Top 5 Must-Know Facts About Alyssa Edwards
VOICE OVER: Lisa Yang
WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
You may know Alyssa Edwards from RuPaul's Drag Race but here are 5 facts you may not know about her! Did you know that she was almost a season 4 Queen? You're probably familiar with Alyssa Edwards from season five of “RuPaul's Drag Race”, but you almost knew her from season four instead. Alyssa was shortlisted for the earlier season but when it came time to confirm the final cast members, she didn't quite make the cut. Thankfully for her legions of fans, Edwards made it onto the following season instead, and although she didn't make it to the top, she did make a name for herself and go on to star in the second season of “RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars”
Top 5 Facts about Alyssa Edwards
For those who don't know the grand dame of dance these are Alyssa's Secrets. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Facts about Alyssa Edwards.
For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting info about this fan-favorite queen.
#5: She Was Almost a Season 4 Queen
You’re probably familiar with Alyssa Edwards from season five of “RuPaul's Drag Race”, but you almost knew her from season four instead. Alyssa was shortlisted for the earlier season but when it came time to confirm the final cast members, she didn’t quite make the cut. Thankfully for her legions of fans, Edwards made it onto the following season instead, and although she didn’t make it to the top, she did make a name for herself and go on to star in the second season of “RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars”.
#4: She’s the Matriarch of Haus of Edwards
After her meteoric rise, Alyssa Edwards became the drag mother to her own drag family, aptly named Haus of Edwards. Its members have included queens and fellow RuPaul contestants Shangela Laquifa Wadley, Laganja Estranja, and for a time, Gia Gunn. According to Shangela, talent, professionalism, and passion are the group’s defining hallmarks, as well as “high energy numbers onstage”. In September 2018, Gia Gunn announced that her participation in the Haus of Edwards was “just a phase”, leaving fans to speculate about the group’s future. Whatever the case, their performances have never failed to impress.
#3: There’s a Story Behind the Stage Name
Alyssa Edwards is, of course, just a stage name, though it’s much less showbusiness-y than some of the others out there. This performer was actually born Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson, but chose the alias “Alyssa Edwards” in an effort to honor two ladies who were an inspiration to the performer. The first name, Alyssa, is for actress Alyssa Milano. Edwards says that before her first drag performance, she had to quickly pick a name and immediately thought of the sitcom “Who’s The Boss”. The “Edwards” on the other hand is an homage to Laken Edwards, a former queen who acted as Alyssa’s drag mother.
#2: He Was 19 When He Saw His First Drag Show
Can you believe that this A-list drag performer only saw his first drag show when he was 19 years old? And not only that, it happened on the same day he was in his very first gay bar. Justin Johnson grew up in Texas as part of a large working class family, and until then hadn’t had much exposure to the queer scene. Describing this seminal experience, Edwards told Esquire that it was unforgettable, opening up a whole new world. She has her uncle, who she refers to as her fairy godmother, to thank for piquing her interest in performing.
#1: She Has Her Own Netflix Series
If you’ve been wondering what Alyssa Edwards has been up to since appearing on “RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars” in 2016, we’ve got some good news for you- and it’s right on your Netflix account! Edwards has been running the Beyond Belief Dance Company in Texas, and in October of 2018 Netflix began airing “Dancing Queen”, a reality TV documentary series about the studio. RuPaul is actually one of the producers of the show, which is put together by World of Wonder Productions. Time to start binging!