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Nicky Doll: 'I Would Have Won' Drag Race If I Had English Fluency

Nicky Doll: 'I Would Have Won' Drag Race If I Had English Fluency

Nicky Doll

And for the Parisian drag performer, it would be an "honor" to host a version of RuPaul's Drag Race in France.


Au revoir, Nicky Doll! In Friday's episode, the French belle was the latest RuPaul's Drag Race contestant to sashay away.

Although Doll served stunning looks as usual on the runway, she did not showcase her personality enough for the judges in the acting challenge, a medical-drama spoof dubbed Gay's Anatomy, in which Doll portrayed a French-speaking newborn baby.

Below, Doll discusses how she believes being a French speaker in an American reality competition proved to be her Achilles' heel as well as the differences in drag culture between the two countries.

The Advocate: You were the first French contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race. What does it mean to you to represent your country in front of an American (and international!) audience?
Nicky Doll: It was an incredible honor to represent the French. I wanted to accomplish two things. One, I wanted to show Americans that we aren't the stereotype of eating baguettes; we have other components and concepts. I wanted to show all that we are. Two, to France, I wanted to show that you can reach for your dreams and leave a country and make it somewhere else. And while the language is difficult, you can make it. I also wanted to shed a light that overseas the drag culture is still very obscured and not completely respected. Being the first French queen on a major show like this brought great attention from the French media and started an important conversation.

What is the biggest difference between French and American drag?
The drag scene in France is very cabaret, where you have people impersonate others, kind of like Chad Michaels. It's centered in fashion and camp. It's evolving to the American way with more components added in, as there are different kinds of queens born every day.

You said your drag name was inspired by Nicki Minaj. What do you love most about her?
What I love about her is that she is the queen of rap. Not because she's just good at it, but also because she evolved in an industry where pop was dominating. She had to compete with Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, and she kept at it and adapted until she made it on her own terms.

During Drag Race, you spoke about how the language difference was a major barrier for you. If you were fluent in English, do you believe you would have gone a lot further?
I would have not just gone further, I would have won.

Any tips for vanquishing one's inner saboteur?
I think the best way to not let your dark thoughts take over in a stressful environment is to breathe and remind yourself who you are. Don't let fear and insecurity make you think you're not good enough. You are good enough because you're there. Don't be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.

Is France ready for its own Drag Race? If so, would you host?
I think France is ready for a French Drag Race. I would be very proud and happy to host, as there is so much talent in my country. I think it could be a powerful tool to showcase the messages of love to a new country. If I can be a part of it, it'd be my honor.

This week's main acting was inspired by medical dramas -- and the real world is in the midst of its own health crisis. What steps are you taking to protect your health?
The first thing is that I'm staying home. Staying home doesn't mean you can invite your friends over. It's a scary time, and we need to protect everyone. I'm trying to isolate myself and also take care of myself and my skin.

How are you making life in lockdown interesting?
I started by cleaning my apartment that needed an update. I've also been working to connect with my fans. I think we have such an opportunity to try things online now. It's also a great way to practice my English. I'm doing a makeup challenge on my Instagram with the girls from my season each week. I'm trying to stay creatively inspired.

Drag queens make their living from events, making them particularly vulnerable right now. How can fans support their favorite queens (and you!) in this extraordinary time?
The way to support us now is to buy our merch. We all worked hard to create pins and shirts. I try to create drag merch that looks more like fashion pieces. I want my fans to buy something I worked hard on.

What gives you hope and happiness right now?
Just looking forward to being able to go back on the road. To meet all the people who love the art form we do.

RuPaul's Drag Race airs Fridays at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on VH1.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.