The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 competing entries of Eurovision 2019. Next we head over to France where Bilal Hassani has “Roi”. Was he our king? Read on to find out!
Bilal Hassani with “Roi”
Lucy: Co-written by last year’s participants, Madame Monsieur, “Roi” is an uplifting and self-empowering anthem, which embraces Bilal’s individuality. This was a big no from me initially, but it’s really grown on me, and the sheer stage presence Bilal gives off really helps. It has the R&B edge that no other entry captures quite as well this year. I don’t think it will beat France’s result from last year being honest, but I think it’s a song they can be immensely proud of.
Anthony: An empowering pop ballad with a bilingual mix of French and English, “Roi” is a well-written attempt by Eurovision predecessors Madame Monsieur and perfectly reflects Bilal’s personality. But despite winning Destination Eurovision with over a third of the televote, Bilal only finished fifth with the international juries. So don’t be surprised if France struggle with the Eurovision juries as well.
Jack: The strong piano progression at the very beginning of “Roi” sets the song up really nicely. It then gradually sneaks an R&B beat into mix and things start to go south. Musically it’s a bit eclectic and lyrically it’s a bit generic. France’s biggest asset by far, however, is Bilal, who delivers the song with a bubbly charm and charisma that earned him over a third of the televoting points available in the French national final. I’m not yet convinced, however, that this will translate to an international audience, but with a supposed revamp in the works, anything could happen.
Barnabas: Bilal’s crown will not be removed, yet I don’t see the “Roi” singer sitting on the continent’s throne either. The song might be a well-written contemporary ballad with an important message of self-empowerment, yet Bilal’s disastrous national final vocal performance ruins the entire moment and it leaves me indifferent. Of course, there is a chance of improvement, but with the likelihood of juries pulling him down and the fact that his fanbase can’t vote for their own country, it’s very improbable that he could into the top ten.
Luis: Bilal is an extremely likeable character, so it’s a pity “Roi” is not as a strong enough entry. It’s got the lyrics, the attitude and Bilal can sing, but the song itself is a bit generic. Yes, it’s uplifting and yes, it’s empowering, but “Roi” doesn’t really linger. Moments after you’ve heard it you remember Bilal, but not what he was singing. Luckily for France, Bilal is so bubbly and spontaneous that Europe will undoubtedly remember his performance.
Sebastian: An incredibly talented, youthful and exuberant pop star that bends culture, sexuality and image, it’s a little unfortunate that Bilal Hassani has been paired with a track that isn’t more deep or revolutionary in sound or lyrics. While Bilal does provide the star power, “Roi” is not quite royalty status. But it sure is solid and respectable. Here’s hoping Bilal can provide the touch of class that “Roi” really needs on stage — and the revamp will amp this up to what it deserves to be.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 29 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.83/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!