When fans look back on Season 11 of Drag Race, they'll have a lot to remember about Ra'Jah O'Hara. They'll recall her as the queen who pulled off burlap pants (which unfortunately busted a seam on the runway), the elimination assassin who lip-synced for her life four times and impressively won three, and the girl who wasn't afraid to throw shade back the moment it came her way. Above all of those memories, though, Ra'Jah wants her fans to remember one thing when they think of her: to follow their dreams.
"It's never too late to dream," she tells Bustle. "It's never too late to dream and to make those dreams a reality, because you know, if I would have listened to people and what people had to say about me, I would have never taken the opportunity and taken the leap of faith to actually audition for a show." Unlike many queens who have auditioned to be a Ru girl eight, nine, or even 10 times, Ra'Jah was asked to be on the show after one try. Still, it's a huge challenge to make the cut, and though Ra'Jah could have given up at any point along the way, she didn't.
As Ra'Jah reflects on how her Drag Race journey began and ended, she's surprised by the roller coaster of emotions she experienced. After all, she is a Capricorn. On the show, she may have come off as kind of a hard-ass, but she was experiencing all of the feels.
"I am a lot more passionate than I thought," she said of watching herself on the show. "I'm a lot more emotional than I thought. Because you know as a Capricorn, we rarely ever show emotion. It takes a lot to actually get ... genuine emotions out of a Capricorn because we're so nonchalant and can navigate through anything."
For Ra'Jah, that includes navigating Drag Race fans' critical response to her lip sync victory that sent Scarlet Envy home.
"I think you have to look deeper and look past the shade... you know, the commentary, to really see my story as a real person who has real emotions — who battles within themselves," she says. "Because I am the worst critic that I have, so you know, when other people jump on the bandwagon... you have to build yourself back up. And I realized that I'm a lot more resilient than I thought I was."
And she's resilient because of the mantra she lives by — she only worries about what she can control, and the rest of the cards will fall where they may. That's why, despite her overwhelming experience on the show, Ra'Jah says she wouldn't change a thing — besides the material of those burlap pants.
"Some things in life we can't change, and the things that we can't change, we can't do anything about," she says. "But the things that we can control, like how we react to situations, taking a breath, stepping away from a situation or, you know, that is what I can control. So that's the part that I focus on. What I can do."
Now, Ra'Jah is focused on the parts she can control, like her future. She's working on new music, performing on the road, and hoping those experiences will make her even more memorable.