France’s second semi-final takes place tonight as the highly anticipated French selection for Eurovision 2019 is back on our screens! Another nine acts will take to the stage live tonight, but which songs are our team most excited about?

We sat down and reviewed all of the songs (and snippets where these are the only reference available), and #YOU can see what we thought below. Which acts are the #escYOUnited team rooting for tonight?

Doutson – Sois un bon fils

James – 3 – “Boring, and the use of vocal effects to Countess Luann De lesseps levels makes you wonder about how he will translate live. Another pedestrian hip hop influenced pop song.”

Jordan – 9 – “I am in love with this track. It reminds me of some great French artists like Maitre Gims, Black M and Jessy Matador. I think Doutson has excellent charisma and a good voice. I think he would bring a breath of fresh air to the contest. I would love to see this in Tel Aviv.”

Sean – 6 – From the snippet we have available this is taking a familiar route of Caribbean sensibilities mixed with RnB and pop which have become routine in charts across the world recently. It works, but it won’t win many awards for originality, and I can’t see this one standing out too much…

Total – 18

Emmanuel Moire – La promesse

James – 8 – “The second balladic anthem of the evening about coming to terms with one’s own sexuality. Though two different singers in each semi-final are basically saying the same thing, it will be an interesting generational duel should both make it to the final. There’s the aggressive posture of youthful defiance versus the more victorious mature man arriving at peace, not to mention the more modern hip hop of Bilal Hassani and the piano driven ballad here. The pain is here and now with Bilal, whereas Emmanuel was in that position, overcame it, and telling Bilal and his fans that they too will persevere.”

Jordan – 5 – “Emmanuel has a great voice, that much is certain but like a couple of the others in this selection it just falls a little flat for me. I like it to a degree but it’s not one of the front runners for me.”

Sean – 3 – “Wow, this is safer than houses. Safer than a vault in the Fort Knox basement. It’s pleasant, relaxing listening and I’m sure may even grow over time but my, we need some excitement. Not really a song to stir the senses or incite a reaction in either direction for me I’m afraid.”

Total – 16

Gabriella – On cherche encore (Never Get Enough)

James – 8 – “Woo hoo, woo hoo, starts a bit off a bit like KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” but thankfully switches it up at the first chorus with some violin and groovy bass. Then drops into ethereal with some nice violin and acoustic guitar at the bridge and the last chorus brings in some backup vocals, too. I started wanting to put my fist through my door and ended up enjoying it.”

Jordan – 5 – “I like her style and her attitude, however in this particular song I don’t think the French and English works well together. I think this will be a popular one amongst Eurofans but for me it doesn’t really do a lot.”

Sean – 7 – “This starts off sounding like pop fodder from the 00s but really picks up with the chorus, where it morphs into something entirely different. Classy pop with a classical twist, like what Clean Bandit were and should be sticking to. It’s quite a catchy tune too which always helps in this competition. People will vote for earworms!”

Total – 20

Noémie – Ma petite familie

James – 6 – “A positive pop song about building bridges with everyone around you instead of building walls (and they will surely be aware that a depiction of Trump being wheeled away would be a violation of the EBU political content rule, even though the song’s lyrics don’t mention him in particular). The song is a little too simple, though, and doesn’t demand much of Noemie as a singer, so a bit of controversy and creative staging would be needed to give this one a shot.”

Jordan – 8 – “I love Noemie’s voice. She is the star of this in my opinion. The song itself is quite unique as it doesn’t have a proper chorus really, but I do enjoy it. I don’t think it will do that well in the competition, but I have a soft spot for it. I think it’s really good.”

Sean – 6 – “I like some aspects of this song; the blend of voices, the way the song’s construction slowly builds until it is a full-blooded affair, the African stylings that course throughout the whole song. But I feel like there’s something missing a little bit. It falls just short of really leaving an impact despite being a pleasant listening experience.”

Total – 20

PhilipElise – Madame la paix

James – 6 – “As with Gabriella, starts off sounding like one thing, in this case, a dull acoustic indie-pop ballad, before dropping some bass and accordion and morphing into a more fun and upbeat pop son. Gabriella’s entry is a little more interesting, though, mostly because there is a bit more variation and sounds more fun. And given that in the same semi-final I am thinking of another song while writing about this one does lets you know I think “Madame la paix” is a bit forgettable.”

Jordan – 3 – “I completely forgot this existed before I reviewed it. It’s probably the least memorable of all eighteen songs in this selection. I’ve got nothing against the song but there is nothing that grabs my attention either. It’s just kind of there…”

Sean – 9 – “YES! I’m really feeling this one. It’s so much fun, deeply French, could have a really interesting performance and would certainly be noticed in Tel Aviv, not to mention that the crowd would love this. This puts a big smile on my face and sometimes that’s all you need.”

Total – 18

Seemone – Tous les deux

James – 9 – “A little slow, but the chorus is very catchy and Seemone has a lovely voice. I will most certainly “chante, chante sit u veux”. For a song in a non-English language to have a simple, catchy chorus is a huge plus. A very beautiful piano ballad, and with a beautiful sentiment about her Dad, even though the lyrics suggest a complicated relationship and a regret she cannot say the things she wants to say in the remaining time they have left. If anyone lost someone and they have regrets about the things they could not say in time, this will strike a nerve.”

Jordan – 4 – “I’m not going to say this song is boring because I’m sure it does have some fans, but I will say that it bores me. I just feel in the sea of great songs this gets swallowed. It doesn’t stand out in the slightest for me personally. I wouldn’t be surprised if this finished last if it went to Eurovision.”

Sean – 5 – “Ballads like this don’t really register on my radar of personal taste, but I can appreciate that this is a sweet, emotive song that I’m sure many would identify with and feel connected to. She has a rich tone that add authenticity to the song and while it’s not something I could enamour myself with, it’s pleasant enough to listen to.”

Total – 18

The Divaz – La voix d’Aretha

James – 7 – “This is a bit of a mish-mash. Starts off a little slow, then all of the sudden we got an ‘80s pop chorus. I get they’re trying to bridge the eras of Aretha Franklin as a three minute career retrospective of sorts, which is a much better idea of a tribute than simply mimicking her 1960s sound, but it needs a bit more work to be a bit more cohesive.”

Jordan – 2 “I like the concept, but I don’t like its execution. This reminds me of a female version of Phenomen from last year. This doesn’t work in my opinion. I also struggle to see them performing this well live considering they don’t even harmonise on the studio track. This is a no from me.”

Sean – 5 – “I was hoping this would go into full-on disco banger territory so I can’t hide my disappointment, however this could really come to life when these ladies step onto the Destination Eurovision stage. A bit of an unknown quantity at the moment, but from what I can hear it’s a decent soul-pop song that needs a little more oomph.”

Total – 14

Tracy de Sa – Por aqui

James – 9 – “Whiskey cocktails rum rum rum indeed. It’s easy to make fun of the hip hop of Tracy De Sa or Nicki Minaj, but considering a couple of the turgid lumps we’ve endured at Destination Eurovision so far, this one is by far the most fun of the hip hop contingent. I’m going to sound like a Granddad here, but remember when hip hop was hedonistic and party hardy fun and the bass rippled through your daiquiri? Young Indian born rapper Tracy De Sa does. You French might call us barbarians for enjoying something so gauche (or worse, American-sounding), but Tracy De Sa is bringing a party to Destination Eurovision the non-French will enjoy, and I hope it continues on Tel Aviv.”

Jordan – 3 – “Once again, I’m not going to be liked among the fans but I’m really not keen on this one. It just feels a bit silly to me. She doesn’t have a bad voice, but I feel it could have been used in a much better way. I’m not rooting for this one.”

Sean – 6 – “Elements of this bring me in mind of Asanda’s “Legends”, although there are a lot more rap and urban elements involved here. Tracy needs to bring some fire in her belly for this type of song to work. With rap already a hard to stomach genre for many Eurovision fans, I’ll have my fingers crossed this turns out well.”

Total – 18

Ugo – Ce qui me blesse

James – 7 – “Ugo really, really wants you to know what hurts him. It’s a pleasant enough acoustic guitar driven pop ballad, even if Ugo is hamming it up a little much. Beyond being pleasant to the ear and over-earnest, I can’t say much. Although if Ugo existed in the Star Trek universe, his evil alternative universe doppelganger would be Vanderpump Rules’s James Kennedy.”

Jordan – 7 – “I really like his style. Ugo himself has a great voice and I am a sucker for an acoustic guitar. However, I do find the falsetto in the chorus rather jarring and feel it doesn’t fit with the rest of the song. I feel if he performs this well live, he could be a finalist.”

Sean – 6 – “I take it this is the young and attractive boy that will drag in the televotes from across France? Perhaps that’s too cynical! “Ce qui me blesse” is a well-produced guitar driven track but I’m fearful that it might be too vocally demanding to reproduce live, and the song doesn’t really go anywhere towards the end. Not bad though.”

Total – 20

Seems like a tightly contested semi-final with our team! Let’s take a look at the points…

  1. Gabriella – On cherche encore (Never Get Enough) – 20
  2. Noémie – Ma petite familie – 20
  3. Ugo – Ce qui me blesse – 20
  4. Doutson – Sois un bon fils
  5. PhilipElise – Madame la paix – 18
  6. Seemone – Tous les deux – 18
  7. Tracy de Sa – Por aqui – 18
  8. Emmanuel Moire – La promesse – 16
  9. The Divaz – La voix d’Aretha – 14

Certainly very close, with the top seven separated by just two points. It seems that our qualifiers would be Gabriella, Noémia and Ugo, and joined by one of Ugo, Doutson, PhilipElise or Seemone. It seems like tonight’s result could be quite exciting in this respect!

Who do #YOU want to qualify in tonight’s Destination Eurovision semi-final? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below in the comments or on social media!

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