One of the most daring acts ever to enter a Eurovision Song Contest preselection is this of Les Vedettes. The six Belgian ladies are all performing artists with very little singing experience, part of a larger performing group cut down to size to abide with EBU regulations. They had never recorded a song before they went in the studio to do Bye Bye Papa.
Our partner site Belgovision.com interviewed the girls who recently took France by storm as part of the act of singer Philippe Katerine, who also wrote their entry Bye Bye Papa.
Les Vedettes are a performing group from Brussels. Fifteen artists specialising in various disciplines such as dance, theatre, singing, photography et al, they perform mainly at street theatre festivals dressed as marching girls. They appeared in the video clip of Mourir à Plusieurs by popular Belgian singer Arno and performed as dancers in the act of Louxor j'adore by the French singer Philippe Katerine.
How did Les Vedettes from Belgium end up in the French national final? "We performed with Katerine at the Royal Circus in Brussels and at the Olympia in Paris. Katerine and Les Vedettes live in a similar world," says Jill Wertz, one of the founding members of Les Vedettes, inthe interview with Belgovision.com. "The day after Augusto Pinochet died, Katerine wrote Bye Bye Papa. His manager proposed us to make a Eurovision Song Contest bid with the song."
Les Vedettes will do it without Katerine in the French national final and with six members only! "The rules state that only six performers can be on stage. Les Vedettes are fifteen," says Jill Wertz, who plays the part of Josi in Les Vedettes. "We looked at who was available and at the singing talent of our girls. The six to participate are the leaders, Agathe Cornez (Michelle) and myself, Monia Douieb (Gudrull), Celia Torrens (Mercedes), Muriel Bersy (Tabatha) and Huifang Wang (Daphné)."
Bye Bye Papa was recently recorded in the studio. "The style of the song is reminiscent of the Beach Boys and the Ramones," according to Les Vedettes. The song will be their first single. The girls have little singing experience. "We sing in our theatre shows once in a while, but this is the first song we recorded." The girls from Brussels are intensively taking singing lessons nowadays and are working very hard on the choreography. Meanwhile they are making big plans. Behind the scene, songwriters are preparing Les Vedettes' first album. "We will record our first full album in June, but we still plan to continue with street theatre too."
Les Vedettes have never thought of participating in the Eurovision Song Contest selections in Belgium. "Not at all! We never had the intention, never even thought about it. All this is the result of the proposal of Katerine's manager."