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Monday, 7 February 2011

France chooses Amaury Vassili to sing at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest

It might well be more than three months away, but France has already chosen who will be representing it at this year's Eurovision Song Contest; Amaury Vassili.

Amaury Vassili (screenshot from France 3 video)

None of the leaving-it-up-to-the-public to choose an act and/or song as far as France is concerned.

It goes about things in quite a different way to many other countries.

France Television decides who'll be singing what - and basta.

Of course there were plenty of rumours before the weekend's decision was announced.

Names of past winners and participants of one of the country's talent shows such as the now defunct Star Academy (although French television has a tendency to live by the principle of "what goes around, comes around" so perhaps it'll be back on the small screen at a later date - but that's quite another story) or Nouvelle Star (the French version of "Pop Idol" and equally no longer with us) were mooted, but in the end the powers-that-be plumped for Vassili.

"In choosing the 21-year-old Amaury Vassili, France 3 wants to honour for the first time a great lyric tenor," Pierre Sled, the director of programming for France 3 - the channel which will broadcast Eurovision live in France - told the national daily Aujourd'hui en France - Le Parisien.

"He will also best represent French excellence."

As an added bonus, and in keeping with a somewhat on-off tradition in the choice of language in which the song will be sung, the channel also announced that it'll be in the Corsican dialect, "To use one of the largest stages in Europe to promote one of the many regional dialects for which France is famous."

A novel twist which well certainly ensure that even a majority of the domestic audience won't know what the blazes he's singing about.

Since it first began participating in the contest, France has only twice entered a song sung in a regional dialect.

It last won the competition back in 1977 when Marie Myriam sang "L'Oiseau Et L'Enfant".

France, along with the other so-called Big Five financial contributors to the jamboree (Germany, Italy - which is back in the contest after a 13-year absence - Spain and the United Kingdom) automatically qualify for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, which will this year be held in the German city of Düsseldorf on May 14.

The 38 other countries that have confirmed their participation will battle it out in two semi-finals to be held in the same city on May 10 and May 12 to determine which 20 will qualify alongside the Big Five for the final showdown, which goes on and on and on and on.

Place your bets now for "France nul points" as it chooses a pap (sic) classical singer for Eurovision.

The Good Old Days


Anonymous said...

You don't mention that last year's entry was Patricia Kaas who's very popular in France, as well as in Russia and Germany. Yet that did not do much for France. I don't think who ever sings for France or whether it is in French or in a dialect makes much difference, you have all these little countries voting for each other. I think a country's vote should be weighted by its population.

Anonymous said...

Last year's French entry was sung by Jessy Matador. Patricia Kaas was two years ago in Moscow. Maybe little countries vote for each other but it was a big country (Germany) which won last year.

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