Tuesday, 19 May 2015

2015 Eurovision Song Contest

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest gets under way in Austria tonight, with France no doubt hoping to win back some honour in the continent's most popular international music event.

France are through to the Grand Final on Saturday so don't have to compete in the two semi final rounds.  Probably just as well given the country's performance last year.

Last year in Copenhagen it was won in memorable style by Austria, with Conchita Wurst stealing the show and the overwhelming number of points.

France entered the song Moustache by Twin Twin, a change from the more traditional French entries over the years. They went for something fun, something trashy and pop.

Bad idea.

They came last, with a grand total of two points.

This year France is represented by Lisa Angell, with the song N'oubliez Pas. She's already got three albums under her belt, and the song was written by Robert Goldman, brother of legendary songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman.

It's a power chanson ballad, the kind of thing that Johnny Hallyday would belt out in front of a stadium full of lighters held aloft. It's about the First World War.

I get a feeling that they're not wanting a repeat of last year's humiliation and have left nothing to chance.

Last year's defeat was not France's most glorious moment in the Eurovision Song Contest. Who can forget that golden time in the 60s when France Gall won in 1965 with Poupée de cire, poupée de son, written by Serge Gainsbourg.

(We'll overlook the fact that the entry was actually for Luxembourg.)

Gainsbourg did try to do his bit for France though, but the 990 song that he wrote failed to reach the same level of success.

 France has won Eurovision five times over the years, the first time in 1958 with  André Claveau singing  Dors, mon amour.

Quite a different approach in both music and presentation to Twin Twin.

As always, Eurovision remains the most significant platform for an anglophone audience for music from outside the usual US/UK English speaking world.

Not that that is any guarantee of quality.

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