Who will be the queen of the north?

Qui sera la reine du nord?

By forcing the closure of bars and entertainment venues, the pandemic COVID-19 has been severely impacted by drag queens in quebec. The arrival of the month of July could give them a reason to smile since they will be two representatives of the fleurdelisé participate in Canada’s Drag Race : That the better wins, the canadian adaptation of Rupaul’s Drag Race.

In telephone interview to the Newspaper, Rita Baga, 33 years of age, and Kiara, 21 years old, watch their words closely when they speak of the contest, that starts Thursday on Crave. They know that a thick cloud of mystery surrounds its production. They also want to avoid revealing detail that could divulgâcher this first season.

What we do know, is that they have recorded the episodes last fall in Toronto. The way they tell their first day in the studio is the religious experience.

Rupaul’s Drag Race, it’s like the hockey queers, says Rita Baga, alias Jean-Francois Guevremont. It is a social activity. The evenings of viewing, the bars are full. It brings people together. Therefore, grace the shelf, to be in the decor, it is a dream come true. “

“It is really something special, adds Kiara, aka Dimitri. It is like walking in to your tv! “

To the left, Kiara and right, Rita Baga.

Open doors

Born in the United States in 2009 on LogoTV, Rupaul’s Drag Race has taken a few years before reaching the status of cultural phenomenon. Sacred Best competition at the Emmy Awards in 2018 and 2019, this colorful reality show has achieved worldwide success.

In the eyes of the participants, Rupaul’s Drag Race has contributed largely to demystify the world of drag queens.

“The issuance has enabled the general public’s understanding of this art form, the preparation behind it, shows Rita Baga, who has 13 years of experience. It has also opened a lot of doors. So that today, you can work in a lot more places. We are no longer limited to bars. “

“Because of the issue, many gay men feel less alone, informs Kiara. Because they see other gay people tell their stories, tell their coming out, experiences quite intense. It breaks the isolation. It also shows that you can become what you want. “

A golden opportunity

Canada gets its own version of Rupaul’s Drag Race after England. After the first images put online at the beginning of the month, viewers can expect several nods to the ” north country “. The panel of judges is also composed of three Canadians : Brooke Lynn Hytes, a former candidate for Rupaul’s Drag Race, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, an actor from Edmonton, and Stacey McKenzie, a model from Toronto.

For Kiara, Canada’s Drag Race represents a unique opportunity to propel his career as a drag queen at the top level, because the program will also be broadcast in the U.s. on WOW Presents More, as well as in the United Kingdom on BBC Three. The competitor has received his passes last fall at the end of a long audition process which emerged 12 happy elected.

“It’s a lot of visibility,” says the citizen of Quebec, moved to Montreal in 2017 to pursue a degree in cinema. That may change my life. “

Between competition and solidarity

The trailer for Canada’s Drag Race has a nice focus on the spirit of competition that exists between the competitors (after all, $ 100,000 in game), it also holds some nice examples of solidarity.

“The drags of Montreal, it is a tight knit community, points out Rita Baga. We organize our own events, we help… When I learned that Kiara was Canada’s Drag Race, I was very happy. I knew that I was going to have someone to talk to in French. “

“Rita Baga and me, we have different styles, different strengths, note Kiara. I was not intimidated and she was not intimidated. Because I wanted to go as far as possible together. “

The light

Canada’s Drag Race emerges at the end of a difficult period for all of the drag queens. While we déconfine slowly Québec, they are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It had to be pretty creative, says Rita Baga. We turned to the side virtual, giving performances on Facebook. But I have several colleagues who are in a forced outage, that have not turned in their stubs for the past three months. “

“I look forward to get back on stage,” she continues. Do a lip-sync in your living room in front of your couch with just your cat, as a public, this is not the same feeling as being in front of 300 people. “

Canada’s Drag Race : the best wins lands on Crave (and OUTtv) Thursday, in English. Also available with subtitles in French, at the rate of one episode per week.

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