsal. Do you consider yourself a comedy queen now?
Everyone knew me as George, the funny and ridiculous queer introvert, where on a night out, I’ll be an absolute prat after one drink. Do you know what I mean? When I’m A’Whora, I’m the polar opposite. All my friends were like, ‘I don’t know how she’s going to read on the show, because we know her as two totally different people.’ I literally do portray A’Whora as the opposite to George. But when I went on the show, I was constantly having to be A’Whora, and I think George slipped in a bit. I think it was good because now, I’ve fused the two together and become a much better drag queen. I felt like I had to be one thing, but by adding myself into A’Whora, I’ve become a more well-rounded person. I watched it back and was like, ‘I’m fucking funny! I love me!’
Personally, I think you should’ve walked away with the win for the talk show challenge.
I agree. I think the world agrees! It was a weird one again. We finished that challenge and I was sat backstage with Lawrence, who was crying. She was like, ‘I’m in the bottom. I’m going home.’ We all thought it was me and Ginny Lemon who had won that challenge. We thought, ‘Us two have got it in the bag.’ So when we got the results… You can never write it. That’s what is good about the show because when you think you’ve got it, you haven’t. That’s the power. It keeps us on our toes and makes us want to watch it more. It gave me more of a drive to succeed and do well. After that, I got two more wins, so… can’t argue. But, I should have four!
I thought you could’ve been in the top for Snatch Game as well?
Yeah! That’s another thing that was online. It’s that barrier between Americans knowing British humour and knowing who the people are. Ru said to me on the main stage, ‘I didn’t know who Louie Spence was when I watched you do it, so I went home afterwards, watched the videos on YouTube, and realised that he’s quite funny.’ But by then, it was already too late. I personally thought it was a knockout. Oh well, we move!
On the Snatch Game panel, there was no A’Whora or George. That was Louie fucking Spence.
Exactly! And Bimini was Bimini!
In my opinion, you are the perfect Drag Race and reality show contestant. You gave us shade and vulnerability, and you’re incredible at what you do. What was it like, watching the whole experience back?
It’s a totally different experience watching the show as it is being on the show. It’s 48 hours of filming condensed into an hour, so it’s really not everything that happens. It’s also weird to see yourself on telly and see how you are. When I do stuff in the moment and I’m just being me, like when I was going over to Sister Sister’s table, that was hilarious. I was watching it back, pissing myself like, ‘This is just me being me. I’m not even trying to be funny in this moment.’ It’s refreshing to see yourself in a different perspective. But also, I cringed so bad at myself in those confessionals! I’m glad I don’t have to listen to my own voice ever again!
“I love pandas.”
I love pandas! I can’t stand Sister Sister. I’m joking! I definitely think reality TV is something I’ll chase up, maybe. Maybe something’s in the works, who knows?
How is your relationship with the rest of the season two cast?
None of us have any issues. I know I don’t have any issues with anyone. During these times, we’ve all had each other’s backs because we have to. It’s been a really hard experience, having to film, pause and come back, all while staying mentally stable. We’ve been there for one another to get through it, which has made us a strong sisterhood. We were all helping Veronica in the group chat trying to rev her up, so it’s a great unit that we all have. At the same time, we’re all at the peak of our careers and we’re all so busy. Because we’re not able to see each other and go to gigs and tour, we don’t see or speak to each other a lot unless it’s like, ‘Oh girl, you did great tonight. Sorry you went home.’ That’s it. We have a group chat and it’s there if anyone needs it, but hopefully when COVID ends and we can all go back on tour together, we’ll be able to bring those bonds back and learn more about one another. Right now, the last time we all saw each other was on the show. I look forward to seeing the girls again in a non-produced realm. I just wanna see them all fucked up on poppers in a nightclub. I want that. I want to see Ginny Lemon on poppers! Can you imagine?
With her crocs on.
With her crocs on on the dancefloor! Ugh! Iconic!
On the show, you admitted that you haven’t had a drag family because of how other drag queens perceive you. How does it feel now, knowing that you have that sisterhood?
It’s such a relief. It’s so refreshing. That was the main thing with me on Drag Race. I wasn’t a queen who was always on the scene, performing and doing my thing. I wasn’t able to socialise with people and allow them into my life to get to know me. It was kind of them making a perception of me, based off what they see online, through an image. I mean, look at my images. I’m cunty as fuck, you know? It is what it is. I was really happy to be given the opportunity when I got cast for Drag Race to know that I can go on there and paint myself for myself, and not be painted as what people think I am. I went in there at the start with this idea of what people have already painted me as, which is why I came in as a caricature of a cartoon villain! As time went on and I relaxed into it, I became myself, which is why I have the bond with everyone in the cast. They love me and I love them. I always find myself to be like Maleficent. When we saw her in the Sleeping Beauty tales, we see as her this evil villainous witch. When you watch the new Disney films and what she’s been through, it’s like, ‘Oh, she’s actually quite decent!’ That’s how I feel as a person. Just because of the way you look, people perceive you a certain way. You can still look fabulous and also be slightly vulgar – and a bit of a common piece of muck!
What misconceptions do you think people still have about you?
After that last episode, it’s gone back to being, ‘A’Whora’s a bully.’ I think people want that for me. They want to hate me and for me to be this person. The thing is, me and Ellie Diamond FaceTime each other while we’re having a shit. Do you know what I mean? We’re so close. She FaceTime’s me all the time in bed, literally stark naked. I mean, I’ve seen her fucking dick. It’s not really a case of a misconception I’ve produced, it’s just that people want to have this idea of who I am. They hate the fact that I’ve come off the show completely different! That I’m a bitch, basically.
How does it feel, being catapulted to fame in such a short amount of time and being inundated with messages online, positive and negative? Personally, how are you coping with that?
It’s been weird, don’t get me wrong. It’s challenged friendships, tested relationships… I signed up for this. If I lose things, that’s on me because I chose to have this. It’s been hard. I remember when I got the call, they were like, ‘There’s only two shows that change your life: Love Island and Drag Race.’ I was like, ‘Sure…’ Then when it happened… Every week, it was like 30,000 new followers. The more intense it gets, and the more you’re magnified, I can do one little thing and it will be blasted everywhere. It’s very scary to have everyone know your business. But, that’s why you have to adapt and change your lifestyle to accommodate what you want people to see. Now, I try to not put anything about George on A’Whora’s page. Does that make sense?
It must be nice living with Tayce, as you both have that bond and you’ve been through the exact same experience?
Yeah. Also, she’ll get a fucking parcel and I’m like, ‘Who the fuck sent you that?’ She’s like, ‘Oh, just Anastasia Beverley Hills!’ I’m like, ‘Why haven’t they sent me fucking makeup?’ No, it’s good. If I’m upset or anything she’s like, ‘Girl, come on. Let’s go get a Greggs or a Costa, let’s play Soul Calibre on the XBox and just have it out.’ And we do. It’s great. We have this great household. We’re in a household full of creatives with other drag queens, musicians, hair stylists… It’s a nice house we live in and it’s great to just have someone there in lockdown, who’s lived the experience with you and when you’re feeling insecure, they know what you’re going through. It’s a very rare thing where someone can say, ‘Oh, you can relate to me being on Drag Race?’
So when’s the reality show and documentary about your household happening?
Well… There’s nothing happening, that I know of, but I noticed there’s been a spoken word and rumour about a little Gogglebox. We’re hoping that it’s going to happen. It’ll just be me and Tayce steaming every episode, and by the end of it, we’re just on our backs, fucked up. That’s what we’re hoping for. Fingers crossed! That’s the next adventure I think we’ve got coming up.
Lawrence Chaney will be tuning in every episode!
Oh yeah, getting his pecker out, bashing one over!
What’s next for A’Whora?
I got signed with Elite models, the first ever British drag queen to be signed to a modelling agency, which is massive! Woo! I’m not the most predictable model-esque person. I thought Tayce would’ve had that, but I was very happy to take first place for once. I wanna travel and do all of the fashion weeks. We’ve got loads coming up with the United Kingdolls, music, tours, festivals. But for myself, I’m still stuck on that goal of being in British Vogue. I also really wanna break down the gender barriers and gender ideals in fashion, and somehow change the game a little bit and shake things up! Fingers crossed we can tackle the industry and create change.
To hear our thoughts on the brand new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, subscribe to Snatched! an original podcast from GAY TIMES. Each week, we dissect all of the drama and conflama of the latest episode and chat with the eliminated queen, who spills all the T on their exit and time on the series. Snatched! is now available on all streaming services including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.