Amandine Bourgeois promises to give you all hell on that eurovision stage. I really hope she will. I really hope France will pull this one off.
Amandine Bourgeois - L'enfer et moi (France 2013)
France has been running against the wind for the last couple of years. Every year since 2008 has seen a brave French attempt at bringing something new, something fresh and something exciting to this old song contest without much success. Only Patricia Kaas managed a top ten finish with her chanson deluxe in Moscow.
Given the family viewing nature of this show, the 2013 French entry is almost shockingly dark - suggesting some rather kinky exercises in love as well as a palpable punishment for heartbreakers. In the clip, Amandine is providing her scariest look and crazy eyes as well as a poisoned sensuality of a most intriguing sort.
Personally, I think this is ace. It's lethal, it's hypnotic and it's addictive. But then I see a number of problems as well.
The song takes a while to fully unfold itself. The last minute - where the marching boots come on and Amandine truly howls her chorus - is very strong, but will the audience stick around long enough to notice? The people voting at eurovision are not exactly renowned for their patience.
What will this look like on stage? With the exception of Patricia Kaas, most French acts have been a mess on stage and puzzled the viewers enough to miss out on points aplenty. Will they manage to keep it clean and clever this time?
Is it too dark? I'm sure the juries will approve but what will the televoting masses make of this?
No. It is too demanding and too gourmet to win, but hopefully it can at least improve the French statistics a bit.
My grade: 4/5
The French are no strangers to bringing a dark mood and an acerbic lyric to Eurovision - their 1967 entry is perhaps the most bitter reaction to a love story gone wrong through ESC history. Even darker than Amandine's attempt.
Noëlle Cordier - Il doit faire beau là-bas (France 1967)