Since his Eurovision journey started two years ago, Bilal Hassani has made it clear he’s a long-time Eurovision fan. And on Monday he used not only the eyes of a fan but also the experience of being a former representative to assess France’s fortunes at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Speaking on the radio show Ça fait du bien, the LGBTQ icon gave his diagnosis for France’s many lows since it last won with Marie Myriam in 1977. Without questioning the talent of the artists or their chosen songs, he suggested the country’s failures come down to its attitude to Eurovision. He thinks there is a lack of positivity and optimism at large.

“We’ll win when we stop thinking we’re losers,” he said. “Because that mentality sends the wrong signal to the universe, and it makes us repeat that story.”

Bilal Hassani readily admits that he approached Tel Aviv with the enthusiasm of someone happy just to be taking part, rather than as someone with the naked ambition to win.

“I went to Eurovision in the spirit of participation. I said to myself, ‘I’m doing Eurovision, it’s crazy’, and that’s all I remembered.”

Building on his own love of the contest, he wishes France would cherish the fact that it’s an automatic qualifier — and that it has the guaranteed opportunity to take part in the grand final.

France at Eurovision 2021

As far we already know, Tom Leeb will not represent France in 2021. In June, France’s Head of Delegation Alexandra Redde-Amiel confirmed that France will use a new national selection format named Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez. This show replaces the most recent selection format Destination Eurovision.

Redde-Amiel also confirmed that the show will be produced in-house and hosted in a French regional city by French Eurovision commentator Stephan Bern. The national final will involve a public vote, but producers have not yet confirmed whether the show will also have a jury vote.

France Télévisions is currently looking for contestants. Applications remain open until September 30.

What do you think about Bilal’s analysis? Is he right? Should French contestants change their attitude for Eurovision 2021? Tell us your thoughts below.

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Marcelo
Marcelo
1 month ago

Awww! I couldn’t stand “Roi” like at all but Bilal is such a warming and beautiful person, so happy to have seen him as part of the Eurovision family!

Bilal is love, Bilal is life…

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago

To Bilal: Thank you so much for performing at the ESC. You have been an icon and continue to be so. Positivity of course always helps any performer. However, that positivity has to come from the rest of Europe in order for France to win. France sadly cannot vote for itself (legally), so it is rather that other Europeans have to be positive about the French entry before one of its artists can win the ESC. I hope that makes sense.

maladroite
maladroite
1 month ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I feel like if France believes it can do well, and the performer has that optimism, that can generally be contagious. Even if they can’t vote for themselves, that positive attitude for that song can make other european countries want to vote for it. If a singer was singing a song that they thought was a bad, losing song, who would want to vote for that?

gina
gina
1 month ago

maybe france had a chance to win last year, had your fans not hijacked the voting and robbed seemone lol

Anthony
Anthony
1 month ago

When you look at how the Big 5 has been doing in the past 5 years, France has been in the middle of the scoreboard for the last 3 editions (I thought Mercy and Roi would be top 10, Tom Leeb would’ve been in the bottom 5 if I had my way).

Also here is a table of Big 5 averageness:
1st place: Italy
2nd place: France
3rd place: Germany
4th place: Spain
5th place: United Kingdom

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Anthony

Italy’s got a well-deserved first place then.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

I partially agree with him. The interest for Eurovision has been increasing over the years with a peak in 2016 when the ESC song became a hit before ESC, never happened before. Amir is now a big name in France. The team has been doing it right since 2016 (2015 had a very good staging as well but it’s a different story), but their song and performance in 2016 wasn’t as strong as Ukraine/Russia/Australia/Bulgaria. They did pretty well though. 2017 was a different story. Did extremely well in televoting but somehow bad with juries. I think Alma was not a… Read more »

maladroite
maladroite
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Yeah people often forget about Natasha St-Pier, she got a top five finish and is still somewhat popular. I love your analysis of their most recent entries. I agree, I too have good vibes for their next national selection!

GuitarHeart
GuitarHeart
1 month ago

I agree with him on this: “Bilal Hassani readily admits that he approached Tel Aviv with the enthusiasm of someone happy just to be taking part, rather than as someone with the naked ambition to win” The right, healthy attitude. There is no bigger international stage for a singer / band to display their music. With millions of viewers, so many possibilities. Of course it’s nice doing well. But even nicer I suppose as a musician to have ben able to show what he/she really stands for musically. The most important thing shouldn’t be winning, but present a song you… Read more »

Africavision
Africavision
1 month ago

I don’t think I fully agree with Bilal’s analysis. When you look at Amir and the French delegation’s reaction, in 2016, when they received their televote score, you could tell they were extremely shocked and disappointed, and clearly had anticipated winning. It wasn’t the reaction of a team who was just there to show face and make up numbers. Whilst France has not contended for the win in recent years, one has to acknowledge the vast improvement, results-wise, in their last four attempts, compared with the previous four. They have been able to move in the right direction. Furthermore, France… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Africavision

France clearly had had very high expectations in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, there was no way they were going to win over Ukraine, Russia and Australia. It should have done better than Sweden tho. In 2017 also they were over-optimistic. So many things must align for a Eurovision win. Being optimistic and positive is not enough. That applies to all countries, not only France.

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Agree, but Frans coming 5th was expected and deserved imo, it charted all over Europe, they still play it from time to time in Slovenia

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Good for him then.

maladroite
maladroite
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Agreed, J’ai Cherche was definitely better than Frans

Toinousse
Toinousse
1 month ago
Reply to  Africavision

I think he is mostly talking about the french public and media, not the France 2 team and fans who are very positive and motivated. Because every year when the song is released all the french public is immediately very negative, event when the songs were good with Alma and Amir.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Toinousse

Oh no, France 2016 was VERY good.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago

*looks at BBC and the UK*

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 month ago

It’s a huge contest. It’s difficult to win even if you do everything right! The important thing is that when you have a song with the potential to win, that you present it in the best way possible. 2016 was France’s chance. Might be a while before they get another one.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

This claim resurfaces every once in a while, but it’s hard to substantiate, isn’t it? Both, the winners of 2018 and 2019 have been massively criticised for their staging and won nonetheless. So contrary to what the fandom at large believes, experience tells us that staging is not nearly as meaningful when it comes to success than the song and its rendition. So my takeaway from this is: you can even not do everything right and still win, if the song has enough mass appeal.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

when was arcade ever criticised for its staging? nearly everything I’ve seen about it said it was beautiful

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

“Arcade”‘s staging was criticised all the time – just look at the reception the rehearsals got on this site. The lamp was criticised, the form and the size of the piano were critcised, the camerawork was criticised (that might still hold up, but it was obviously true for every single performance, so nobody got an advantage or disadvantage out of it), him not looking at the camera often enough was criticised and so on and so forth. And that was only wiwibloggs and its comments’ section. I don’t say that I ever believed any of this to be true, I… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

oh I see. I just never saw any of it, but I wasn’t saying it didn’t happen. I just dont see how people could dislike the staging, the colour palette was beautiful, it was personal, touching, and simple, idk I just rly liked the whole package of Netherlands 2019 🙂

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

And the worst thing is, that people suffer a complete amnesia as soon as the contest is over. Either they claim that there has been some big, decisive change between the rehearsals and the show (which I always fail to see) or they just ignore their prediction that this particular song was allegedly doomed because of its staging. And the next year everything starts from scratch …
“Arcade” was a very good song that was very well performed, and the staging was pared back, as it was supposed to be. The prophecies of doom were all nonsensical.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

Tibor wrote: “… people suffer a complete amnesia as soon as the contest is over.”

Indeed, that is a symptom of ESC fever. It is also associated with high alcohol consumption. I wonder if the two are related? 😀

Vangelis
Vangelis
1 month ago

They will win when they start recruiting from their pool of hugely talented artists and stop sending talentless wannabes like Bilal or buying terrible swedish rejects like they did this year.

Last edited 1 month ago by Vangelis
James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Vangelis

“Roi” was written by Madam Monsieur.

vangelis vt
vangelis vt
1 month ago
Reply to  James

They wrote two bad songs then. Mercy was an insincere tearjerker performed by someone who looked like an evil executive. Roi was simply eurotrash nothingness.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  vangelis vt

How would you like them to look like then?

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Vangelis

The Swedish reject song was a shameful situation for France. It was something like showing the finger to their national talent.

Toinousse
Toinousse
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

I still don’t understand how it is a big deal for France and not other countries. Also it happened only once.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Toinousse

The French are extremely proud of their language and culture. That’s why. And to me, it reeks of desperation that they selected an average song written by two Swedes with a name and reputation in the Eurovision world – which doesn’t equal “excelent song”, and some token lyrics in French to give the entry some credibility. Didn’t the delegation or whoever selected the song receive hundreds of songs to choose from? I’d be interested to listen to at least 20 of those. Sorry, apparently my expectations are way to high.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Thank you “you who approved my comment”!

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Toinousse

I replied to you but my comment was not accepted by the moderator. Not my fault that people don’t know how to take criticism. I didn’t say anything that wasn’t said before.

@EurovisionBram
@EurovisionBram
1 month ago

i just love Bilal! he is so likable and speaks FACTSSSSS

maladroite
maladroite
1 month ago

I don’t get why people are disliking this

Darren
Darren
1 month ago

France will win again when they return to modern, catchy well performed numbers. They where on such a roll with Amir in 2016, Alma in 2017 and Madame Monseuir in 2018. 3 quality French eateries that where classy, well produced, current and typically French.
Funny enough, Bilal was not one of those good performers and the whole performance and styling was incredibly cliche.
Their 2020 entry was forgettable too. Go back to 2016-2018 and France could win again.

Miguel
Miguel
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

They really need to work on the performance and stop using those Eiffel Tower cliché backgrounds, svp.

Darren
Darren
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

Entries*** not eateries, although French eateries can be classy too lol

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

And tasty!

Preuss
Preuss
1 month ago

You know, France’s results over the past years have been pretty good considering where they were. I still listen to “J’ai chercè” and “Mercy”, I adore those songs but France’s stagings leaves a lot to be desired. I think “Mercy” suffered from the no LED year because a lot of people don’t understand french, but they could’ve done more with it anyway. Amir came 6th despite the quite underwhelming performance, visuals and vocals although he’s likable and charming. He still came 3rd with the juries, so I think it could’ve been so much more France that year

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago

Sure. It has nothing to do with the artist or the song, but with the wrong message to the universe. Problem solved.
Of course, many countries – not only France – should rethink their attitude towards the contest – but musically, not esoterically.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

Ok Tibor the lesson giver, obviously with absolute knowledge and taste, but about your country, is it so irreproachable about Eurovision, I don’t think so, then….

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

I don’t think it’s absolute, but basic knowledge that success in a music competition has more to do with the song and the singer than with some message to the universe, but you can of course wear whatever tin foil hat you want.
And since when am I not criticising my country’s approach to Eurovision?

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

He is saying the state of mind in France has to change so what is the problem , you’re agree with him, no need to denigrate the quality of the songs and singers sent cause the results in esc and the success are two different things, the results of the esc doesn’t reflect the success and the quality of songs and singers.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

I’m not sure what your point is and I most certainly do not agree with him. Besides, I’m not “denigrating” anyone. If you want to have a conversation, you should react to what I’m writing and not just make stuff up according to your preconceptions.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

You said it’s because of the quality of their songs and singers France didn’t get good results, not for something else as Bilal said, insinuating the quality was poor, and I just said you’re wrong cause Alma Madame Monsieur or Bilal for example were successful and had quality songs, successful in and out the fandom before and after the contest and didn’t get good results in eurovision, then the artists and the songs are not the main problem it seems as you think. Insinuating the quality of the french acts was poor, yeah it’s denigrating moreover when it’s wrong.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

The only one who talks about quality all the time, is you, I never wrote anything like that. I was reacting to Bilal’s claim that the French sent “the wrong signal to the universe” (I’m quoting from the article here) and that’s allegedly why they lost. I think that is a delusional idea. You lose, because people don’t like your song or your performance enough to pick up the phone and vote for it and/or because the juries don’t think it’s among the ten best songs of the competition. They may still think it’s an okay song (I think “Mercy”… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Tibor
Joey
Joey
1 month ago

I think it’s mostly the fault of them having in the Big 5. People are going to see them for the first time and if the song isn’t as outstanding as the ones from qualifying countries, they will end up being in the bottom. They should learn from Italy or step out of the Big 5, because I’m still not a fan of this idea. They literally pay their way into the Grand Final, something that other countries (especially Montenegro) could never do because of money. Also there are definitely 5 better songs than the ones from the Big 5… Read more »

Marc
Marc
1 month ago
Reply to  Joey

I’m not a big fan of Big 5 idea and I agree but to be fair with France.. they would have qualified comfortably these past 4 years. They didn’t rob any country spot.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Joey

And again and again this big 5 thing…..without the big 5 and their money, no eurovision, it’s not so hard to understand and no thank you they don’t need to learn something from Italy, Italy is not the absolute example.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

The fact that the Big 5 pay a lot more, it allows other countries and especially small countries without many money to participate anyway because it reduces the amount of their entry fees, in some ways they pay for the other, so no they don’t robbed their participations in final. Nothing unfair here because all countries benefit of the money given by the big 5

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

I have nothing against big 5, but isn’t it obvious that they pay the most money since they actually have the most money, I mean do u expect Estonia and Slovenia to pay for it?

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Of course they can’t but they can anyway take part of it thanks to the big 5.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Joey

.

Last edited 1 month ago by Esc addict
Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Joey

Italy have been doing very, very well (with the odd exception) every single year since their comeback but that is down to the quality ensured by Sanremo. In the case of other Big5 – different selection methods per country ended in different results in different years. Broadcasters know what they select and can estimate to how well the song could fare – with all the statistics and formulas and feedback from different experts and focus groups or wiwi comments or whatnot (with the odd exceptions). There is a degree of predictability. There are of course things out of control but… Read more »

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago

Since Amir the opinion of french people about Eurovision is changing in a good way, but people loose hope because when France makes efforts and deserve a good result, they don’t get it especially in 2017 and 2018. Losers is not the good word, but resigned, France has tried many many sort of styles in recent years without being really awarded for that……so it’s not a losers feel but a loss of hope simply.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 month ago

The same could also be said for the UK, as well as increasing spending for the contest and not the pittance afforded by the BBC

Bimbamboom
Bimbamboom
1 month ago

Well said! But hopefully this change has begun and maybe step by step we will achieve something!