This was the entry that was supposed to bring France back to the top positions, where they belong. Instead they did what the French have done too many times recently. They messed up.
Anggun - Echo (You and I) (France 2012)
This song was a brave choice - it was modern, original and not as direct as most songs achieving eurovision success. Clearly it needed a strong performance to back it up, but it had potential to be a good surprise on the night.
Instead we had a show that was ambitious but messy on-screen. Too many things are happening and there is no logical red thread for the viewers to follow, neither does the camera work ever allow the viewers to establish any kind of contact with the singer who remains a stranger throughout most of the song.
With the precious exception of Patricia Kaas, recent French entries have usually worked badly visually at Eurovision for the last ten years or so. It is surprising to see that French television, who has a very strong culture of making television visually appealing, never seem to pull off the ever so important visual aspect of the Eurovision Song Contest.
To make things even worse, Anggun - one of the most experienced performers in the final - did not live up to expectations or the level she had set during rehearsals and sang badly. Had the televoters had full power, she would have been left without a single point.
The song deserves much more than that. Even with a messy performance and a dismal vocal delivery it is still one of the most interesting entries of the year. I hope French television will stay on their ambitious path, but maybe try to deliver a more distinct and accessible show for next year.
My grade: 4/5