Rita Baga says it in an interview: she has to plan her rest times. It’s not surprising since she has been filming the second season of Who can sing? (Noovo) and the new show The drag in me (Craves). And this, before announcing to the whole world that she will be the hostess of the Belgian version of the phenomenon RuPaul’s Drag Race. The Press spoke to him at the end of a long day of work in the land of Brel and Angèle.
Posted at 8:00 a.m.
From the outset, the Quebec drag specifies that it is strictly prohibited from disclosing the filming dates of Drag Race Belgium in order to prevent the curious from doing research to discover potential participants who no longer appear on stage or on social networks.
However, she can tell us how she got the job. “When I received an invitation to audition for a new franchise in Belgium, I immediately answered yes and was very excited. Then I read the message again and saw that it was to be the presenter! I had difficulty concentrating for the rest of the day. »
The producers were unaware, however, that the alter ego of Rita, Jean-François Guevremont, had lived eight months in Brussels to do an internship at the end of the baccalaureate in human relations. “In their minds, I was above all the first French-speaking finalist in their franchise and I had television experience. »
She revealed to them her link with Belgium during the auditions where drags from all over the planet – including Belgium – were called. When she found out she would be the host, Rita Baga felt like she was floating on cloud nine.
I’ve always dreamed of breaking into the international scene and I’ve never hidden my pride in being French-speaking. So, to see that a person like me, originally from the South Shore of Montreal, achieves his dream, in French moreover, is the apotheosis!
In French please !
Speaking in the language of Molière, Rita Baga agreed to host in international French. “It will be a bit surprising for Quebecers who will watch Drag Race Belgium, because I will almost have a radio-Canadian voice, but it is not difficult for me. I have a background in theater and I have never had difficulty making myself understood in Belgium. »
However, he finds himself criticizing the selection of a non-Belgian person for the animation. “I completely understand the concern of people who want a local facilitator. That said, there were auditions. In the eyes of RTBF, the equivalent of Radio-Canada, and World of Wonder production, I made the best impression. »
The criticisms raised stem in part from blaming RuPaul, queen mother of the franchise, for allegedly not capturing all the local nuances of culture in the UK and Oceania where she also hosted and judged for several seasons.
On this subject, Rita Baga specifies that she is surrounded by a jury who support her and that she does everything to master Belgian culture.
I have first class syndrome. I don’t pretend to say that I know Belgian culture as much as a Belgian, but I make every effort upstream to understand the subtleties.
Moreover, the Quebecer plans to appropriate the very formatted concept with her humor and her positivism. “As I have been there myself, I want to give constructive and benevolent comments that will be used for the drags. It is a dream for the majority of drags in the world to be part of this show. We don’t need to add extra pressure by being negative. »
Pay it forward
This humanity also served him during the filming of The drag in me which will be released in August. The show, which in no way aims to turn people into drags, aims to support the participants for an important event: wedding, coming out, business start-up, etc. “We help people who need a boost in self-confidence. Who better than three drags to help them? »
Rita Baga will be accompanied by Sasha Baga and Petula Claque, colorful, altruistic co-hosts with significant skills. The first has 10 years of retail experience in the world of clothing and a background in hairdressing, while the second teaches makeup artistry.
As benevolent as the show is, the co-hosts are sure to raise eyebrows among people who believe drag takes up too much space. Or those who cancel drag events aimed at toddlers, like story time hosted by drag queen Barbada.
“It’s all driven by fear and ignorance. It’s a big step back, after so many advances made in recent years. The most despicable thing is that it is often guided by a desire to be politically correct, whereas Sébastien, behind Barbada, is an experienced teacher. »
In his eyes, therefore, one cannot question his skills.
“Fear comes from not knowing what it is to be a drag. I find it unfortunate that under the label of not wanting to hurt people, we deprive the next generation of having access to educational content on acceptance and openness, ”says Rita Baga.