Barely 18 and here she is Miss France. The Guadeloupean was unanimous with the public and the jury
Even in the galaxy of Miss France, everything changes so that nothing changes. The many revolutions of recent months, in terms of regulations and management, will not ultimately have upset the immutable election.
Like every year, at half past midnight precisely, its indestructible presenter, Jean-Pierre Foucault, 75 years old, humor intact and tanned, promoted the tree bag. We were reassured. Facetious, the host made himself up as Elton John, seated at the piano, in a painting in the form of a tribute to the film “Rocketman”. “It has to move! he enthused, impulsively. This program has been dear to him for twenty-seven editions. Without him, what would this high mass which brought together more than 7 million faithful in front of their television sets be?
The departure that occupies all minds is that of Sylvie Tellier, who, after fifteen years of good and loyal service as general manager of the Miss France society, has decided to hang up her gala dress… It’s no secret: her relationship with CEO and tireless producer Alexia Laroche -Joubert are complicated. So Sylvie Tellier, who herself wore the crown in 2002, intends to take advantage of this last lap. On stage, his farewell speech is heartbreaking, applauded by the jubilant audience of MACH 36 (Châteauroux’s performance hall). “I turn the page of the Miss France book. […] Leading this contest is more than a job, it’s a passion, ”she says, her throat knotted, tears on the edge of the mascara. The day before, she had however promised herself not to cry: “On the other hand, my mother, who will be in the room, will certainly let a tear flow.”
It’s time for camaraderie between regional Misses
During rehearsals, the future ex-boss, Brushing impeccable, first sat in the place of the president of the jury: facing the stage, to take care of the smallest detail. Like an old habit. Before going backstage and giving way to the new director of the national competition, Cindy Fabre, Miss France 2005, slender in a “working girl” plaid suit. A game of musical chairs, during which the two women took care to avoid each other, barely looking at each other.
If the atmosphere in the management is as icy as it is outside, the time is for camaraderie between the regional Misses. Some, eager for cowardice and twists, even end up regretting it: “This year, they are a little smooth”, we are told by the organization.
If all competitors dream of winning the supreme title, they are not the type to trip over their legs or stick chewing gum under a competitor’s shoes. On the contrary, when one, exhausted by intense hours of parade, falls from fatigue, all crowd to try to revive it. In the event of a hard blow, the candidates can count on their two indispensable chaperones, Cécile and Marie-Claire, who, armed with compotes, biscuits and packets of handkerchiefs, respond to the slightest needs, ready to serve as a consoling shoulder for the most desperate. Once the cameras are on, moods have no place on stage. The candidates must smile, smile again, always smile. And for the dazed who forget it, a choreographer, perched in the control room, all teeth out, is there to remind them.
Two candidates quickly stand out. Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Agathe Cauet, 24-year-old nurse, and Miss Guadeloupe
From the first tables, we find the recipe that has made the success of the show for years: flamboyant outfits, disco balls, pop music and fireworks of good feelings. When the fifteen selected take the microphone to introduce themselves, they display such positivity that they almost make us forget the torments of the news. These girls, fed on reality TV and then on social networks, know how to find the words. They are no longer the stammering green plants of the Madame de Fontenay era.
But two quickly stand out. Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Agathe Cauet, 24-year-old nurse, who delivers a committed speech on her fight against cancer. As well as Miss Guadeloupe, Indira Ampiot, 18, whose spontaneity and good humor are contagious. After nearly four hours of show, it is she who is crowned by the president of the jury, Francis Huster.
“She only slept seven hours in three days”, calculates Cindy Fabre
At this announcement, the new beauty queen does not faint, does not lose her means and hardly cries. As if she had prepared herself for victory… It is true that, for several weeks, she had been the big favourite. “What is said on social networks is not necessarily verified. So, there is always apprehension, even when there are only five of us left: we do not know the opinion of the jury or that of the public”, she justifies when we find her, a few hours after her coronation, in a Parisian hotel. Night was short. “She only slept seven hours in three days, calculates Cindy Fabre, who follows her like her shadow. So be indulgent…”
Eyes half-closed but made up, Indira is in a hurry: to discover the official apartment in which, following Diane Leyre, she will live for a year. “This first day was intense. Interviews, photos, TV… It’s not common for me. But I discover a world that I like and that I can’t wait to explore.”
In less than twenty-four hours, the new Miss France has taken on no less than fifty different outfits, including dresses with trains so long that they would make a princess green. “Wearing such creations is a privilege, especially since I have always loved fashion. This is also why I am moving towards a career in design.
Miss France 2023 tried to follow the match on her mobile phone
Just graduated, this outstanding designer says she wants to become an artistic director to “create visual identities”. Next month, she was to start a degree in communication, but fate decided otherwise… “I intend to resume my studies afterwards”, she promises, as if to reassure worried parents. Doesn’t she imagine herself to be more of an influencer, like most of those who came before her? In just one day, she gained hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. “I don’t think we really live off social networks,” she replies, heels dizzying but her head on her shoulders.
Indira cites her mother and grandmother as role models
During her introductory speech, on the Châteauroux stage, Indira Ampiot was the only contender to refer to football news: “We are in for a winning weekend. So why not take the cup and the crown home? Go Blues! This afternoon of the final, between two photo sessions, Miss France 2023 was therefore trying to follow the match on her mobile phone. “Did we score? she asks regularly of the dozen people – dressers and assistants – who now surround her. “I love football,” she explains. At 82, my grandfather still plays it! Like my uncles, cousins, second cousins and my brother… Me, I kick the ball but have never played in a club. »
Nothing is more important to her than family. Her parents divorced when she was only 2 years old, but she says she had a happy childhood. She cites her mother and grandmother as models. The first was herself the first runner-up to Miss Guadeloupe 1998. She passed on her passion for beauty contests. “Besides, she laughs, I might never have been born without it. Because my mother met my father at an official event. As for the second, who died of cancer last January, Indira dedicates her crown to her. “Her disappearance was a test because she was a pillar for my family, she says. Before going on stage, I said to her: “Grandma, help me shine.” Women with cancer will be among the causes she will defend, of course. Since October, she has been involved in Guadeloupe for the association Les Amazones.
Is Miss France 2023 a heart to take?
With this contest, Indira has found a second family: that of the Misses. She knows some former title holders, including Corinne Coman, Miss Guadeloupe 2002 and Miss France 2003, who advised her and made friends with several regional Misses.
Is Miss France 2023 a heart to take? The inevitable question will fascinate the readership. “Well no! she retorts. Besides, you know very well that my heart belongs to all French people… That’s what I have to say, isn’t it? So young and already so diplomatic!
Make-up and hairstyle: Arnaud Sol Dourdin. Styling: Aurore Donguy / Sima, La Métamorphose, Atelier Zuhra, Promulias, Caroline Biss, Levis. Jewelry and crown: Mauboussin. Watch: Festina.