France — the last of all 43 countries to have their first rehearsal at Eurovision 2018 — had the press room waiting in silence. And over the course of three minutes they left them there – watching with bated breath — until the very last note. What came in between didn’t live up to most people’s expectations. But it still seemed to put them in with a shot of winning, should they tweak and progress what they already have.
In our interview shortly after their rehearsal Madame Monsieur revealed that they aren’t satisfied with the colour scheme. It doesn’t fit with the brief that they sent to RTP’s production team and they were literally having it worked on as they performed in Altice Arena on Friday evening. They hope to tell a story of birth and hope — one that moves from blacks and blues to a subtle orange, from darkness to that first early morning sun.
Unfortunately today the emphasis was definitely on the former, with black, black and more black making it difficult to see the singers, who naturally wore their signature colour….black. The opening shots focus on Émille’s striking face before panning out to show the vast stage. Madame walks the entire space, climbing the stairs and coming down the bridge, eventually reuniting with Jean-Karl. But in the time between wide angle shots take the focus totally off of them. It’s a shame: So much of the emotion and mood come through her expressions. We want to see more of them.
There’s a lovely shot toward the end — when the song picks up and the pair entreat the audience to perform their signature hand move. The camera goes right back and pans down at an angle. When a sea of fans make the motion in time with the group, as we’ve seen at preview events all spring, this will really come to life. That alone could pushed them up the scoreboard.
The French delegation is busy tweaking and refining. They know what must be done and during the second rehearsal we’ll see if they’ve managed to have their way.
Madame Monsieur — “Mercy”: Reviews and Reactions
France: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018
France: First press conference 2018
Video coming soon
Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)