The kick off of Beijing Express, shock duos was given last Wednesday on M6. The first episode of this special season in which personalities go on an adventure with one of their loved ones had no shortage of strong or surprising moments (the performance of Valérie Trierweiler and her friend Karine on a paddle, the emotion of Théo Curin recognized by his Sri Lankan host…). 20 Minutes had the opportunity to glean several other amusing or puzzling anecdotes during the press conference. Here they are…
Xavier Domergue and Yoann Riou should not team up
Xavier Domergue and Yoann Riou form the pair of “unknowns” but at the start, they were not supposed to participate together in Beijing Express. It was envisaged that the first would team up with his father, former tricolor footballer Jean-François Domergue, 65. But the latter did not meet the physical conditions required. As producer Thierry Guillaume explained at the launch of season 15: “There are very extensive medical tests and it turns out that, very often, people who are over 60 do not pass the course of these examinations. . Yoann Riou was supposed to compete with his best friend, who works at The Team… and who couldn’t free himself, the filming coinciding with the Beijing Winter Olympics for which he was covering.
Valentin arrived injured in Sri Lanka
“When Valentin went to play football when we were leaving for filming a week later, I told him: ‘If you come back injured, you won’t come back'”, says his partner Rachel Legrain-Trapani. What was not supposed to happen happened: once on the field, the sportsman tore his calf muscle. “I never hurt myself, but it looked very serious to me. I couldn’t run, he explains. I told myself that I would be able to feint and walk normally. “However, as soon as the ex-Miss France saw him arrive, she understood that something was wrong. “I told him: ‘Well, you’re going to grit your teeth.’ I was so happy to participate in Beijing Express…” Until the start, Valentin tried everything, from acupuncture to calling his magnetist aunt. “It worked, frankly! “, applauds Rachel Legrain-Trapani.
The suitcase full of legs by Théo Curin
Having had his arms and legs amputated since the age of 6, Théo Curin has proven himself as a disabled swimmer. “The only condition that I asked of producer Thierry Guillaume was to be treated like anyone else and not to have any advantage or extra time on the events,” he confides. A request accepted as a matter of course. “Doing the same race as the other pairs, that’s my pride,” adds the athlete. The only practical accommodation – which had no impact on the race – from which he benefited, consisted in the transport of his additional prostheses. As we saw in the first episode, he doesn’t wear the same clothes depending on whether he’s in the water or on dry land. “I had a suitcase full of legs – it actually rang at the airport gate. I left my duplicate prosthetics in the production car. My bag was already very heavy,” says Théo Curin. He still wears today the same prostheses as on Beijing Express : “So it maintains the memory, I still find a little sand sometimes. »
Theo and Anne rudely kicked out of a Buddhist temple
In the first episode, Théo Curin and Anne are staying one night with a Sri Lankan who, they discover over the hours, has recognized the athlete of whom he is watching a video on his phone. An amazing moment that would never have happened if the pair’s initial plans had gone off without a hitch. “We had found a temple where we were about to sleep. And then the guy who greeted us freaked out and told us to get out, ”says Anne. The reason for this sudden anger? The duo was filmed by the M6 cameraman with their backs to the Buddha statue. An attitude considered disrespectful and even insulting in Sri Lanka. “If you are photographed, you must look at the Buddha”, informs Théo Curin. The pair had better luck than others: in 2012, French tourists were given suspended prison sentences and fined for posing while kissing a statue of the founder of Buddhism, the country’s first religion. .
Just Riadh in total trouble in the water
We also learned, during the first episode, that Just Riadh could not swim. The influencer had warned the production. “I told myself that they were not going to put me in trouble. And then, first day: paddle test. In the final cut, we don’t see it, but I really had a hard time, phew, “he says. With his teammate Abdallah, he fell into the water several times, carried away by the current. “At one point, I was so far away… I was stuck between two boats, I was holding on to a cable. I stayed like that for at least 30 minutes,” he recalls. More fear than harm and the two friends were able to continue the adventure. Nevertheless, on their return to France, they cut ties for several days. “For a week, we did not send messages, we did not see each other,” says Just Riadh. “We had nothing more to say to each other. It happened naturally, that’s the worst! laughs Abdullah. Rest assured, they have since been best friends again.