Barbara Pravi pours her heart into everything she does — a reality that unfolded once again on Monday during a moving press conference organized by France Télévisions. Speaking to a small group of journalists, including an online panel of which we were a part, Barbara once again showed the charm and insight that have endeared her to so many.
After a short video retrospective of the singer’s victory at the national selection Eurovision France, Alexandra Redde Amiel, the French Head of Delegation, delivered a moving speech describing Barbara as a “mysterious, magical and magnetic” woman, recalling that her last name “Pravi” means “authentic”.
“I am looking forward to spending this week with all of you,” she said of their upcoming trip to Eurovision. “It is an event where all cultures meet.”
The French representative said that Eurovision falls at an opportune moment for her, as, for many months, she has felt the desire to connect with her Serbian and Polish heritage. As she says: “I’ve asked my mother more questions about her origins, about her own mother, even if she doesn’t have many memories of her.”
During the press conference, producers shared exclusive images of a documentary entitled Barbara Pravi (Voilà que je suis), which is dedicated to the French candidate. Director Gianluca Matarrese filmed Barbara’s daily life, revealing both her flaws and the way she is preparing for the contest. The documentary will be broadcast on May 20 on France 4 in the second half of the evening. A replay is scheduled for May 22 after the final of the contest. Short programs aiming to share more about Barbara will be broadcast on May 10 before the evening programs.
For the moment, the French candidate is maintaining a frantic rhythm, having to do about ten online interviews per day. But she relishes these chances, knowing full well that she will soon sing on perhaps the biggest stage in the world while her colleagues in France must wait for life to reopen as France remains in its third lockdown.
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Many questions turned to the relationships that Barbara has established with other competitors, including Gjon’s Tears and Blas Cantó. The singer revealed that she was able to hear Gjon’s Tears’s song “Tout l’univers” before it was publicly revealed while the Swiss representative was staying in Paris. She also spoke about her friendship with Blas Cantó:
“He picked me up at the airport when I arrived in Spain,” she says. “We had breakfast together. He speaks very good French!”
She would give Blas 12 points if she had the opportunity to vote. She’s particularly moved by the Spanish song, which conveys his love for his grandmother who died of the coronavirus. Barbara is also in contact with the Maltese competitor Destiny Chukunyere and says she is impatient to finally meet the other candidates.
Reaffirming the French culture
On many occasions, Barbara spoke of her passion for the French language and chanson. She said she was happy and proud to represent France with a song exclusively in French, thus avoiding the polemics that face French artists whenever they choose to sing in English.
The singer said she was amused that two French songs were neck and neck in the betting odds. With respect, she didn’t count “Je me casse” as a French language song since most of its lyrics are in English. Host Stéphane Berne and co-host Laurence Boccolini, who will also comment for France during the semi-finals and the grand final, were less tender in their description of songs that use just a few French words.
“It is important to have a title in French,” Stephane said. “Sorry to say, but French is the language of Europe. It’s written into its constitution.”
Laurence added: “We sometimes wonder if ‘certain songs’ don’t use words in French to score some points.”
Eurovision France: C’est vous qui décidez
The French HoD also reviewed the national selection, praising the very satisfactory ratings of the program which reached 3 million viewers. The two hosts of the program, Stephane Bern and Laurence Boccolini, said they hope to repeat the experience next year.
France on Stage
Little information was revealed about the planned staging for Rotterdam. The singer did, however, reveal one detail about her costume: she will wear a bustier. It’s not just a question of aesthetics. Above all, she wants to enjoy the freedom of movement.
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In principle, Barbara Pravi should not be the only Frenchwoman to perform in Rotterdam in a few weeks. Indeed, as is usual following her victory at Junior Eurovision, Valentina should perform in Rotterdam, interpreting her title “J’imagine” written by Barbara herself. But because of the ongoing pandemic, nothing has been decided. Valentina’s participation will probably take another form. Separately, applications for Junior Eurovision 2022 are officially open.
In order to close the loop, Carla, the interpreter of “Bim, Bam, Toi”, also written by Barbara Pravi, will be the spokesperson for France during the Grand Final. She will be the one to award the 12 points of the French juries.
If Barbara wins, she would like Paris to be the host city of Eurovision 2022.
The press conference closed with an acoustic session where Barbara interpreted “Voilà” but also “Prière au Soleil” — one of the prayers composed on the occasion of the international day of the women’s rights
The singer also revealed her very first tour date — February 1, 2022 at the Trianon in Paris. Tickets went on sale this morning.
What do you expect from Barbara’s performance in Rotterdam? Let us know in the comments section below!