Shortly after France’s Eurovision 2020 singer Tom Leeb debuted “The Best in Me”, the reviews came flowing like the Seine through Paris. But few have been as colourful as the one delivered by one French politician.

As Le Parisien reports, the French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, told a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday that he was not a fan of France’s Eurovision entry, mainly because of its refrain in English.

“It is true that the English chorus broke my ears a little this morning on the radio,” Riester said in answer to a question from deputy Jacques Krabal, secretary general of the Parliamentary Assembly of la Francophonie. Nevertheless, he understands the angle that the broadcaster and artist decided to take.

“It is an independent choice of France Télévisions,” the minister explained, feeling it was a strategy to try to win Eurovision.

 

“I still state my perplexion of the French sending a song with a chorus written in English. Everyone must lead by example to ensure that France is carried with pride everywhere we are, all the time, even if we know that French content in a foreign language is also a way to promote France.”

No surprise there: France is known to be defensive of its language and traditions. Back in 2008, Sébastien Tellier’s mostly English-language entry, “Divine”, caused enough controversy to be discussed in the French parliament. Tellier eventually added two lines in French on the final night. Other Eurovision stars, such as Barei in Spain, have also faced backlash from politicians and Eurovision stars alike for choosing to sing in English instead of their national languages.

The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is on May 16. France automatically qualifies for the final as a member of the Big 5 — the country’s who contribute the most financially to the contest. Tom Leeb will sing “The Best in Me”, written by several big names from the world of Eurovision, including Thomas G:Son, John Lundik and former French contestant, Amir.

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blueeyed
Guest
blueeyed

They can sing in French, English, High Valyrian, Sindarin or even Klingon, it’s gonna be at the bottom of the score board. Such a dreary song.

Kaitlin
Guest
Kaitlin

I don’t live in France but I’m still disappointed at half the song being in English

Ted
Guest
Ted

This tickled me! An image of John Lundwik dressed as the grim reaper, a pool of blood spills from an open door with an image of the UK’s Michael Rice on it. Grim John is then knocking on a door of France!

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EROBHTdXUAIuWvL?format=png&name=small

Is it too late for France to pick a better song?

Gabi
Guest
Gabi

There were so many awful songs from France that no wonder his ears are the shape it is.

Bart
Guest
Bart

And right he is. He forgot to mention, though, that the song was written by two Swedish composers, which in my opinion is even much worst, taking into consideration the rich French music scene. But I guess the Culture Minister and the Members of Parliament wouldn’t even know that.

Hazzza
Guest
Hazzza

I feel sorry for the singer and the fact he has to sing a corny song infront of a large audince. This song has so many problems the language change is nice but it’d still so cringy, the chorus is so weak unbelievably weak, obviously it’d not gonna win and it won’t reach anythung higher than bottom ten because France often can’t get in top ten woth their best entries let alone this one if they do get the staging right they could see a 20th-16th placement but it’s unlikely

Darla
Guest
Darla

Honestly, France have themselves to blame! If you choose not to have a NF and just take a song of pure laziness and to save money, you get what you get! Don’t blame the song writers, they came with a song, the french delegation or whatever chose it, so they are the ones to blame.

trackback

[…] Frankrikes kulturminister Franck Riester är också kritisk till att Frankrikes bidrag har en engelsk refräng, men förstår samtidigt att det är en strategi för att försöka vinna musiktävlingen, skriver Le Parisien, enligt Eurovisionbloggen Wiwiblogs. […]

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

Is France just trying to lose? If they weren’t someone would have already stepped in and told them to change the song.

Roo
Guest
Roo

Funny how people want to punish Britain and France for colonialism yet less than 30 years ago the former Yugoslavia tried to wipe each other out. Yet today they will happily swap 12 points amongst each other.

Icy Box
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Icy Box

I’m from the future and France is the winner of the ESC 2020.

Hazzza
Guest
Hazzza

Well your in another universe where this song is bearable

Svanson
Guest
Svanson

The problem is rather that it’s written by Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, John Lundvik. Swedish cultural export when it’s worst.

BRITISH FOREVER
Guest
BRITISH FOREVER

The FRENCH are seriously so arrogant and always have been, everything about this year’s entry they have been so bloody arrogant! As they are known for! Hope they come last with 0 points! Hate FRANCE and their rubbish entries!

Jeydelrey
Guest
Jeydelrey

I can assure you that most of us french people do not think that this entry will do well. We’re basically all asking for them to change the song.

Svanson
Guest
Svanson

Fog over the channel. The continent isolated.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

No one deserves to come last with 0 points.

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

The language isn’t even the biggest problem of this entry tho

Tonton Fée
Guest
Tonton Fée

Quel fiasco !!!

Isak
Guest
Isak

All those songwriters making money on writing mediocre songs for other nations’ selections…

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
Guest
BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

without a casting couch

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Are we completely sure ‘The Best in Me’ isn’t another Euphoria or, at the very least, another ‘Too Late For Love’? (I’m asking because I haven’t heard any of the selected songs. I’m planning to stay virgin until May.)

Una
Guest
Una

It ain’t another “Euphoria” or “Too Late For Love”. Those two are light years ahead in quality if only for their final places (a winner and a top 10).

Isak
Guest
Isak

Yes, we are sure. It reminds me a bit of Bigger Than Us, but less memorable.

Svanson
Guest
Svanson

Its another Las Vegas

Hazzza
Guest
Hazzza

Some of the other songs this year are super strong like. Norway, Australia, lithuania, Albania, Latvia and maybe Italy this song sucks to the est of them

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

“…like a diamond, in the horizon, unbreakable…”, “luna, moon me up…”, “hold me, just unfold me…”

Isak
Guest
Isak

I’m stronger than cannonballs!

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
Guest
BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

it broke his pants

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Are you saying what I think you’re saying?

Uni uni uni universo
Guest
Uni uni uni universo

The song it’s too weak, but at least in French it could be different and stand out (a little bit..). When he starts singing in French and then in English – saying those ridiculous things… – arggggg. So, my piece of advice is -> 100%french guys… it’s better for you if people don’t understand the lyrics xD.

Giles
Guest
Giles

He says what French politicians think people expect them to say in that kind of situation.He was asked and gave the answer he was expected to give as the French minister of culture.Much ado about nothing!

Marseille
Guest
Marseille

Normally I would agree with him, but English is really the last problem this song has. The verses in French are corny af too, and not even the language shift can make it remotely interesting.
I lfeel that it’s a little hypocrite when culture ministers complain about the songs that are selected for Eurovision but then don’t involve themselves in the selection process at all. If you feel like Eurovision is a culturally relevant stage where the francophone flag should be waved proudly, then why don’t you do something to ensure that happens?

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

Brilliant point !!

Hermès
Guest
Hermès

Because as he said himself France televisions is an independant entity. France isn’t Russia. The government can’t dictate to TV channels what it wants to send 🙂

Amor
Guest
Amor

I see your point but as the cultural minister, I think it would be in his preview to involve himself somewhat in the process. Especially seeing as Eurovision is supposed to promote a culture of a nation.

Denis
Guest
Denis

What is is with French people always thinking their culture is on the verge of being extinct whenever a few drops of English are thrown in?
If he was that concerned about the culture then why not ask how come none cold find French writers instead of buying songs from non-French people? Quit blaming the language..

David
Guest
David

Great powers like Russia and Germany are able to live with English songs, but somehow the French are different and above.

Pierrot Truffaut
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Pierrot Truffaut

Who cares. No one here in France cares about Eurovision anyway.

Cyxcy
Guest
Cyxcy

Ben alors pourquoi tu es là, Pierrot? Retourne gratter ton Euromillion au bistrot!

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

While they revamp it or whatever they do with it, I want them to include “Thames through Paris via Stockholm” in the lyrics.

Chromium
Guest
Chromium

If the minister doesn’t like the entry, then surely he can ask/persuade/demand the delegation to change the song? They still have a few more weeks before the deadline to change to a different song. :))

NOOO
Guest
NOOO

Are you deaf or what ?
We live in a free country, our broadcaster is maybe owned at 50% by the stated but they’re free of their decisions and this must stay that way.

Denis
Guest
Denis

I thik you’re joking, I hope so at least..
He can’t change anything, it’s the decision of the network.

Chromium
Guest
Chromium

The first sentence was a joke; I know the minister is powerless with the song decision. 🙂 The second sentence is more of a wish: I just don’t think it’s a strong enough song, and I want France to succeed.

Joe
Guest
Joe

So, I guess this means Tom Leeb is the new Datner & Kushnir? Hoopa-hule!

Una
Guest
Una

Who are they?

Joe
Guest
Joe

The Lazy Bums, Israel’s infamous (and hilarious) 1987 act. The Israeli Minister of Culture threatened to resign after they won the selection show. He didn’t, and they finished top ten. Look up Shir Habatlanim when you get the chance. It’s the novelty act all novelty acts ought to be judged by.

Una
Guest
Una

Hahaha! I saw it. I can assume the po-o-po-o song of Austria came later but no local authority said anything about it?
Anyways, you are a treasure of knowledge about Eurovision. Kudos to Joe 🙂

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

They were hilarious! I looked up their performance once out of pure curiosity. Their choreo was on point.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I can think of ESC songs I like more, but no performance I’ve watched more times than that one.

Charles
Guest
Charles

When someone thinks Eurovision started around the same time as YouTube … questions like these happen. I dont know what is more frightening: a French song with awful lyrics and a chorus in English … or fans not knowing there was Eurovision before we all came out of the 21st century closet.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I mean…they’re not like the most famous Eurovision act ever. I’d be more scared if someone didn’t know a bigger name or song like Johnny Logan or “Volare.”

Rike
Guest
Rike

Just interested, do you think it is funny what you write or do you really mean it? If you try to be funny, just stop it, it is downright racist! If you really mean, stop it, cause it’s downright racist. I am getting really frustrated and angry with all your hate!!! In case you are German, so am I. And I like the French, so do my friends. Just stop pouring hate on them!!!!

Behold
Guest
Behold

I dislike the song immensely. That being said, I don’t think the English parts are what makes this song bad. The minister is just being the usual chauvinist Frenchman.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

english should not be used by any country at eurovision

Don Juan
Guest
Don Juan

So should the UK, Ireland and Malta withdraw now or next year then?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Send a song in Welsh or Scots Gaelic or Cornish or Manx! By god, the votes’ll be rolling in!

Una
Guest
Una

Malta could always sing in Maltese.

Dodo
Guest
Dodo

We have been grumbling for a song in Maltese and the only time we had the opportunity with ‘Kewkba (Star)’ we blew it up -_-

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

And *you¨* shouldn’t use English.

John
Guest
John

If only the English verses were the problem in this song.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

english is the problem in every song at eurovision

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

exactly

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It is very sad that this song presentation has apparently gone wrong for France. I wish them all the best with the rest of the Eurovision season.
Also, did someone write “flow of the Thames through Paris” by accident? That is a brilliant freudian slip! Should have kept it in. 😛

Lise
Guest
Lise

*I’m* obnoxious? …
C’est celui qui dit qui l’est. (: (Try saying it out loud and appreciate how beautiful the French language sounds.)

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Génial

Jai
Guest
Jai

Is Thomas G:son turning into the new Ralph Siegel?

Loin dici
Guest

Um, yes. No doubt.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

He already is the new Ralph Siegel.

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

Yep!!!

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

Looks like people are still trying to bank on his success with Euphoria

Fran Moreno
Guest

the natural reaction to a Thomas G:son song

James
Guest
James

I see your text is in English.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

And your username is James. So?

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

English was also used during the colonization of Africa.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

And Spanish. And Dutch.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

James was responding to Edeltraut who wasn’t writing in Spanish or Dutch, but in English. What is it you don’t understand?

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I understand everything.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Anyone else fancy the French minister for culture?!

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Them lips…

Lise
Guest
Lise

I feel bad for the guy, he’s getting so much bad comments on his song and performance.
He put on his Instagram that he’s working on a Folk version, which will be different from his Eurovision song. Which he qualified to be “more him”. I’m saying: “Tom, be true to yourself and bring that folk version to Rotterdam!”.
And France Televisions: please bring back Destination Eurovision back for 2021. All the recent comments prove it!

Étoile
Guest
Étoile

I agree with you, your comment is gold and more important than the opinion of our minister, last year with Roi which had English he said nothing curiously! I hope we can have DE or another NF/Festival(and rules to screw the fan bases) but I don’t know if they want to do that because they said the ratings were too low and it costed too much money and they will need a new producer. Our HoD though said she wants more control for the entry and the fact that she’s the entertainment director I don’t know what to expect. It’ll… Read more »

Lise
Guest
Lise

Great commentary! Maybe it was just a faux pas from the HoD on her first year…
She can still put her artistic preferences in the pre-selections of entries for the Destination Eurovision for next year… Because apart from Amir’s year, Eurovision’s results clearly show that a national selection works best!

The Roop is On Fire
Guest
The Roop is On Fire

No one even asked for Destination Eurovision to be removed lol

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

It was very LAZY of them to ditch Destination Eurovision just like that.

Ashton Schier
Guest
Ashton Schier

you are possibly the worst and most problematic person on this website, with your incredible racism and outdated remarks. please leave and let the intelligent and level-headed people on this website discuss Eurovision with a kind attitude, an attitude that you have shown that you will not display. I have had enough of people like you, and judging by your constant downvotes, I am not the only one. reassess your stance on life, maybe get some therapy, and come back as a more tolerant, nicer, and open-minded person.

Banan banan
Guest
Banan banan

Please delete this entry and send something not rejected from melodifestivalen

Malmklang
Guest
Malmklang

I kinda like this song, but 100% french lyrics would’ve given it a lot more distinctive feature.

bryan
Guest
bryan

Une refonte est en étude version folk . Une version acoustic est sorti aussi mais wiwiblogg préfère sortir le même discours chaque année. En france ils aiment pas Eurovision et adore critiqué. Les autres pays qui chantent en anglais on dit quelque chose chaque année ? Pourquoi lituanie, Norvège, Suède, Autriche, russie,belgique chante tout le temps en anglais et pas dans leur langue ?? Ah oui j’avais oublier le seul pays qui est forcé à chanté dans la langue c’est la france les autres ils font ce qui veulent . Je trouve ça injuste

Lise
Guest
Lise

On his Instagram, Amir is saying that he’s working on a folk version, but aside his Eurovision version. Doesn’t seem like they are planning on playing that folk one on the Eurovision stage.
Les critiques sur la France chantant en anglais viennent de la France, les autres pays s’en foutent 🙂

Una
Guest
Una

Lise, in your comment above you said that Tom is working on a French version. Here you said that Amir does that. Maybe it’s a typo.
In any case, in case that the folk version will come out and will be chosen for Rotterndam, that would make me think that France is trying to do damage control. And make a different version than that of Lundvik and G:son. Now that would be a bad look for *everyone*. Can it get more ridiculous than this?

Lise
Guest
Lise

Haha, definitely a typo. Can’t get Amir out of my mind still. :’)

Cyxcy
Guest
Cyxcy

Perso, j’ai toujours soutenu nos candidats, qu’ils chantent en français, anglais, ou autre. Amaury Vassili avait chanté en corse (Sognu), Dan ar braz et l’héritage des celtes avaient chanté en breton (Diwanit Bugale), Kali avait chanté en créole (Monté la rivié)… Mais c’est la chanson elle-même que je ne trouve pas aboutie. Et j’en suis d’autant plus désolée qu’on a une pépite comme candidat. Il chante bien, il est musicien, il parle super bien anglais (ce qui restera toujours un avantage en interview) et pour couronner le tout il est canon. Bref, un diamant, mais à qui on n’a pas… Read more »

Andrei
Guest
Andrei

He’s not the only one. This dated song broke our ears, too…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

the overreaction… it’s the most inoffensive song ever

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

I think the inoffensiveness is it’s main problem.

Una
Guest
Una

I think the main problem is that it’s Swedish. It would have been as innocent as the morning dew had it been written by French. But Swedish?

Tajikistan
Guest
Tajikistan

It’s so inoffensive I forgot it existed

Esc1234
Guest
Esc1234

Even in French the song is still a melodifestivalen reject. I mean who thought that’s its a good idea to send in 2020 a bilingual version of My heart is yours-My turn?

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

He’s right and shame on those countries who send songs in english every year.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

exactly, those who turned eurovision into genericvision

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

If you want to support the French music scene, why would you turn to Thomas G:sson and buy a song he couldn’t get into Melfest? But let’s rather rehash this decades old language discussion and blame it on the English chorus.

Polliu
Guest
Polliu

LOL

Robert
Guest
Robert

Well it’s a slow repetitive song, that’s what bothers me a bit.. Well sung and with the right intention, beautiful man.. The French have an unusual superiority when it comes to language, not unlike the British but at least we can all understand it.. Wouldn’t want my country to sing in Dutch although guilty pleasure Shalalie Shalala was a bop..

Isa
Guest
Isa

“Unusual superiority”?! Really? No language whatsoever is superior to any other. This kind of supposed “superiority” is the breeder of hatred, division, death, genocide, etc, etc…

Robert
Guest
Robert

Did I say it was superior? The feel that way, wasn’t an opinion but a fact..

Isa
Guest
Isa

? What do you mean by “unusual superiority”?

Wiwiclown
Guest
Wiwiclown

France truly is a cow being lead to the slaughter this year!

Milan
Guest
Milan

Unlike last year 😀 😀

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

keep hating moron, and hopefully not watching eurovision in may

Ashton Schier
Guest
Ashton Schier

sis it breaks my ears too u ain’t special

DimMa
Guest
DimMa

As for the “Thames through Paris” point of the article, either there were no reviews of the song at all, or the writer has to study Geography again right from the beginning.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

“Thames through Paris” is SPOT ON, an excellent metaphor that effing blows my mind.

DimMa
Guest
DimMa

? just saw it’s been edited, so my comment served its purpose

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

LOL, I take it as it is, Thames through Paris, even though it seems to have been used by accident. Nothing against your comment.