The least we can say is that Kenny Thomas fell into the pot when he was very young! If many remember the trials rider as winner of the show “France has an incredible Talent” in 2020, or even the somewhat crazy challenge he set himself in 2014 by throwing himself into the void, on a motorcycle , from the Recoumène viaduct in Monastier-sur-Gazeille, we sometimes forget the sacred track record of the local star in the motorcycle trial competition: third in the 125cc World Championship when he was barely 18 years old or even champion of France Expert 2 in 2014.
Now it is in the world of entertainment and events that Kenny Thomas, at the height of his 28 years, has made a name for himself. The dates follow one another for the biker and this, even until the end of the world! Television shows, videos on YouTube and shows enliven her daily life. His next show will also take place in his stronghold of Puy-en-Velay next month.

Bikers from generation to generation

Never far away, his little brother, Donovan, 23, also tasted the pleasure of off-roading from an early age on the family property in Saint-Paulien. Several injuries will force him to let go of the handlebars. For the little anecdote, Donovan “was even downright born at home, on the sofa”, as Kenny does not fail to recall, with a smile on his face. Accustomed to filming his eldest with his small camcorder at the time, he made it his job as a professional videographer, whether for his brother (the video shot in the city of Medellín in Colombia has 53,000 views on YouTube) , the production of corporate films or music videos. And not for just anyone… Last year the young Donovan co-directed a clip for the well-known female trio LEJ which now has almost 7 million views still on the YouTube platform.
But back to Kenny. It was at the age of two and a half that the pilot discovered the joys of the handlebars.

“My grandfather bought his first motorbike when he was 55. Then he put my father on it when I was 16 and then it was my turn when I was very young. At first I had a PW then my first trial at the age of 5 for Christmas. I started competing a year later. I stayed in the business until 2016”.

the pilot (empty)

Now he has a manager. “But when I was younger, my father followed me everywhere. As soon as I had my driving license and my independence, he was finally able to breathe and enjoy these weekends with my mother. Because for more than 10 years they haven’t seen each other too much! It’s a real sacrifice. For my mother, I think it was hell. When it was going well, it was fine, but when I was driving badly, we got into trouble. When you have your father sulking for a week at home, it’s heavy on the family. »Kenny and Donovan Thomas both live from their passion. Photo Christophe Coffy

Then Kenny Thomas leaves the world of competition with plans to get into events. In 2016, he took part for the first time in the television program “La France a unincredible talent”. A key event in the trials rider’s career since, just after the broadcast of the program, in November, Kenny signs no less than 60 show dates for the following year.

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“That’s when I became self-employed and quit competition for good to earn a living. In competition, financially, I won nothing and I lost nothing over the last few years. You can’t imagine the visibility you can achieve after a television show like this. It’s crazy. It’s a chance, I didn’t have to advertise: I didn’t even have a website even though I had already booked a year”.

Kenny (empty)

Since then, he has offered a well-established freestyle trial show, whether “for the sausage party or for the Formula 1 Grand Prix”. The pilot even offers services for private events. About 70% of its income comes from performances. For the rest, brands that sponsor the biker. The machine is well oiled. The same show can be sold on the same weekend to be ensured then by other pilots providers, unless the customers swear only by Kenny. “It avoids a lot of problems if I ever get injured for a few months. Afterwards, if one day I make myself a vertebra with eight months of immobilization, it is sure that it will be more complicated. During the season, I take little risk during my training. The complicated figures, I work on them from November to the end of February”, underlines the trialist.

Discovering the world of TV

Entering the world of television was no small feat. “The first time I participated in the show, it was really stressful. They make us come at 8 a.m. to do tests at 8 p.m. Your eyes are shattered, it’s really hard. Afterwards, I participated in other television sets in Germany, Italy and the United States. There, it is the emission which calls me for a service. I can’t win but it makes the image. After you have your dressing rooms, you are there as an artist, it is more reassuring”, notes Kenny who now seems very comfortable in the entertainment world.

Kenny Thomas ‘did the TV show with a broken foot’

Many remember the victory of Kenny Thomas in the show “France has an incredible talent”. And yet, the pilot almost never took part in the competition…blankKenny Thomas during the program “Incredible Talent, the battle of the jury” in 2020. Archive photo Nicolas Paulmier

While training in his father’s garage in Saint-Paulien for his participation in the program “Incredible Talent, the battle of the jury”, in 2020, the pilot suffered a bad fall. Result: a broken foot on the eve of his departure for the filming of the semi-final, in Paris.
“I couldn’t take the boot off anymore”
“I quickly go to the Émile-Roux hospital and the doctor tells me that I have to have a plaster cast. I tell him there’s no way, and that I have to go to Paris the next day for the show. I then contacted a doctor friend in Lyon who gave me a prescription with a “horse treatment” for the pain. He explains to me that I have to take it 10 minutes before the show and especially after,” says Kenny Thomas, who remembers it like it was yesterday. Arrived in Paris, the trials rider puts on his boots, takes his treatment and throws himself into his show, no matter what. He will go so far as to attempt the “Flair”, an impressive figure which consists of doing a 180° back-flip to fall back in the normal direction of travel.
“I remember that I couldn’t even take my boot off, my foot had swollen so much, knowing that two days later I had a show in Mexico that I had signed with a big fee. There, I fell three meters high on my already broken foot. My 15 days of vacation that followed with my girlfriend, we spent them in the hotel. I had pain for five months after that. I made it to the show finale without any practice,” says Kenny.
Since this well-deserved victory in 2020, the Altiligerian has continued on other television programs, as a guest this time, as in the well-known program “Le plus grand cabaret du monde”, on France 2, but also in the foreign versions of “Incroyable Talent” in Italy, Germany and the United States.

Christopher Coffy

Show – Motorcycle competition, shows, filming, television… Interview with Kenny and Donovan Thomas