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Aja is the stage name of Jay Rivera, a drag performer from Brooklyn, New York. She is one of the 14 queens who competed on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. She finished in ninth place.

Drag Name Origin

Rivera took inspiration for their drag name from the 1982 Bollywood movie "Disco Dancer", which features a song in its corresponding soundtrack titled 'Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja'. Rivera resonated with the lyric "Aja", and decided that Aja would be their drag name.

RuPaul's Drag Race

Aja
Season Competed: Season 9
Ranking: 9th
Mini-Challenges Won: 0
Times as Team Captain: 1 (ep. 4)
Main Challenges Won: 0
Times in Bottom Two: 2 (ep. 3, ep. 7)
Episode Eliminated: Episode 7
AjaEp1Look

Aja's Entrance Look

Aja-AS3
Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 9.11.58 AM

A picture of Aja's makeup/drag.

Season 9

AjaEp1LookC

Aja's Lady Gaga look in Episode 1, "Oh. My. Gaga!"

Episode one: "Oh. My. Gaga!" Aja did well in the first challenge, landing her a "safe" spot. For the challenge, the queens had to showcase a hometown look and a Lady Gaga inspired look. For the hometown look, she did the Statue of Liberty, representing New York. The Lady Gaga look she chose was Gaga's Commes des Garcons dress, representing that 'Beauty has No Shape'. The judges gave both looks "okays" and Lady Gaga said (about Aja), "This girl- she's gonna keep surprising you".

Episode three: "Draggily Ever After"- For the main challenge, the girls were asked to create a fairytale princess, and their sidekick, for the runway. Aja started off confident, because of her talents in sewing. Her princess's character was named "Disastah", and was based on a volcano eruption. Her sidekick was a storm cloud. She was critiqued by Michelle Visage for not knowing what her look was, and her makeup being rough and dark for the last few episodes. Aja ended up in the bottom 2, lip-syncing for her life. In the end, she sent Kimora Blac, keeping her place in the race. 

During work time, her makeup was clocked by Alexis Michelle. As well, she was really aggressive and bitter towards Farrah Moan and Valentina in Untucked, lashing out due to stress at being in the bottom two. 

Episode four: "Morning Bitches!" - Aja was chosen as the team captain as she survived the lip sync. She was apart of the winning group but didn't win the challenge.

Episode seven: "9021-Ho" - Aja was originally cast in "9021-Ho" as Grandrea, but became stressed and switched with Shea Couleé. Aja ended up with Bethany but was criticized for her line delivery and overall performance. Aja ended up in the bottom two against Nina Bo'nina Brown despite a praised runway look, and she ended up being eliminated in ninth place.

All Stars 3 Speculation and Growth

Aja is the only rumored season 9 queen to be on All-Stars Season 3 and had canceled her tour for most likely this reason. After showing massive growth on and after the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Racefans predict that she will have a favorable edit and slay the runway. 

Trivia

  • Aja was the last queen to enter the werkroom on Season 9.
  • Aja was originally going to wear the rainbow kimono that Lady Gaga wore, and instead later changed it to the 'Beauty Has No Shape' (Comme des Garçons) dress. She has said that she had saved the kimono for a future date whilst competing, and decided to wear the tribute to Comme des Garçons as she was dealing with an eating disorder at the time of filming.
  • Aja had to post an Instagram photo and explain about her skin due to criticisms about her makeup looking rough.
  • Aja is the youngest queen to compete on Season 9, at the age of 22 during filming.
  • Aja left the first eliminated queen Jaymes Mansfield her phone number along with a note that read, "It was fun meeting you! Stay amazing, learn to believe in yourself, and if you ever need a friend I'm here."
  • Aja is the mother of the drag family "The Haus of Aja". Her drag daughters are Dahlia Sin, Kandy Muse, and Momo Shade.
  • Aja identifies as genderfluid and goes by they, them and their pronouns out of drag. She discussed this while being interviewed by Peppermint on her Rupaul's Drag Race Recap Show.
  • Aja, Alexis Michelle, Peppermint, and Sasha Velour recorded a song together titled "C.L.A.T." [1]
  • Aja dropped out of high school to do drag, although she had perfect grades. [2]
  • Aja, along with Alexis Michelle, Peppermint, and Sasha Velour, was interviewed for getoutmag and had to wear a Broadway themed look, Aja doing Grease.
  • In episode 7, Aja implies that she does some form of divination readings, possibly in the brujeria style.
  • When Aja was eliminated on episode 7, she left Nina Bo'Nina Brown some of her clothes.
  • Aja won Drag Queen of the Year at the 4th Annual Brooklyn Nightlife Awards in 2016. [3]
  • Aja admitted of practicing Santería in the Drag Queen Carpool with RuPaul before Season 9 aired.
  • Aja is often assumed to be Puerto Rican, but she is actually of Moroccan and French descent.
  • Although practically non-existent, Aja's lisp is often mentioned.

Quotes

  • "Your edges are officially snatched!" (Season 9 entrance quote)
  • "I feel so at home with so many talented girls."
  • "The true gagarini. That is what is about to go down."
  • "Nina Bo'nina fell on the sofina!"
  • "I'm an Illuminati princess, they tried to silence me and I'm like, no bitch I'm still gonna talk."
  • "You’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you look like Linda Evangelista, you’re a model! Everything about you is perfect! Did you stone those tights? Oh, you’re smiling! They eat her up EVERY SINGLE TIME she’s on that damned stage . *aggressive gibberish* She could walk out there in a fucking diaper and they’d be like, “Valentina! Your smile is beautiful!"- (Aja's Untucked rant directed at Valentina.)
  • "Girl I feel like a soft serve ice cream cone right now!"
  • "Did my nose get thinner?"
  • "AHHHHHHH -cough-" Aja leaving the studio
  • "Bye Untucked Lounge, No more drunk Aja well..."
  • "Gurl, we almost just got killed by a roach."
  • "Gooped and Gagged."
  • "Sis."
  • "Ayo, sis."
  • "Girl, she is carrying."
  • "Werk fan favourite!"

References

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