Bilal Hassani - Roi Netta Eleni Foureira Destination Eurovision 2019 France

He’s the androgynous singer who stormed both the jury and public votes during the first semi-final of Destination Eurovision — France’s national selection for the 2019 song contest in Tel Aviv. Yet despite his runaway success Bilal Hassani  remained down to earth when talking to media afterwards.

Speaking to our Etienne, the “Roi” vocalist explained that he’s not stressed. That’s thanks mostly to his mother — “I don’t feel the pressure. I feel very good, actually. I have my mum beside me and she’s always here with me”. She is his reine.

His team also help him remain focused, keeping him away from most of the online commentary.

That team includes Madame Monsieur, the “Mercy” duo who represented France in Lisbon — “I was so proud of them”. But Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira and Israel’s Netta were his favourites from 2018. He loved “Fuego” and sang along to “Toy” while watching at home. Czech Republic’s Mikolas Josef was also a highlight.

Bilal Hassani interview at Destination Eurovision 2019 semi-final 1

The performer has a wig collection which would make even Agnese Rakovska — the front woman of Latvia’s 2017 act Trianna Park — jealous. Many have compared his current look to that of his Madame Monsieur mentor Émilie Satt. But he assures our backstage reporter Etienne that it’s merely a coincidence, adding that his look could evolve if he reaches Tel Aviv.

Bilal dominated the first episode of this year’s Destination Eurovision. Our William writes:

“Wearing all white and owning his natural flair, Bilal oozed confidence far beyond his years. He started his performance in the audience, treating the walkway as a runway before mounting the stage to preach a message of empowerment. He was joined by a series of dancers who helped give the song a bit more dynamism. And good thing: it started to feel a tad monotonous after the first chorus. But that’s easily remedied with a few quick camera cuts and angle swaps. Ultimately Bilal has charisma and a tune that many people can identify with. That puts him out in front in our minds.”

And he’s much more than a one night wonder, racing up both the iTunes and Spotify charts in the hours and days following Saturday’s broadcast.

Bilal Hassani “Roi”

What do you think? Is Bilal a dead cert for Eurovision 2019? Who from semi-final 2 could challenge him? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow all our France Eurovision 2019 news.

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dutchieBilal Fan 1AndrewwillchrisiamIt's me Recent comment authors
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Andrew
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Andrew

We all know Eurovision is not just a song contest anymore it’s about the whole package and unfortunately this song and artist is really nothing to gag about we’re all used to it. It’s a very average and mediocre song and an artist with an average voice I’m thinking if France send this they’re looking at a bottom 5 placement. But good luck to him and maybe we’ll be surprised in Tel Aviv they could surprise us but for now. Nah

Bilal Fan 1
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Bilal Fan 1

This could win hunni

willchrisiam
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willchrisiam

I’d much rather see his lyrics and vocal abilities evolved than his look…

DyGh
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DyGh

His performance is #8 in trending on Youtube in BELGIUM

Bilal Fan 1
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Bilal Fan 1

yaaasssss queeen

Rumpelstiltskin
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Rumpelstiltskin

I’m the biggest fan of Madame Monsieur but what were they thinking when they wrote this song for Bilal? “I’m a king”, really? Dude, how about you are just a regular happy person and that’s that? Why do you have to go claiming your royalty? That’s tacky. And VERY anti-French. A king, really? Not to mention the obnoxious mix of French and English withing the same sentence, all theroughout the song… ad nauseam. I don’t mind if you have one verse in English while the rest of the song stays all in French, like Amir and Alma did. But this… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest

You’re right about one thing: I supported MM last year and love their album, but the song they wrote for Bilal pales in comparison to the amazing story of Mercy!

I think we can also add Seemone to the contenders’ list. If she nails her performance in Saturday’s second semifinal and gets a score close to Bilal’s, it’s going to be a fight to the finish

baloney
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baloney

Here’s my two cents, especially about the Conchita comparisons: The reason why I loved Conchita so much was because her song lyrics weren’t just about “I AM DIFFERENT AND YET SO STRONG!”. It was a power ballad with a pretty universal message and Conchita’s performance was just pure class and elegance, it had more to say than the same old message of “I am who I am and that’s great, gawd why does everybody hate me?!”. However, Conchita participated in the Austrian preselection with a song with that exact message 2 years prior to her participation in 2014 but didn’t… Read more »

Geo
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Geo

Conchita had grace on stage, Bilal really looks like a cheap drag queen. And at least “Rise like a Phoenix” was a great track, in contrast to this piece of …song. Bottom 5 if this will represent France. I don’t see conservatory juries from most of the countries voting for ir (all the ex-Soviet countries + Albania, Romania, Moldova, and so on)…

Batist
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Batist

He is not a drag queen.

Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag
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Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag

In the end, people are still voting for his looks and sexuality instead of his voice. We can all agree with that one.

Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag
Guest
Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag

And just to be clear, it is not Bilal who is the utmost problem here. He is not to be blamed here nor gays in general should be blamed (I can attest that Conchita obviously has vocal talent and even charisma for example). Anyone can wear anything they want or be whatever they wanna be, we all know that. In this case, the voters are to blame due to having those notions towards artists like Bilal. Just like someone here said that it fits the notion of the contest’s stereotype about people like him. Similar to how some people vote… Read more »

Apple
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Apple

The live version of the song was a misstep I think. I love the studio cut, but the live performance left a lot to be desired. Bilal’s vocals may not have been perfect, but with the audio issues, no one sounded great. I just think some of the changes they made to the song make it lose some of the impact, but at the Eurovision grand final, his staging would definitely bring the slayage to make up for it, so I’m not concerned. He would be a deserving winner. My favorite is still Aysat, and part of me would like… Read more »

Loin dici
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Loin dici

To be honest, I’m tired of (almost) everyone trying to shove Bilal inside our mouths. He can be one of the most well-known influencers and LGBT people in France, and got the best people in the industry to help him, but this is a song contest, and we realized that ‘Roi’ won’t be the best choice for France. Seeing how even DA shoved us Bilal by putting him so often into their Youtube reccomended video space, I would even dare to say DA is rigged and he would probably be sent to Tel Aviv anyways.

the@winner
Guest

Hi France, welcome back, I’ve missed you! Love, the bottom-right side of the table <3

esc1234
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esc1234

The buzz is just about his wigs etc. His live vocals are not good and the songs becomes repetitive. Conchita did it better.

Batist
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Batist

He is not a drag so stop comparing him to Conchita! Educate yourself.

Apple
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Apple

That’s not why he’s being compared to Conchita. Both of them had a fairly androgynous look on stage and both of them sang empowerment-type songs. This person never even said anything about drag…also, how is being compared to Conchita a bad thing? Conchita is amazing and won Eurovision.

Jordance
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Jordance

Song is good, but his voice is not so go live. Maybe we have Belgium 2017 (many points grom juries and televote for not good live performance and vocals).But this song is not strong as Belgium, but will have media and gay lobby atetion like Israel 1998,2011 and Austria 2014. But song is not strong like song from 2014 ,and dot have that televote apeal like Israel 1998

Pandaman
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Pandaman

The song is kinda… meh?
Good luck to Bilal, anyways, and to the rest of the competitors.

Whatever
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Whatever

I dont get all the hype around him. The song was good but he doesn’t raise it to the level it should.

Glenniebooooy
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Glenniebooooy

He will probably win, but i don’t like the song at all and I also think it will not do good at eurovision.

Yanis2Y
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Yanis2Y

His English is perfect tbh

It's me
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It's me

I don’t know, man… I’m just so tired of these people full of show off and over-the-top attitudes… I mean, I’ve got nothing against gay people, I actually get along with some really great people who are gay, but most of them are just crying for attention. Just be whoever you are, I don’t really mind, but that doesn’t need to include dressing like women or walking like Beyonce when she’s on stage. I also don’t go to the street dressing like a man cave or screaming swear words in public when I’d want to. I probably shouldn’t have write… Read more »

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

If men want to dress like a women, so be it – it’s their choice.

It's me
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It's me

I absolutely respect their decision, yet I can’t seem to understand it.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

And I respect you for respecting it.

Matthew
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Matthew

I love Beyoncé but she doesn’t have walking with attitude and sass trademarked, like other people are allowed to do it! If you do or don’t want to live up to a bunch of heterosexual stereotypes it’s your prerogative, and the same to him with some of the gay tropes in his performance.

Christabelle
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Christabelle

Complètement d’accord. The truth must be said.
“GOTTA BREAK THE TABOO…”

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

You got a logic mistake: “be whoever you are (…) but that doesn’t include dressing like women”. So you say, Bilal should be himself but shouldn’t wear feminine clothes. But being himself means everything you want to do, including feminine clothes, right? 😉

It's me
Guest
It's me

Hmm… I think we’re mixing “whoever you are” with “however you are”, sorry to got that wrong. Bilal and any other person can be HOWEVER they are. In terms of WHO, he’s a man, and if he isn’t there’s a surgery to fix it, so he and anybody else should assume WHOEVER they are and make a decision with it in mind.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

“Who” isn’t only connected with gender.

Hermès
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Hermès

“I’ve got nothing against gay people, (…) but most of them are just crying for attention.” 2019 and we still have to read such stereotypes, really ? Not only do I dislike your comment but i don’t fancy being lectured on intolerance, thank you very much. Newsflash for you : most artists are “crying” for attention. Some showcasing how long they can hold a note for no reason in a song, some others with fancy outfits, some by twerking, some with stunning videos… and some with wigs, questioning the gender norms and their importance in our society. A creative mind… Read more »

It's me
Guest
It's me

“All artists are crying for attention”. You don’t know real artists, pal.
I understand your point of view, it was a mistake of mine to comment this here. You’re all right, it just feels ‘really wrong to me, I suppose we all have a bit of reason. I like these kinds of discussion where people can expose their point of view with logic and respect. I hope everyone here’s having a wonderful day. Don’t ever be afraid to speak out your opinion. Peace.

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Calm down, and read baloney’s comment up below.

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Calm down, and read baloney and Fla-la-lag’s comment up below. I don’t really mind with the intolerance topic, there you give it, yet what we feel about Bilal’s ‘difference’ is a tad too stereotypical, and it already got old by this time. I mean, ‘we know you’re different, it shows, but do you have to tell us about that again?’

DyGh
Guest
DyGh

Well swearing is rude and I hope you don’t dress like a man cave, imagine wearing a pool table with beer cans

It's me
Guest
It's me

That’s why I don’t do it.

dutchie
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dutchie

Nothing wrong with dressing like a woman or acting a bit over the top. However, if that’s the only thing you have on offer (which is the case for Bilal) you should leave the stage to the real artists.