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Canada’s Drag Race Season 4 Shantay Q&Eh: Nearah Nuff

IN Magazine talks to top four queen Nearah ahead of the grand finale of Canada’s Drag Race season 4…

Nearah Nuff wants to entertain you. As this season’s certified lip sync assassin she commands the main stage every time she’s on it. She chats with IN Magazine before this season’s finale about her iconic rematch with Aimee Yoncé Shennel, her dreams for future Nearah, and her opinion on what makes an unforgettable lip sync.

The finale of Canada’s Drag Race Season 4 airs Thursday, January 11 on Crave in Canada and WOW Presents Plus in America and other places in the world.

First and foremost, you look stunning and a big congratulations on making it into the finale!
Thank you!  It’s so wild. It’s crazy. 

After you finished filming, what was the challenge or episode you were most excited to watch back?
I think the episode that I was most excited about was probably the lip sync slay-off because during those lip syncs, I feel like I completely blacked out and like, didn’t remember what I did.  And I’m happy to watch it back and realize that I actually did very, very well. 

You were part of the first double shantay in Canada’s Drag Race history. And then you had a rematch with Amiee during that episode. Did you intentionally choose to go up against her again? Or was that a song choice that you made? What was the thought process behind that?
My number one song in that round that I did want to perform was Fever Dreamer, but I also saw an opportunity to make good TV. It was there and I took it. I just knew everyone was going to be gagged and I mean, I feel like once they realized that Amiee was there and they were like, Oh my gosh, Nearah’s going to be picked next and then everyone knew that I was probably going to go for Amiee. That was definitely a good TV moment for sure. 

Which challenge did you find the most difficult in the moment, and how did you overcome your nerves or doubts about it while you were doing it?
I think the most difficult one honestly is Snatch Game. feel like that’s the one where a person has the most pressure on them to really do well. Being there and having all of those energies in the room at once can be a lot because everyone is wanting to fight for their moment to shine. Ultimately, in the TV world, you are only getting half the story, but I’m happy that what was shown was shown, because it was still pretty iconic. Again, making herstory with that it was like, a TV moment. I’m not gonna change this. Let’s make herstory. 

Both you and Kitten Kaboodle both chose to play the same character during Snatch Game. Looking back, would you have preferred to either fight for her to do something else, or for you to change your plan, or would you have done it the exact same?
You know, I feel like I wish that me and Kitten just planned a little more. I just picture myself being like, what if I was Jennifer from like 20 years ago? And I was like, “Oh my gosh, are you okay? What happened to you?” And I played on that with Kitten as the younger version of herself. But we were all caught up in the moment, so we didn’t really plan much. I suggested that she changed and she was really adamant, so I think that honestly, she also saw a moment to make good TV, and in this competition, if you want something, you are not going to let down on it. That was where both of our mindsets were at, at that point in time. 

Last week, your loved ones joined you in the werkroom. What did it mean to have somebody from home there with you at that point in the competition?
I think at that point in the competition, we’re away for so long that it lights such a fire under you to just realize that “Oh my gosh wow I’ve made it to this point in the competition and the grand finale is coming up”. It just motivates you to and it reminds you what you’re doing it for. My husband who came with me, he works incredibly hard to support me and my dreams. And when it comes to that, having him there reminded me exactly what and who I do it for, which is him, because he’s the biggest believer in me ever. 

That’s so nice. Then it kind of turns into a celebration of your support systems as well, which is really nice.
I think there was stress, but it was really taken off of us. Like, if we had a loved one there the entire time I feel like it would be a completely different show because we’d all probably be a little more calm. But the support from having them there definitely made things a lot easier and it really distracted you from everything.

What was your favorite look that you wore on the show?
I think my favorite look, honestly, is the one that I’m wearing right now! It’s my Sunglasses at Night look, just because it was a really different silhouette for me. Obviously I had my headpiece on. Yeah, that was one of my favorite looks because it was just so fashion.

If you could go back in time and give pre Drag Race Nearah advice, what would you say?
Think about the looks more, is my thing. ‘Cause I think I came up with an idea and I was like, “Okay, I don’t have much time, let’s just do it”. And I wish I just took, like, a full day just to like really think and hone in on what prompts I’m given and really just think of fun and quirky ways to twist looks.I think that would be it and also just to  go in and have fun. I had fun, but I was also stressed.  

Earlier we talked about you making history on the show so much. You’re also the first queen in Canada’s Drag Race herstory to win a lip sync smackdown. In your opinion, what makes an incredible, unforgettable lip sync?
I think one thing that I’ve seen online that people have really talked about with me is that they see me just get lost in the music, and I think that’s like a really great way to describe my performance style. Making a great lip sync is really being good with the musicality of a song. You don’t have to do a split to do a good lip sync (laughs). And I think that was really twisted as well online, but um, when it comes to a good lipstick stage presence, you don’t have to do a split. If you’re performing in front of an audience, engage with the audience. It’s okay to be funny and campy. I think sometimes you’ll watch your performance and you’ll be thinking about the next move that you’re doing. It’s really all about selling it in the face. If you can find a camera, get your face to line up with it because that’s what I was definitely good at. 

I mean, you were definitely giving international popstar every time you lip synced.
It was my moment! Nobody was taking it away from me. 

And one last question… What is next for you?
I’ve got some big dreams and some big goals, but I see Nearah Nuff traveling the world. Biggest goals are Werq the World, or RuPaul’s Drag Live in Las Vegas. Those are top tier goals for me. To me, those will make me feel like the most fulfilled and accomplished in myself, even more than I already am.

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