By Mark Dawson
Phi Phi O’Hara was known to be something of a b-i-t-c-h on the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Her on camera antics went beyond competitive chiding. She was constantly yelling at other contestants, often criticizing them for what she believed to be their lack of talent. “I was a bitch and I am a bitch,” she admits, “but only when I need to be.”
Phi Phi O’Hara feels her anger was misunderstood. “I was young and a lot of my anger was misguided frustration,” she explains.
Competing on the show turned out to be much tougher than O’Hara had anticipated. “I thought it would be easy. Little did I know the time crunch we would be under to prepare for each challenge, how quickly we had to change in and out of clothes and make-up, and how long we would be forced to stand on stage under burning hot lights. The powder puff I carried became my best friend because I was always sweating.”
“On top of all that, the girls I was competing against were good,” she adds. “Damn good!”
As she sings about in her new pop-rock anthem, “Bitchy”, a song she will debut at Camp David this weekend, Phi Phi O’Hara has never been one to let anyone stand in the way of achieving her dreams. She didn’t always appreciate the criticism she received from judges and other contestants on the show. She felt much of it was intended to be destructive, rather than constructive.
“Every now and then, it’s important to put your foot down and say enough is enough,” she says. “Much of what I did and said was meant to defend the hard work I put into the competition.”
She takes the words of fellow competitor Latrice Royale to heart. Royale told her that being a bitch is never a bad thing when one lives by a certain meaning of the word. B.I.T.C.H: Be In Total Control of Herself.
“That is a message I live by,” O’Hara says. “And it’s at the heart of the song.”
Written and produced by Zach Adam and Heather Holley (who has written several hits for Christina Aguilera), “Bitchy” lets everyone know O’Hara takes ownership of the title she has been branded. It is also an inspirational message to fans that whatever negative names people throw at them, they should never let it tear them down.
O’Hara sings “Bitchy” as her male counterpart, Jaremi. “I sing in my real voice because I wanted to showcase a very real and important part of what makes me…me.”
However, she is releasing the track as Phi Phi O’Hara and appears in full drag in the song’s music video. “I could never forget Phi Phi and the impact she has on who I am as a person and the career I have today. That’s why I felt it was appropriate to release “Bitchy” as my alter ego,” she explains. “I would like to eventually transition into singing and performing as Jaremi.”
Phi Phi O’Hara performs “Bitchy” at the RuPaul’s Drag Race BATTLE OF THE SEASONS party at Center Stage on Tuesday, April 22nd. “Bitchy” by Phi Phi O’Hara is available on iTunes. For more information, visit www.phiphiohara.com.