resim 1530
resim 1530

“We won Beijing Express!” In a last breathless sprint, their hearts beating together with each stride to the finish line in the Rio Sambadrome, Xavier and Céline won season 17 of Beijing Express, hosted by Stéphane Rotenberg on M6. This Thursday, April 20, the boss and his employee from Lorraine won against the strategist couple Alexandre and Chirine in a hotly contested final in Brazil.

Several months after the end of their South American epic, the big winners of Beijing Express, The Secret Choice, are struggling to come down from their cloud. “I lived my dream for real and it was crazy,” Céline tells us on the phone. “It’s an incredible moment, but at the same time strange. Personally, I had trouble realizing that this is it, we had done everything”. His buddy Xavier is just as happy. “We are very happy, very proud of our journey”.

Especially since the dean and his partner were not afraid to face other formidable pairs like the sisters Alexandra and Laura (eliminated in the semi-finals) or the hosts Clément and Émeline (arrived in the third stage). “I was still the oldest against the young people who run fast. But we took advantage of every moment”, assures Xavier. While Céline never imagined doing such a course. “When we saw all the other pairs, at no time did we think we were going to make it to the final”.

Between the former 60-year-old HRD and the 33-year-old payroll manager, the agreement was there, as on a daily basis in their workplace. “I find that our partnership is strong because Xavier and I are very complementary”, observes the young mother. “As soon as one gave up, who was tired, the other was there to take over and relieve the pair. I think that was a strength for us”.

The other strength of the winning duo: their humor and unfailing closeness. In good and bad times, Xavier and Céline have not lost their smile, nor their formality. A habit that settled between the two colleagues until the final, which greatly surprised the fans of the game. Since then, they have finally crossed the threshold of familiarity. “It was funny because it was the moment… there, to be on familiar terms”, admits Xavier. “Of course it’s no longer a boss/employee relationship, but rather friends who have been through something together”.

Five years after the boss Christina and her collaborator Didier (winners of season 11), Xavier and Céline won the adventure and left Brazil with a multitude of memories, but also a nice jackpot of 31,280 euros to share. “Céline does not want to give me her share,” jokes the young retiree. However, the duo admits that “money was not at all a source of motivation. We wanted to give everything, go to the maximum”.

What are they going to do with their accumulated winnings? Céline tells us that she wants to do “a little trip with my son and my spouse” and “perhaps some work in the house”. As for Xavier, he wants to spoil his wife Rosalie (the only one aware of his victory, he admits) and their children who tried to trap him. Like her aunt, very persuasive. “She tried to get me to drink Ricard. I told her ‘no, aunt, you won’t make it'”, laughs the cheerful Lorraine man who did not flinch. Two candidates who will remain among the memorable pairs of Beijing Express.