The lights came up on the City of Light – well, I assume, I was just whisked from CDG to set, so I’m not 100% sure – as Nicky Doll narrated the triumphant opening of Drag Race France. And well, Nicky is iconic, she is the moment and gurl, she is truly the Ru of Drag Race France. I mean, she even has her own headshots all over the Werk Room! Speaking of the Werk Room, Kam Hugh was the first one to make her debut giving Aquaria and Veronica Green’s love child, but with Farrah’s general vibe. She was joined by La Big Bertha who could have me any way she wants out of drag, serving sexy bearded queen, dripping in raclette and ugh, crown her now. Because I am crowning. Whatever that may mean. They were quickly joined by Elips giving full old school glamour with the fun of Grey Gardens, so obviously I stan.
Though sidebar, I don’t actually think the Edie’s were living their best lives, were they?
Lolita Banana made a loud and proud entry and well, I love her already. And her skills at deepthroating a banana and showing all her man chest in confessionals. So yeah, my basement is flooded. Despite Bertha feeling she was giving off dachshund vibes. Soa de Muse arrived and was giving me Tayce vibes, in all the right ways. And well, she can sit on my face. Alongside Bertha. Le Grande Dame was up next serving beaded sex and well, I live. As much as she was living for herself during her entry. They were joined by Lova Ladiva who arrived giving Stacy Layne Matthews and Porkchop’s love child, so obviously she is destined to vamp her way into icon status in a matter of minutes.
THEN LA KAHENA ARRIVED AND LITERALLY LIT HER HAND ON FIRE and well, this is the energy I need in my life. She also looked like a beautiful gladiator, so yeah, I love. La Briochée arrived giving camp, cakey delight and well, I live for everything she is bringing, like a love child of BenDeLaCreme and Blair St Clair. Rounding out the cast is the iconic Paloma giving red hot, demon sexpot and well, I am ready for the dolls to turn it out because this cast looks strong.
A cock crowed – yes – announcing the arrival of Nicky Doll to officially welcome them to the competition and announce they’re competing for 40,000 Euros, a holiday courtesy of Tinder and make-up from Mac. Which is pretty iconic, TBH. As is the hunky Pit Crew who joined her, decked in navy and white striped speedos and berets, so yeah, my basement is flooded ten times over.
Oh and the zaddies would also be joining the dolls for their first mini challenge, a photoshoot celebrating all things France. Soa was up first and gave full glamour and face while cycling through all the emotions as Nicky kicked out the pit crew and replaced them with cancan girls. Briochée was cute and camp, Kahena was wild, Paloma stayed focused on a killer shot, Grande Dame was fun, Lolita was stupid in all the right ways and Elips was adorable. Bertha lived her best life with both the boys and the girls, while Kam gave full Farrah while Lova was just a delight. Ultimately though there could only be one winner, with Lolita splitting her way to the front of the pack and gurl, I live for her confidence.
Barely having time to recover, Nicky wheeled out the Pit Crew to give her her prize before announcing that their first Maxi Challenge would be a cheeky little Talent Show followed by a Jean Paul Gaultier runway, in front of Jean Paul himself. And well, fuck, that’s a gag. Everyone split up to untuck and claim a space in the Werk Room with Bertha opening up about being insecure about her body in the past and how drag gave her the confidence to take on the world. And again, she can sit on my face. Briochée and Lova bonded with their fellow big queen, given they felt they had similar journeys growing up. La Kahena followed suit and opened up about drag saving her life, giving her and outlet and freeing her from the oppression she has felt from her culture.
We quickly ventured to the mainstage where Nicky was joined by Daphné Bürki, Kiddy Smile, Iris Mittenaere and Jean Paul Gaultier – I’m still shocked – as Lolita opened up the Talent Show with a feisty salsa, complete with wig reveals splits and a sexy zaddy dance partner who easily gives her an extra point. Kam Hugh did a ridiculous banana peel strip before singing a sexy song about how it should be done and well, it was like a less fun version of Blu’s talent show. But I love it all the same. Briochée straight up belted out a song like the second coming of Edith Piaf and it was iconic. Paloma did a little skit about being a hippy and I love it despite it making no sense, because it was ridiculous. La Grande Dame gave sexy golden robot as she lip synced – perfectly – to an original song. And then played the saxophone. No joke. With a champagne flute attached to her head, no less.
Elips slayed a moody lip sync number as she stripped from camo to a flaming bodysuit before Soa stole the damn show with a moody song and well, she is an absolute icon. She hit every note, was camp and delightful and oh so moody and well, I live. I mean, it was like John Leguiziamo in Moulin Rouge! Lova gave an inspirational speech and frustrated her sisters while La Kahena gave a camp, absurd skit and delighted the hell out of everyone followed by lighting her hand on fire again before Bertha shut it down giving a camp little strip, serving comedy and acting, and well, I love it and the pasties flipping the bird and the bare arse.
On the Liberté, Égalité, Jean Paul Gaultier runway La Briochée gave Dita Von Teese butterfly corset in all the right ways and looked like an absolute star. Lolita went with the iconic conical bra, complete with taps dripping in diamond underneath. Lova was perfection in honour of the perfume bottles, Soa gave a conical corset covered in braids and yeah, she looked absolutely perfect. Bertha gave furry conical titties, La Kahena was stunning in a nude gown with red hands around the bodice, Paloma gave biblical realness as a living Madonna before Kam Hugh served icy mint architecture and was absolutely stunning. Elips gave cabaret conical realness made of ties, while La Grande Dame was perfect in a white harnessed look, complete with a keyhole over the butt.
La Briochée, Lolita, La Grande Dame and Paloma were sent to safety before Lova was read for not giving talent, despite being so vulnerable with everyone. Though the judges agreed that they all lived for her runway. Soa received universal praise for everything she served this week, giving camp, stunning looks and absolutely destroyed the talent show. Bertha too was universally beloved, letting them know exactly who she is and for being so damn polished. La Kahena was encouraged to let go and stop being hard on herself because they could tell she was nervous. All the time. Kam’s looks were adored, though her talent show was read for being basic. While they all lived for Elips’ magnetism.
Backstage the safe girls toasted to making it another week, before the tops and bottoms joined them to kiki. Elips opened up about being overwhelmed by the judges liking her, while Lova admitted she kind of just wanted to hide after receiving her critiques. Kahena was just confused, while Kam was simply disappointed in herself. Though bless Briochée, she did give them a sweet little pep talk!
Ultimately Soa took out the first win of the franchise, while Bertha and Elips were sent to safety, with Kam narrowly joining them, leaving La Kahena and Lova to lip sync for their lives. To French Canadian icon Céline Dion’s Prière Païenne and well, it was a show. Though maybe that is because I live for Céline. Kahena was camp while Lova was giving all the emotion and hit every lyric. While Kahena had fire and fought valiantly, wearing a gown kinda felt like it held her back a little, as she couldn’t get into it as much as Lova and as such, she found herself immortalised as the iconic Porkchop of Drag Race France.
Which honestly is the best place to finish if you aren’t going to win any damn season. Which is exactly what I told her as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her how well she truly performed, despite her apparent nerves. Thankfully she wasn’t too hard on herself, taking the loss on her chin and proud to join the international collective of iconic first franchise boots as we smashed a piping hot Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet.
As hot as the fire that she lit on her hand, this chicken puttanesca pizza is breathtaking and iconic. Salty capers and olives pair perfectly with the sweetness of the chicken that by the time you add in the heat, you’re in heaven.
Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet
1 base as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 tbsp capers
2 tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup black olives, sliced
4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
mozzarella, to taste
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions preheat the oven to 180°C.
Smear passata over the prepared base and sprinkle with the herbs, capers, chilli, olives and mushrooms, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.
Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serve immediately and devour, careful not to burn your mouth on the piping hot cheese.
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