France – Internally chosen by France 2, but supposed to be revealed only on March 12th, Amir Haddad was announced officially by the French broadcaster as the French representative to Stockholm with the song J’ai cherché!
Here’s the full story on how it leaked…
So the secret leaked last week, on Thursday, on Cyril Hanouna’s incredibly popular talkshown “Touche pas à mon poste” [Don’t put your hands on my tv]. Cyril Hanouna has been a rather big advocate for the contest in France, having been the French commentator in 2009 and 2010 (the last two good results France has had in the contest for the last decade). He also invited Conchita, and even dressed in heels and gold dress the monday after she won in 2014. In 2015 he invited Lisa Angell and put her song as the end credits for his show to through 2015 Spring to help her.
For the past few years, his new hit talkshow has been more or less the deicision maker and who’s hot and who’s not on French TV. And yet, it’s only on D8, a new small channel that features mostly 100% live shows, and it belongs to French TV competitor Canal +. So we can congratulate his team for having leaked out a news that was supposed to be kept secret by amateurish French TV…
After France 2 took back the show after France 3 triple failures in 2012, 2013 and 2014, cumilating to France’s first ever last place with Twin Twin in Copenhagen, they chose Lisa Angell in a rush after the events of January 2015. This year, and after another bottom 3 failure, they had more time to see what Eurovision was really about. And they chose Amir Haddad with J’ai cherché, a bilingual song that sounds indeed a lot like the radio-friendly modern pop tune we’ve had in Eurovision for the past few years. Amir was a finalist in the third season of “The Voice”. In Eurovision 2015, the last The Voice contestant that did Eurovision for neighbour Belgium, Loïc Nottet, also won “Dance with stars” in France and is now a rather big name. So French TV turned to French “The Voice” artist but all those that have a career now declined, the contest being at a desperate low in France, so Amir Haddad it was! Charismatic and a good vocalist, he really never made it through. This is his try at a big comeback.
After being leaked by Cyril, France 2 tried to calm things down and stayed quiet through the weekend, but this morning French TV made it official. The song will be performed live on March 12th still, but Amir has done a performance of it this Saturday in another song-show on France 2, which was seen as a first hint.
This is the song:
Cyril Hanouna, having been confirmed, has his team of editorialists to comment on the choice. It was very much unanimous that it was better than last year, and a chance to finally escape the bottom 5 where France ended every year since 2012 included. However, not many saw chances for it to be in the top 10 either. They all saluted that the singer was finally chosen “inside the usual Eurovision category” where they said most Eurovision singers, and those that do well in the contest, come from. “It can be anyone, as Patricia proved, but then it needs to be, first, a great song. And without a great song, you at least need someone modern and that checks the usual contest’s boxes and this does that” concluded the editorialists. A pop radio friendly song, by someone who can sing, has quite a lot of charisma, and is not totally unknown to the public, were all signs that were cheered. An online poll hosted by the show led to 46% of voters thinking that “we have a chance to do well”, against 54% who didn’t think so. A jump of 25% from last year sad 21%.
So what do you think about this entry? What are its chances in Stockholm?