#FRA: Live Blog of Destination Eurovision Final from 21.00 CET

#FRA: Live Blog of Destination Eurovision Final from 21.00 CET

It’s live blog time again, and this time, it’s serious.

France’s selection process culminates tonight when it picks a representative for Tel Aviv. It’s 42 years since France last won. Will tonight’s choice give them a chance for win number six?

Over the next 2-3 hours, we’ll blog all the action as it unfolds. You know what to do – just hit Refresh for our latest thoughts. Let us know if you disagree with us. Or even if you agree!

You can follow the action on France 2, TV5Monde or TV5Québec, or through their websites HERE and HERE.

There’s a 50/50 voting international jury/televoting system to decide the winner, but we’ll come onto that later.

It’s started! Naturally, with a résumé of what we’ve seen over the last two Saturdays. Are you excited?

The eight performers open the show by singing Rise like a phoenix. EI’s friend Conchita would be proud. It goes down very well.

We get introduced separately to the acts before some explanation of tonight’s votes. 840 points are up for grabs, 420 from televoters and 42 each from 10 international jurors. That’s a lot of points.

As before, each singer will do a short cover of another song before they present their own. Each cover will be Eurovision-related.

First on is Chimène Badi with Ne partez pas sans moi (CH 88). It’s 31 years old!!

Chimène Badi – Là-haut

She’s back in her box which is immediately effective because of the projections on it. There’s lots of working of the camera and singing in a very confident style. This is a cracking opener. She’s up against some tough competition tonight, but Chimène is not going down without a fight. The crowd are also right behind her. She can be proud of her singing tonight.

The panel tell her she has charisma. And she has an excellent song.

Silvàn will sing Le dernier qui à parlé (FR 91). He gives it his own spin.

Silvàn Areg – Allez leur dire

This renamed song is very bonkers. In other words, memorable. The paper cut-outs from the semi-final are now in glorious technicolor. And Silvàn is milking the audience. There are words galore in the lyric and if it wins, Europe will not have a clue what to make of it. That aside, there’s a charm to it and you can’t help but get drawn into what you’re hearing, even if you don’t speak French.

The panel are very complimentary of Sylvàn’s little song.

Green Room time and Sandy has a lot to say and people to chat to. France’s JESC 2018 representative Angélina is there too.

The Divaz choose Waterloo (SE 74). They forget some of the words.

The Divaz – La voix d’Aretha

Dressed as Grease Pink Ladies tonight, they exude sultry. They also demonstrate they’re seasoned performers and harmonise well. My only criticism of this song is that it loses its way after a while. Yes, it’s a decent tribute, but it will need more than it has to get anywhere tonight. but the crowd like it.

More encouraging words from the panel of experts.

Emmanuel is back with Euphoria (SE 12). A popular song, sung in the most pared-down way possible. And very well too.

Emmanuel Moire – La promesse

Emmanuel emotes. But that’s a good thing. Starting in his box again, he soon emerges to dry ice and has a very wide vocal range. He’s putting a lot into it, but it just seems a little hurried. The costume discarding is a nice touch though, demonstrating his emergence into a life he wants. If France wants to be progressive, then maybe this could be the one.

As you’ll have guessed, the panel are nice to Emmanuel. He’s elegant.

Recap time of the first four songs. Are they implying some people have short attention spans… Oh look, a gazelle.

The panel are asked for their favourites. Should they be doing this now? For the record, we get The Divaz, Chimène Badi and The Divaz. Hmmm.

Doutson sings J’ai cherché (FR 16). He knows the words and there’s a lot of them.

Doutson – Sois un bon fils

Doutson and son are dressed the same. Nice. This, for a rap, is very engaging. There’s not lines about killing their homies – or whatever the phrase is. It’s a plea to his lad to be a good boy. The dancers in what look like matador hats is a nice touch too. This ain’t the worst thing we’ve heard tonight.

The panel like it. But of course, they’re only going to be positive.

More Green Room, and Sandy is only with Marie Myriam!

Seemone sings – guess what – L’oiseau et l’enfant (FR 77). No pressure, knowing she’s being judged by that song’s best exponent then.

Seemone – Tous les deux

Dry ice, and lots of it. Too much perhaps. This is a cracking song, and to me slightly reminiscent of Windmills of your mind. There’s utter silence in the crowd as this unfolds. The simplicity is excellent. It fits right in as a classic French chanson. Seemone would be a good winner tonight. The crowd love it when it ends.

Very good words from the panel. And it’s genuine.

Bilal gives us Feugo (CY 18). Another pared-down song, although he does attempt the dance.

Bilal Hassani – Roi

He’s showing us old pictures of him on the backdrop. He flits between French and English again, and there’s an absence of dancers that he had in the semi-final for the whole of the song. I think it needs them. The two he does have don’t really cut it. I have to say I’m disappointed with this performance. It was a potential winner. I’m not so sure now.

The panel really like it, but perhaps not quite as much as I was expecting.

More Green Room shenanigans. We speak to Emmanuel.

Aysat – no, not a communications company, sings Fairytale (NO 09)

Aysat – Comme une grande

I was surprised when this qualified last week, but it’s not that bad. Aysat has a very good voice in an afro-beat way. She gets the foot-tapper vote and has a nice line in choreography with her four dancers. It’s quite wordy – that said – and might be a little bit overshadowed by some of the other fare we’ve had tonight. But she’s tried her best.

More good words, but Aysat hits back anyway.

Songs over. It’s time for the televoters of France to vote. Let’s hope they choose wisely. And it costs less than €1.

Cabaret time, and a tribute to Michel Legrand – the composer who’s just died. Host Garou sings Windmills of your mind.

Now we get a potted history of Eurovision winners. Everything from Lys Assia – bless her – to Netta Barzilai. Via Jean-Claude Pascal, Frida Boccara, Lulu, Teach-in, Lordi and Conchita Wurst. And Jamala and Salvador Sobral.

The panel get to pick their favourites. We get Bilal, Chimène Badi, and Seemone.

Green Room chat. With Bilal.

Phone lines have closed. So it means we get Madame Monsieur. Singing Mercy, naturally. They’re looking well.

Chat over. It’s serious now. Jury time.

Spain gives 12 points to Sylvàn Areg!

Albania (Rona Nishliu) gives 12 points to Seemone

Russia gives 12 points to Chimène Badi

Italy gives 12 points to Seemone

Israel (Doron Medalie) gives 12 points to The Divaz

Switzerland gives 12 points to Sylvàn Areg

Ireland (Michael Kealy) gives 12 points to Silvàn Areg

Germany gives 12 points to Seemone

Belarus gives 12 points to Seemone

Cyprus (Alex Panayi) gives 12 points to Seemone

The scores are as follows:

The public vote is to come. But do we already have our winner?

8th – Doutson – 8 points

7th – Aysat – 12 points

6th – Silvàn Areg – 26 points

5th – The Divaz – 48 points

4th – Emmanuel Moire – 51 points

3rd – Seemone – 62 points

2nd – Chimène Badi – 63 points

1st – Bilal Hassani – 150 points

Roi wins! Bilal Hassani will go to Tel Aviv after a massive public vote

Are you happy with this result?

Well here’s where the blog ends. Thanks for stopping by. And good night!

Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovision Ireland, France 2

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