Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson, known by his stage name Alyssa Edwards (born January 16, 1980), is an American drag performer, choreographer, and businessperson. Johnson was known for competing in drag pageantry (notably Miss Gay America 2010) before rising to national prominence on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, becoming a fan favorite during and after his time on the show. Johnson lives in Mesquite, Texas, where he owns and runs an award-winning studio, Beyond Belief Dance Company. Johnson and his dance studio are the centerpieces of a docuseries, Dancing Queen, produced by RuPaul and World of Wonder that premiered on October 5, 2018 on Netflix.
Alyssa Edwards performing in Santiago de Chile, August 2016
Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson
January 16, 1980
|Residence||Mesquite, Texas, U.S.|
Johnson performs under the stage name Alyssa Edwards. He chose his name in homage to Alyssa Milano and to his drag mother Laken Edwards, a former drag queen. Johnson is part of the drag family "the Haus of Edwards" and serves as drag mother to fellow RuPaul's Drag Race contestants Shangela Laquifa Wadley, Laganja Estranja, Gia Gunn, Vivienne Pinay, and Plastique Tiara. Johnson was one of the judges of the 2010 California Entertainer of the Year pageant, which Shangela won.
Johnson appeared in the 2008 documentary Pageant. The film focused on the 34th Miss Gay America pageant of 2006. On December 9, 2010, Johnson was stripped of his 2010 Miss Gay America title for having business dealings in conflict with obligations to the Miss Gay America organization. First alternate Coco Montrese replaced Johnson as the winner of Miss Gay America. That same year, Johnson was also stripped of his title as All American Goddess.
In November 2012, Logo announced that Johnson was among 14 drag queens who would be competing on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Also performing on the show was pageant friend and rival Coco Montrese. Performing as Alyssa Edwards throughout the season, Johnson won the ballet-themed main challenge in the "Black Swan: Why It Gotta Be Black?" episode. As part of the show, Johnson sang on the "We Are the World"-inspired song "Can I Get an Amen?" The song's proceeds helped benefit the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Johnson was eliminated in episode nine, following a lip sync against Coco Montrese, and finished in sixth place. Johnson has also been a special guest on the podcast series run by RuPaul and Michelle Visage called RuPaul: What's The Tee?
Johnson is also known for his web series titled "Alyssa's Secret". The series stars Johnson performing as Alyssa Edwards speaking on a multitude of subjects and often features guests including other members of the Haus of Edwards. The webseries is produced and premieres through World of Wonder Productions.[circular reference]
In 2016, Johnson returned as one of 10 contestants in Season 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, ending in fifth place. Johnson won the main challenge of the third episode titled "Herstory of the World", playing Annie Oakley in a performance featuring other famous women throughout history. He was then eliminated in episode four "Drag Movie Shequels", after playing Bland in "Wha' Ha' Happened to Baby JJ", a parody of "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?", with Alaska as Baby JJ. He returned in episode five "Revenge of the Queens" by winning a chance to reenter the competition, winning a comedy challenge with Alaska followed by a lip sync of Rihanna's 'Shut Up and Drive', in which both Edwards and Tatianna won. Johnson was then controversially eliminated a second time by Detox in episode seven "A Family that Drags Together", coming in fifth place overall.
Edwards competed in and won numerous pageant titles. They include:
- Miss Gay Texas America 2004, first alternate
- Miss Gay Texas America 2005, winner
- Miss Gay America 2005, second alternate
- Miss Northwest Regional Representative 2005, winner
- Miss Gay America 2006, third alternate
- Miss Texas FFI 2006, winner
- Miss Gay USofA 2006, winner
- Miss Texas Continental 2007, winner
- Miss Shining Star Continental 2009, winner
- Miss Gay Mid East America 2008, first alternate
- Miss Gay America 2009, third alternate
- Miss Gay Heartland America 2009, first alternate
- Miss Gay Heartland America 2010, first alternate
- Miss Gay America 2010, winner
- Southern Elegance All American Goddess 2010, winner
- All American Goddess 2010, winner
- National Entertainer of the Year, FI 2014, first alternate
|2016||Hurricane Bianca||Ambrosia Salad||Comedy|
|2018||Hurricane Bianca 2||Ambrosia Salad||Comedy|
|2010||My Life as Liz||Self||Episode: "Liz's Got Talent? (Part 1)"|
|2013||RuPaul's Drag Race||Season 5 - 6th place|
|RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked||Companion show to RuPaul's Drag Race|
|2015-16||Skin Wars||2 episodes|
|RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars||Season 2 - 5th place|
|2018||RuPaul's Drag Race||Season 10, Episode 2|
|Dancing Queen||Docuseries, 8 episodes|
|2019||RuPaul's Drag Race||Season 11, Episode 7|
|The Bachelorette||Season 15, Episode 2|
|2020||RuPaul's Celebrity Drag Race||Mentor|
|2013–17||Alyssa's Secret||Self||Produced by World of Wonder|
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- "Suspended Contestant and Affiliate Registry". Miss Gay America. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
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- Nelson, Maxine (30 January 2013). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 5 Premiere: A Fomenting Feud". Yahoo! Voices. Archived from the original on 2013-06-12. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Coughlan, Maggie (19 November 2012). "RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5 Contestants Announced". People. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Framke, Caroline (19 February 2013). "Black Swan: Why It Gotta Be Black?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Parker, Lyndsey (5 March 2013). "Great Musical Moments In Reality TV: RuPaul's "Can I Get An Amen"". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "Episodes". RuPaul: What's The Tee?.
- "Alyssa's Secret". worldofwonder.net.
- World of Wonder (production company)
- "Logo Announces Contestants For "RuPaul's All Star Drag Race" Season 2".
- Stiefvater, Sarah (29 May 2013). "Drag Queens Are Taking Over the Makeup Industry (and Honestly, It's About Damn Time)". PureWow. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
- "Alyssa Edwards". Our Community Roots. 15 June 2018.
- "Miss Gay America". Our Community Roots. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
- "Miss Gay America 2006". Miss Gay America. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
- Jones, Arnold (2 November 2009). "Dallas' Alyssa Edwards wins Miss Gay America". Dallas Voice. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Horbelt, Stephan (24 May 2013). "Always & Forever, Alyssa Edwards". Frontiers. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.