France – Two days ago Anggun was announced to be France’s representative at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Baku. Since then many articles and editorials have been written, comments were tweeted on twitter and Anggun herself, her label and France 3 have commented the choice . What do French journalists and music lovers think? Is Anggun the right choice for France?.
FranceSoir.fr starts its article entitled “Anggun, the last chance?” by enumerating all supposedly failures of the Grand Nation in recent years. Ranging from disappointment about the bad placing of last year’s supposed favourite Amaury Vassili to dispair about Patricia Kaas’ inability to activate the Eastern European vote despite her popularity in that region. The journalist is quite pessimistic about Anggun’s chance to change these disappointing Eurovision results. He thinks the choice was not evident but points out that the strategy has not been determined yet. The journalist thinks that singing in English and thus breaking a French tradition would significantly improve Anggun’s chances.
Marie-Laure Combes writes for Europe1 that Anggun can actually win the competition. “Anggun can win…yes she can!” is the title of her article and she is certain that Anggun’s song for Eurovision which still has to be written will be more “comprehensible” to the general audience than last year’s Sognu was. Comparing her to other former French entrants she suggests that Anggun is more popular abroad than Jessy Matador, more beautiful than Sebastian Tellier, more experienced than Virginie Pouchain and more engaged in charity than Les Fatals Picards. Will that be enough to achieve a victory for France for the first time since 1977?
Paris Match also starts by listing the recent French “failures” and by basically blaming Eastern Europe and block voting for the bad results (c’est pas trop gentil, hein?). They are quite enthusiastic about Anggun however, calling her a choice of “exotic charm” and praising her “velvet voice”. They also praise her internationallity as she records her albums in French, English and Indonesian which according to Paris Match may be an advantage at the Eurovision Song Contest. The fact that Anggun has sung many scores for films and has collaborated with known artist like Céline Dion and Peter Gabriel might help Anggun as her voice will thus be familiar to some voters.
On twitter the opinions are less embracing. “Anggun will represent France this year… ah well, that means we won’t win for another year,” tweeted Johan from Nantes. This opinion dominates on the social media network with others saying that the choice is a premonition for another “bad result” “embarrassment” or “failure“.Others praise Angguns “great vocals” which will give France “a big advantage in the competition”. Maureen Crow thinks that Anggun representing France is a sign that the country is “in depression”. La mouche qui pique criticizes France 3′s choice calling it “cheap” . “Anggun for Eurovision… can I laugh now or should I wait for later” is another pessimistic tweet.
Several blogs of sympathizer’s France’s right-wing and anti-immigration party “Le Front National” and other anti-immigration blogs have reported about the choice quoting Anggun’s statement that she “certainly represent[s] modern France, made out of many different colors” in the titles.
Marie-Claire Mezerette, head of entertainment at France3 told Le Parisien: “To be honest, we have been thinking about her for a long time. Last year we were hesitating between her and Amaury Vassili.If we want to win, our candidate has to be liked by other countries. Anggun is not only popular in France but also in other countries. Furthermore she’s engaged with humanitarian efforts. She emanates real kindness.”
Antoine Gouiffes-Yan, marketing director at Angguns label Warner told the newspaper that “Her first album sold more than one and a half million copies abroad and all her other have been certified platinum or gold. Her best field is export!“ .
“It’s really an immense honor,” Anggun herself told the newspaper Le Parisien yesterday. “It’s a nice present for me, who is of Indonesian origin, but naturalized French since 2000. I symbolize without doubt the France of today, made of many cultures. Your country has given me a beautiful language. I live in Paris, am married to a French man, my daughter Kirana is French and I eat as much rice as I eat cheese.” Concerning Eurovision she added: “Here, we have the image of Eurovision in the 70s and 80s, a bit stiff. But it is a super American-style show which is important for a lot of people, notably in Eastern Europe. Over there they talked to me a lot about Patricia Kaas’ participation in 2009. Secretly we all want to win and I will go their to make France shine.”
What do you think? Will Anggun make France proud in Baku?
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