RuPaul’s Drag Race has expanded to several continents around the globe, with several Drag Race franchises across Europe. In France, former US Drag Race alum Nicky Doll hosts Drag Race France in her native country. The series has had plenty of unforgettable moments in its first season, including a lip sync smackdown unlike any other in any Drag Race franchise.
Nicky Doll hosts ‘Drag Race France’
Nicky Doll first appeared on season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2020. She was the first French queen to walk into the werkroom and made her mark in the few episodes that she was competing.
In early 2022, Nicky Doll was announced as the host of the French spin-off series of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Some criticized the decision as a result of her placing 10th on her own season of Drag Race.
But the competitors on the series couldn’t care less about her showing on American Drag Race. In fact, they’ve expressed their gratitude to Nicky for caring for them and sympathizing as they go through the same Drag Race experience that she herself went through just a few years prior.
“If you would have told me a few years ago that I would not only be able to take part of Drag Race US, but then bring back that light to my country and to be able to give the same opportunity to drag queens that don’t have a green card, that live in France, I would have never believed you,” she said in a 2022 interview. “It’s just very humbling, and I had such a great time doing it.”
‘Drag Race France’ had a lip sync smackdown for the final 3
Drag Race France has seen some memorable lip syncs in its first season, including one that some have deemed the best in Drag Race herstory as underdog queen Lolita Banana shaved her head during her performance of “Corps,” an emotional ballad by French singer Yseult.
With four fierce competitors at the end and only three spots in the final, Nicky Doll and the judges were left with an impossible decision to make after every queen impressed them in the makeover episode. To determine the final three queens, all four of them would have to lip sync against each other for a spot in the final.
In the first battle, Lolita Banana and Soa de Muse faced off to “Dieu m’a donné la foi” by Ophélie Winter, with Soa emerging victorious and proceeding to the finale. Then, Paloma and La Grande Dame performed to “Le Banana Split” by Lio, and Paloma ultimately earned her spot in the final. In the final battle, Lolita Banana and La Grande Dame did “La grenade” Clara Luciani, with La Grande Dame rounding out the final three.
RuPaul’s Drag Race and its spin-off series around the world have hosted plenty of lip sync smackdowns, and this format for choosing a top three has only occurred once before, on Season 2 of Canada’s Drag Race.
Other lip sync smackdowns
In 2017, RuPaul’s Drag Race introduced the “Lip Sync For the Crown” format, where the final four queens battled it out to determine a winner. Since then, various “Lip Sync LaLaPaRuZas” have taken place, including one pitting eliminated queens against current competitors on All Stars season 4.
In 2022, seven queens battled to determine who’s going home after a poor showing on Season 14‘s Snatch Game, while on All Stars season 7 (a.k.a. the All-Winners season), the finale consisted of two parallel Lip Sync LaLaPaRuZas to determine both a winner amongst the top four and a winner amongst the remaining contestants.