Eurovision 2021 national selections: France preview

After a couple of years of their new national selection show, Destination Eurovision, France internally selected in 2020, and while the contest was cancelled of course, the response to the internally selected song was not exactly enthusiastic. So perhaps it is not a surprise that France has returned to a public selection, renamed and restructured, 12 acts will compete in Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez! on 30 January.

I’m looking forward to this final – only the second of the national final season and the first one that is purely for Eurovision. It’s also the first of the Big 5 songs we will get (and therefore guaranteed to be in the final) and our third song for the 2021 contest.

I’m pleased to see there is a real emphasis on diversity in the final line up. Diversity in song/musical style and diversity in the set of artists. While I’m not convinced there is a Eurovision winner among the dozen, it’s nonetheless a high quality line up for a final with this many songs. We even get a splash of the South Pacific in our long grey winter with an act from French Polynesia and the song partly sung in Tahitian.

I’ve pulled out just a couple of songs from the line up but be sure to watch for yourself at 8.05pm UK time (9.05pm CET). The show will be broadcast live on France 2, TV5MONDE and online via a live stream.

My favourite: Andriamad “Alléluia”

I found it quite hard to pinpoint one specific songs as there were a two or three in contention but of my favourites, this is most likely to actually win (currently second favourite judging by various fan polls). It’s grown on me as well, and I think it has lots of elements that I like – the dreamy anthemic chorus, the blend of French with some English and an act that is representative of modern France. I’d be happy if this went to Eurvision, thought it perhaps is not a heavyweight of a song (or winner contender).

The (fan) favourite: Barbara Pravi “Voilà”

Currently the clear favourite (in so far as these things indicate) is this more dramatic and very French Piafesque ballad. Barbara Pravis was one of the composers of the French entry for Junior Eurovision 2020 and which won that contest – France’s first Eurovision success since 1977. So it would feel quite fitting were Barbara to win and represent France at the main contest. It’s undoubtedly impressive, and I can understand the excitement and support for it, though I just can’t shake the image of the hilarious Sarah Louise Young’s character and stage show, “La Poule Plombée“…

Who will become France’s representative? We don’t have long to find out!

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