Nicky Doll crowned the first queen of Drag Race France

last night


At the end of the first seven episodes, three candidates remained in the running: Paloma, La Grande Dame and Soa de Muse.

Three very different drag queens, with different backgrounds in the competition, but who all seemed equally legitimate as each other to win the title.

After a performance on


by RuPaul, then a runway where everyone presented their best outfit, and finally a lipsync on

Die on stage

by Dalida, Nicky Doll announced her choice.

And Paloma wins!

Real name Hugo Bardin, Paloma is from Clermont Ferrand but has lived in Paris since 2009.

The drag queen shone throughout the competition, with constant humor, always relevant cultural references and more excellent outfits than each other.

We particularly remember her brilliant imitation of Fanny Ardant in the Snatch Game, her outfits for the Night of 1000 Mylène and of course her lipsync against Elips on



In the final episode you talk about what looks very much like impostor syndrome.

Now that you've won Drag Race, is your syndrome better?

That helps quite a bit!

(Laughs) I admit that I feel a little more legitimate.

When you were watching Drag Race with your friend during confinement [what she mentioned in episode 7] did you imagine yourself winning the competition?

I'm a big fan of Drag Race.

I watched the show from the start.

I watched it on illegal platforms when it wasn't on Netflix.

I always dreamed of doing it.

I was afraid to do it, when we were told that it was happening in France.

I asked myself questions, I wondered if it was compatible with my career plans as a director or an actor.

When I realized that was not a problem at all.

I signed up and didn't expect to be taken.

And when I got caught, I thought I was leaving on the first episode.

Yes, it's always like that!

Afterwards, I knew I had what it takes to win.

But there was competition in front!

The level was very high.

When did you start dragging?

You said yesterday on stage that you would have liked to start earlier...

In fact, I started very very young, around 17, to do drag in the theater.

And then afterwards the casting directors, the teachers, the people in the business told me: “Stop with that because otherwise you won't be working.

Virilize yourself.

I tried and it didn't work.

And above all I was very unhappy because it was not me.

It was my particularity to be flamboyant, to be feminine, to be queer.

I tried for a long time to be an all-purpose boy.

And afterwards, I took time to re-educate myself, to be queer.

And the drag came back quite late.

But better late than never, the proof!

At Café Beaubourg last night for the viewing party for the final episode, it was a World Cup atmosphere.

Does this enthusiasm surprise you?

It doesn't surprise me, it makes me happy!

I always knew the show had potential to appeal to a diverse audience, not just our community.

I hoped that France is ready and France is obviously.

What is pleasing is that our problems, which until now were invisible, suddenly are no longer.

Because France tuned into the show and listened to us every week telling our lives, our stories and I feel like it's a huge step for the whole queer community which until now was unfairly marginalized.

As the winner, will you carry a message?

Of course the crown pleases my little ego.

But what it represents is so much more important than me.

The light is not just on me, it is on an entire community, on a part of the population which needed to be represented and which was not so until then.

It's historic that there is a program on the public service made by queers for queers, which is well done and which is popular.

Today, I have this duty, this power, it is to be, I hope, the spokesperson for a whole new generation which needs representation and a model.

I don't know if I'm a model but in any case I have a microphone and now an audience to represent all these people who count on me.

You said you watch the American

Drag Race


Do you have any model drag queens among Americans?

Almost all winners.

I've pretty much always identified with the winners, so that's fine with me!

I would say Sasha Velor and Jinkx Monsoon.

I identified with them because no one was expecting them and they had something that wasn't fashionable, not trendy.

They never tried to be and that's what made them.

Otherwise, I really like Katya and Detox.

When a

Drag Race France

was announced, many feared that the French version wouldn't measure up.

Now that it has been fully aired, how do you view this first season?

People are always afraid of novelty.

Those who were worried are those who already know the show and feared that we could not reinvent the American model.

But precisely one of the strengths of the show is that we did not try to copy the American, we created a new language, we infused French culture and at the same time we open to different cultures.

There was inclusiveness.

We had queens from immigration, queens from many universes, a trans woman, a non-binary person.

The ten of us represent many colors of the inclusive flag.

For me, what is most important is that we had a good season.

We did not fall into a reality show where we throw glasses of water at each other's faces.

We were benevolent and we created a sound.

It would have been a shame for a first season in France to have aggressiveness or gossip between us.

Because we don't need that publicity.

During the first episode you presented a hilarious sketch, where you play Lola Shiva, host of a healing seminar.

Is there a long version?

Yes !

I did it on stage just two days ago, the day before the final.

Lola Shiva is a character that I have been playing for a long time, that I had created for a YouTube channel where I cooked in drag and which was called Gourmandes.

I intend to take my whole gallery of characters with me at the start of the school year everywhere.

Does this reflect your work on stage?

Are you more of a stand-up guy?

Performance ?

I don't do stand up, because stand up is speaking for yourself.

It's very Anglo-Saxon as a form of alone on stage.

I'm like Valérie Lemercier, I play characters.

I always say that I am a comedian who does drag.

The drag is the small vehicle that allows me to do a lot of things on stage.

And on stage I play lots of different characters, different women, I have fun with clichés, with characters that inspired me when I was young.

But I don't just do that, I do lipsync… and lots of things.

Valérie Lemercier would have made an excellent Snatch Game character.

He's my absolute idol.

If I have a career plan in my life, it's Valérie Lemercier.

It's quite ambitious!

Since we are talking about the Snatch Game, you seem to be the example of someone who prepared and succeeded in his performance.

What's the key to a successful Snatch Game?

It is to prepare it, but not too much.

You have to prepare.

The least you can do when you get to the Snatch Game is to have studied your character.

That's what Kam Hugh had done with Mireille Mathieu, she had 50 pages of info on her.

For me, the respect of the public is to have worked.

Beyond that, the Snatch Game is an improvisation challenge.

You have to be able to detach yourself from your notes and let yourself be carried away by the thing.

It's a question, an answer.

It's very difficult.

What other moments do you remember?

The top 3 was very moving, because the three of us created an indestructible bond.

Any of the three could have won and it would have been a huge joy for the other two.

It's rare that there is such a strong top 3.

And my ego moment, the one I'll remember all my life, was my lipsync on



I told myself I was going to do the grand slam and never lipsync.

But if I had seen another in my place, I would have been a little disappointed.

I was happy to lipsync, it did me good, it reminded me that drag is first and foremost lipsync.

That's what we usually get paid for.

And if I do drag today it's largely thanks to Mylène Farmer.

So it was a bit of a magical moment for me.

Have you heard about your Mylène Farmer runway and your lipsync from the fan community?

Yes, I had their support.

In general, among Mylène fans, we don't really like look-alikes, we like the original.

I wondered if they were going to like my interpretation.

The Mylène that I did was very intimate and it's a period of her career that speaks a lot to the fans and I really had their validation.

This is my reward.

We imagine that Mylène Farmer has not contacted you, or not yet…

I don't need her to.

If she does, I'll be happy.

I think you don't necessarily have to meet your idols.

Lolita Banana says she didn't understand why you didn't answer her name when Nicky Doll asked you who had to leave during episode 6. So why?

I have two answers.

The first that we hadn't seen were the perfume ads.

The editing had not been done.

It was very difficult to rely on the challenge itself.

I think if I had seen the perfume ads I would have said Bertha, because Lolita did well during the challenge.

My second answer is that I didn't base myself on that, I based myself on the bond we had created between us.

And we created a very strong bond with Bertha.

Lolita is like me, a big fan of Drag Race.

She was very focused on the competition, on her goal, which is normal.

Before that moment, we hadn't necessarily had the opportunity to create a bond with her, she hadn't opened up to us, she was in her corner, voluntarily.

That's what worked against her at that time.

We created this bond with her afterwards.

The reason why we mentioned Lolita is not because we don't like Lolita.

It's because we had to answer it and we had to give a name.

This question is cruel.

I answered what seemed right to me at the time.

And it was awful.

During the finale episode, the Great Lady said she discovered herself while on the show.

Was this the case for you too?


We have all discovered things about ourselves.

Already our resistance, our ability to do things in record time by challenging ourselves on a daily basis.

We learned to surpass ourselves.

At some point, we come out of ourselves during the show, we stop asking questions.

For my part, I thought that I was not going to feel integrated into the group.

I've always had a bit of a feeling of illegitimacy in a group and I felt loved and accepted right away by that group.

The most beautiful thing that happened for me is to have created this with the 9 others, 10 with Nicky.

You are a director and a drag queen.

Now that you've gained some notoriety as a drag queen, will drag take precedence?

I have never done a single thing in my life.

In ten years, I directed, I acted, I directed films, I wrote films, I made wigs for the cinema, outfits for the theatre.

I know myself, I know very well that I will want to combine everything.

That's why I want us to talk about Paloma but not forget Hugo.

Paloma is creation, Hugo is the creator.

Hugo has many creations in mind.

With Paloma, without Paloma.

I intend to make noise and mess!

Where can we see you next?

From the start of the school year in September, I will be with all my sisters on the Drag Race France Live tour.

At the same time, I take over the animation of the Les follivores evening, every month, a huge evening of music, where we welcome artists from the 90s and 2000s. And I will have an evening with Kam Hugh that we will animate regularly, a blind test evening.

I think people will see me a lot!

And I'm making a call, I would like a chronicle on TV, so call me!


"Drag Race France": "The lipsync against La Big Bertha was absolutely cathartic", says Lolita Banana


"Drag Race France": "It's "Koh-Lanta", "Pékin Express", "Fort Boyard" and "Intervilles" without the cows", confides La Big Bertha

  • Television

  • RuPaul's Drag Race