The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we head to France where Barbara Pravi has “Voilà”. Were we enchanted by this chanson? Read on to find out!
Barbara Pravi – “Voilà”
William: Barbara Pravi’s “Voilà” is a call for acceptance. “Talk about me to your loved ones, to your friends,” she sings. “Tell them about this girl with black eyes and her crazy dream.” That dream — simply to be seen — comes across beautifully in the national final performance. Barbara initially sings from the shadows, and at one point from a vast expanse of barren tundra. Alone in the cold, she warms the space with pitch-perfect vocals that remain light despite the weight of emotion they carry. As Barbara embraces her talents and her newfound sense of freedom, the pace quickens and the camera shakes — a stirring combination that brings us into Barbara’s inner world and the rush that comes with liberation. This is a grand performance that maintains the intimacy of a conversation. Juries and televoters will be wise to listen.
Jordi: Since its very first beat, “Voilà” succeeds in gripping one’s attention. Everything – from Barbara’s look to her performance – is exquisitely crafted, with a truly French character. The world is continuously spinning, yet it seems to stop when Barbara grabs the microphone and “Voilà” starts playing. Her song is a traditional chanson but raw and uninhibited, making this song truly special. There’s a deep emotional connection between Barbara and the lyrics, that run beyond the screen. She stole the French hearts once, and I can’t wait to see how many more wonders Barbara will bring in Rotterdam.
Tobias: Just as Malta’s Destiny would say, “Excuse my French“, this just doesn’t do that much for me. I applaud “Voilà” for its rawness and originality and the beautiful French language, but I don’t get that excited listening to it. Having just based my scores on the music video, who knows, maybe I will change my mind when I watch the live performance in the final? In order to catch my interest, I really hope the staging will be something unique and touching.
Lucy: “Voilà” is a fantastic entry for Eurovision, with a stunning live performance. The sheer Frenchness of the whole song is endearing, and something people watching the final will remember when it comes to voting. However, this simply isn’t my cup of tea. I find the chorus repetitive after the first one, and I don’t find this particularly unique like other fans do. I do think Barbara’s simple presentation will blow us all away in Rotterdam, so let’s see how close to the top she gets!
Oliver: Right from the opening line, Barbara Pravi commands attention. Even without understanding the French language, the sentiment of “Voilà” is loud and clear. With every performance, Barbara leaves a piece of her soul on stage, showcasing raw vulnerability and creating a touching moment of intimacy between herself and her audience. And the instrumentation, though simple, is enchanting. As the chanteuse sings the “voilà” refrain, the eerie piano echoes her vocal melody — creating a unique reference point and immersing the listener in an instant feeling of nostalgia. This is pure French excellence, and will surely see France back in the top ten.
Barbara Pravi – “Voilà” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five 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 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.73/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
EXPERT ANALYSIS from you Mr Bean (I’m going to be paying close attention to your comments in the future)
Every year ESC seems more and more like a race to the bottom, everything has been reduced to the lowest common denominator in an effort to appeal to as many people as possible so we end up with over produced, unmelodic noise, we also have many songs like Israel, Malta and Czechia that sound far too American. This year however France has given us something truly beautiful and is the only song that deserves to win.
I really love this song. Very beautiful and intense, I also adore the french language so points for that. Any other year this song would have won hands down, but this year I’m 50/50. Given the last year and a half, will people be looking for something more upbeat and dare I say happier, or is this the catharsis we all need. The answer to that question on the 22nd we determine if this song wins by a landslide, or if it falls short at about 5th or 6th.
Merci beaucoup pour cette chanson, mes amis…. Bien sur 10/10
This is my personal favourite entry of the year. The growth of variations on the melody, the gentle 6/8 (or 12/8) tempo that rushes towards the end, the art cinema of the music video, the passion of Barbara herself… everything about this says “winner” to me. I can only hope that others agree.
Tobias calling Tusse’s song “a mediocre mainstream pop song” but giving him a score of 9 because of his presence and his stage performance and at the same he gives 3.5 to Barbara and only watched her music video….That’s only wiwijury and not a worldwide problem but an advise, when you do something try to do it right and in a fair way. Plus, 3 to Måneskin ? Seriously ?
…Why exactly did you do this?
Personally, I find the song quite dull to listen to overall, but for what its worth the song feels and sounds positively French, and I like the chorus, it wakes me up and it feels like it has lots more energy to it than the verses. However I can’t be loosing interest whenever she enters back into the verses, because, and I hate to sound harsh, but they bore me. I wish the whole song held my attention but it doesn’t and after around a minute or so, I’m already doing something else or wanting to switch to a song… Read more »
If France doesn’t win Eurovision with this masterpiece, it most likely never will in the foreseeable future
My favourite this year and I would love to see it win, but I’m not convinced it will win over enough of Europe to do well with the public vote.
She’ll have her hands full, with the bookies’ #1 (Destiny) trying to become the first Junior ESC winner to win in the big league, and a French-language battle with Gjon. If they finish in the top 3 (although I think Iceland might have a word to say about that), it could be among the closest finishes in a long time.
I’m into my 3rd and final evaluation now, up to the Big 5 + NED for the audio portion (before I grade the videos); and I must admit, this was very hard to grade at first. But the more I read and listen to the lyrics, and watch the video, the more I understand it, and the more I’m convinced she deserves to be a contender. She was #23 in my first evaluation and #7 in my second. She’s likely to stay in my top 10 when I’m done next week.
I wasn’t into “Voila” at first, got to be honest. I found it boring and overly dramatic but the live performance was a big game changer for me. Something click in that moment and aFter that I really got to appreaciate its quality. The lyrics, the melody and Barbara’s stage presence is exceptional. It kind of reminds me of Patricia Kaas participation back in 2009. “Voila” has distinguishable French vibe which I think will elevate its chance of success. 8/10 France climbs up to my top 3. 2. Ireland (8.25) 3. FRANCE (8) 4. Lithuania (7.75) 6. Spain (7.5) 7.… Read more »
I don’t know if it was amorphous, I would say more a deliberate driving, steady rythym to accelerate the story and passion – like the lyrics, no repetition – enabling Patricia to transfix the audience from start to finish.
I feel the same about the lyrics (I posted about it in my comment here below). I believe it’s probably because we are fluent in French, and therefore can understand that she literally sings about nothing… So I also feel like it’s hard to feel anything or connect to her story. Maybe that’s why the rest of the fan community doesn’t mind: the vast majority doesn’t speak French so the lyrics don’t matter, all that’s left is the music and this song exudes pure “frenchness”. A lot of people compare it to Amar Pelos Dois but to me these 2… Read more »
Interesting to read your opinions! I speak French, too, and I can’t really connect with this song. I wouldn’t say it’s about nothing, I get what she is trying to say but it still doesn’t really speak to me… I generally like emotional songs etc. but I don’t know… I can’t pinpoint what I don’t like here. And I agree with Tibor – French music is so much more than just chanson. It seems to me that some people can just obsess about a song because it’s “so French” and don’t really pay attention to lyrics and the story…
Amazing rating from Wiwi Jury !! I hope the actual result will be high as here 🙂 I really want Voila to win
A very well crafted song and performer. Wishing them well in Rotterdam! Bon courage!
”I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finishing eighth or tenth or twelfth.” That’s what I’ve been saying for awhile now. I know it might come off as unambitious, but I try to be rational, and aware of *how many* songs there are, and *how many* different tastes of voters there are. There are *degrees* of success. For a country from Big Five, being within top 15 is still a moderate success. For others, even a 26th spot in the finals isn’t bad, if it meant that they managed to pull through the semi. And if we are talking about… Read more »
To be fair, that was the best staging they had in *years*. Unfortunately, it was not paired with one of their best songs in years. Still, it was decent package. Not winner-worthy, but okay.
I still believe that the staging can do wonders for songs within the similar range of quality. It is less relevant when the song itself doesn’t do the trick. And that was the case with France in 2019. 🙂
It still got a relatively decent result which probably wouldn’t be the case if he opted to dance on an empty stage with an Eiffel Tower projected in the background. 😉
Agreed. The main ingredients are the song, the singer, and singer’s ability to connect with the song. If that clicks, the rest is an accessory. Still, accessories like the staging, running order, and camera tricks can still shift the song a few places up or down, which can be important when we are talking about being 9th or 11th in the semi, or winning vs finishing third. Still, no song has won *because* the staging was good and that’s it. There’s always more.
Yes, and good staging doesn’t necessarily mean expensive and elaborate choreography. 2015’s Heroes is sometimes thought of as the best staging ever, but actually some simple eye contact and pointing to the camera from Il Volo proved more powerful to the televoters.
I hope the press room won’t overreact like they did in 2019 during the rehearsals. I remember they were super enthusiastic about Azerbaijan and France and, even if it’s true that these delegations put some good effort on their performances, in the end this made a lot of us frustrated when we noticed that the hype was way higher than the quality presented and the songs weren’t exactly elevated by it. At the same time, when Italy and the Netherlands decided to go for things that weren’t showy but served well the purpose and style of their entries, there was… Read more »
Does Tobias like anything? Or does it just make him feel important to have his score thrown out everytime for being the lowest?
He gave his own country (Sweden) a high score! Giving this a 3.5 my god. This is a 8 at least!
This is quiet unacceptable to see such a strong nationalistic and biased scoring from Tobias…
France was a favorite to win Eurovision in 2011 with a song that also had a strong French identity and yet it flopped in the final so based on that I’m not as confident about France’s chances of winning this year as the bookies and the fans are.
“Sognu” didn’t had a strong french identity at all lol, it was just an opera-ish song in corsican, nothing more, and Amaury totally messed up his live. And so France will flop, can happen of course, because, by your logic, Amaury flopped 10 years ago…ok…
Fire Tobias,he’s deaf
It’s not cool to trivialize disabilities.
I agree but you did once call a song bi-polar, which is doing exactly that.
You’re right, I’m sorry. Fire Tobias, he’s not fit for a jury member. Voila is not my favourite song this year,however anyone with common sense should not downgrade this song to a 3.5, it’s just laughable and it stinks of a need for attention. I know that Wiwi jury is not made up of professional music critics, but still…
Also, he claims that he hasn’t watched the live performance and that he’s basing his score on the video alone, which further proves my point that he didn’t do his homework as a jury member.
Arguably, 2021’s most sophisticated combo. Beautifully arranged, the melody keeps progressing along with the intensity of the lyrics. Barbara’s delivery is magnetic, she performs with her whole body and manages to look and sound powerful and vulnerable at the same time. Plus the staging is perfect. The only downside is the genre: chanson is not for everyone and this is a contemporary, but not innovative take on it. Though if there’s a chanson that still can succeed in Eurovision… Voilà! 9.5/10
i hope televoters appreciate this because this is has a chance of a top 3 finish. juries will 100% love it, and hopefully this wont get lost and in turn stand out for its musicality
This is a good song, should be an easy top 10. Sounds very French and it’s always positive when a country brings their own identity and language at Eurovision. My only issue with this is the lyrics (and I speak French): this song is about nothing. She’s just introducing herself in an overly dramatic way and then spends 3 minutes being self-deprecating for no reason. It makes it hard to connect with whatever theme she wanted to convey.
Not a big deal, still a good song and I wish her the best at Eurovision!
i saw a 3.5 and without seeing his name, i knew it was that Tobias guy lol. Anyway, France and Barbara don’t need any Tobias as we’re the majority who appreciate this masterpiece and its quality. authentic music and lyrics that have nothing to do with the recycled music produced in Sweden 🙂 (no tea, no shade). This is France’s best chance in a million years. They have a talented artist who can sing live, a song with appeal but a song that also keeps its national identity (screams France) and a promising staging that will convey the song’s message… Read more »
France’s song should remind people what the ESC should be all about – a singer and his/her song – no shows, gimmicks and weirdness. It was how the original ESC was envisaged – an event of some class and not the kitsch it has generated to. Instead of having just songs and we vote for them we now seek the thrills of the show which sometimes tries to sell a song no matter how cheap and trashy it is. Wish we could return to those times when singing and songs mattered. So bon chance France for trying to elevate this… Read more »
well thanks to the sh gimmicks and weirdness is ESC popular that is why people watch ESC because ESC is entertaining to watch and songs like France are toilet break songs.
The ESC has been popular since its beginning. There was no need for weirdness or trash in the past. People watched it to appreciate what was mostly good quality songs and singers. So much so that countries used to send their most popular and famous singers to represent them. Songs from the ESC used to sell and were in the charts of all European countries. Now countries such as the UK send relative unknowns as no artists worth his salt would consider participating. Good songs do not need promotions and shows to validate themselves, only poor ones do, to hide… Read more »
Has Tobias given anything above a 6 other than to Sweden?
Cyprus, that’s still a Swedish product
Even if I like this song, and it has promising aura like that of Salvador’s, I still can’t see this winning. In last 12 years, France came 12th at most, except Amir who came 6th, no need to tell lots of last places. I am quite afraid that this song will be forgotten and not be appreciated as it deserves. Nonetheless, a possible top ten finishing will happen at most.
Since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved French chansons. Piaf, Brel, Gainsbourg, Barbara, Aznavour, Dassin – these were the names that’ve shaped my taste in music (and love for everything French). There’s this wonderful juxtaposition of theatricality and susceptibility in those songs – a contradicting combination of being a performer, an actor, and exposing your inner drama in front of the audience. The best (or rather the least worst) analogy I could come up with is this: imagine you’re supposed to play Juliet in a school play, and just before it starts your boyfriend breaks up with you.… Read more »
well Europe do not like chanson so France will flop wow what a suprise
Wiwi Juries’ current TOP 33 France (8.73) San Marino (8.2) Lithuania (7.89) Italy (7.7) (=) Ireland (7.7) Cyprus (7.45) Finland (7.34) Ukraine (7.32) Russia (7.18) Sweden (7.14) Moldova (6.93) Australia (6.84) Greece (6.82) (=) United Kingdom (6.82) Croatia (6.75) Azerbaijan (6.57) Israel (6.45) Latvia (6.34) Belgium (6.16) (=) Czech Republic (6.16) Serbia (6.09) Albania (5.89) (=) Norway (5.89) Spain (5.34) Germany (5.14) Estonia (5.07) Austria (4.89) Denmark (4.84) (=) Slovenia (4.84) Poland (4.5) Portugal (4.32) North Macedonia (4.05) Georgia (3.82) My personal TOP 33 San Marino (My 1st) Italy (My 2nd) Greece (My 4th) Lithuania (My 5th) France (My 6th)… Read more »
Thanks for the effort 🙂
I really appreciate this ! Thanks @Sot
Thank you both!
I’m wondering if we get a French win, how much french would the hosts speak next year and would we get an impostor syndrome with french language entries by other countries and in national finals.
I think we’ll find out since Barbara is the most likely winner in my opinion!
French language entries from non-French speaking countries probably wouldn’t do so well.
Though we may get more countries entering dings in the own language, which is something I’d definitely welcome. Though Serbia 2007 and Portugal 2017 didn’t bring much change when it came to non-English songs.
I personally don’t see non-French speaking countries sending a song in French as any less authentic than all of these non-English speaking countries sending English songs year after year. The only prerequisites would be that the artist can speak (or at least mimic) French well, and that the songwriting team either speaks French or puts some effort into going through French dictionaries and grammar. I wouldn’t want a case of ”Oulala mon ami” song, delivered with a heavy accent. If it’s as authentic sounding as Zoe was in 2016, I am okay with that.
Thank you for this comment
Yeah, I can see the temptation for at least a couple of songs like Le Diable and Fou Fou
These comments that a song “isn’t my cup of tea” are getting exasperating. 1) It’s a cliché. I know that you can explain your rationale better. 2) It basically says that you’ve written off an entire genre of music.
I know we all have our favorite musical styles, but I’m afraid I don’t have much faith in a juror who won’t give each song a shot on its own terms. It’s like a judge in a dog show saying that they really just don’t like any of the dogs in the herding group.
I agree! To me “Not my cup of tea” implies the person would give that genre or type of song the same (bad) score regardless of the actual quality, talent and production involved. There are so many elements of a song one can explore in a review other than the overall feeling they get.
I don’t like the genre implies “songs of that genre by default will not be liked by me “. So they need to tweak the genre and sound somehow to make it appeal to people who don’t like the genre.
Case in point: Rock , don’t like it
Hungary 2018 : no like
Italy 2021: meh
Finland 2021 : rock song ? Yes
Pop song ? Yes . Me no dislike it
I assure you if you keep an open mind you could find some songs you like from any genre. Maybe not as many as from your favorite genres, but some. If Finland’s song was a little heavier, you’d probably still like it, it’s just a good song.
I can tell that the public will be moved by this performance on the big night. It will be a real moment for live TV! France should be very proud to send a credible and authentic song to represent them. Bravo!
PS. Does Tobias like anything that’s not Sweden or Swedish produced?
Asking for a friend.
Anything from Melfest probably. Even the rejects.
A deserved score. A gorgeous song, my number 3, I’d be glad to see it win. From beginning to end, it showcases the beautiful French language and Pravi’s talent, and builds up to a stirring finale. It’s the quintessential French song, and this shouldn’t be a bad thing. Usually countries are praised for authentic entries showcasing their culture.
Tobias, man. Wow.
It’s not a bad song at all. Barbara is a stunning performer and I do think France will do well. However I can’t see it winning. It’s hardly unique really. France has entered chanson many times. They’ve also been the favorites many times too but the final result would be very different. It’s a nice song, if it wins, I’ll be happy for France, but I just don’t see why it’s co side red a contender personally. A nice 3 minutes. Staging will elevate it I hope. Hopefully France go with a less is more approach to the staging too.… Read more »
I think – and I’m almost never correct but nonetheless – this could be a winner
France might be my second-favorite behind Lithuania, but I think they deserve to win the most. I’m really rooting for a French victory this year!
It took Lithuania five years to even get one point, so it would be nice to see them win too.
I would love to see Lithuania win their first Eurovision too, and I think The Roop themselves would be great winners, but I don’t see that happening if they turn up to Rotterdam and perform Discoteque the same way they did in the NF.
I think the audience might help, and they’ll probably make some small changes… like making sure their zips stay up.
Still shouldn’t be a reason to win. The best song should win regardless if the country won already or not.
I don’t disagree.
I still can’t get over the fact that French-language songs are dominating Eurovision this year including Malta (although I know the song only has a single French phrase in it but still)! I’ve stumbled a news report on Aljazeera about how the lockdown has given everyone an appreciation towards French shows like Lupin, Dix pour cent, among others. Maybe the same phenomenon extends to Eurovision realm?
In any case, this is a great song made greater by the impeccable lyrics!
wow WOW! So happy for this review ? hoping for a good result for my country, 5 wiwibloggers giving this a 10, I was not expecting this 😮
i agree with lucy’s comment – it just ain’t my cup of tea at all but i can see the appeal
And Lucy even though she didn’t like that, at least she gave a fair result
The one person who disliked your comment (I saw it being on -1) was probably Tobias himself so good job on summoning him lol
Impressive score! Barbara can definitely win this year. As a studio track I didn’t pay too much attention, but her live performance is stunning.
I would be interested to know how often Tobias delivered the deletion result
By the fact that this got William’s clear 10 we can understand that this is QUALITY
For me its not only a beautiful song its Barbaras performance of it that makes it all the more special. She just draws you in with her emotion and passion and i cant take my eyes off off watching her through out the song. Its absolutely my favourite of the year. A perfect 10 from me.
I liked the bit where they said “We have removed a low of 3.5”.
I did the math and found out that if Tobias’s score (and an additional 10) had been added it would have removed around 0.7 points off of the average I just find that rather shocking
I understand you, Tobias.
Duhhh, you are from Sweden too..what a coincidence…
yes we Swedes love fastfood music not boring songs like France which make me fall asleep
And you’re proud for saying that?
Yes I am proud of saying that
Then feel free to take part of American Song Contest next year
Wel most of American pop music is written and produced by Swedish people and the American song contest is also made by a Swedish team so maybe we are going to participate in American song contest that is better than hearing boring songs from France or bad entries from Germany and UK.
A proud Swede that thinks Italy should win. But yes, I cheer for my own country as well. Nothing wrong with that.
I will always prefer Et s’il fallait le faire of Patricia Kaas over Voilà, always… And yet there’s something about this song. Those lyrics are so beautiful, it’s almost if you read a poem and the way Barbara delivers the song give me goosebumps. Do I want to win it, no, but I wouldn’t mind. Oh and by the way Tobias.. Grow up, will you.
Patricia Kaas was great, thank god she competed the year juries were introduced, or she would’ve scored even lower I’m guessing.
I would love her to do a “Kabaret” for the interval.
I think the difference between Et s’il Fallait Le Faire and Voilà is the fact that Patricia had a French-blues song, I can’t really describe it, I hate that kind of music but HER song was beautiful in every way possible