Last night, the long-awaited entry from France premiered on the program Chabada, and the official preview video was let loose into the cybersphere! Watch Amaury Vassili stand on majestic cliffs, drive convertibles whilst running a hand through his hair and flicking through countless photographs of himself and a long-lost love (really admiring the bouffant-ness of said hair) right here:
I have to point out that this is the polar opposite of France’s entry from last year, which I have to confess I shook my thing quite vigorously to. Unfortunately, there will be no shaking of any body parts to this number – but what a number it is! The juries will be in a frenzy over this dramatic, climactic piece of opera, and the response from fans has been positive so far too, which bodes well for another one of those countries that has struggled to win people over in the contest for a while. Mr. Vassili’s voice sounds like it should belong to a middle-aged, overweight Italian man with a moustache, which also works in his favour, making him resemble the rich man’s Didrik Solli-Tangen (no offence to my darling Didrik intended). But can these elements really come together to make a winner in this day and age?
As I mentioned, fans have reacted well to this song, many proclaiming it as ‘The One’. However it strikes me as a song that will be lifted into the top six or so by the juries and some enamored voters, but will be pipped into the top three, and indeed to the gold medal, by something more stereotypically Eurovision – think Patricia Kaas, whose 2009 sixth place was a boon for France, but whose cabaret-inspired chanson was never going to outrank Norway or Iceland, songs that catered better to modern ESC tastes.
Lots of people have also stated that Sognu is “too good for Eurovision”. But I don’t believe there is such a thing! It is a song contest after all, and that allows anything, no matter how lyrically or musically substantial, or clichéd and novelty, to participate. Sure, we all know that the contest is not always about substance, but it has always brought us diversity, not just in style but in quality. What makes this song “too good” in comparison to Serbia and Montenegro from 2004? Or Amina Annabi’s entry back in 1991 which very nearly took out the top prize (and was also described as being too superior to participate)? Or even Patricia? Maybe is it simply the opera genre that has people saying this, as it is one that holds more credibility than your average pop or rock song. I’m sure there will be people out there who can’t stand this entry and wouldn’t dream of insinuating that its standard would be lowered by being in Eurovision. Then again, saying that a song is too good and implying that it won’t succeed is also implying that Eurovision fans don’t have the capacity to appreciate more credibly perceived genres and therefore vote for them. And that is just not true, a fact proven by the great results of the songs I mentioned – and many more that I didn’t.
Anyway, I just wanted to have that little rant. My personal thoughts on the song are that it is perfect for Eurovision – it really hits the aural heights, and will do a nice job of breaking up the pop/rock/ethnic/ballad numbers that will fill up the final, giving us a full smorgasbord of musical treats to look forward to! Whilst the straight opera genre is not my preference to listen to (I do like a bit of popera, though), it’s music to my ears, quite literally, when combined with all of those other genres on the Eurovision stage. So I’m giving it 8 points.
Before I go and do some coursework (a.k.a. what I SHOULD be doing at this moment), I’ll just mention the upcoming action in National Final Land. Israel’s lineup go head to head this evening in Kdam, one of which is Dana International. Will her song Ding Dong get her back in the fold, or will it be a new face (and a more promisingly titled song) we see in Germany for the Israelis? 12 hours or so, and we will know!
According to the free (code for: extremely unreliable) encyclopedia, Hungary will make their internal selection tomorrow, so look out for that, before the UK FINALLY presents I Can on Friday, joined by San Marino and Senit. Saturday brings us, if all goes according to plan, the final two selections/presentations, with Sweden’s Melodifestivalen final (also known as The Eric Saade Show) and Russia’s revelation. Six songs, six countries, six more possible winners – I’m excited! Keep dropping by for my verdicts, and all the fun of the lead-up to Düsseldorf.
62 days to go!