The series will stream on WOW Presents Plus globally – excluding Italy – on 13 October. Get ready for Drag Race Italia Season 3!
Are you ready to say Bongiorno to the 13 Queens competing in Drag Race Italia season 3?
World of Wonder has revealed the names of the 13 fabulous queens competing for the crown in the third season of DRAG RACE ITALIA. Which will be available on WOW Presents globally on 13th October. Excluding Italy where it will premiere day-and-date with its local airing on Paramount+.
The show also debuted the brand new soundtrack for the series featuring previously unreleased song, “The Queens” (© Sony Music Entertainment Italy | Columbia Records Italy and ℗ Universal Music Publishing | Metatron Publishing) by Paola Iezzi. Who, together with Paolo Camilli, Chiara Francini and Drag Queen Priscilla make up the judging panel for this season. The song was written by Paola Iezzi and Johannes Willinder.
In DRAG RACE ITALIA, the country’s fiercest drag queens are ready to put their charisma, uniqueness and talent to the test in the race to be crowned ‘Italy’s Next Drag Superstar’.
THE 13 QUEENS OF DRAG RACE ITALIA
Get to know the 13 leading ladies of DRAG RACE ITALIA:
Adriana Picasso emerged as an artist in Cuba in 2013 and describes herself as one of the best drag queens in competitions. A fearless individual who loves challenges. In 2019, she relocated to Italy, working as a personal assistant for the elderly. And as a warehouse worker for Amazon. Today, she is studying marketing but emphasizes, “I currently hold the title of Miss Master Queen Northwest Italy; art is my profession.”
As a native Spanish speaker, in her daily life, Adrian assists the elderly and disabled. At night, she transforms into a 1970s jazz diva draped in sequins and wonder. She has dreamed of becoming an actress and singer since childhood. But also understands the desire to express her talent by becoming a fabulous drag queen. The voluptuous diva who has long resided in her mind. In 2018, she truly grasped that drag offered the perfect opportunity to express her art and femininity. She explains feeling most at ease when in direct contact with the audience. She defines herself as fabulous, competitive, and just sensitive enough. Regarding her private life, she shares a less-than-happy relationship with her father. And a mother who was always there for her, even though often away for work. “The most beautiful moment was waiting for her at the airport when she came home.”
She grew up with her grandmother, the most important person in her life. Her virtues? Adriana Picasso describes herself as “Exquisite, glamorous, and flamboyant. I love drag queens, whoever they may be. I’ve loved them since I was dazzled by a drag performance in a club; it seemed like magic. I immediately started shaping my drag and performing in venues. I don’t take inspiration from anyone and I take inspiration from all drag queens; they make me happy. Drag is my joy because I can truly be myself. How did I choose my name? Without thinking too much, I simply feminized my name, Adrian.”
OUT OF DRAG: ADRIAN BARCELAY
29 years old, born in Cuba, and currently living in Padua. “As a child, I loved art; I wanted to become an actor or singer. Then I discovered the world of drag, and finally, I could express my art as I had always desired.”
Alessio vs. Amy Krania. Since he was a child, his passion for dance left no room for other disciplines or sports. Even though he never had the opportunity to attend dedicated courses, living in a small provincial town. Alessio is a young man full of enthusiasm who loves pushing himself to new limits. He started to explore the world of theatre at the age of 18, studying at an amateur musical academy in Brescia. Through singing, dancing, acting, and tap dancing, he realizes that his true professional path lies in the artistic realm. The world of entertainment, a long-desired dream, becomes his lifelong aspiration. His debut sees him as the protagonist in various theatrical performances. Often alongside drag queens whom he almost venerates, awakening strong emotions within him.
In 2022, encouraged by a dear friend and his drag mother, he discovers makeup. And experiments with his skills in heels, ready to become the drag queen he dreams of being. In June 2022, he stars in a show where he portrays Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast. After the performance, he changes his look and continues the evening completely in drag, liking himself so much that Amy Krania soon emerges.
She describes herself as follows: “Amy is born from the desire to return to the stage, to unite my passions and my background. I was always the prince, but now the Queen wants to go to the ball! I want to give the audience my mimicry, my long legs, my voice. My vulnerability, my humility, and elegance, but above all, my desire to grow and learn. Being on stage, and giving voice to Amy, fills me with joy. The audience and those wooden boards make me experience what others act in reality.”
“Amy doesn’t love, doesn’t hurt, she just wants your headache!”. “I was looking for a catchy name; I thought of various solutions. From the more fashionable ones to those linked to icons. Then I thought about my life, always in a rush, juggling four jobs at once. The frenzy, the stress of the fashion world, and the exhaustion of colleagues and others. The anxiety before performances, my need for control. My verbosity, romanticism, and a bit of a nuisance. Help, what a headache! How can you keep up with me? Amy doesn’t love, doesn’t hurt, she just wants your headache! And I know you all suffer from it, so you think of me and don’t forget me.”
OUT OF DRAG: ALESSIO BONETTA
31 years old from Brescia (Cigole), holds a diploma from a technical institute for surveyors. Subsequently, he attended a fashion design course. For eight years, Alessio has worked in Milan as a fashion accessories designer for both men and women, collaborating with important Italian brands.
La Prada was born in 2018 and didn’t choose her own name, nor did she invent any fancy linguistic constructs. Everyone just knows her as La Prada, as if it had always been that way. Prada is Leonardo’s real surname, and when she’s in heels, she’s La Prada to everyone. It’s almost a challenge against that bothersome surname associated with her “dear” family. And their, as she puts it, politically right-wing lifestyle, an environment in which La Prada doesn’t want to live. She declares, “I feel out of line with their morals.”
She is the presenter and artistic director of the drag show Basta Drag. A performance that combines 1930s Italian cabaret with a modern American drag brunch. La Prada is a journey into modernity that comes from the past. She acts, sings, is a stand-up comedian, and makes her own outfits on which she often sews the creation date. The dress title, and her signature, which certainly doesn’t want to go unnoticed.
In 2018, she performed at the Toilet Club in Milan and quickly became its official resident drag queen. La Prada describes herself as “a situational drag queen,” one who always manages to engage you, chameleon-like, a talented actress. She says, “I believe I have all the weapons and skills to win Drag Race.” Leonardo was born in 1997, “the only child” his parents didn’t expect to have. However, his grandmother introduced him to the world of opera and theatre. And much of his drag character is inspired by the figures of divas from bygone eras and the world of theatre.
Leonardo primarily grew up with his nanny, who also happened to be the town’s seamstress. He says, “I learned to sew with her before I learned to ride a bike.” His years at the art high school were significant and formative for him. The years of his first commissioned sewing work, even if not too fortunate because, as Leonardo recalls, “In the end, they paid me with a pack of cigarettes.” Despite that, he realized he could turn his passion for fashion into a career.
OUT OF DRAG: LEONARDO PRADA
25 years old from Milan. He works as a costume designer, assistant director, artistic director, and stage technician. “I like to think of myself now as the realized version of the child in me who dreamed of being a princess-ballerina astronaut-scientist in space.”
La Sheeva is a drag queen born in 2005 in Rome after leaving her hometown, Calabria. A place that didn’t always provide her with great emotions, quite the opposite. She decided to pursue the art of drag after the huge disappointment of giving up singing, her primary passion. Behind the exaggerated makeup and irreverence of La Sheeva is Andrea. A determined character but very different from her alter ego. Thanks to the teachings of her beloved grandmother, Andrea learned the art of tailoring. She was the one who made her first stage costumes and supported her throughout her artistic journey.
Andrea describes her as “the guiding light in my life.” Her biggest wish? To be able to exclaim, “Look, Grandma, that’s me on TV.” She recalls the most beautiful moment of her life being the phone call she received from Drag Race Italia to officially announce her entry into the cast of the new season. “I burst into hysterical tears, but I was extremely happy.” For La Sheeva, drag is everything, a combination of sacrifices that represent the most important part of her life today. Her biggest fear? Not completing the Race, is the opportunity of a lifetime that La Sheeva doesn’t want to waste for any reason.
“I don’t draw inspiration from anyone; I am my own inspiration.” “My drag name is a wordplay that perfectly reflects the personality of my drag. I used to be a dancer, but that dimension wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more, and within drag, I found my entire universe and my life. My idol is me because despite everything I’ve experienced, moments of happiness and great discouragement, I’m still here and not giving up! I’m a bitch, baby!”
OUT OF DRAG: ANDREA MILIE’
37 years old, born in Tropea, Calabria. In everyday life, he is a makeup artist. He was a singer and dancer for many years. But abandoning singing, despite the disappointment, ignited the sacred fire of art in him. And stimulated the birth of his drag persona.
Leila Yarn is a very young drag queen officially born in 2022 from the fantasies of Emanuele, a young and outgoing Palermo native. Her drag mission is clear: to create something new that harks back to the past. She says of herself, “My drag name is a combination of things. I chose the name Leila based on the nickname my family used to call me when I was a child, ‘Lele.’
Having been fortunate to have a family that has always loved me for who I am, I decided to take this name and make it feminine. The surname ‘Yarn’ comes from my passion for crocheting, which has now become my trademark when it comes to clothing. ‘Yarn’ is the English translation of ‘filo,’ and it originated from an inside joke, ‘She is thin like a piece of Yarn.'” “Dance and fashion are the loves of my life, and thanks to this world, I have been able to combine them and bring my full fantasy to life.”
Leila began dancing at the age of 8; dancing is her greatest dream, an all-encompassing passion that takes her around the world, far from the emotional stability that teenagers of that age should typically have. She moved to Genoa at just 12 years old and three years later to London to study dance. She later graduates in Hamburg as a professional dancer and secures her first professional contract for three years. Dance helps Emanuele understand that deep inside, there is an artistic fire that desperately wants to break free. He says of himself, “For me, drag encapsulates everything that makes me feel alive today. It’s pure art. Being able to convey messages through an alter ego is something magical and powerful at the same time.”
“Since I was a child, I have always been in love with art because it has no boundaries, and it has always given me a sense of freedom, where everything can make sense but at the same time may not. Furthermore, the idea of breaking free from the societal norms that have always been imposed as correct ideals, the super-masculine man and the super feminine woman, I believe it is necessary in today’s world to continue fighting against these stereotypes because fortunately, the more representation there is for a minority, the more normalization will occur for what is still seen as a threat in the eyes of many ignorant people.”
OUT OF DRAG: EMANUELE COSTANZO
24 years old from Palermo. A professional dancer who has lived in various places such as Genoa, London, Tokyo, Kyoto, Greifswald, and Taormina to pursue his greatest artistic dream in the world of dance.
The World of Lightning Aurora. Her approach to drag art dates back to 2015 when she embarked on an artistic journey starting with Cosplay, participating in gatherings and conventions all over Italy. Drag helped her piece together fragments of her childhood, and in 2018, she crafted an authentic character that defines her alter ego today. In 2018, Lightning Aurora was born, not only helping Nicola emerge from a long, difficult period but also allowing her to appreciate and accept herself without having to change anything about herself, feeling as fabulous as she had always felt.
Her references are: “Hollywood divas are my greatest inspiration. Lightning is the protagonist of the video game Final Fantasy 13, a character who appears very strong but has immense sensitivity. Aurora comes from Disney’s 1959 animated film ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ This second name of mine represents my dreamy nature. Additionally, both names are related to phenomena of light, lightning and the northern lights, and the name Lightning also symbolizes light and energy. I consider myself a drag queen with a big heart and very loyal to others.”
OUT OF DRAG: NICOLA PILI
24 years old from Cagliari. She graduated from an art high school in Cagliari and pursued studies in visual arts and voice dubbing. Thanks to drag art, she reevaluates her aesthetic femininity, expressing all its nuances to the fullest. She describes herself as an activist for LGBTQIA+ rights and speaks to gender identity and non-binary minorities.
Lina Galore exploded artistically in 2019, paying homage in her name to Lina Sastri, the Neapolitan actress who portrayed Ninuccia in “Natale in Casa Cupiello,” a film that reminds her of her origins and, above all, her family. “I wanted a name that had emotional significance for me and, even though it’s very Italian, sounded good in English.” Galore, which means “in abundance, aplenty,” is a drag family name inherited from her drag mother and ex-boyfriend, Sissy Galore. Speaking of her early days in drag, she says, “Starting to do drag with your partner is fortunate because you don’t feel the worry of other people’s judgment. What matters most, after all, is the support of those we love.”
Lina has too many role models to easily summarize. Very often, people tell her that her drag as a cross between Trixie Mattel and Violet Chachki. For her, it’s a compliment, but she knows there’s much more behind her research and art. However, her best quality remains sarcasm. Behind Lina’s concept, there’s always a reference to a character from old cartoons. Her makeup is deliberate, almost to make Lina something that anyone can easily draw, unleashing their imagination.
Drag Race represents an opportunity for Lina to share her art even more freely and honestly with everyone, including her family. “Last May, my longest-lasting relationship (8 years) came to an end, after which I found myself completely disoriented and full of questions. I am doing a huge job of rebuilding my self-esteem, my perception of myself, and the priorities I have in my daily life. At this moment, the most important relationship in my life is the one I am trying to build with myself. Slowly, I am learning the value that I perhaps deserve, the same value that, probably before, I only depended on the presence and approval of another person beside me.” “Why do I do drag?
Because it makes me happy. And I consider it an act of extreme political courage (especially in a country like ours and at this specific moment in history) as well as a representation tool, a fundamental element for survival in a heteronormative society. If even just one young person, seeing me strut or perform, finds the courage to be themselves, then that wig is worth every last euro spent (and I spend a lot on wigs). I adore the universe of female comedy, especially if that comedy takes the form of a sexy, curvaceous body, from which one would expect – concerning patriarchy and heteronormativity – only winks and frivolities. All the images, creatures, and personalities that fit into this specific universe inspire me.”
OUT OF DRAG: GIOVANNI MONTUORI
34 years old from Avellino, but he lives and works in Milan. He is a communication strategy consultant and digital producer. He describes himself as, “I consider myself a sensitive guy, quite intelligent, very introspective, although quite extroverted.”
Melissa Bianchini is a transgender drag queen of Brazilian origin who has become a naturalized Italian citizen. She describes herself as an explosive drag queen, and from Melissa Bianchini, you should expect: “Professionalism and complex costumes; you will never see me in a simple bodysuit.” She began her professional career at the Alibi nightclub in Rome and then moved on to the more famous Roman gay club, Muccassassina, where she has been working for about 8 years.
Melissa considers the club in the capital her second home. “I’m coming to Drag Race Italia to win. I want to win as a transgender person because it’s the least represented community, and I also have a lot to show!” At the age of 18, she moved to Italy, leaving behind the memories of an imperfect family and bringing with her a strong desire to completely change her life.
About Drag Race, she declares, “At Drag Race Italia, I will represent the trans community. I’m participating for various reasons, first and foremost because it’s my lifelong dream to showcase what I can do artistically, and also because I’m certain that I can send a powerful message to the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond. Even today, the transgender world faces discrimination, but I hope, in my own small way, to leave a mark and become, in some way, a champion of this great battle.”
She describes herself as a very shy and introverted person in everyday life, but a hurricane of energy when she steps onto the stage. She is a fashion designer, designing and creating all of her outfits, and meticulously plans every live performance.
OUT OF DRAG: MELISSA BIANCHINI
36 years old, born in Brazil but living in Rome. She works as a drag performer, and costume designer, and is now one of the most famous drag queens at Muccassassina, in addition to being its official spokesperson. In the drag world, she is known as the Beyoncé look-alike.
Morgana Cosmica describes her drag as the perfect combination of beauty and comedy queens. Her artistic references mirror the style of the queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. She’s a drag queen ready to never fall behind and full of initiative. She doesn’t have a drag mother, and everything she has learned about the drag world over the years, she has acquired through studying and practising.
She shares the story of her greatest love in her private life. In 2009, she met her current husband, whom she married three years later. During his bachelor party in New York, he met Bob The Drag Queen in a cabaret show, the winner of Drag Race US season 8. It was her husband in 2019 who encouraged Claudio to step onto the stage and shine as a true professional drag queen.
About herself, she says, “I am respectful and kind but with a bit of sass. My drag name came about somewhat by chance, but not entirely. I wanted the initials to be the same as my real name, Marseglia Claudio. Once I chose Morgana, it was my husband who came up with the surname Cosmica because, after seeing me in drag for the first time, he called me that. My drag is always cheerful, well-groomed, but it never takes itself too seriously.”
Reflecting on her past, she recalls, “I was the typical guy who looked forward to Carnival and Halloween more than Christmas so I could express my creativity. When I do drag, I draw a lot of inspiration from the world of Barbie (Hot Pink is my identifying colour) and iconic divas in general. Doing drag makes me happy and makes me feel free from conventions, judgments, and prejudices. When I’m Morgana, I am stronger and more unapologetic. I am respectful and kind, but being a good Neapolitan, I always have a thousand tricks up my sleeve to surprise the audience.”
OUT OF DRAG: CLAUDIO MARSEGLIA
38 years old from Naples. In the past, he owned an interior design studio. Today, he works as an employee and performs in various drag queen shows around Italy.
SILVANA DELLA MAGLIANA
Silvana Della Magliana was born thirteen years ago by chance during the years of the acting and dubbing course she was attending at a party with friends when she put on an improvised drag show in the worst possible way. Despite this, she gradually started performing and entertaining themed nights, perfecting her character in style and outfits. She defines herself as the girl-next-door drag queen, not the most beautiful or glamorous, but certainly very charming. Will she be the new comedy queen of Drag Race Italia? Her motto is “Hasta Magliana.”
Silvana exists to make people laugh and not, as she explains, to feed her femininity. She considers herself a “vocabulary” drag queen, meaning she pays attention to words. With her character and her drag, she tries not to be associated with sexuality, as is often the case for those unfamiliar with the world of drag queens. She writes her own performance texts and takes them to the stage with the goal of providing fun and relaxation for her audience, accessible to all. It’s through her monologues that she manages to convey her deeper message: never confuse lightness with superficiality.
She is a champion of non-violence and dislikes anyone who practices any form of violence. While in love with her audience, she prefers an audience of 55 years and older because she believes that at that age, people judge less and don’t care as much about who you are or who you want to be. During a competitive event, she was proclaimed Comedy Queen and remembers that day as one of the most exciting moments of her drag career. Making the audience smile is her greatest victory. “I have a body that dances, but I’m not a dancer” is her mantra.
“My name is a tribute to the great Italian actress Silvana Pampanini (for a famous live TV quote that I’ve always loved) and ‘della Magliana’ because it rhymes with the name, but above all because ‘La banda della Magliana’ was one of the Italian movies that I appreciated the most. My strengths in my shows are definitely entertainment, speaking, putting myself in front of the audience, and acting in various comedy shows, those where you sing and dance, even though I’m not a dancer, I dive in, and I bring something home.”
OUT OF DRAG: TONY D’ELIA
44 years old, was born in Terracina and raised in Latina. He graduated from the Academy of Theater, studying Acting and Dubbing, and holds a degree in Modern Literature with a focus on Performance.
Sissy Lea is an Italian drag singer and actress who has been residing in England since 2003. She artistically emerged in London in 2019 when she participated in a Lip Sync competition and won it. “Those three minutes on stage changed my life.” She describes herself as a Camp Queen, meaning she embraces kitsch and is unapologetically cheeky. Her drag journey was significantly influenced by Baga Chipz, a famous English Drag Queen who helped her at the beginning of her career and encouraged her to become the international drag queen she is today.
Opportunity knocked when she nearly made it into the cast of the British edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race but fell short just before the final selection. Now, she is ready to give her all to impress the audience in the Italian season. She sees herself as a well-rounded and highly competitive artist.
Her drag name is a play on words that pays homage to her origins: “Sissy Lea” sounds like “Sisili” in Italian, combining her “Sicilia” (Sicily) with English. In 2021, she released her first pop single, “Camouflage Veil,” on Spotify. “Drag brings out the part of me that Massimo lacks. I am consistent, determined.”
“My weaknesses? I can be stubborn at times, and this can work against me. I always strive to be unique in my genre to stand out from the crowd because I have charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, as MamaRu says.”
OUT OF DRAG: MASSIMO MALLUZZO
44 years old, originally from Sicily but living in London. He works in London at a holiday centre as the deputy manager, organizing stays and vacations for people with disabilities.
Sypario’s drag name originated from an idea by a friend who, upon seeing a photo of Filippo in drag, exclaimed, “Sipario,” giving birth to something spectacular. Sypario chose this name as a tribute to their theatrical artistic background. Doing drag allows them to express the feminine side that comes to life and flourishes with makeup, which is a true passion for them.
They describe themselves as dedicated to work, tireless, and different from many other colleagues, a true workaholic. And would like to express everything they have inside, so many things that they wouldn’t want to limit themselves to performing only in small clubs. They have a lot to say and offer to their audience. A free space for everyone: for those who are not perfect, for those like them who aim to tell a story, a pain, an impossible love, always free.
They studied acting first in Rome and then in Naples at the Elicantropo Academy with the actor and director Carlo Cerciello. After completing their studies, they worked in Luisa Conte’s Stable Company at the Teatro Sannazzaro in Naples and began to frequent themed gay venues, never missing an opportunity to showcase their extravagant, colourful, and ornament-rich looks.
They declare their boundless love for Naples and the Neapolitans who appreciate Sypario. In everything, making them a symbol of a freedom often denied. In life, they are a specialized support teacher and have participated as an extra and actors in two Italian films, one with Paolo Sorrentino and the director Fabio Mollo.
OUT OF DRAG: FILIPPO CATERINO
29 years old from Caserta. In life, they work as a specialized support teacher.
Vezirja defines herself as the first drag queen in Albania and also the most famous in the country because she is the only one who performs wherever she can. She emerged as an artist in 2015 after a long period of academic training as an actor, which allowed Aleksander to immediately start working in theatrical productions alongside fellow artists who shared the common goal of challenging the sexism prevalent in those environments, especially for artists performing “en travesti.” Stopping homophobia:
“Despite Albania still being too homophobic, I try to move forward with pride to assert my art.” Her advocacy is a clear warning against the homophobia that is still widespread in Albania. However, Vezirja, aware of the risks to her own life by exposing herself in drag, remains steadfast in her artistic journey, hoping one day to raise greater awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in her country.
From school to the stage: She considers herself a drag queen with intelligent humour, which often prevents her from taking herself too seriously because “life is already too heavy as it is.” Vezirja’s unique sense of humour was discovered during her school days, precisely during a school performance that left an indelible memory: “I remember the beginning and the end of that performance when a long applause and a standing ovation, accompanied by tears and smiles from the audience, made me realize that I could change people’s lives with my art.” This memory has become a mantra for Vezirja, shaping her lifestyle.
OUT OF DRAG: ALEKSANDER SEITAJ
32 years old from Tirana, Albania. In real life, he is a popular professional actor in Albania. He has a good relationship with his parents, whom he simply describes as “politically correct” in the sense that they know everything about him and do not ask any questions.
DRAG RACE ITALIA S3 will premiere in the UK on 13 October 2023 exclusively on the streamer of all things drag, WOW Presents Plus.
Source: WOW Presents
Carl Roberts is the News Editor for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!