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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Amandine Bourgeois to sing French Eurovision Song Contest entry

Proving there really is life after television talent shows, Amandine Bourgeois has been chosen to represent France at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in the Swedish city of Malmö in May.

Bourgeois won the sixth edition of Nouvelle Star - France's version of Pop Idol - in 2008.

The show, which was cancelled by M6 a couple of years ago, is currently undergoing something of a renaissance on D8.

And that's perhaps what Bourgeois is hoping for by taking part in the annnual Europe-wide musical jamboree, because since winning Nouvelle Star, her career has hardly been...well er...decidedly rocky (although not in the musical sense of the word).

It all started off reasonably enough, with her debut album "20 m2" in 2009 being pretty well received by music critics and the public alike.

It reached a high of number five in the French charts and went gold. The first track released as a single, "L'homme de la situation" was a catchy little number which received plenty of airplay and reasonable chart success.

Amandine Bourgeois (screenshot from "L'homme de la situation" official clip)

There were two follow-up singles both taken from the album - "Tant de moi" and "Du temps" - which helped keep Bourgeois in the public eye, her album in the charts and bolster tickets sales for her tour of generally small to medium-sized venues around the country.

Bourgeois' second album in 2012 "Sans amour Mon amour" apparently "inspired by the retro 60's R&B of Amy Winehouse" and the two singles "Sans amour and "Envie d'un manque de problèmes", although well-written and produced, pretty much failed to register on the all-important commercial rader.

The result? Well Bourgeois was forced to cancel her tour after selling only 4,000 copies of the album and admitting how upset she was.

"I'm very sad and sorry, but it's really difficult to fill venues when my album simply isn't selling well and the songs aren't played on the radio," she said on her Facebook page, making a promise that she would "work and pray hard to continue living her passion".

And the way apparently to "live her passion" is to represent France in Malmö!

Amandine Bourgeois (screenshot from "L'homme de la situation" YouTube clip)

A France Télévisions committee designated Bourgeois as this country's representative - yes that's the way things are done in France: no leaving it up to the public to decide.

And the song chosen for the 33-year-old to sing in front of millions will be  "L'enfer et moi"

Here's wishing Bourgeois all the best in Malmö.

She'll certainly need it if the recent past form of French participants is anything to go by.

Last year Indonesian-born singer Anggun only managed to finish 22nd out of 26 in the final and the previous year, the man with the big voice and dodgy "hairdon't" Amaury Vassili, only managed a self-described 15th placed "shitty finish".

In fact you have to go all the way back to the hey days of the competition for France's last win.

As the French media keeps reminding everyone each time Eurovision comes around, the last "triumph" for the country was in 1977 when Marie Myriam captured the hearts (and ears) of those watching with "L'oiseau et l'enfant".

"It's an honour for me to represent France," Bourgeois says on her Facebook page.

"I'm a little frightened but I also have the ability to transform that into a something positive," she told the weekly television programming magazine Télé 7 Jours.

"Whatever happens, Eurovision should open doors for me and boost my career."

There's no video of "L'enfer et moi" available yet, but here's a reminder of how she sounded back in her Nouvelle Star-winning days.

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