The French television has produced a national final again to determine the singer and song for the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. Unlike other countries, where the singers from last year received another chance, France went another way. Tom Leeb, who has been internally chosen did not want to take part anymore.
The national final showed various music styles, there has even been a group from French Polynesia. And there was one special singer with an even more special song, who was the clear favourite from the beginning: Barbara Pravi. This artist has a fascinating charisma, timeless and touching, though very sympathetic. A comparison to Edith Piaf is obviously, the fervently singing and the appearance is breath-taking like a typical Parisian chanteuse.
Barbara Pravi was born in Paris 1993 and has Serbian and Iranian roots. This identity gave Barbara a kind of diversity and self-confidence. In 2015 she has been discovered by Capitol Records, where Barbara could sign her first record contract. She mostly writes her own songs, strongly inspired by Jacques Brel, George Brassens, Françoise Hardy and Aragon. Beside of her contributions to the film music like “Heidi” she took part in the music show “Un été 44” and released her first single “Pas Grandir” , and later the EP “Les prières” which is also a sign for her commitment of violence against women. Barbara received her first role as an actor in the TV series “La Sainte Famille”. She has also worked with popular singers like Yannick Noah, Julie Zenatti, Chimène Badi and Jaden Smith. Last year Barbara has co-written the French song for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest “J’imagine” for Valentina, who became the first victory for France. By now, Barbara has released three albums and several singles.
The song “Voilá” is a traditional French song, a bit out of time, but at the same time very modern and sophisticated. A song with an approach and interesting lyrics:
Listen to me, me the half-singer Talk about me, your loves, your friends Tell them about this black eyed girl and her crazy dream What I want is to write stories that reach you That's all Here it is, here it is, this is who I am
This song is already one of the big favourites for this year. In a way it all reminds of Edith Piaf. Judging by the appearance in the national final, Barbara, her stage show was stunning, the light, the capacity of her voice is phenomenal and this is a perfect song for a big festival, like the Eurovision Song Contest. If Barbara wins the ESC, there would be two Eurovision Song Contests in France soon, the Junior ESC in November and the big ESC next year that would be well deserved, the last victory of France was in 1977 with “L’Oiseau Et L’enfant” by Marie Myriam, more than 40 years!
Top 10: 38
Chances for Top 10: 59%
France belongs to the founding members of the Eurovision Song Contest from the first year 1956. This year in Rotterdam it going to be the 64th time for France! France has withdrawn in 1974 and 1982. Nevertheless there were five winning songs, six second places and seven third places, unfortunately the biggest successes can be found in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. In the last 30 years France struggled with good placings, this is due to the increasing amount of participating countries, televoting and sometimes the bad choice for the right entry by the French broadcasters. Since 2016 Amir could achieve a 6th rank in Stockholm with “J’ai Cherché” and the years after a good rank in the middle could be made.
A Top10 position France could be reached 38 times within six decades, so approximate chance to get a good placement overall is about 59%.
France is famous for its chansons and ballads, but also French pop tunes have been presented lately like “Divine” by Sébastian Tellier (19th rank in 2008) and “Allez Olla Olé” by Jessy Matador (12th rank in 2010) which have been found in the international charts as well. Here France was on the right way to success.
Even with big names like Patricia Kaas, Natasha St. Pierre or Patrick Fiori France could not bring another victory. In 1977 Marie Myriam convinced the juries with “L'Oiseau Et L'Enfant”, this was the last big victory in Eurovision and super hit all over Europe, and that’s more than 40 years ago! As France belongs to the Big 5 countries, it has a fix place in the Grand Finals like Germany, UK, Spain and Italy. Last time Bilal could not bring France’s position higher than the 16th place.
Photographer, Journalist, Editor
About me: My first Eurovision I watched was in 1987, Brussels. Since then I am following the ESC with great enthusiasm. The greatest fascination for me is the fact that the entire Europe is watching the show at that specific night. Since 2010, Oslo I am a member of the eurovisionlive.com team. I had the chance to witness the second German victory with Lena. My biggest wish would be to have the orchestra back, as it used to be until 1998.