That’s called leaving with panache. Big Bertha left Drag Race in France with one of the saddest lipsyncs in the show’s history. You have to go back to the first American All Stars and the lipsync between Raven and Jujubee to find such emotion. She also marked the show with her frankness and her struggle for acceptance of all bodies.
Before talking about your journey in the competition, let’s talk about this lipsync to the song “Corps”, which once became “legendary”. How do you approach it?
This is one of the songs that for me is one of the most important in lipsync. Yseult is one of my favorite actresses. The lyrics of his song bodies, that’s my whole fight, that’s Bertha’s whole character. Somehow, I was happy to lipsync this song, also in front of Yseult. It adds a lot of emotion. And it’s hard, of course. I am very proud to do this with Lolita and to complete this lipsync – which should have been a solo exercise – in a duet with her. It was never planned. It shows who Bertha is. The Bertha cabaret is a Bertha troupe, not really the Bertha who puts herself forward to crush others. If you have a friend in trouble, go there. When I saw Lolita struggling with her lacing and corset, it was impossible for me not to go up to her, not to give myself to her to help her and hug her. Usually, people in my troop call me “Mama bear”. Stronger than me. I have to protect my sisters.
This is the famous question of Nicky Doll (“Who should leave the show tonight and why?”) and especially the answers of other queens that seem to hurt Lolita. Do you understand his reaction?
Yes. Lolita is an amazing performer, an amazing artist. It’s a war machine! He was not tired. We had a lot of discussions, because he only showed that side. He is also very competitive. And we, the other women, in our minds, we are more than a troop. That’s why there is a small gap between us. And we’re talking about the human part because it’s a human adventure. Lolita is very focused on the competition. It is a small sugar heart, but it has a big shell. Since the competition, we always work together and now we found the person Lolita, who has no art. I think the choice of names is based on the human side.
This is something we always ask ourselves as viewers. There are certain sequences that everyone knows are important, and yet when candidates are confronted with them, some seem shocked. How do you explain it?
In fact, we have completely removed the possibility of this question. When you are there drag race, it’s the Drag Olympics, very little sleep, lots of creative energy. You are actually disconnected. There are things you don’t think about. When Nicky asked that, we all looked at each other and said, “F***, we really don’t want to do this.” But it’s true that we have drag race, there is always this question, so let’s go. I know very well that Lolita and I are at the bottom of the ranking. I didn’t want to name myself, that wasn’t the purpose, so I chose Lolita.
In the presentation of the show’s press conference, Nicky Doll said that in order to survive, drag raceago Koh Lanta. Is that how you feel?
This is Koh Lantathis is Beijing Express, this is Fort Boyard, this Intercity – no cows! Nicky Doll always says it’s the toughest competition on TV. Come to think of it, this is true. You need to know how to dance, sing, act, make people laugh, know how to sew, etc.
Looks like you missed a bit of the Snatch Game, where you played Jean-Pierre Coffe. Looking back, what would you have done differently?
I could have done another character. But I like to write and I told myself that I will tell a story about this character. I have the whole storyline of Jean-Pierre Coffe discovering the world of drag. And that is not the thing to do. You just need to have an attitude, bullet points of ideas and keep asking all the questions. Afterwards, it was complicated for me because after I had Soa from Muse and La Grande Dame and every time, I cried laughing inside. I said, “Keep your attitude! Keep your attitude! but I really cried laughing.
You didn’t win a maxi-challenge, what do you think you missed?
A cooking challenge! (Laughter)
On the other hand, you won one of the most popular mini challenges, the reading challenge. Do you prepare your valves in advance?
No. When we were told “reading challenge”, I said “ok okay”. There is no point in preparing jokes before the show because you use a lot of things that happen during the show. And you need to discover women too to do personal things. I am my maxim in life, it is “qui bene Amat, bene castigat”, which likes to punish well. While I love them with love, it’s easy for me to shake off the little spikes.
In the Popstars challenge, you want to talk about consent. Is it alive?
Absolutely. When you are in drag, you are a character, a character that excites and attracts attention. I do a lot of cabaret and theater work and I always do the Avignon festival. Here I went by dragging the streets that I was something. For example, my chest. How many times have you touched my chest? Mostly women, by the way. At first, I said “don’t, don’t do it to me”. Now, someone touched my chest, I touched the opponent’s chest. And that’s where people were a little shocked. Consent requires respect. We are not a thing, we are not a promotional product at the top of a supermarket gondola.
Have you felt the impact of “Drag Race” on your bookings, on your networks?
In my networks, of course. Also on the road, it’s very funny. I came to Brussels because I am the mother of the Cabaret Mademoiselle located here. At the Gare du Nord, I was always arrested. They said, “Excuse me, are you La Big Bertha? “. No, I’m the Big Girl! But very kind.
In terms of booking, I have worked a lot in the past. This has been my job for a while. But it opened doors for me. For example, I’m going to Montreal soon to perform with all the stars of US Drag Race. It’s very nice. I was stunned when Rita Baga called me. He came to see me at the Cabaret Mademoiselle. He already told me “I want you to come and do your numbers at my house”. And then he called me to tell me to cancel all my bookings from August 3rd to 7th. When I found out what it was, I was like, “Ah. really ? Good, okay. Let’s go! »
After Montreal, where can we see Bertha?
On tour Drag Race France Live, which will begin in early September. We did everything in France, but also Brussels at the Cirque Royal on September 13. We are in full preparation and it looks magical. And especially to be ten, with Nicky Doll. It will be very beautiful, super personal, because each queen has her own number.
What was your relationship with Nicky Doll during the show? He cried when you got rid of him…
I think all women will give the same answer. Drag Race in France without Nicky Doll it wouldn’t have tasted the same. Nicky is a patient support. Because he lives in the American version. He always had a word for us. He meets us in the dressing room every morning to ask us if we are okay, how we feel. He is the one who said to the production that “let us rest, bring them water, stools, etc. “. That’s why we call her sister. It was very important to feel like a family for this shoot. There were also all the technical teams, all the nannies, the whole communication team. There was a spirit to be nice, to family. Just for that, I really want to have a barbecue with the whole team this summer!
Make no secret of it, Muse’s Soa is your favorite for the win. Why would he be a good winner of “Drag Race France”, in your opinion?
Soa, we’ve known each other for eight years, we’ve shared many galleys. We perform in cabarets, we don’t get paid. He is an amazing performer. And like I said on the show, it’s not her, it’s not her, it’s a muse, it’s a creature. It is very important to show that the world of drag is opening up. We are no longer in the years when a man disguises himself, in quotation marks, “as a woman”. We got past that. The drag universe is bigger now, with drag-queens, drag-kings. The franchise is important Drag Race in France standing from it. Soa carries values of a warrior, values of another person. And she is my sister! I want to see the crown in his place. Although I have an unconditional love for Paloma and La Grande Dame, which are true discoveries. It’s hard to choose because they can also win in total. But surely my heart speaks and for me this is my little Soa.
Anything else to add?
I’m hungry! (Laughter)