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‘Canada’s Drag Race’: BOA on shock value, Scarlett Bobo, and surviving sexual assault

She's the self-proclaimed Bitch On Arrival - but what's she like after an exit?

2020-08-07

Words: Markus Bidaux

Category is... SPOILER ALERT! Please note this interview reveals the result of Canada's Drag Race episode five.

From the moment Boa walked into the workroom for the first time, in an out of this world (literally) bovine look, we knew we were in store for some shocking looks. And she delivered often dropping the judges' jaws to the floor.

But all good things come to an end and Boa sashayed away in an episode where the judges' critiques were mostly even on the Maxi Challenge and it was Boa’s denim on denim on denim Canadian Tux-chic-o look let her down, ironically since she had wings on.

Attitude caught up with Boa via Zoom to discuss her run on the show…

What was it like being chosen to be on the first season of Canada’s Drag Race?

I was very grateful and it was really surprising. I remember when I got the call that I was on [the show], I just sobbed, like disgustingly sobbed. And then I went out for lunch with my partner and I just sat there and looked at my plate with saucer eyes like I had just seen a ghost. I couldn’t even process it.

The udderly sickening workroom entrance look

Do you think you lived up to your name Boa, aka Bitch On Arrival, on the show?

Yes, the bitch has arrived, even though I'm not a bitch. Well, I don't think I'm a bitch, some people might think I’m a bitch, but that’s OK.

Has there been anything said in confessionals that surprised you?

Juice Boxx said I was kind of annoying. That was kind of surprising but that's OK because I didn't have to deal with her for five episodes after that.

 

And were you aware of anything between you and Scarlett Bobo?

No, I kind of felt that weird tension with us and I was like, “Girl what's going on?” Because I really wasn't digging on her and reading her, except for Maxi challenge when I rapped about her. So that definitely added fuel to the fire but I think she was just getting very in her head and was kind of telling herself things that weren't really actually happening. And because it is such a pressure cooker I think that she kind of just got stressed out and overwhelmed. So I think that she kind of lashed out on me because of that. And, as you can see, the receipts were there, she was obviously going through some stuff with your own self, which is why she flipped on me like that.

And it's easier sometimes to push against the people that you know.

Yeah, exactly. And especially because I was being celebrated and loved [by the judges] and I don't think she was ready to see that, because we went into it and it was just a very even playing field.

Hot potato

You love to show some skin on the show. You showed off potato titties in the first challenge, then metal titties in the recycling runway and a gag-worthy hairy minge on another runway. How important is shock factor to your drag?

I love shock value, that's what I do. I'm not some disco dancing diva of Toronto. Doing comedy and being able to use those gimmicks to help me is something I do fairly often. It’s fart jokes and it's gag humour and it's just all that kind of stupidity, which is so me. I love that kind of humour that's always kind of got me going, so I'm happy that I'm able to like do my drag with that kind of humour.

And you got to meet Crystal from Drag Race UK in your final episode. Was the UK version a big hit in Canada?

I loved Drag Race UK, I feel like I should live in the UK. I feel like people receive me a lot better in the UK. Drag there, the comedy there, is just so me and it's so stupid and it's so kitschy. And to see Crystal there was really awesome and she was amazing too.

Heavy metal

It was a tough week as you all did well in the improve challenges. What did you think of the judges' critiques?

It was my time to go. Watching it now I definitely feel like it was my time to go and even on the runway my feet really hurt. I have bunions so I was in a lot of pain and I had to hold my wings and I'm looking around it’s such a strong cast of girls that when they're doing these critiques they're splitting hairs to figure out what went wrong and who was weak here and this, that and the other thing. I will agree with the judges, they've been given amazing to me all season, they've really just shown me so much love.

I’m glad I left on that challenge because it was a fun challenge and I was with my friends Rita and Jimbo and we created an amazing product together. It was good to leave on that note rather than doing horribly on something and then crying.

You confessed to the other queens that you experienced a violent sexual assault. You bravely posted a selfie after the attack. What advice do you have for people who have also been attacked?

I want people to know they are not alone and there is help out there. It’s not your fault and it can really happen to anybody, so please don’t be hard on yourself, just know that this happens to lots of people, you are strong you will get through this.

The queens also talked about being molested on stage. Does that happen to you too?

Yeah, that has happened a lot. I've had people pull at my wigs, try to push me around, try to hit me and then grope me. But I will say that we're in a good time right now, where people are being held accountable for those actions and that kind of behaviour isn't really being accepted, so I'm definitely seeing a difference.

Fringing out

What is the most difficult thing about being a drag queen?

The heels! Bitch, I got bunions. Let me tell you they hurt! They hurt like a motherf***er.

How many inches do you wear?

How many inches? Like two. Oh, you’re talking about heels, three inches.

No heavy petting in the pool

And on a lighter note, what’s the best thing about being a drag queen?

The best thing about being a drag queen is being able to change who you are. I really like transforming from Ryan to Boa. Really, she's an extension of myself. So being able to look sickening and turn all these amazing looks and being a glamazon is what I love.

What was your favourite part of drag race experience?

Probably the announcement day, because we were holding in a secret for a long time and being able to finally let it out and tell everyone that I am here and I didn't secretly go away to film my 600 Pound Life, I am on Canada's Drag Race.

Your hockey player look from the show’s promo was my favourite. What were your looks from the show?

Probably my denim look. Either that or my mankini or even my glow up. I don't know, I feel like there are also different, right? So it's like you're comparing apples to oranges, but I think definitely denim is up there.

What’s next for Boa?

Well after this interview, I'm going to have a nap and eat some snacks and then tomorrow I have an appointment with my doctor. I’m joking, I'm just going to keep working and keep creating things. I want to come to the UK soon hopefully once we open up again and I can finally come and travel to the UK and meet you and give you a big kiss.

Canada's Drag Race is available to watch now on BBC Three on the BBC iPlayer.