Aquaria, a West Chester-born drag queen, has made it to the finale of this season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1, moving closer to winning the show’s $100,000 grand prize, writes Nick Vadala for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Aquaria emerged as a fan favorite this season. Already a semi-celebrity before her appearance on the show, Aquaria’s Instagram following skyrocketed from 100,000 to around 690,000 after she joined the race.
Offstage, Aquaria is known as Giovanni Palandrani and was interested in dance from a young age. He eventually trained professionally for four years and became interested in YouTube makeup tutorials from Internet personalities like Gigi Gorgeous. He started exploring drag in high school.
“Through trial and error, I just kind of taught myself,” said Aquaria.
If Aquaria wins, she will be the first winner from the Philadelphia area. Two other performers from the area took part in the show, but neither made it as far.
Read more about Aquaria in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.