France - Rodrigo Hidalgo

France will be represented this year by Alma, who will try to end he dry spell that the French seem to have gone under. The song, composed by Nazim Khaled, is called Requiem. Alma is not only a singer, but she also has a degree in economics. She has lived all over the place, including France (or course!), Italy, Brazil and the US. Nazim and Alma have worked extensively together, as he composed the majority of the songs in her debut album "La Chute est Lente" (which translates as "The Fall is Long"). Nazim, of course, is not a stranger to the Eurovision scene, as he co-wrote and produced last year's entry, J'ai Cherché.

The song has a north African feel to it, although it's been somewhat watered down by the revamp,. It is still an intriguing song that captures you from the first listen – which, at Eurovision, is key, as most listeners and potential voters won't have been exposed to it prior to the night. Alma's live performance is not the strongest, so she'll have to work really hard if she wants to make an impression. Requiem continues the new approach from France since the change of head of delegation, trying to make their entries more relevant without giving up completely the French feel (but now with a bit of English lyrics, presumably to try and pick up points).

Overall, I feel it's one of the strongest entries of the year – at least in the studio version – that could end up placing very well if Alma and her team manage to come up with a memorable staging and if she is able to pull off the performance of her life.