Eurovision

#FRANCE: Live Blog of Destination Eurovision Semi-final Two! From 21.00 CET

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#FRANCE: Live Blog of Destination Eurovision Semi-final Two!

After several years of internal selections, it appears that France Télévisions has bigger plans, with a three-week run to pick a song for Lisbon.

Tonight is the second semi-final of Destination Eurovision, and nine songs will compete for the final four places in the Grand Final on 27 January.

You know what to do with this blog – just click on refresh and see if you agree with me.

If you subscribe to Sky or Virgin, you should be able to watch it. Or you can follow it on Eurovision France’s Facebook page HERE.

In addition to each competing song, each performer will sing a cover of another song.

The four songs will be picked by two professional juries. One consists of three Francophones – one of whom is the 2016 representative Amir. The second jury are three non-Francophones, including the sainted Christer Björkman.

And we’re off. As is customary on this sort of programme, we get a quick recap of the story so far.

Into the studio with our genial host Garou, we get introduced to the three home jurors. Isabelle, Christophe and Amir. We then get the international jury – Christer, Olga and Nicola.

And then it’s onto the important bit – the songs!

Lucie Vagenheim – Savoir aimer

She gives us a dramatic version of the Florent Pagny song. It’s quite a strong voice from someone who’s only slightly built. She engages with the camera and emotes feeling throughout. A good way to open things.

11 Lucie

Lucie Vagenheim – My world

She’s now joined on stage by four dancers. This is quite a funky little number that has the crowd clapping from very early on. There’s a Latin vibe too. The crowd really like this, and it’s actually not bad. One to watch definitely.

The French jury is very complimentary of Lucie and the song, even likened to Shakira. They obviously like it.

Madame Monsieur – Désenchantée

It’s duo time, and we get a Mylène Farmer song. She sings and he plays keyboard and guitar. That’s some skill. It’s a quirky performance of a quirky song that again contains a lot of feeling. It’s another popular choice judging by Amir’s reaction and appears to be quite a good cover.

12 MM.png

Madame Monsieur – Mercy

We’ve missed finger-clicking so far on this show, but here it is. An interesting start for a song that seems to have a lot of words in the verse. It’s quite a modern ballad that has electronic overtones. It might strike a chord, or not. If retro is the way to go, this could be in.

The jury debates whether the song title is ‘merci’ in the French sense or ‘mercy’ in the English sense. There’s a reasonable enthusiasm for the song which might help later on.

Jane Constance – What a wonderful world

Jane gives us Anglophones a more familiar cover, in the form of Louis Armstrong’s song, but in a relaxed stylee. A tad reggae. A different take that was well-received.

13 Jane Constance

Jane Constance – Un jour j’ai rêvé

We get dry ice now. And five swaying backing singers. It’s a classic ballad that has a classic construction to match. Verse, chorus, shorter verse, chorus, bridge, key change, chorus. You know how it works. It’s pleasant enough, but perhaps a tad too formulaic to stand out – if it were to get any further. But the crowd like it.

There’s more general positivity about the song and Jane – it’s her dream to be in Eurovision – hence the song title.

Nassi – Superstition

Nassi picks the Stevie Wonder classic as his cover. There’s no alternative take, it’s just how you’d expect Stevie to sing it, but perhaps just funked up a bit.  Not bad, although he seemed to be trying quite hard.

14 Nassi

Nassi – Rêve de gamin

We get more dancers trying to get in on the act, and a space rocket backdrop. I wasn’t sure to start with, but it’s grown on me. There are more words than I can remember in a song, and there’s an almost arabic beat to it during the chorus. It’s catchy, but I still think it misses something though.

Our jurors are nice about this song. It’s effective apparently.

Igit – Tout va bien

Orelsan is the inspiration for Igit’s cover. He’s in a hat and stubble and carrying a battered suitcase. He gives another quirky performance that has lots of emotion and theatrics. it has Amir standing up. Whether Amir’s a fan of Igit or Orelsan is up for debate.

15 Igit

Igit – Lisboa Jerusalem

We keep the battered suitcase, and Igit’s prop is a musical box. The lyric contains a lot of geographical references which flash up on the map behind him as he mentions them. It’s certainly very different and contains lots of Gallic emotion. He doesn’t quite ‘nag’ to music but he has a lot to say. This could either win by a country mile – erm, kilometre – or end up dead dead last.

The jury likes it, even calling it a classic!

Before the next song, we go to Christer thing. He even sings at us. Something the French like but it’s unlike any Eurovision song I recognise.

Max Cinnamon – Perfect

Max has gone as up to date as is possible to go, with his Ed Sheeran cover. He looks young enough to have only been born after Ed Sheeran’s first ever hit. His English is OK – not perfect, not dreadful. His singing is better. The choice of song is a definite crowd pleaser though.

16 Max

Max Cinnamon – Ailleurs

His backdrop is a huge spinning moon. There’s definite nod to Ed Sheeran’s style here, and Max has his guitar with him. The song has potential, but there needs to be a bit more power from him. However, the English chorus doesn’t jar as bi-lingual songs sometimes can. It’ll be him rather than his delivery that will get him through.

The jury seem to be bigging Max up, citing his youth as a plus.

Sarah Callibot – Tu m’oublieras

Sarah covers a Larusso song in a slightly breathy style. She has a pianist with her, and what appears to be no backing track. She gives it all emotion and tries to smoulder. It’s OK.

17 Sarah

Sarah Callibot – Tu me manques

We’re in ballad country again, with lots of lyric that’s almost spoken. There’s drama and emotion. She stays on her spot and gives it everything. I’m not totally convinced as to me it’s missing something. Perhaps it’s a two-minute song that’s been padded out. Or the long gaps between lines towards the end. I don’t think it’s a qualifier.

The jury seem to be polite about Sarah’s performance.

Sweem – Quelques mots d’amour

A Michel Berger song featured last week, and it does again here. He’s a hipster with tattoos, so bang in trend. The song is nicely downbeat and he performs it well. The jury were even singing along. His main song has potential if her performs it like this.

18 Sweem

Sweem – Lá-haut

His main song is also downbeat and I’m not too sure. It’s got words that don’t quite seem to fit the tune that is dominated by an electric guitar. It’s got a lyric that’s quite repetitive that goes up and down the range. I think we have another two-minute song that’s been padded out.

Our jurors are polite and a little constructive.

June the Girl – Poupée de cire, poupée de son

June’s cover needs no introduction and is definitely playing the Eurovision fan demographic. Her take is a tad more sultry and very crowd pleasing. But a tad – just a tad mind – karaoke.

19 June

June the Girl – Same

We’re still doing sultry and modern, which does actually work here. Her accompaniment of a guitarist and drummer (with a single drum) add to this minimalist and contemporary vibe. In places, it does get a bit shouty but it might just be eye-catching enough to get the jury vote tonight.

She’s called an ingenuée and sincere by the jury. They have lots to say, and it’s all quite good.

 

With all the songs sung, we get the interval. Last week it was Amir, this week it’s Isabelle looking all winsome and commanding on stage.

 

Onto the voting, and here are the results of the three international jurors:

Int scores SF02

And with the three French jurors…

Total scores SF02

So our four qualifiers are Madame Monsieur, Max Cinnamon, Nassi and Igit. Will the winner come from these, or one of last week’s qualifiers?

We’ll be back next week to cover Destination Eurovision – the final. Will you be there?

Did your favourite get through? Tell us what you think.

 

Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovision Ireland, France Télévisions, Facebook

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