While France has won Eurovision a total of 5 times, the last time the nation won was back in 1977. This year, France are back at the top of their game, and are certainly one of the top nations in contention to bring the trophy home. After a recent win at Junior Eurovision, could France do the double with Barbara Pravi and her song, Voilà?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
It’s not often we see France towards the top of the odds, but from the moment this song was selected, it was obvious (to me, at least), that this really had potential to win Eurovision. Barbara Pravi has had big success as a songwriter for Junior Eurovision, having co-written the winning French entry. Now is her time to shine as the total package, as an incredible songwriter and a stellar vocalist.
Voilà really captures that traditional French ballad sound. The French language is beautiful, but it also provides a lot of the rawness and emotion in this song. From the opening moment, you absolutely caught into the song with Barbara’s incredible vocals, and from there, you are transported through a three minute story that has clear highs and lows. Even without understanding the lyrics, you can be certain that this is a story that Barbara wanted to tell. This is the type of song that will give the audience goosebumps, touch the television viewers and appeal to the juries for the composition and delivery. This is easily one of the best songs of the year, and one of the best modern day French Eurovision entries. The way it grows throughout the 3 minutes is truly spectacular, and you absolutely cannot fault her vocals at any point.
Performance and Act
Another factor that really gives the performance winning vibes is the stage performance. I sincerely hope they don’t dramatically change the national final performance, as it worked so well. If they can elevate that performance without adding too much, it will certainly retain winning potential. The way the lighting is used in the national final performance, the smoke, the minimal but effective use of the backing screens and the powerful camera shots, it all makes for such a beautiful and moving performance.
France is a tough competitor this year, and I can see them walking away with the trophy. It would be such a great moment for Barbara, having won Junior Eurovision as the songwriter to then go on to win Eurovision as the star. A beautiful French ballad that will surely impress the masses.
Song and Vocals
‘Voilà’ is a French song in the style of Édith Piaf and very unique in its kind this year. The song sparks emotion, even more when you know the background and mental struggles singer Barbara Pravi has faced herself. She lives the lyrics of her song and that makes a huge connection with people listening to the song.
Performance and Act
The camera registration of the winning French song is very powerful. Barbara’s emotions come across very very well because of the close-up shots at the right time. Added with some lovely but simple visuals behind it, the focus is fully on the song and singer. Just as it should be with this great chanson.
After winning the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as a composer, Barbara could now do it as an artist herself in Rotterdam. The song and presentation is very strong and emotional. It’s less warm than Salvador’s winning song for Portugal, but it could make the same impact. To me it’s not as big of a favourite as the bookmakers say, but I’m certainly not ruling out the French victory as well.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 8.3/10