France: Les fatals Picards to Helsinki!

by Stella Floras 101 views

France will be deciding tonight at 20.50 CET who will represent the country at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki. Ten acts in total will be competing and the hosts of the evening will be Tex and Julien Lepers. A webcast of the show is available.

Theshow

This year five French channels (2, 3, 4, 5 and RFO) have joined forces each submitting two candidates representing different music genres. The winner will be selected by televote and jury vote. The artists competing tonight are (in running order):

1.Les Vedettes – Bye bye papa
2.MAP – Grain d'sel
3.Jennifer Chevallier – Mon etoile
4.Les Fatals Picards – L'amour a la Francaise
5.Medi-T – On and on
6.BZR featuring Cheb Hamid – Galbi
7.Valerie Louri – Besoin d'ailleurs
8.Les Wampas – Faut voter pour nous
9.Charlotte Becquin – Je veux tout
10.Estelle Lemee – Comme un reve

The show will be broadcast live on France 3. A webcast will be provided here.
esctoday.com has moved to Paris to cover the French final for you and bring you exclusive material. Stay tuned!
You can watch all the videos by clicking here.

LIVE

As an intriduction, the hosts of the night remind the audience that it has been 30 years since France has won the Eurovision Song Contest the last time. A video of former entries is shown: Sweden 1974, Finland 2006, Switzerland 1988, Italy 1958, Luxembourg 1980, Netherlands 1975, France 1977, Luxembourg 1965, France 2001, France 1965, France 1990 – and the winning song of 2006 again.

All singers for tonight are now introduced, they all enter the stage. Video snippets of the first five entries are shown, followed by the second five videos after the introduction of the singers. The televoting numbers are announced and the lines are already opened! Youcan start to vote now (numbers above).

The official EBU rules are now presented, illustrated by some pictures.

Les Vedettes – Bye bye papa
The first song of the evening. The six female singers are all dressed in red giving the impression of a military parade. The song is catchy, the vocal performance is good. Les Vedettes means The stars – which is illustrated by silver stars on their outifts. Hard to tell if Europe would get the message of the song. Unusually for national finals, the 'postcard' introducing the singers is not shown before but after the performance.

MAP – Grain d'sel
Fancy-dress ball evening in France? The singers if the band are dressed up as concierges. The song is in a rap tune but also features an accordion player. The performance itself is pretty simple. MAP stands for Ministere des affaires populaires – which means State department! Soemthing they obviously want to be in Helsinki representing France! The song title means Grain of salt.

Some further videos: Germany 1979, Germany 1998, France 2004, Austria 1977, Austria 2003, Iceland 2006, Austria 1981, Yugoslavia 1968 – mixed with the song Kung fu fighting that obviously has not much to do with the Eurovision Song Contest…

Jennifer Chevallier – Mon etoile

Time for something more classic: Jennifer sings a typical French ballad. While the front singer is dressed in black, the background singers wear black trousers with a zebra top and a flamingo bow around the hip. The song title means My star.

Time for some videos: the tops and the flops of the years 2001 – 2006 are shown.

Les Fatals Picards – L'amour a la Francaise

The song title means Love the French way. Nevertheless, the singers (dressed in jeans and jackets with white shirts are mixing English and French lyrics and also sing the French parts with a strong British accent.

Medi-T On and on

The fifth entry of the evening starts with a few lines of the Marseillaise – the French national anthem. The intro leads to a French rap song. There are some background dancers / singers but the overall performance is a bit messy.

A reminder of the five performances so far is now shown. Don't forget that the lines for the televote are already open and one lucky voter can win a trip to Helsinki!

BZR featuring Cheb Hamid – Galbi

Another hip hop / rap song with French lyrics but this one also include an oriental rhythm. The performance is simililar to Medi-T but features the background dancers coming out of a box as a gimmick. One of the lead singers plays with a football and jumps into the crowd towards the end – and is very well received be the audience.

Video snippets of all the French entries after the last winner in 1977 that reached the top 5 are presented – to show that France has not always finished last. Actually, France has never come last in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Valerie Lourie-Besoin d'ailleurs
The singer is from Martinique. Actually, she uses many clichés to show that her song is referring to a Carribean country. There's some Nevertheless, this fits well with the entry which is very well received.

The host now gives the information that the voting is very close at the moment!

Les Wampas – Faut voter pour nous

F United? The singers try a certain joke as the Lithuanian entrants in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, telling the audience to vote for them. The front singer gets a random applause for taking off his shirt. Have we ever seen this in Eurovision? The singer also jumps into the crowd – a déjà vu? Their 'postcard' is introduced with the words "Forget all what you know about rock 'n' roll"!

Charlotte Becquin – Je veux tout

Back to the fancy-dress ball: A bride is standing on stage with a white dress and veil she immediately takes off. She is backed by a complete rock band consisting of female musicians only. According to the song title she wants everything – if she will get it tonight? The song is very interesting mixing rock tunes with a typical French 'chanson'. This entry could have well been sung by Patricia Kaas.

Before the last song is performed, we can watch some famous Eurovision Song Contest outifts ans sexy performances: Paul Oscar's Leather suit, Linda Wagenmakers' circus tent, Gina G's mini dress, Sanda Ladosi's – dress and Marie N's everything among others.

Estelle Lemee – Comme un reve

Everything has turned into bubble gum colours suddenly. The singer rolls on stage on a pink scooter, dressed in pink and white with back ground singers in pink and white. Sandra Kim won with these colours in 1986 and the song is also in a similar tune. Now the televoters will decide if the song is really "Like a dream" as the title says or rather like a nightmare.

A reminder of all the songs with the televoting numbers. National final performance of entries that have already been chosen for 2007 are now presented: Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Malta, Slovenia, Cyprus, Romania (the French part of course), Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland (remarkably only the female vocal part is presented). The two super finalists will be announced shortly.

Voting for the first round is now closed.

Some more videos with the comments of the French commentators. Among others they talk about Piasek (Poland 2001), Corinna May (Germany 2002), Meltem Cumbul (Host 2004), Julie (Malta 2004), Buket Bengisu (Turkey 2002), Ruslana (Ukraine 2004),, Deen (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2004), Lordi (Finland 2006).

The super finalists are:

Medi-T On and On
Les Fatals Picards L'amour a la francaise

The lines are open for one more round of televoting now. Both songs are performed again.

Some high notes in Eurovision are shown: Germany 2005, Finland 1977 and Croatia 1996 among others. In the background you can hear the whistle part of Wind of change by the Scorpions. The motto of the video presentation was "The voice"

Former Eurovision Song Contest hosts now get their videos: Giglio Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno in 1991 (they didn't understand the Turkish votes so that Frank Neef had to announce them), Lill Lindfors in 1985 (she pretented losing her dress), Natasja Krone and Soren Pilmark (they spoke in rhymes), Erica Vaal in 1967 with a difficult voting system. Furthermore, the accident during the Spanish entry in 1990 was shown when the playback didn't work along with Dana International's fall on stage in 1999. Marie Myriam – French winner in 1977 with L'oiseau et l'enfant – is now on stage. She performs an a capella version of her song.

The winners are: Les Fatals Picards – L'amour à la Française

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Stella Floras

Thanks to Johnny Logan and Hold me now I fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest, a love that's been going strong ever since with undiminished passion. My first memories date back to 1977 and the lyrics of Rock bottom, Dschinghis Khan and A ba ni bi are still engraved in my brain.

I joined esctoday.com in 2006 as a junior editor after being invited by Barry Viniker, I soon became Senior Editor and during the 2007 contest in Helsinki I was appointed Head of Communications. Today I hold the post of Head of Human Resources and I am proud to be working with the best editorial team in the world.

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