“It breaks prejudices”… “Drag Race France” told by those who knew nothing about the show

“It breaks prejudices”… “Drag Race France” told by those who knew nothing about the show

“I was very surprised to see thatbeing a drag queen isn’t just about makeup and outfits – which would already be a lot! It is a complete performance of an artist: knowing how to sing, dance, make people laugh and cry. Elise, a 25-year-old librarian fell in love with the first episode of Drag Race France. This Parisienne is not the only one. Aired Saturday at 11:25 p.m. France 2, the program was followed by 914,000 people, or 11.6% of audience share. A very good score, in line with those achieved by We are live who usually occupied this time slot.

Broadcast on the air on an exceptional basis – the following episodes will be available every Thursday from 8 p.m., only on the France TV Slash platform – the kick-off of the drag-queens competition therefore found a – wide – audience, raking far beyond the community of fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the cult American show created in 2009 and which Drag Race France is an adaptation. 20 minutes launched a call for testimonials on Twitter on Sunday to collect the impressions of those who discovered the concept for the first time on Saturday evening. The reactions were numerous, here is a selection.

Sylvie, 67 years old: “A show like that changes things”

Alexandra is the “spokesperson” of her mother, a retired teacher in Dunkirk: “She is not particularly aware of gay or queer culture. We live in Dunkirk (North), so men who wear make-up, put on wigs and dresses, the streets are full of them four months a year with carnival. For someone here, it’s not something “shocking” even if the historical origins of clet’che (the carnival costume in Dunkirk patois) and drag obviously have nothing to do. When my mother discovered the trailer for Drag Race France, she was immediately very curious and enthusiastic, but it was rather the artistic aspect and the exuberance that attracted her. After she saw this first episode, she understood, without my having to explain to her, that there was something deeper and more important in this program than glitter. She found the contestants touching and funny and the show “well done”. While adding: “a show like that, it changes!” »

Yann 32 years old: “Why not test in replay, at worst we cut”

“My companion and I are not familiar with the drag world, we do not frequent gay clubs or events likely to welcome them, specifies this Drômois who lives near Montélimar. We saw a lot of promotion on the French program on TV and on Twitter. We said to ourselves: “Why not test in replay, at worst we cut.” Frankly we liked it a lot. The decor is super punchy, the drags have, for the most part, beautiful outfits, the punchlines were funny without being too mean. We didn’t expect anything in the end, knowing neither the rules nor the process, but it was a great moment. There are of course downsides. The drag that animates [Nicky Doll] is not very comfortable and the written valves fall a little flat. The absence of an audience is felt, especially at the time of the presentation of the jury and the end of the performances. It’s nice anyway to see this kind of program on TV to show positive diversity. »

Ibrahim, 43: “It breaks down prejudices”

” I had seen a presentation of the program at Ruquier [dans On est en direct]. So I looked to see if the performance was there or not, writes this health executive from Brie-Comte-Robert (Seine-et-Marne). I was surprised by the candidates’ ability to combine so many talents: designing outfits, singing, moving, dancing, acting, creating emotion… It’s also very interesting to see the people behind these characters. The sequence where [les queens] remove their make-up and reveal themselves, the sequences where they comment [dans le confessionnal] help to break down prejudices too. It’s “jostling” without actually being so. It is enough to understand the game and the exercise. A drag queen is a complete artist. »

Marie-Laure, 35: “I went through a lot of emotions”

“I had heard of the concept because a lot of people that I follow on social networks are interested in it, writes this farmer from Aveyron. I had never tried to watch, no doubt because the original version – the only one from which I saw excerpts – is very American – inevitably – and, basically, it didn’t speak to me. So I looked Drag Race France with a fresh eye and I was not disappointed. I went through a lot of emotions: laughter, wonder, admiration, astonishment, sadness, sometimes, at the mention of the paths strewn with pitfalls of certain participants… It was very enriching and full of discoveries. I also loved the diversity of the cast and this cohabitation of these multiple cultures, the Franco-French one that we all knew through TV shows and reports [sur les cabarets], the more recent one, imported from the United States, but also inspirations from elsewhere, with candidates from Mexico or Tunisia. »

Nicolas, 25 years old: “It was a superficial psychological analysis”

“I was afraid it would be soft in the knee like other reality shows, but it’s held up pretty well. The ultra-phoned jokes, it’s a good master key. On the other hand, I was a little shocked when the candidates started talking about their personal problems, about the image they sent back, explains this lighting engineer from Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine). In the show, it denoted and we were not necessarily sufficiently attached to be affected. The Big Bertha is super friendly (she is already my favorite) but her testimony left me a little unmoved. It’s probably the editing that did that, it was really a superficial psychological analysis. I’ll probably watch episode 2 but if there’s still ten minutes of tear-jerking footage I’ll fast forward. »

Sophie, 48: “I’m not a fan of the concept of three green plants in underwear”

“I took the show on the way and I admit that I was scared because the first passages in the confessional were in total mode bitch [langue de vipère]. I said to myself: “Shit, if it goes all out on it, it’s going to stuff me.” I don’t usually watch a reality TV show because the production choices that insist on clashes, it inflates me, specifies this computer scientist from Meaux (Seine-et-Marne). But I was reassured quickly because I felt a lot of goodwill from the candidates and the jury. Both in the “off” moments and during the passages on stage. All were generally admiring of the performances of the others. I was really surprised by the diversity of services and level. Are there things that bothered me? I’m not a fan of the concept of three green plants in underpants [le “pit crew”]. »

Alexis, 23: “I imagined that only men were drag queens”

“I already knew RuPaul by name and RuPaul’s Drag Race but I had never looked because my level of English is not good enough. I watched the first episode of the French version first out of curiosity, this web developer from Angers (Maine-et-Loire) tells us. On social media, a lot of people like me were talking about it and, as it’s part of LGBT culture and I’m gay, I wanted to find out. I liked it, I didn’t think it was going to be so funny. I imagined that only men were drag queens, but I found that it was not so limited because there is a trans woman, in the French cast. I saw that in the second episode there would be drag kings and I can’t wait to watch it because that, for once, I absolutely don’t know. »

Ivan: “I was struck by the freedom of tone”

” I watched Drag Race France without ever having watched an episode of the franchise. Overall I had a pretty good time. The thing that struck me the most is the freedom of tone, of vocabulary, we are finally getting away from “It’s TV, you have to hold on and not be believed”, so it gives a lot of spontaneity to the show and coming from France 2 is even more surprising, applauds this Belgian host. There were some lengths anyway. The choice of Nicky Doll for the presentation is rather successful even if we sometimes see her glued to the teleprompter. The drag cast is very eclectic and alternating moments of confidence with festive moments is a good idea, it really allows you to go beyond the just “physical” side of this art. The whole thing perhaps lacked context for those who had never watched, to be able to fully understand the issues. »

Catherine 36 years old: “A program like this feels good”

“I had never heard of the original show, I even thought it was a French creation, confides this employee of a mutual insurance company living in Saint-Maur (Val-de-Marne). What prompted me to watch is the originality of the program. A little openness to public service is good, I think. I had an “old-fashioned” image of drag queens: men who dress up as women. Honestly, I was very surprised. I loved it, it’s not at all kitsch, the drags are magnificent. There is a lot of humor, second degree and benevolence. The moment that touched me was when they confided in how they came to be drag queens. I was marked by one sentence in particular: “Behind the glam, there is drama”. It changes from what we are offered and then a program like that at the moment feels good. »

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