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Taking it seriously. France’s 2017 Eurovision Entry.

May 12, 2017


France traditionally finds it hard to commit to Eurovision with any sort of po-faced determination.  A few years ago, they submitted a bizarre little cabaret song about moustaches which came bottom of the table and which my son loved and is still surprised to find is not available on Spotify.

This year’s entry is about as sincere as they come, though.  It’s called “Requiem” and it isn’t.  It’s the opposite of a requiem and it’s about being the opposite of a requiem but there’s not enough, either  lyrically or melodically, of the requiem about it to make this oppositionality really work.  This is not a light shining in the darkness.  It’s about a light barely registering in the daylight.

And this is my problem with the song – it doesn’t inhabit the idea of a “requiem” sufficiently to subvert it.  In the same way that casually agnostic people really can’t do good blasphemy (as T.S. Eliot once memorably observed).

The official video is entertaining enough.  She wanders through Paris with a big smile on her face for the most part.  She’s wearing black, but is otherwise as cheerful as you like.  Meanwhile, a pair of very elegant dancers are waltzing vertically up the walls of prominent Parisian landmarks with a certain grace and confidence that would shame Spiderman.   Not reproducible on stage in Kiev I fear.

This requiem and this requiem singer would be the perfect accompaniment to a funeral of somebody who nobody likes very much.

Here are all the other 2017 entries – including the ones that have already been knocked out:


And Spain:

Still, Spain is a better bet than the UK – unless Lucie Jones decides she actually WANTS to win and makes the obvious decision to sing in Welsh:

Israel, like, Spain, is to be found at the beach:

Meanwhile, there’s Estonia.  Which enrages me:

Lithuania’s entry  is flashy… that’s all I can say:

For fresh-faced innocence – Bulgaria’s yer only man:

But if you prefer something jolly and sinister at the same time – you’ll prefer Belarus:

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

For youthful angst – Ireland:

Ireland’s entry is, I think, more emotionally involving than Denmark’s:

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

So you might prefer Macedonia:

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

Meanwhile, here is Sweden:

Here, meanwhile, is Omar belting it out for Slovenia:

Portugal offers something just a bit more special:

Anyhow, Portugal’s offering is infinitely more palatable than Poland’s:

A man who needs a deal of personal space is this guy from Montenegro:

Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:

Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:

Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:

Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:

Frankly, I prefer Finland:

I’ll be sorely vexed if Finland doesn’t do better than Cyprus

Frankly I’d rather the Czech Republic won – though they won’t…

Belgium looks like a better bet:

But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…

Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:

In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:

And here’s Albania…


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