This year, France held arguably one of the best national selections of the 2018 Eurovision season, with a range of songs all of incredible quality. It was hard to even pick a winner, the songs were although diverse but all really quite good. Most if not all the songs in the final would have been a good choice for Eurovision, but in the end they chose Madame Monsieur with the song Mercy, but was this the right choice?
In short, this was absolutely the right choice. I think at first listen, this song can sound almost too simplistic, but a huge part of the charm is actually the simplicity of this song. There are no frills, nothing extravagant but yet it’s incredibly captivating.
Over the last two years we’ve seen France pick up their game at Eurovision, first with Amir and then Alma, and both entries have been modern and easily loved by an international audience, but still retaining that French identity. Although this year’s entry is less of the typical pop sound of the previous two, it still fits into that category of being French, but also accessible to anyone even if they don’t understand the lyrics.
Watching their live performance in the national final once again is a testament to how simple a performance can be whilst still being able to hold the audience for the full three minutes. Even listening to the audience, you can see that as soon as the chorus hits, the audience is energised and that’s also how it feels as a listener, and I can imagine that it will also prove to be the case in the arena come Eurovision. The biggest draw card of the song is actually the last 30 seconds, which in the national final performance you can see the audience all repeating the hand motion to the repetitive chanting of Mercy. This is incredibly moving in the national final context, so just imagine what it would look like with the thousands of spectators in the arena – simply breathtaking.
Over-staging this performance would be its downfall, so I hope that it’s kept simple like the song. The feedback for the song has overall been quite positive, and I think this is a nation we will have to watch out for, as I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it becomes not only a jury favourite, but a televoting favourite as well. The song is all class, so it may just be up to how it’s staged.
All Aboard….the humanitarian train!
This is a really touching song that has always been in my mind as a favourite, but has swayed in and out of my Top 10 list over time. Now as we get closer to the contest, my love for the song is definitely growing, and I can really see this doing well in Lisbon.