It’s time once again for our team to dissect the entries hoping to make it to Tel Aviv. This time, we take a look at the nine competing entries in this weekend’s first semi-final of Destination Eurovision in France. Were we impressed by any of the offerings here?

Aysat – Comme une grande

James – 8 – “Now this is more like it for R&B inspired electro-pop. High energy and catchy, Aysat is indeed going big with this one. Everything about this works, though staging may be a concern as it will require either Aysat herself or her back-up dancers to be as high energy and capable of the gymnastics her vocals do, switching up from singing to rapping and back without losing breath.”

Jordan – 5 – “This is okay. Not really my thing personally but I can see its merits. I don’t think this is in contention to win Destination Eurovision, but I would not begrudge it a final spot. Again, it’s fine but not really to my taste, that is all I can say.”

Sean – 8 – “Fantastic! Really slick, modern, upbeat, catchy… there aren’t enough superlatives to cover this song. The production is great and gives this track a really rich, full sound and it’s certainly plucked straight out of 2019, not a relic to a bygone era. Would be a great option for Tel Aviv with a decent stage performance!”

Total – 21

Battista Acquaviva – Passiò

James – 9 – “This one is also different, but more for the crowd who ordered those “Pure Moods” CD box sets from late night television in the 1990s and 2000s. Not to knock it though, it is very good. It starts slow, and it keeps adding elements from violins to a chanting choir. Battista Acquaviva is an accomplished and classically trained mezzo soprano, and also holds a PhD in literature, and will be a fantastic representative for her native Corsica should she make it through. I wouldn’t write this off – when the modern pop or rock acts beat each other up, Eurovision has a habit of rewarding acts like Battista or an old fella on a stool with an acoustic guitar. “Passiò” could be the “cavallu furiu,” as they say in Corsican.”

Jordan – 5 – “I appreciate her amazing voice but unfortunately the song doesn’t do anything for me. I think this song will have a lot of fans but to me it’s nothing that spectacular. I think if she performs it well live it could have a moment though.”

Sean – 4 – “Choral sounds don’t sit right with me the majority of the time and it’s the case again here. You need a powerful atmosphere in a song to make the Gregorian approach work and Passiò unfortunately lacks the very thing Battista sings about for me.”

Total – 18

Bilal Hassani – Roi

James – 8 – “This is an interesting one. A slow hip hop number co-written with Madame Monsieur, this is the anthem of defiance by an iconoclastic artist that the youth will be getting firmly behind. It is obvious from the lyrics this is a personal statement, and he will be a strong contender for the crown in Tel Aviv, if selected”

Jordan – 7 – “Personally, I am not massively into this one. I think Bilal has a great voice and I applaud him for being him. But I do feel like he’s trying to go too far down the “it’s good to be different line” I like him, I like the song, but I don’t feel it’s a winner personally. Sorry!”

Sean – 5 – “Creative use of Franglish always wins bonus points, and while it is a solid pop song I can’t invest myself in it enough. This just lacks that certain je ne sais Roi to make it stand out; as it is, it’s a pleasant but uninteresting track.”

Total – 20

Chimène Badi – La haut

James – 7 – ” Another slower pop R&B number, and starts like a dirge, but thankfully picks up. Chimène is a great singer, and unlike Florina and Lautner, who are no doubt also good singers, has a decent platform to strut, even if it is perhaps a little too safe and radio friendly.”

Jordan – 6 – “I quite like. It’s very French and Chimene has a good voice. I do feel bad saying this but overall it just seems to fade into the background after all the entries though. I think this could go either way, but I don’t see this representing France in Eurovision this year.”

Sean – 6 – “A stomping, thumping number now from Chimène which I can see being well appreciated by many, but perhaps not loved at the same time. The bridge is the most enjoyable part with the dramatic distortion noises, but aside from this it’s nothing groundbreaking.”

Total – 19

Florina – In The Shadow

James – 4 – “Oh great, another impossibly slow pop R&B song that moves at the speed of treacle over cold gravel. The French famously despise singing in English, and given Florina’s pronunciation of “shadow” I can hear why. Piaget will want to sponsor this, as most people will be looking at their watches.”

Jordan – 8 – “This is the favourite amongst fans for a reason. This is a well-executed pop ballad with a great singer. However, I do wonder if she will be able to pull off some of the big notes live. I’m getting a June the Girl vibe about her. She was a favourite in the studio version and then fell apart live. I’m worried this could do the same.”

Sean – 6 – “Ahh… I was expecting better from the build-up of the first verse, but it’s not bad. Good use of language, flipping between French and English in a seamless way, and she seems to have a powerful voice, but the choruses are just too underwhelming for me.”

Total – 18

Lautner – J’ai pas les temps

James – 4 – ” Zzzzzzzz. I certainly don’t have the time for this. There’s slow electro pop and then there’s this. It feels a lot longer than its three-minute run time. And the vocal effects are annoying, especially when the French cylons drop after the second minute.”

Jordan – 10 – “Yes! Yes on every level! This song is right up my street! The acoustic guitar and violin with two excellent voices just kill it for me. It’s disappointing that they aren’t more popular with the fans, but I still feel they could represent France and earn a respectable place. I love this so much”

Sean – 7 – “Sun-tinged guitars, boyband vocals and a keen pop hook in the chorus… yep, this ticks some boxes alright. I am reviewing on first impressions but I think this one will keep me coming back and will grow on me. On first listen though I’m happy to report it’s a toe-tapping delight, although a little simplistic.”

Total – 21

Mazy – Oulala

James – 6 – “Accordion sample, pink jumpsuit, “Oulala” in the chorus, Mazy is clearly trying to out-French the competitors. Problem is, it’s a slow electro-pop number that never really gets going. The pink M.C. Escher set in the video gives you a good idea as to where they’d be headed with staging, but as polished as Mazy and her video are, it’s a bit of a snooze, to be honest.”

Jordan – 3 – “Unfortunately, although she has a great voice the song here is extremely forgettable when compared to the others. I struggle to remember this exists and found it very hard to think of things to say other than this to review it. This is a non-starter for me. I’m sorry.”

Sean – 7 – “This song feels like one of the most authentically French in this selection, and that’s not just down to the song title. The accordion is a lovely touch, and underused in music in general. I get the urge to dance to this one but it lacks punch in the chorus to really make an impression on me.”

Total – 16

Naestro – Le brasier

James – 8 – ” A positive, uplifting ballad with a few modern touches, bridging the classic chanson with 2010s French pop. It’s catchy, too. The chorus is anthemic, kicking off with “On chante, on rit, on prie, on danse,” and you will feel like singing along and doing all four.”

Jordan – 8 – “I think this is a seriously strong entry. Naestro has an excellent voice and the song is powerful and uplifting. There is nothing like this in the selection and I think France would get a respectable place at Eurovision if they sent this.”

Sean – 5 – “For some reason this feels like it would come from a country like Hungary. There’s a real fire in the belly with rasping, emotive vocals and a plodding beat, that I fear some may lazily liken to Rag n Bone Man. I like it, even if it’s not really my style.”

Total – 21

Silvàn Areg – Le petit Nicholas

James – 4 – “What in tarnation is going on here? There’s rapping, French country, what sounds like oompah… it’s different, but is it good? No, sorry.”

Jordan – 4 – “I appreciate the light-hearted French nature of the track. Unfortunately, it’s not a genre that I can connect with easily and this song is a prime example. I can appreciate the song, but it doesn’t appeal to me personally.”

Sean – 7 – “So this year’s dramatically, overenthusiastically French entry seems to be Silvàn’s, and although we’re being kept away from the full three minutes there’s enough to be enthusiastic about. French rap, chanson and a bouncy pop melody is a potentially fantastic combination, and it mixes well here. Excited to see where we go with this one.”

Total – 15

So who did we like the most? Let’s see…

  1. Aysat – 21
  2. Lautner – 21
  3. Naestro – 21
  4. Bilal Hassani – 20
  5. Chimène Badi – 19
  6. Battista Acquaviva – 18
  7. Florina – 18
  8. Mazy – 16
  9. Silvàn Areg – 15

Based on our scores, the four acts our team would love to see in the final are Aysat, Lautner, Naestro and Bilal Hassani. But do #YOU agree with our choices?

Find out if we were correct by following Destination Eurovision live on Saturday night. We will keep #YOU updated with everything that happens in the show!

What do #YOU think of our views on the entries? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below in the comments and on social media!

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