Raja finally snatched herself a Legendary Legend star, but we been knew about Raja's legendary status.
The regal winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3 might not have competed on the series since she was crowned back in 2011, but Raja has continued to be a fan favorite as a co-host on Fashion Photo RuView — critiquing the queens' runway looks on the World of Wonder digital series.
Raja is now back in the workroom, competing to be named the "Queen of All Queens" on All Stars Season 7, the "all winners" season. Whether it was in her gold Realness of Fortune Eleganza look or as Madame on Snatch Game, Raja has been serving it every week, but since this season's competition is so stiff, the California native had yet to earn a Legendary Legend star — until the most recent episode.
Raja spoke with Logo about what it was like to finally get a star, "Gemini delusions," starting her own cult, and her recent terrifying trip to the top of the Empire State Building.
Hi, Raja! So it's my birthday...
Happy birthday, Gemini!
Thank you! You're a Gemini too, so I wanted to ask: Why do you think us Geminis get such a bad wrap? People think we're crazy. What are your thoughts on that?
People think we're crazy because we are. But that crazy is also part of what makes us so beautiful and charming. Our crazy has a reason. We don't just act crazy to act crazy. If you provoke us, then we're going to react to it and you're going to regret it. So I do understand why people would perceive us as being crazy, but we're also quite genius. If you list the Geminis, Judy Garland, Boy George, Prince, Naomi Campbell, just to name a few... It's one genius after the other. I think people just love us. I think because we're quite accommodating and we know how to blend and how to make people feel comfortable. Most Geminis have great senses of humor, and we're just genius creatives all around. There's always a method to our madness, for sure.
There we go. So on this week's episode, when you were practicing your speech, you mentioned "Gemini delusions." What is that?
I don't remember the conversation. I'm going to have to re-watch it because it doesn't air until tomorrow. But I would imagine that the conversation was about how Geminis are a little delusional. I can admit that because we realize that we can do things last minute and we're always going to be able to perform when need be. And that comes with a confidence/delusion that is our own. And that can't be explained by any other sign in the Zodiac other than a Gemini. We believe our own nonsense, and we believe it wholeheartedly, and usually, we get the job done because of those delusions. So I think that's what we talked about.
So it seemed like Ru was really getting your speech. What was it like performing it in front of Ru?
I actually felt quite confident in it because I really enjoy writing. Over the last few years, I've utilized that writing skill and talent into doing my own one-woman shows, or solo shows, whatever you want to call it. I think Ru understood it because Ru is also a guru and my role in my life is to encourage people and to uplift people and to give advice and spiritual counsel. So I think Ru and I really saw eye to eye on that part. That our life experiences now are suddenly in a place where we are there to encourage people and inspire. So I think that's where we really understood each other in that challenge.
I loved your wizard's cloak. Did you already have that cloak? It seems like something that you would already have in your closet.
No, that is something that I actually wear around the house, the entire outfit. I am a caftan queen. Always, I love comfort, I love robes and there's something regal in a robe. And I have plenty of them to do that with when I'm at home. So that's something that already existed in my closet. And yeah, I love looking like a cult leader any day of the week.
I feel like you could start a cult.
I'm going to. After this episode, it'll be Kool-Aid for everyone.
What was it like standing on stage with Nancy Pelosi?
Well, the timing of that was really interesting because it was shot last year. We had just gone through the entire trauma of being in Trump-era America during a pandemic. And I remember seeing Nancy Pelosi as this beacon constantly on TV. She was always the shady voice of reason on so many things. I remember saying to her while we were there that I thought that her hand clap was one of the shadiest and iconic things I'd ever seen. So it was a little bit emotional. It was like finally seeing somebody that you looked at for safety in some ways. Anything that Nancy said, I was like, Oh finally, somebody in their right mind and wits. So meeting Nancy, it was a big deal for me. It wasn't a huge deal for The Vivienne. I'm not even sure if she knew who Nancy Pelosi was. But for me, and for most of us, it was a pretty big deal. We were like, oh my God, this is the second most powerful person in the entire country. So it was very, if not the most powerful person in the country. It was significant. I'd never met anyone in that position, especially someone as a political figure, never in my life. So it was a big deal for me.
And she looked fabulous.
Didn't she? Her shoes and her entire canary yellow suit was impeccable. Hair, makeup all done. She was pretty gorgeous, so I was impressed by that as well.
And then what about that Lizzo lip sync? That song has a lot of lyrics. How was it performing that?
I know I completely fucked that up. I remember that. Well, here's my logic to that. I had for every week, I knew that I was doing a good job. And all of the judges had been complimenting me so much on it. What people don't realize as viewers is that every episode really is every other day. So every other day you had to learn a new lyric just in case you were at the top and you had to lip-sync. So at that point after four episodes in, I was exhausted. I know I'm going to do a great job, but once again they're probably going to overlook me and ignore me. So maybe I'll lip-sync, but most likely not. That was what was happening in my head. So it was a little bit of a shock to me when it came down to it. Because when I realized that I had won the challenge, I was like, oh fuck that means I have to lip-sync. And I do not know this song, I had not made any preparations. It was very lyricy. And so I was like, okay, well let me just do this not knowing the lyrics. And I'll do what I do in every club, let the audience just enjoy how gorgeous I was. But for me, I was content with the fact that I had the star and I could care less about the 10 grand of winning. I was just like, give me the star. I don't care about anything else. I'd waited too long. And the star was finally mine. And sometimes that happens. We're not perfect, we're not superheroes. So it was the best that I could do at that moment.
It must have felt pretty great to finally get that star.
Yeah. All I wanted was a star. And the whole time we were lip-syncing against each other I just kept thinking, Oh my God, I finally got a star. Oh, wait, we're also lip-syncing...
And then my last question is about this TikTok that makes me laugh every time I watch it. It's of you and the other All Stars 7 queens on your press tour. And you're up on top of the Empire State Building. Have you seen this?
Oh my God. I have not seen the TikTok.
You're terrified, so I feel bad for laughing, but it's so funny. What is happening? Why are you walking on the edge of the Empire State Building?
First of all, I was excited to go to the Empire State Building because the last time I was there I would say was 2007. My friends were the designers of Heatherette, and they had their office and their showroom inside the Empire State Building. So I'd never gotten to do the Empire State Building as a tourist, and there's nothing I love more than being a tourist. I will be a tourist in my own city of Los Angeles. So it was really exciting. It was exciting to be there to help light the spire of the Empire State Building orange for the Trevor Project. So it had a lot of meaning, it was exciting. But when they finally took us up to the observation deck, I was like, I'm terrified of heights but as long as I know that there's a fence around me that'll keep me from flying off the edge of this building I'm fine. I can look down onto the city and appreciate the beauty and the view. Then the people who work there were like, "Hey, there's another spot that we only take very special people to. And it's the very top..." In theory, I was excited. I was like, Oh cool yeah take us up there. Well, we had to climb a ladder...
All of us were in high heels. And then once the doors opened, I realized that there was nothing holding me back from the bottom of New York City, which is like, I don't know, 80 floors below. And the fence that separated me from the sky was at hip height. So I remember The Vivienne was in front of me and we literally crawled the entire circular area where everyone was walking. I was looking up at Monét [X Change] and she was taking selfies. And I was like, Get me the fuck out of here. We were screaming. You could feel the wind blowing on us. Any gust could have sent me down, careening and plummeting to my death. It was terrifying. But one of those moments in my life that I'll probably never do again. I'm thankful that I did do it. Now I can handle anything. Now I'm going to stick a spider in my mouth and wrap myself in a boa constrictor. Because those are my next two fears, spiders and snakes. So I can handle anything now.