Does the lone drag queen refer to Chouchou, “La Cage aux folles” and Cabaret Michou? So wait there: after the UK, Spain and Italy, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the American reality show that has seen artists compete for more than a decade. She altered and performed rehearsals (make-up, costumes, dance, comedy) in preparation for her arrival in France. And all this soon on the platform France.tv scale down.
What could such a competition consist of? Simple: take dozens of drag queens from all over the United States (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta…). Make sure they are completely different in age, specialty, and level of experience (from comedians to ex-Broadway dancers, to those who just learned to wear makeup). Lock them up in a Los Angeles studio for a few weeks. There, put them to quizzes inspired by the indispensable characters in the life of a professional drag queen: write a skit and make the audience laugh, create a costume with very few resources, learn choreography or play a part in a comic. The musical … without forgetting the irony of the most emblematic aspects of American culture (distance shopping, Donald Trump, Madonna …). Finally, let it all be judged by RuPaul, the American high priestess of this transformative art and former New York nightclub queen who now seeks, every season, a new heiress ready to spread her message to the world. Peace, love and tolerance.
For if “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is the purest form of entertainment, its success is due not only to the quality of the movement, or even the appearance of the “pit crew,” this army of oiled dolls, including decorative presences polka dotted with certain rings. More than just a sewing, comedy, or singing competition, the show has already established itself, over the thirteen seasons of its American version, as a place to reflect on the state of LGBT people in the United States. who make up the bulk of the candidates … After making a dress in haste of things from a landfill, or by taking an underwater photo, it is not uncommon to see the participants, once they have taken off their handiwork (make-up, wigs, false eyelashes, fake boobs , fake chest and buttocks) and discuss different and painful topics with each other such as racism within the LGBT community, discrimination against people with HIV or even identity change.
Be careful, however, not to be too swayed by the testimony of this or that candidate: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” remains a competition where the candidates are good. At the end of each episode, the two drag queens whose performances were judged to be least satisfactory that day compete in “lip-sync” (a musical theatrical performance, a classic of drag art). From RuPaul, longtime friend Michelle Visage, but also special guests ranging from rapper Nicki Minaj to American actor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The goal: to determine who is worth staying in the race with $100,000 allocated to the winner each season.
Who is the French jury? Mylene Farmer? Stefano Bern?
In its nearly thirteen years of existence, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has successfully transformed the entertainment sub-genre into a social phenomenon, attracting tens of thousands of fans at every “DragCon”. (arrangements in which one could meet one’s favorite queen), propelled some candidates to the rank of stars. Sasha Velor has 1.8 million followers on Instagram and goes on a world tour with her shows. Miss Fame and Violet Chachki are increasing their collaborations with fashion houses: Jean Paul Gaultier, Margiela, Mugler, Miu Miu … Trixie Mattel collaborates with Netflix, a YouTube channel, a makeup brand, a music career …
But in France, where the practice of painting is more secretive than in America and where places dedicated exclusively to it are scarce, is a successful adaptation really possible? Was the success of Nikki Doll, a French queen who lives in New York after the show, enough to convince the house of a copy of it? On Twitter, the project led by Raphael Sioufi (author of Jean Paul Gaultier and Channel +), which has been announced since mid-November, is as annoying as it is. Among French fans of the show as well as local drag queens, we expect the irreverent humor of the original can be copied into our language, parts of our culture that will be mocked (attackers? Star Academy?”), or gay icons. You were chosen to be part of the jury By: Amanda Lear, Stephane Byrne, Bilal Hassani, Mylene Farmer, Lawrence Poccolini To find out, you have to be patient, because production has just finished the most important stage: the casting stage.
© Anthony Behar / CIBA USA / CIBA
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