It’s been some time since we attended the recordings of the Destination Eurovision semi-finals. But the memories burn bright and we are thrilled to present our report from the second semi. Don’t worry: there are no spoilers below and you’ll still have to wait for the results.

After hearing the first performances of tonight’s semi, Christophe Willem, one member of the national jury confesses: “It is so hard to make a choice between all these talents tonight!” It sets the tone of the night: semi final 2 of Destination Eurovision is a rollercoster of feelings. Be prepared to be torn between enthusiasm and disappointment, surprises and tough decisions.

DESTINATION EUROVISION: SEMI-FINAL 2 RECORDING

Compared to semi final 1, this second show is stronger and so becomes the competition. Again, you will find candidates inspired by their multicultural roots. Marie Myriam introduces the show with a warm and smooth interpretation of Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois “.

“I have been so happy seeing that song winning last year. That’s a good sign of how a quality song can win at Eurovision,” she told us backstage. Is that the reason why she sings as if the lyrics had been written for her? “Portuguese is my mother tongue and it is special to me to perform in Portuguese — it was a very pleasant moment for me.” Marie Myriam strong performance is not the last of the night.

“You came with the sun on stage” Amir says to Lucie Vagenheim after she performs “My World” — a good song to open the competition with. But Lucie’s choreography seems to catch her energy and sometimes to cut her breath.

And then, the roller coaster starts.

Madame Monsieur has released a snippet of their title “Mercy” that shows nothing compared to their interpretation tonight. “Last March, we discovered the story of that little girl born on a boat of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. It suddenly inspired us to write that song. We have written the song without thinking at the Eurovision Song Contest. But when we heard about the selection, it became obvious for us: ESC is the best stage for this song. That’s a story we want to tell to Europe. This is not a political or a humanitarian song. It only tells a real story, the story of Mercy.”

The duo formed by Emilie Satt and Jean-Karl Lucas – they are married in real life – is incredibly elegant onstage. They are part of a wave of new French singers creating sophisticated but easy-to-listen pop songs such as Juliette Armanet or the now famous Christine and the Queens. Backstage, producers, fans and journalists get crazy: could it be the track we are looking for to reach a top 3 at Eurovision?

Following Madame Monsieur, Jane Constance, originally from Mauritius, delivers a very classical entry with “Un jour j’ai rêvé” as an anthem for tolerance and respect. The 16-year-old blind singer succeeds in catching your attention as she deals perfectly with the codes of the emotional song. “My inspiration comes from the great American voices,” Jane says. “When you want a better world, you have to fight for it, always. I would like my song to be an inspiration for people.”

With “Rêves de gamin” – that’s “kids’ dreams” – Nassi is probably one of the dark horses of the French selection process. At first sight, this is not as elegant as the previous songs. But the energy coming from the interpretation of Nassi works very well. Mix Khaled’s “C’est la vie” with Jessy Matador “Ola ola Olé”, and you get that magic potion.

France has done well in avoiding too many clichés during the selection…but that doesn’t mean you won’t see any of them. Take Igit and his “Lisboa Jerusalem”. He transformed European geography of capitals into a grid of verses and images for a love song that could convince all romantics on the continent. “My song is inspired by the futility of borders when two people fall in love,” he told us.

That’s probably what happened to the parents of Max Cinnamon, the candidate who comes on stage with “Ailleurs”. British as well as French, Max is one of the youngest performers tonight, and one who looks really, really young. But make no mistake: it is his first appearance on television and the first time he sings in public, but his outstanding confidence makes him one of the surprise of this semi final. What is his recipe to be so inspired on stage? “When the public is happy, the happiness transfers to you.”

Then, after the sun comes the rain. Sarah Bernhard, pardon, Sarah Caillibot, sings “Tu me manques” – I miss you – with such dark feelings that you would not like to be the person she misses. Close to being scary, Sarah has everything one needs to become a diva, but not at Eurovision.

If Luka was the guy-next-door of semi final 1, Sweem could be his rival in semi final 2. With “Là-haut”, a classical pop song, he didn’t succeed in convincing us, perharps because of the difficult tones the song is made of.

And eventually, the selection ends with June the Girl and her song “Same”.

Her performance comes with a lot of hype online. Thanks to an army of supporters, June the Girl, who defines herself as an outsider of the traditional star system, succeeded in making her performance one of the most anticipated. June the Girl knows the score: “I know that I don’t have the same means of traditional music majors productions, so I have to develop my fan base in order to be visible”. After hearing her performance, perhaps she should have worked on her voice rather than focusing on a digital marketing strategy… what a disappointment.

Just before the vote, the production asked us to share our choices. We won’t disclose them but who do you think is going to win tonight? Tell us in the comment section below! 

READ MORE DESTINATION EUROVISION NEWS

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Mark
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Mark

In Sweden, they have a televote during the Semis and introduce the jury in the final. The French do it the other way around and boy does it have an effect… Bad effect.

Evan
Guest
Evan

I don’t think the vocal they aired on Facebook live stream was bad at all by June!! Have they edited the live footage ??
Cause it sounds very much like the studio version to me so much so that it seemed on playback!! Will someone clarify? Etienne??

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I wouldn’t let Amir choose even a sandwich by himself. What a poor taste.

Milla
Guest
Milla

I love how fans are so enthusiastic about this one!

Phary
Guest
Phary

Glad I don’t have to vote tonight, it’s sooooo hard to choose 😀

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

7. Sarah – This is an outstanding chanson. The performance was lacking some clarity though, and this might have been because of the microphone settings. With the right conditions, this could be very good.
8. Sweem – Great sound, good vocals. The song is too repetitive for my taste, but I liked the performance.
9. June the Girl – Good song. Her vocals needed some support, but this one left a good impression on me.

Who do I think will qualify? I haven’t the faintest idea. Quality evening. 🙂

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

Am I the only one who finds quebecoise accent of Isabelle boulay very strange? Is it usual Canadian accent? Sorry, I am learning french, excuse my ignorance

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

LOL. I used to live in Canada. Trust me, the quebecoise accent is usually A LOT stranger than Isabelle’s! Haha. 😀

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

Thanks Purple Mask. I can’t imagine..to be honest

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

Both sweem and june the girl are too experimental for my taste. I think they would flop comme l’armenie 2017.

M_K
Guest
M_K

This is most likely the worst version of “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” ever heard. If there is only one reason to miss France Gall even more than we already do, it must be this performance.

09 – “Same”

I like the song, but the weak vocals ruined it for me. The beat is a little cheap as well.

M_K
Guest
M_K

08 – “Là-haut”

D’après mon opinion, it’s actually the most boring song so far. It doesn’t reach me on an emotional level and it doesn’t make me wanna dance or sing along either.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Sweem was really good, my 3rd fav tonight

M_K
Guest
M_K

07 – “Tu me manques”

She has to either work on her breathing technique or have her microphone fixed. I like that style of song a lot. It’s beautifully composed and well performed. The arrangement could have been even more symphonic.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Loved Sarah Caillibot, my favorite so far tonight with Madame Monsieur

MrBrightside
Guest
MrBrightside

Lol this supposes to be a stronger semi than the other one? Nothing really stands out comparing to Ciao or Ok ou KO last week. I’m rather disappointed. :/

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

4. Nassi – He’s good. The song is complex; there’s a lot going on here. A bit bombastic, but I like it.
5. Igit – More poetry than music. It’s very good art. But I have to admit, it’s somewhere over my head.
6. Max Cinnamon – Sweet, simple. Good song. He’s a bit awkward on stage, but he has a good voice and is very cute. This could work, although it is a bit understated.

M_K
Guest
M_K

06 – “Ailleurs”

It’s another very good, very rhythmic song. The lyrics are full of clichés (but he’s still very young and I was probably looking at the world the same way when I was his age). His movements are a little too hectic and I’d like some more variation in the second half of the song.

M_K
Guest
M_K

05 – “Lisboa Jérusalem”

I really like it but I’ve got a feeling that many people will find the performance too stagy.

M_K
Guest
M_K

[Is there anybody else who finds the camera work during the postcards a little irritating?]

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It looks good on a big screen, I think. (I’m watching via TV.)

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Dissapointed with Nassi, could have been much better live.. Mercy is the best so far

M_K
Guest
M_K

04 – “Rêve de gamin”

I think there’s too much happening at a time in the music, the lyrics and the stage performance. His voice is a little shaky, too. Still a nice entry.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

So far:
1. Lucie (My World) – I like the song, but her voice came across underdeveloped. Maybe a year too early for her?
2. Madame Monsieur (Mercy) – Amazing chorus, sound and lyrics. The lead singer needs to sell it more though, or the meanings will become lost.
3. Jane C (J’ai rêvé) – Positive song, but sooo dated! Belongs in the 20th Century, sorry.

desfolhada
Guest
desfolhada

i wanna give a hug to Jane

M_K
Guest
M_K

03 – “Un jour j’ai rêvé”

The song sounds like late 1980s Eurovision material. It’s not awful but a little “meh”.

desfolhada
Guest
desfolhada

Madame Monsieur reminds me Best Youth!!

M_K
Guest
M_K

02 – “Mercy”

The song has a very nice structure and a great melody. I love it.

M_K
Guest
M_K

01 – “My World”

I like Lucie’s voice. The song is pretty nice but a little boring. I don’t really like the 1990s dance moves.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Who control vote from france juries. They can change the vote, when they saw votes from international juries to final.

M_K
Guest
M_K

No, there votes are collected before the international juries reveal their verdicts.

M_K
Guest
M_K

*their

M_K
Guest
M_K

Lithuania: The second heat is much stronger than the first one (still haven’t heard a winner among the first five songs though).

Hungary: The performance by Living Room was very, very good and the song was much stronger than in the studio version. This might well end up being Hungary’s song for Lisbon!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

There is a link to a stream on YouTube. Whether or not it works is up to those running it:
https://youtu.be/Jk4Oso2p4GM

PP
Guest
PP

Madame Monsieur for me is overrated by eurovison fans. Nassi have good song but , for me is like male version of song from France 2017. Igit have best song for me in this semi final, and I think he wili be surprise tonight like Malo last week with points from international and france juries. Best from first semi with chance for good placement in eurovision final to be in TOP 10 1.Malo 2.Lisandro , they have chance to be in TOP 15 witl Louka, but with Emmy I think they will be flop from 20 to 26 place in… Read more »

LalehForWD
Guest
LalehForWD

Listening on Spotify – Nassi have an interesting production and the song allows for some real singing magic. I think he could win Eurovision if he’s up and able to carry it through, but Lisandro is probably a more safe selection. Although I usually prefer female artists, I cannot find any of the women more interesting.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Sweem’s snippet is my fav, but I guess he won’t qualify.

NickC
Guest
NickC

Madame Monsieur or Nassi could bring the Eurovision to Paris…or Lyon…or Marseille…or Nice 🙂

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

My qualifiers would be Igit, sweem, Madame monsieur and Nassi, but almost everyone would deserve to go to the final. It’s a very strong semi, stronger than the 1st one imo.

JohnMoynahan
Guest
JohnMoynahan

Hopefully Madame monsieur will qualify and personally , I love Sweem!
Great voice and fantastic song!!??

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Off topic: Is Hungay’s first show airing tonight? if so, when and where can I watch it? I’d be really thankful for your help :3

LokoOno
Guest
LokoOno

I think that Max Cinnamon, Igit, Madame Monsieur, and Nassi will make it through.

Oganesyan
Guest
Oganesyan

you just copied the leak… -_-

Callie Fornia
Guest
Callie Fornia

Woah you guessed it right! What leak?

Rich
Guest
Rich

My pick of the songs to go through tonight judging by the above comments are……..

Madame Monsieur with “Mercy” for the top score of the night on the leader board
Next is a tough one it’s either between Max Cinnamon with “Ailleurs” or Jane Contance with “Un jour j’ai rêvé” for the 4th placed song of the night.
Nassi with “Rêves de gamin” for the 2nd ranked song of the night.
Igit with “Lisboa Jerusalem” for the 3rd placed song of the night..

It’s a great semi-final again.

Oganesyan
Guest
Oganesyan

that’s the leak dumbass

Marcus (Day One)
Guest
Marcus (Day One)

I think Nassi is my favourite from this semi despite me not liking that kind of music. I think his song is a very Jury friendly and televote friendly song whereas some of the songs in the whole selection are either one or the other. I also Love Mercy and see it as a Dark horse to win if they go to Eurovision. I also really like Jane as well with her seat but powerful song and I could see a top 10 placing for that song at Eurovision. This semi is a real bloodbath and a lot stronger than… Read more »

M_K
Guest
M_K

France, Hungary and Lithunia – it’s going to be an interesting night.

Catherine
Guest
Catherine

I fall in love with Igit

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Sounds like on of my favourites, Madame Monsieur, breezed through to the final, whilst June the girl was a flop and didn’t not. I’m guessing Jane or Lucie also made it, along with Nassi (?)

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

The 2nd semi final seems a lot harder than the 1st one! It’s going to be a bloodbath!
I love how many good songs there are in the French selection this year. As I understand, Madame Monsieur stood out. I like their song and I’m looking forward to their performance.
Of course, I’m sure everyone will be great tonight!

Sergeytheonlyone
Guest
Sergeytheonlyone

I hope this Cinnamon guy makes the final

brennan
Guest
brennan

okayyyyy so when can we watch the second semifinal

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

21:00 Paris time. 🙂

Stephanie
Guest

Here in Canada, TV5 is showing it on delay at 8pm Eastern. As for my opinion, I fell in love with Madame Monsieur’s song right from the snippet release, and the full version doesn’t disappoint either. If anyone can challenge Lisandro or Emmy Liyana for the ticket to Lisbon, it’s definitely them!