As we approach the end of the daily reviews of this year’s Eurovision entries, it’s time to look at the last of the “Big Five” countries, the biggest contributors to the EBU budget entitled to free qualification to the final.
France are a founding nation of Eurovision, participating in the original 1956 contest. Its role in Eurovision’s genesis is apparent whenever the contests speak in both English and French. Of course the famous maximum “douze points” is a side-effect of the French influence on Eurovision tradition.
Absolved of the need to qualify for the final, France are probably the biggest risk-takers of the Big Five, or the nation of that group who most embrace the spirit of the contest. As a result, you never know what direction they will take. Even in the last five years there have been renowned divas, football arena anthems, Corsican opera, and marvellous Indonesian pop.
However, you have to go back to 1977 for the last of five French victories, and over 20 years before France last graced the top 3. I get the impression that not only does this not bother the French too much, but also that this is unlikely to change this year.
Amandine Bourgeois was selected internally to fly the Tricolore in Malmö, known for winning the “Nouvelle Star” talent show in 2008. It doesn’t appear that she’s had a great deal of success since then, so presumably hopes to turn things around with a strong performance in Sweden.
“L’enfer et moi” (or “Hell and I”) is an old-fashioned guitar-led jazzy rock number, with a pulsing beat on the brief choruses. I’d struggle to really say I disliked and of this year’s entries, but this is perhaps one of the ones I have the least interest. That’s a shame as I often enjoy the French entries, particularly Anggun’s amazing “Echo”, cruelly overlooked last year in Baku.
Amandine just seems to have a very harsh accent, not what I’m used to. The song climaxes decently, but it’s just a bit of a tantrum of a song. I don’t really like the style very much, not the tune. I’m at a bit of a loss really. The video doesn’t help much either, it looks like they’ve put in plenty of effort, but Amandine just pouts and poses like a pre-death Amy Winehouse. It’s just lacking much in the way of fun, I just don’t really like it that much, sorry. Without the pressure of having to qualify, it’ll be in the final whether I like it or not, so I guess I’ll just have to get through this one.
For more ESC2013 reviews and news, you can visit my Malmö 2013 hub, or click Malmö 2013 at the top of the screen.