Think About Things (Results Edition) – France

It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!


Predictions, Personal Scores and Results


Prediction: Top 10

Personal Score: 10


Prediction: Top 10

Personal Score: 8

Results: 2nd, Final

Did France live up to expectations? 

D: France surely did. Finally, for the first time in many years, France was a contender for victory and they lived up to those extreme high expectations. Barbara Pravi is a charming woman with the strong capabilities to tell us a story, rather than just sing her song. You don’t even need to speak the French language for that. A very strong entry, with a well deserved finish in the top of the competition.

A: When you look back on the national final season for this year, no one really started seeing France as a contender until the majority of the songs were chosen. Perhaps in context, you could really see that France had a very strong composition that captured immense emotion. The performance was absolutely incredible, the simplicity of it all was just stunning. Vocally incredible. The whole thing was flawless, and I’m glad France achieved such a high result.


How do you personally feel about the song for France at Eurovision 2021?

D: I’m not the biggest fan of the French language, let alone an Edith Piaf styled song. However, I can recognise pure class and see when someone performs an entry in a specific genre well. This was the case for France. So, whilst I do not play this song very often, I love the fact that it is in the field of songs for this year and it got the praise and reward it deserved.

A: I agree that this is perhaps not the style of song that I would actively seek out to listen to, but you have to commend it for its class. I think as well that this is the type of song that you appreciate much more when it’s performed live. Barbara was incredible at really conveying the emotions she wrote into the song, and while the studio version was great, that camera connection really does wonders.

Could France have done anything different?

D: Not much, I would say. I think the camerawork, vocals and visuals were all stunning for the French 2021 entry. When you go for this song, this is the way to style it. France did a great job.

A: Literally nothing. The performance was stunning. For once, we saw France present a song that wasn’t full of French cliches. The simplicity really let Barbara’s voice shine, and you really couldn’t ask for anything more.

What can France do to ensure success in future years?

D: Even though France had big success this year, I am not very confident that it came from a specific long-term strategy. Sometimes a country can just hit the jackpot in their national final, because a very gifted artist steps up. This was the case for France. Therefore it is a weak basis, where the broadcaster depends on the quality of the applications for the next national final. I hope there is an effect where, because of this success, more bigger names and quality artists are willing to take part. Otherwise I wouldn’t mind if France went back to their internal strategy, where they always went for unique acts that either went big, or flopped.

A: I totally agree with everything you’ve said. This result on its own is fantastic for France, but in context, the nation and broadcaster have a lot of work to do. The national finals in recent years have come up with some decent songs, but nothing as strong as Voila, so perhaps an internal selection would have been ideal for the time being. We know that’s not the direction they are going in for 2022, so let’s hope Voila inspired some strong songwriting. 

Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?

D: There is hardly any difference between both performances, even including the amazing shot of the birds flying away beneath the feet of Barbara. If the contest was decided based on the back-up tapes, I feel very confident that France would still have reached these great heights when the votes came in. So the biggest compliment here is that I don’t feel the need to make a choice between the two performances, both are just pure class.

A: There was always a clear direction for this performance, and I’m glad they didn’t make many changes to the live performance. I agree that had the back-up tape been shown, it wouldn’t have impacted the results for France.