Bilal: The King of Destination Eurovision (French NF Review)

Eighteen acts entered the French National Final with hopes of winning and representing France at Eurovision 2019. After a topsy-turvy voting section, Bilal Hassani reigned over all with “Roi”, hereby progressing to the Grand Final in Tel Aviv.

Here are my thoughts on all eight performances in the Final.
(Videos courtesy of the Destination Eurovision YouTube page)

1) Chimène Badi – “Là-haut” (3rd: 119 pts)

The big change from before is the staging. Though the cube is still present, the singer is joined by a male dancer inside, before the former departs. This allows the staging to reach its full potential, whilst allowing Chimène to move towards and connect with the audience. However, I still didn’t see much of a high point in this entry. Still good nonetheless.

2) Silvàn Areg – “Allez leur dire” (5th: 102 pts)

Not much was different from the semi-finals here, except the paper sets were now coloured in. I wasn’t a fan of the more frequent move away from these camera angles; the visible flag waving ruined the immersion quite early on. He deals well with the many words and is a true showman.

3) The Divaz – “La voix d’Aretha” (6th: 92 pts)

There were two noticeable changes in the performance this time around; The Divaz’s costumes looked much better with a great 60s style, and there seemed to be more fight and energy in the movements and vocals. You can tell they went for it, but the static staging may have worked against them in the results.

4) Emmanuel Moire – “La promesse”
(4th: 115 pts)

Very little was different here; I still got Azerbaijan’s 2015 performance with much more of a homoerotic touch. Everything was very theatrical but he sounded great here. More musical than modern Eurovision hit though.

5) Doutson – “Sois un bon fils” (8th: 18 pts)

The best part of the song continues to be Doutson’s interactions with his younger self on stage. The song remained fun, friendly, but too middle-of-the-road to make an impact. Maybe one too many dancers present also.

6) Seemone – “Tous les deux”
(Runner-Up: 156 pts)

The focus was on her outpouring of emotions with that gorgeous voice she had, no need for any theatrical staging here. Maybe more progression would have been nice in the actual performance but I thought it was still a great entry and a worthy runner-up.

7) Bilal Hassani – “Roi” (Winner: 200 pts)

Firstly, I think that jacket is amazing! Secondly, Bilal brought that emotional connection in this performance that I was missing in the semi-finals; the song is a personal one after all. I think that the song was also performed better when Bilal wasn’t being crowded by several dancers. It was a good song, but was it the best? The public have spoken, and it’ll be interesting to see how France do in Tel Aviv.

8) Aysat – “Comme une grande” (7th; 38 pts)

Aysat improved her individual performance quite a bit here, for me. Her vocals sounded clearer so you could follow the lyrics, instead of having to read them off the back wall. The dancing was fun, but they were always around the singer, so started to feel repetitive by the end.

Those are my thoughts on the eight Destination Eurovision finalists. Apologies for the time it took for this post to come out by the way, had a lot on with work and have been ill for a while now. Normal service will hopefully be resumed, with more Eurovision-themed posts coming out soon.

What do you think of France’s entry for Eurovision 2019 and who are your favourite chosen act so far?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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