This day next week, we will know who the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 is! THE EXCITEMENT!!! But we still have a few things to do before then. Our next preview takes us to the land of baguettes, haute couture and eternal strikes. It’s France!!!
France was one of the seven countries to take part in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. This year marks their sixtieth entry in the contest. They have won the contest on five occasions: in 1958 with “Dors mon amour” by André Claveau, in 1960 with “Tom Pillibi” by Jacqueline Boyer, in 1962 with “Un premier amour” by Isabelle Aubret, in 1969 with “Un jour, un enfant” by Frida Boccara as part of a four-way tie and finally in 1975 with “L’oiseau et l’enfant” by Marie Myriam. Amina also tied with Sweden for first place in 1991 with “Le dernier qui a parlé” but lost on a countback tiebreak rule. Last year, Alma came twelfth with “Requiem”.
The French broadcaster, France Télévisions, organised Destination Eurovision to select their entry for Lisbon. This was the first national selection in France since 2014. 18 entries competed over two semi-finals. In each semi-final, a Francophone jury and an international jury chose four acts to advance to the final. In the final, the winner was chosen by an international jury (50%) and public voting (50%). Despite only finishing third in the jury vote, a win in the public vote was enough to award Madame Monsieur the French ticket to Lisbon.
Madame Monsieur are a duo made up of married couple Émilie Satt (born 30 November 1984) and Jean-Karl Lucas (born 22 June 1982). The pair met in 2008, and formed Madame Monsieur in 2013, with Émilie taking the role of vocalist, and Jean-Karl the producer. Their debut album Tandem was released in November 2016. They have composed songs for many French artists including Youssoupha and Lissandro Cuxi, who they beat in Destination Eurovision. Their second album Vu d’ici (Seen from here) was released last month.
The song that Madame Monsieur will perform in Lisbon “Mercy” was written and composed by the duo. The inspiration for the song comes a child called Mercy, who was born on a boat carrying Nigerian refugees across the Mediterranean Sea.
I was lucky enough to attend the final of Destination Eurovision and see this song performed live at London Eurovision Party. There was a huge reaction from the crowd on both occasions. It’s not hard to see why. The song is a simple but beautifully constructed piece of electropop. It also carries a very important message of survival and hope, which transcends the language barrier for non-Francophone people. France have been putting a lot of effort into their entries over the last few years and I think this is their best chance at victory in a very long time. I predict a top 10 result for France at the very least. (P.S. If you do win France, have the contest in Toulouse, just saying!)
What Could Have Been
Destination Eurovision was a very strong selection and I had a difficult time choosing an entry to put here. In the end, I chose Emmy Liyana with “OK ou KO” (OK or Knockout). Emmy gave a confident, assured performance while serving attitude. The juries loved her but the public not so much, leaving her in third place overall. This was one of the couple of songs that would have made fine French entrants as well. And of course, who better to back you up on stage than yourself?
Bonne chance à la France!
Are you loving Madame Monsieur or are you saying “Non merci”? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, France Télévisions, YouTube)