France is holding its national selection tonight, 5th March 2022 at 20:05 UTC, to decide which artist and song will represent the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin this May.
Broadcaster France Télévisions revealed the twelve competing acts last month. Let’s discover a little more about each of them!
Alvan & Ahez – “Fulenn”
Alvan is a multi-instrumentalist DJ from the Rennes electro scene. Ahez is made up of Breton singers Marine, Sterenn D and Sterenn L, whose traditional vocals have been heard across the Celtic festival circuit, including at the Lorient Interceltic Festival and Celtic Connections in Glasgow. “Fulenn” (Breton for both “maiden” and “spark”) is the fusion of these two musical worlds, and tells the Breton legend of a young woman’s emancipation through dance by the light of a fire at night.
Cyprien Zeni – “Ma Famille”
Music has flowed through Cyprien’s veins from a young age. His father was Maxime Laope, a renowned singer from the island of La Réunion. Cyprien has received won the Sankofa Soul Contest in 2019 and was a finalist in tenth season of The Voice on TF1 last year. He is Toulouse-based these days, but is inspired by his heritage, and “Ma famille” (“my family”) is an ode to his loved ones and his roots.
Elia – “Téléphone”
Rising star and self-taught drummer and pianist Elia is as influenced by chanson française as by hip-hop. She was scouted in 2021 by Booba, with whom she recorded hit single “Grain de sable,” and the French rapper has also produced her Eurovision France contender “Téléphone.” This danceable pop song speaks to the anxieties and ideals of the young singer’s generation.
Elliott – “La tempête”
Originally from Alsace, Paris-based Elliott garnered an audience for his musical stylings through YouTube channel Cover Garden, which boasts 400k subscribers, before releasing his debut EP in 2016. He describes “La temptête” as an intense voyage of hope, love and resilience.
Hélène in Paris – “Paris mon amour”
Interior designer and television presenter Hélène discovered her passion for singing during the first lockdown last year, earning attention online for her glamorous jazz covers. A citizen of the world, or more specifically Paris via Casablanca, London, LA and New York, Hélène sings in “Paris mon amour” of her happy reunion with the French capital.
Joan – “Madame”
Growing up in a family of musicians, Joan has been singing and playing guitar since childhood. She’s appeared in musicals including “Timéo” and “Émilie Jolie,” and worked with Francis Cabrel. Joan hopes to defend the success of chanson française at Eurovision with “Madame,” a waltz on the theme of passionate love that can lead to madness.
Joanna – “Navigateure”
Rennes singer Joanna’s captivating sensuality and poetic lyrics secured her an audience when she first started posting YouTube videos in 2018. Joanna released her debut album “Sérotonine” in 2021 to critical acclaim and sold out La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris last October. She cites Mylène Farmer, Björk and Lana Del Rey among her musical influences. “Navigateure” is a song full of hope, about freedom and self-assurance.
Julia – “Chut”
Haute-Savoie native Julia started posting song covers to social media at 16. She caught the attention of Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat, who decided to write her an album, “Passe…comme tu sais,” released in 2020. Julia has a co-writing credit on “Chut,” a playful exploration of gender codes and expectations placed upon young women of her generation.
Marius – “Les chansons d’amour”
Lyonnais Marius discovered self-expression through song and dance in his teens, leading him to pursue musical theatre training in Paris. He names Jacques Brel and Daniel Balavoine as well as Billie Eilish and Beyoncé among his musical influences. “Les chansons d’amour,” co-written by Igit (co-author of France’s ESC ‘21 entry “Voilà”), explores themes of love and loneliness in the modern world.
Pauline Chagne – “Nuit Pauline”
Pauline’s electric harp sets her apart from her peers, as does her mission to revolutionise the instrument’s image. An actress with a passion for gender equality, Pauline has appeared in several musical theatre and cabaret productions, and released her debut EP last autumn. “Nuit Pauline” depicts the iconography of a classic movie heroine, set against a cinematic dance-pop soundscape.
Saam – “Il est où?”
Dentist by day, artist by night, Saam cites influences as diverse as Brel, Georges Brassens, Radiohead, Niska and Neckfeu. The Lille native garnered attention over lockdown with “Mémère,” an intergenerational hymn in homage to his grandmother, who helped raise him. With “Il est où?” Saam candidly expresses his hopes for a happier, simpler society.
SOA – “Seule”
Brother-and-sister duo SOA – consisting of LudySoa, 19, and Nathan, 22 – have been singing together all their lives. Now based in Toulouse, the siblings grew up in Madagascar and proudly highlight their heritage through the songs they write together. “Seule” combines rock, pop and rap in an uplifting battle-cry for all those who feel hopeless or alone.
What we know about France’s national final
C’est Vous Qui Décidez! will have two rounds of voting. The televote will determine five qualifiers to the second round. The jury will then give a sixth act a wildcard to the second round. In the second round of voting, scores will be reset to zero, lines will reopen and both jury and public will vote, each accounting for 50% of the final score. The overall winner of the second round will represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
France’s Eurovision journey
France is a powerhouse in Eurovision, debuting at the first contest in 1956. Its first entries finished in second place, but no scores were ever published. Since then, France has gone on to win the contest five times. The most recent win came in 1977, with Marie Myriam’s “L’enfant et l’oiseau,” which scored 136 points.
Recent years have seen France slump in the results, but a change in direction in 2016 boosted the nation’s performance. Amir finished in sixth position for France that year with “J’ai charché,” and France placed 12th, 13th and 16th in the following years respectively. In 2021, Barbara Pravi was able to wow audiences across Europe and Australia with her song “Voilà.” At the close of voting, France finished in second place, earning earning a mammoth 499 points.
What do you think of the competing artists and songs in this year’s Eurovision France: C’est Vous Qui Décidez? Do you think France could repeat its 2021 success? Who are you most excited to see perform? As always, please do let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram , and Twitter for more information about France’s participation in Eurovision this year!
News source: France Télévisions
Photo source: France Télévisions
© Cyril Moreau / Bestimage