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Canada’s Drag Race S4 finalists Aurora, Denim, Nearah & Venus dish on their iconic season

‘Canada’s Drag Race’ S4 finalists Aurora, Denim, Nearah & Venus dish on their iconic season

Nearah Nuff, Aurora Matrix, Denim and Venus
Courtesy of World of Wonder

The queens open up about representing their communities, giving their haters nothing but dust, and their most memorable moments from season four.


Canada’s Drag Race season four is heading into its final lap as Aurora Matrix, Denim, Nearah Nuff, and Venus vie for the crown and title of Canada’s Next Drag Superstar. But one thing has never been clearer: No matter who snatches that scepter, they’re all already winners.

That may sound like a platitude — except for the fact that it's true. Each of these queens came and showed off all their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, gained a legion of new fans, and proved that this is just the beginning of a very exciting career in the spotlight.

They are all so different and masters of their corner of drag whether that be avant-garde art, dancing, performing, turning lewks, or just dancing (the house down boots). But one thing they all had in common was that they knew how to make great TV. And know how to leave us wanting more.

PRIDE sat down with Aurora, Denim, Nearah, and Venus to talk about their memories from this season, how they hope they've touched the audience, and the memories and moments that will stay with them forever.

Nearah Nuff, Aurora Matrix, Denim and Venus

Courtesy of World of Wonder

PRIDE: Take me back to the moment you got the call that you had been cast on Canada’s Drag Race season four. In that moment, how sure were you that you were going to be sitting here today, a finalist?

NEARAH NUFF: When I first got that call I was bawling like a mess, because it's like all of my hard work paid off. All of those gigs that I didn't get paid for, all of that, it just all paid off. I think the correct answer to that is yes, I do see myself in that moment making it to the finale, because that's what we're there to do. And when I put my mind to something, I'm going to do that and more.

DENIM: I had been auditioning for four years to get on this show and with every year, I gained more confidence throughout the process. And it really felt like this was my year. I felt very confident going into it. [So,] no, I'm not surprised to be here. I worked really hard to get where I am. And I'm super proud to be a part of the top four. I just Tran-ifested my way to the top.

VENUS: I said to myself, if I'm ever going to do Drag Race, I'm going to do Drag Race to win. If you're not going to do Drag Race with the intention of winning, don't do Drag Race. That's my biggest piece of advice. Because is that not the ultimate goal? I knew with all the time and effort and money that it takes to be a part of this experience. You have to believe that. Sure, it can be a little bit delusional, in that you don't know what's gonna hit you when you get into the Werk Room. But you have to have that sense of belief. I didn't have that when I auditioned the first time, I truly didn't. I was like, 'Well, maybe.' But then the second time around, I was like, 'Oh, girl, we're going to the end, full steam ahead. So seeing myself here in front of you with these other three icons. I can't say I'm surprised.

AURORA MATRIX: Oh, 100%, I had made a promise to myself that I was going to finish my BFA, finish university, and then audition. That was always the goal. So I'm very proud that I stuck to that. I went through all the schooling and everything. I honestly knew in my heart, I [was] going to audition when I'm done school, and it's going to be the right time and it's going to work out. And hey, this is exactly where I wanted to land. And I am very proud of myself. I'm excited for the world to just see how much more Aurora they can get.

One of the most moving episodes this entire season was the makeover challenge and getting to see the people that you love show up for you in that way. Aurora, your story was really powerful in that you opened up about the struggles your parents have had with your identity and drag, and hearing the beautiful letter they wrote you. I am curious, since the show aired did you get to watch with them and what has their reaction been?

AURORA: I haven't been able to watch it with them, but they are tuning in every single week to watch it live, which is already such a blessing and I am very grateful for that. I had called my parents the night before [that episode] just to give them a heads up, like, 'Remember this is an emotional episode. I will be talking about our relationship and all that. Just know that me talking about this is my way of coping and learning and processing everything that has happened in my life.' I just think that everything happens for a reason and happens when it needs to happen. Canada's Drag Race was the opportunity for both myself to show my parents what my drag is to me, and also to allow my parents to have the opportunity to tell me how they feel to kind of bury the hatchet and start back at zero and work on our relationship. I'm very proud to say that we are so much closer than a year ago, and they're coming to the finale that I'm doing here in Toronto. So all things come to an end, but it's gonna be good. And I'm very excited to see where else our relationship will blossom.

I feel like Drag Race is such a powerful platform for building empathy and all of us as queer people are automatically outsiders. Denim, the layers of your identity be it your trans identity or being on the spectrum adds to that narrative. How has it been for you to both challenge people’s expectations and for people who identify with your story to see themselves reflected? What has that feedback been like for you?

DENIM: There have been so many barriers in my life that have tried to stop me from getting where I am right now. My entire schooling, having undiagnosed autism and a learning disability, I had my teachers tell me my entire life I wouldn't even make it into university, I wouldn't be able to achieve my dreams, I wouldn't be able to be successful. Facing so many barriers in the medical system to be able to just exist as who I am. It's been a really long journey. Being able to get to a place where I'm comfortable in my identity — and having my mom there to amplify that story, because she has been my biggest support, my entire journey was really special. The overall reaction has been beyond what I imagined. I don't know why, but I didn't think that I would touch the autistic community as much as I did coming into this. Seeing people respond by being so grateful to have that representation, it's just like everything I've wanted through this journey.

That's incredible. We all know the importance of representation, and it's so hard because, as a community, we're so diverse — to like, actually get it is so hard. And that's the power of Drag Race: Eventually, someone is going to show up and represent you and I think that's powerful.

DENIM: I feel our cast did that so well. There's so much diversity in our cast having the first Nigerian queen, the oldest queen in Drag Race history, our first indigenous person to make it this far in the competition, a trans woman, a trans man. Canada knows what they're doing!

No kidding! And that brings me to you, Venus. You’ve talked about what it means to you to represent Indigenous people in the finale. Can you share a little bit about how you’re feeling and the feedback you’ve received from your community?

VENUS: There are just not enough stories of Indigenous people thriving and there are still countless communities in Canada that are Indigenous communities that aren't getting the treatment and the respect from anybody that they deserve. Getting to share [my story], I'm just a small bit of that, but knowing that it is going to touch a little Indigenous child out there that is watching this for the first time. I can't even explain the immense pride and joy that I feel when I think about those things.

I’m friends with all of the previous Indigenous sisters that have been on the show and it's amazing to hear that they're proud of me and to know that they feel like I've represented us in a positive way. It's a prideful feeling that I don't take for granted. To be in this position has not happened yet and to be here almost feels surreal.

I love that Drag Race can also tell those stories and still have a lot of fun shade. Nearah, you brought talent and beauty to the competition but also a fearlessness and an old-school Drag Race sensibility. What advice do you have queens who will follow you about being outspoken, authentic, and unafraid of the haters?

NEARAH: Well, I'm kind of unfazed by it. So if that's any good advice, that's like the best thing ever. When people see you rising and being successful, there's going to be that instinct to tear the person down. All of the people who are talking negatively are from anonymous profiles and are just shady in that way. But I got to this because of me. I spoke like that in my audition tapes as well. I was like, 'Nobody's gonna send me home or lip sync, they're just not, I'm telling you right now.' That is something that I can roll with, but I definitely recommend people following in our footsteps. Take notes. If you see a moment to make great TV, take it and run with it.

My last question is for all of you: Now that everything is said and done, what is your proudest moment from the show and is there a moment with one of your sisters that is still living rent-free in your head?

AURORA: My proudest moment, I would say, is maybe when I was in the bottom for the Snatch Game. That was maybe my lowest point of the competition, at risk of going home. But I went back to what I know best, and that's performing. And that's putting on a good show. And I think leading up to that we got a taste of what I could do in the girl group episode. And this was really that time to just show that I will fight for my spot in this competition. And if you land at the bottom with me, I will put up a fight for that. It was just such a rewarding moment because I felt like that was the moment that a lot of people started to see Aurora for the queen that I am and what I do best.

And is there anything that you remember especially about the girls here that just sort of pops into your head randomly?

AURORA: I really enjoyed our mirror shots during our makeup time. I learned a lot about my sisters in the makeover challenge and also learned a lot about their families and their upbringing, their growing up. And I just think that is a very special and precious moment that I will never forget. And even when I do my makeup now I'm constantly FaceTiming these girls just so that there's another voice talking back to me while I'm doing my makeup.

NEARAH: My proudest moment was the Lip Sync Slay Off win for me just because I've read online that people didn't really know who I was as an artist up until that point because my runways were kind of all over and I was just like a bitch. Now it is showing exactly who I am as an artist.

VENUS: My proudest moment? Getting to share that last episode with my mom. My mom's my best friend and she sacrificed a lot in her life to make sure that my sister and I had everything that we needed. She really put aside her own dreams to see us thrive. So it's been really fun getting to watch the episode with her. She has had like the week of her life. She's having her own little moment of fame and just getting to make her feel so beautiful and make her feel like the superstar that she has always been to me is something that money can't buy, you know, that is like a gift that production gave us. And I'm so grateful that they allowed us to share that moment with all of our loved ones.

And what moment is living rent-free in your head?

VENUS: I mean, I gotta say it when I was watching that fight [with Melinda Verga in Untucked]. That was a proud moment as a cast member because I put on my production hat at that moment. At the end of the day, obviously it's not that serious — we're all in this pressure cooker. But when all that was happening I also thought of myself as a viewer, and I was like, this is just golden. This is going to be so iconic. In that moment, I was like, I gotta get in here. I gotta tell Melinda she can't say those things again because I need this fight to keep going! I mean, it was just a testament to the cast of how passionate we are. And the fact that we can create really iconic moments.

Well, as a viewer I want to say I appreciate you. Congratulations on an incredible season of Canada’s Drag Race. I can’t wait to see who takes home that crown and what you'll all do next!

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Rachel Shatto

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Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.