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

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our France Eurovision news here

Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)

69 Comments
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Stephan
Stephan
3 years ago

Not convinced at all… Boring like a music you could perfectly listen on radio only… Bad

Yulia
Yulia
3 years ago

Their styling was a choice. I honestly don’t get the support for this, but there obviously is a lot of support and I wish them well.

AngieP
AngieP
3 years ago

It was only the 1st rehearsal, so I don’t worry, they’ll fix things. The outfits were beautiful and the performance stunning as always. I can see it looking great with audience. Go France!!

Victoria
Victoria
3 years ago

What the heck is that? France will so get a bottom placing…. lol

Azotman
Azotman
3 years ago

Bonsoir Lisboa, Tout le monde se calme, ce n’est que la première répétition. Je suis convaincu qu’il faut abolir “le big 5”. La qualification directe n’est pas un avantage car tu as moins de temps de répétition et surtout, la demi-finale permet une répétition supplémentaire en public pour préparer la finale. De plus, la qualification directe est perçue à juste titre comme un privilège par tous les pays hors big 5 ! Deux demi-finales avec 21 participants et 12 qualifiés seraient mieux. Seul le pays organisateur devrait être qualifié directement ! Si on doit perdre en 1/2 c’est que de… Read more »

Yaaf
Yaaf
3 years ago
Reply to  Azotman

Quand tu risque de ne pas entrer dans la grande finale tu te prepare un peu plus, je dirai! Et l’adrenaline monte, et monte….

Donald duck
Donald duck
3 years ago

after i see all what i see , i think Cyprus and Spain , have the best entrys this year,some people say that Spain is overrated, please,, we see that is the other way ,Hope is some justice and Spain come in the top 5 or ,,,, who knows, maybe more

Eric
Eric
3 years ago
Reply to  Donald duck

No, Sweden is the best.

Henry
Henry
3 years ago
Reply to  Donald duck

Spain will Flop really hard, that snoozefest will end bottom 5.

Lili
Lili
3 years ago
Reply to  Donald duck

Oh maybe Portugal who knows… You’ll have a big surprise! My fav Portugal

Holstrom
Holstrom
3 years ago
Reply to  Donald duck

Cyprus is cheapppp!
Spain WTF? This will end 23

Sweden
Norway
Denmark

Top 3. Book it.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

If it worked for Salvador last year, it could work again.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

I see it went down a bit in the betting odds. Regardless it deserves a great placement.

4lwe
4lwe
3 years ago

Madame Monsieur deserves a reality check.

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

Not convinced it is a winner. Though none of the other songs are convincing either. The field is wide open!
The performance is not bad but not great either. Will give France another top 10 for sure.

bercolata
bercolata
3 years ago

ESC is being “I must give a message to people and whatever forget about the fun stuff” more and more. I really miss the old days.

Dave F
Dave F
3 years ago
Reply to  bercolata

What about Finland and Israel 😛

Pera
Pera
3 years ago

One of most overrated song this year, same for Israel, Czech Republic, Buglaria,Spain and Finland.

Mary Lou
Mary Lou
3 years ago
Reply to  Pera

Israel Or Cyprus or Estonia will win.

Jean
Jean
3 years ago

We are tired of this refugees topic.

Pal
Pal
3 years ago

Song is beautiful but there is not vau moment to pick up phone and vote for that. I dont know but something is missing…… and i m bit tired of this refugees topic. No offence! Song is realy good anyeay.

CyxCy
CyxCy
3 years ago

Mercy is not a staging song, it’s a song with a message that lives in interaction with the audience. Remember the concerts where Emilie was so close to the audience that she could touch their hands. It’s a moment of sharing, not a moment of “oh look at me, I have the most beautiful dress, and I’m the most in love with my sweetheart and I dance really well and I have lots of lights. artifices and I make a … Oops , fail. ” Madame Monsieur, don’t make movies, they sing and they share. and that’s the way most… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  CyxCy

And with that, they are my #1 going into this contest.

Pachaz
Pachaz
3 years ago

The most beautiful song of this contest ! Bravo Madame Monsieur
Let’s Have a look to this amazing new version with violin, so moving, it gives me chills…
https://www.facebook.com/EurovisionFrance2/videos/1893918550899349/

Maki
Maki
3 years ago

Funny and apsurd in same time. They will sing about refugees on Eurovision stage in clothes of high fashion designer Jean Paul Gautiler

CyxCy
CyxCy
3 years ago
Reply to  Maki

Even if they are dressed in Jean-Paul Gaultier (Oh, because the other candidates come with clothes found at the local supermarket, perhaps?), They have the merit of talking about refugees, rather than the ignore or despise them. What makes this song unique is like no other before in the contest, and we’ll talk about it again in twenty years. Offer your country a better idea next year.

please
please
3 years ago
Reply to  Maki

I agree.They said in some interviews that they wear black to let the song be the focus. But if that’s the case then why go to a high fashion designer?

Florian Rahn
3 years ago
Reply to  please

Why let go the opportunity of having him as your designer? He also immediately pointed out that he’s not going to change their style and as you can see from the first rehearsal it definitely suits them very well!

Henry
Henry
3 years ago

Omg! I cringe so hard when they do their arm movements (Stomping in the air) It looks so weird.
Estonia will win Eurovision 2018.

Frau Loch
Frau Loch
3 years ago

And let’s face it, red or orange lights will make a boring act not any more exciting. Italy does the exact same trick. Starting together, walking apart, cross the bridge and reunite with more conviction and a stronger song.

Frau Loch
Frau Loch
3 years ago

France, the Italy of 2017, hyped by the fans, ignored by those who really vote.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  Frau Loch

But you forget one thing: They are not #1 on the bookies’ board; Israel is.

ikkl
ikkl
3 years ago

very bad song

Mary Lou
Mary Lou
3 years ago

Using refugee propaganda to win. it will be flop!

Sede
Sede
3 years ago

Some countries basically have no staging and everyone still says they’re good. However, some countries hated by others have put money on the staging, people still think they’re overrated and bad. The Eurovisin fans are one of the most biased people in any competition. It should be named “Countries that got the least hate competition.” Bring countries togeher my axx!

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 years ago

It seems they know what they want to achieve, but it needs refinement. Their outfits are awesome, keeping their trademark style at the same time that they don’t look like mimes anymore. It’s good that Jean-Karl is more integrated to the performance, even if he doesn’t seem comfortable yet. It’s all very discreet (and French). Since Mercy’s story tend to reach the international media, what they need to sell the song are Émilie’s expressions and that sing-and-gesture-along moment with the audience on the final.

Pal
Pal
3 years ago

Hmmm Estonia is second in Betting odds- seems to me that opera song will win first time in history of Eurovision . But this song is realy good with a lot of WAU moments.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  Pal

Elina is my #2, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one wins the jury vote and the other wins the televote. Then again, Estonia and/or France (my #1) could pull a Ukraine 2016, and come in second or 3rd in both the jury and/or televote, and one of them wins the whole thing.

Filip
Filip
3 years ago

By for the best song of the year and I really want this to win I’m not sure it will but it will do well no doubt about that

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
3 years ago
Reply to  Filip

It’s not a song, it’s a story…
The melody is catchy but boring, nothing special
Decent vocals and a forced hand movement to drag people in
People in 2018 are into trends and want to be a part of a trend
So they will do that hand movement just to feel a part of something
Way overrated, shouldn’t even come top 10, let alone winning

Malin
Malin
3 years ago

Oh France, how I love your beutyfull language. France was in my top 3 last year, and thougt that your own language was perfect to the song. But not this year. First time I heard it, I didn’t know anything about what it meant and listend at it as one of all the songs. Did’t conect whith it at all like I did last year whith Portugals song. I didn’t know if Sobral was singing about children, his mother, beeng bullied or what. But his voice, eyes and the melody was more importent. He deliverd feeling. In Kiev the staging… Read more »

Eric
Eric
3 years ago

Anyone who thinks France will win this year….. Sorry to burst your bubble but it will NOT happen. Perhaps top 10 at best

hahaha...lol
hahaha...lol
3 years ago

Unfortunately you’ve already bet on France and Greece.
Fools and their money are soon parted…like you like to say.

hahaha...lol
hahaha...lol
3 years ago
Reply to  hahaha...lol

If Il Volo could not win the jury, Elina has even less chances. Opera is jury poison. Even Rybak has more chances than Elina.
Israel still has chances to first place, they listen to critics and have changed everything was wrong in the first rehearsal.
I believe Israel will win because a)is open minded and wants to hear critics…b)the others are falling by themselves

Yaaf
Yaaf
3 years ago
Reply to  hahaha...lol

She still has a catchy song, unlike others!

netta winner
netta winner
3 years ago
Reply to  hahaha...lol

Her looper is like any other instrument. She will have it on stage like others have pianos that don’t really work….The song will be the same.
i believe too that Netta will win. In the end it might be a very close score, like in 2003 when Turkey won with just 2 points more than Belgium.

Miguel
Miguel
3 years ago

They kept everything quite simple and posh. It’s very similar to the national performance.
This is a clear candidate to win Eurovision. Great song, great stage presence, it was difficult to ruin it.
Surprisingly the vocals were not very impressive on the snippet. I am sure she will do better next time.

Kobe
Kobe
3 years ago

Still my number one! Go France..

Ally
Ally
3 years ago

I just love their outfits, serving that 60’s existentialist intelectual realness, as would wiwibloggers say 😀
Regarding France and Italy, both songs ”suffered” from today’s ESC obsession with ”stagings”. What kind of staging do you expect for these songs anyway? They are here, singing their songs, and I’m just thankful that we have these two at Eurovision, it brings it on higher level.
Having said that, if audience don’t recognize this, I hope at least juries will reward it, ’cause imo opinion both deserve top 5.

Anthony de France
Anthony de France
3 years ago

France’s staging is often below expectations
In 2016 Amir had in my opinion a song with a winning potential and all of this crumbled with a really bad staging
as for Alma last year i don’think she could win with her song but the staging did not help her
Nothing special with the staging this year ; the song is really good and Emilie’s voice is ok
france will definitely not win this year

Douzepoints
Douzepoints
3 years ago

IMO Requiem was a much better song than J’ai cherché and deserved a better place than the latter but the staging didn’t help her at alla. It should have a tango choreography on stage and and shots of eiffel tower at dusk in the background. This year’s entry is mediocre, i don’t understand why it’s so high in the bookies

NickC
NickC
3 years ago

I do not care the actual result. This is my winner for the year. And I still think it may win, just based on the quality of the song, it may win.

Pazzo
Pazzo
3 years ago
Reply to  NickC

Political issues should not be given attention. Or do we also need a song showing the problems, which “refugees” bring to Europe?

hiuh
hiuh
3 years ago
Reply to  Pazzo

smart comment

Anthony de France
Anthony de France
3 years ago
Reply to  NickC

Absolutely right !

Yaaf
Yaaf
3 years ago
Reply to  NickC

It needs a shivering baby in a blanket ASAP, but even that will not bring them jury votes coz the song is not so good, it was 3rd for the jury in the selection. However Portugal televoting is assured, they adore Messi there!

Stephanie
3 years ago

The live vocals were still very consistent from what I saw in the brief clip, it was great to see Jean-Karl interacting more rather than stand behind a microphone and I can only imagine how amazing the performance will be once there’s an audience and they’re all doing the hand gesture at the end of the song. They’ve laid down the foundation today, now they’ve just got to build on it – I still have no doubt that France is a solid contender for victory!

Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
3 years ago

Incredible reaction to a first rehearsal. People need to get a grip on reality. Judge more after Sunday, but right now it was a test session, and some people are already saying it can’t win…mainly people who weren’t even in the press centre.

hadden
hadden
3 years ago

So, what Gaultier did? Only those weird shoulders? Some countries spend money for nothing, while Moldova has a great staging for only 5000 euros.

Curve
Curve
3 years ago

My favorite artists to win. But I am not confident that they’ll easily win the contest. There is still Rybak, Netta, Fabrizio & Ermal, and then Elina who could win it instead.

Victoria
Victoria
3 years ago
Reply to  Curve

Hello, you forgot Albania’s Eugent!!!

Curve
Curve
3 years ago
Reply to  Victoria

Why not. But it seems around top 10 for me.

Jo.
Jo.
3 years ago

That moment when she lowers her voice (almost in the end), that gives me winner vibes. If they get everything right, I think Paris 2019 is a real possibility. At least, I don’t see them getting out of the Top 10. Well done, France.

Co-Co
Co-Co
3 years ago

A shot? No. Pretty much is 50-50 between France and Italy

I’m fine with any of these two taking the crystal mic back home

Jo.
Jo.
3 years ago
Reply to  Co-Co

Look at me, Coco, I’m Italian and we ain’t winning anything this yr. Let’s hope for Turin 2020.

Yaaf
Yaaf
3 years ago
Reply to  Jo.

Nor is France.

Yaaf
Yaaf
3 years ago
Reply to  Yaaf

But Italy has good chances in the years to come.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago
Reply to  Yaaf

In the 5 years that I have watched this show, soon to be 6, I have never seen Italy send a bad song. Bad results, more or less, but their songs were outstanding.

They are my #3 with “Non Ni Avete Fatto Niente”.

Yaaf
Yaaf
3 years ago
Reply to  CookyMonzta

I liked all Italy’s songs, Francesca Michelin most, but this year are somewhere at the bottom, sorry guys, next year will be better!