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XTRA Preview & Review: France – Destination Eurovision

The national final season is in full swing. On Saturday, 27th January, the final of Destination Eurovision is going to take place. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!

XTRA Preview: Destination Eurovision

Destination Eurovision has already had two semi-finals in previous weeks. Eight acts have now qualified for the final. An international jury and the French televoters will pick the French entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

The French jury, consisting of Isabelle Boulay, Alma and Christophe Willem will not give points. They’ll be there purely to review the entrants’ performances. Amir couldn’t attend the final due to scheduling issues. 2017 entrant Alma has now replaced him for the final.

Lisandro Cuxi and Madame Monsieur won their respective semis. Looking at momentum, it seems to be between those two for the French ticket. However, with the televoters having a say for the first time and the international jury expanding from three members to ten, it’ll be an exciting show!

The show will be broadcast on France 2, as well as TV5 Monde. It will start at 21:00 CET and we will be live tweeting throughout the entire show!

XTRA Review: Destination Eurovision

Louka – “Mamma Mia”

Vincent: The story told by the lyrics might be cliché, but at least they sound good (especially the Italian part). I can feel Maître Gims’ influence in the music, and I like that. The live vocals still need improvements, though.
Score: 7/10
Angelos: A happy feel good song that I am happy it qualified. The singer however needs some work done on his performance.
Score: 7/10
Nick: Mix Italian and French and I seem to be happy. Vocally, he’s got work to do, but song wise, this works. Happy it’s a finalist.
Score: 7/10
Luke: This really isn’t anything special, I’m bored by the time that the chorus ends! I’m surprised that the judges liked it so much…
Score: 4/10

Max Cinnamon – “Ailleurs”

Vincent: I don’t like this kind of cliché teen first love/time story, even if this one is well written. Musically, it’s too “tropical” for my taste. The live is good though, he’s charming and has good vocals, though the song is too “light” even on stage.
Score: 6/10
Angelos: Sweet performance and nice song. I think I would have liked it even more if the song was full in French, nevertheless, it’s a feel good song and Max is charming.
Score: 7/10
Nick: It’s a little bland, granted. But this boy is just sixteen and he does this. Vocally he’s pitch perfect and he does manage to bring the song across really well. Half a bonus point for the name Cinnamon.
Score: 7.5/10
Luke: I was VERY shocked to see this qualify. It’s really bland, and I forget about it completely 5 seconds after it ends. Probably my least favourite song in this final.
Score: 2/10

Emmy Liyana – “OK ou KO”

Vincent: Emmy certainly has the power to sing this song, and the fact that she doesn’t really look that strong actually gives the performance more power, getting the message across. It is also well-built lyrically speaking. But I still feel like it lacks something…
Score: 7.5/10
Angelos: Competent enough song that should do well in the French charts and have a life even outside eurovision, which per se is a huge achievement considering how unpopular Eurovision was just until two years ago. I enjoy listening to this one, it feels genuine and real.
Score: 8.5/10
Nick: When Zazie writes a song, you know you’re in for a treat. Emmy knocked this one out of the park in the semi. Not a winner, but a star is born.
Score: 8/10
Luke: OK ou KO is…fine. To me, it seems that Emmy is better than the song, which doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t stand out. It’s a shame, with a better song I think she could’ve easily won this whole process!
Score: 6/10

Madame Monsieur – “Mercy”

Vincent: I love “Mercy”. I can’t see it doing great in Eurovision, but apart from that: the lyrics are beautifully written, and about a hot topic without being political; the music is catchy (and I love the verses), despite some repetitiveness in the end. And on stage, the duo looks good, elegant, and Émilie has a very “French” charisma.
Score: 9.5/10
Angelos: Another lovely French pop song. This sounds sweet and fresh, and no matter how it does it on the national final I am sure this year’s quality of songs should rise the interest and the status of Eurovision in France somehow. At least I hope.
Score: 8.5/10
Nick: This did very little for me at first. I couldn’t see why this was a favourite to win? I mean, it’s sweet and it’s cute, the message works, but this would drown in Eurovision. Two days after my first listen, however, I was in love.
Score: 8.5/10
Luke: I like this. It’s different, it stands out, whilst still being really catchy. I can see this really growing on me in the next few weeks, and I really like it already! The only thing I have to mention, why I’ve deducted .5, it gets kind of repetitive near the end.
Score: 9.5/10

Nassi – “Rêves de Gamin”

Vincent: That drop can’t get out of my head! This is modern, Indila-like French pop, in a far better way than “Requiem” was last year. The lyrics are authentically and modernly French: as a song, it’s superb. As a performance, it’s less superb. The vocals are not good, and sometimes lack power, while the dance doesn’t feel natural at all.
Score: 7.5/10
Angelos: This is exactly the kind of song I have been hoping France to send the last couple of years after the Indila’s popularity, in fact this sounds like a male Indila song and it would have been such a great follow-up entry after Amir and Alma. It should at least do well in French charts. However, his live performance was a trainwreck  as well as his vocals. Pity, because I do like the song a lot.
Score: 8.5/10
Nick: Negatives out first: Nassi is not a dancer. I’d make the performance, despite being called ‘A child’s dreams’ a little less childish. Let Nassi just stand there, sing this, have a few dancers and then this is your choice, France. Because this song is stunning.
Score: 10/10
Luke: YEEEES FRANCE! This really feels like a high quality, modern, French song! Definitely something that France should be sending. Nassi performs it so well and the whole performance is just so fun to watch. Please France, this would be such a good choice!
Score: 10/10

Lisandro Cuxi – “Eva”

Vincent: This is definitely something that could do wonders for France. It’s current and Lisandro performs it amazingly. Definitely one of my favourites!
Score: 9/10
Angelos: I am not a fan of bilingual songs, but on this one it truly works. Incredibly catchy and memorable song with great chorus. Lisandro is charismatic and a very good performer. He knows how to sell the song. Wow! Can’t get enough listening to this one. This has to win.
Score: 10/10
Nick: In it to win it. Lisandro owns the song, owns the stage and owns the crowd. Insane vocally, insane performance wise and this is an absolute homerun. This could go far.
Score: 10/10
Luke: This is definitely something that could do wonders for France. It’s current and Lisandro performs it amazingly. Definitely one of my favourites!
Score: 9/10

Igit – “Lisboa Jérusalem”

Vincent: This has a very bohemian sound, and I like the “voyageur” feel that transpires through the lyrics and the staging. Onstage, Igit has a charisma and some great ideas (the music box is so charming, and the Eurovision heart was a nice surprise), though his moves seem a bit forced and too Salvador-like…
Score: 8/10
Angelos: A very classic song which is nice to see in a national final, well performed as well. But it so stresses me. I really hope this won’t be the French entry in Lisbon after such a great national final.
Score: 3/10
Nick: This is as French as it could ever potentially be getting. It’s classy, it’s a waltz with a rambling Frenchman. How French can it be. Every country needs to showcase their own style like this. Lovely!
Score: 9.5/10
Luke: The song is unfortunately not really my taste, but the way that Igit performs it is really captivating. I like the speed that he sings and the idea of making a heart out of the journey around Europe…I wouldn’t mind seeing this in Lisbon!
Score: 6.5/10

Malo’ – “Ciao”

Vincent: This is a good one. The lyrics are beautifully written, giving some very nice rhymes and sonorities, which are just amplified by this steamy, ethereal voice. He looks very “disengaged”, “haunted”, on stage, translating precisely the feeling of the song.
Score: 8.5/10
Angelos: Not sure whether it’s the song or his voice or singing style that disturbs me, but no, this is not something I’d like to listen again, let alone see in Lisbon.
Score: 2/10
Nick: That voice is intense. A little too intense for my liking, really. But at the same time, it’s captivating. I get Gualazzi vibes from this.
Score: 6.5/10
Luke: This was my favourite from the first semi-final! I get chills listening to it and it’s such a haunting melody. Malo has such a natural stage presence and is a joy to watch. Especially in that last chorus when the piano kicks in, it’s simply beautiful and elegant!
Score: 10/10

Who do we want?

The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Vincent, Angelos, Nick and Luke has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their favourite for tomorrow’s show is Lisandro Cuxi’s “Eva”!

  1. Lisandro Cuxi – Eva: 9.5
  2. Nassi – Rêves de Gamin: 9.0
  3. Madame Monsieur – Mercy: 9.0
  4. Emmy Liyana – OK ou KO: 7.5
  5. Malo’ – Ciao: 6.8
  6. Igit – Lisboa Jérusalem: 6.8
  7. Louka – Mamma Mia: 6.3
  8. Max Cinnamon – Ailleurs: 5.6

Below, we’ve included a playlist for you. Which of these eight do you like best? Make sure to let us know who you like by commenting!

[ypt playlist_id=PLis9KWl8IXHaNjvLA7U6flpGTZfDeh_hz]

 

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