Destination Eurovision, France’s national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest held its second semi-final, where 9 acts performed on January 19th. Same concept as the first semi-final, where each act sang twice, first singing a cover song then their potential Eurovision song. Performances were judged by a national televote making up 50% of the overall score and by an international jury who comprised the other 50%. Four singers from each semifinal would advance to the national final scheduled on January 26th.
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Gabriella - On Cherche encore (Never Get Enough) // Disqualified (6th Place)
The first contestant of Destination Eurovision's second semi final is a French Canadian national who participated in the Voice France in 2016. Her song is upbeat with a hint of Vanessa Paradis where she talks through her verses. Very colorful stage with stairs à la Melovin. Gabriella had all the ingredients to be a finalist with a pretty catchy song, but failed to take it to the next level and give it power (weak vocals). She pretends to play violin towards the end without convincing. While the "experts" placed her in the top 3, international jury members did not seem convinced and only placed her 7th, while she ranked 4th in the televotes. Definitely missed opportunity for one of my favorite songs when I listened to the studio cut versions.
The Divas - La voix d'Aretha // Qualified (3rd Place)
Aretha Franklin had a tribute twice at Destination Eurovision. The Divas first performed Aretha's Respect before La Voix d'Aretha (Aretha's voice). Great voices and an upbeat melody, The Divas deserved their place in the final, because they brought soul to Destination Eurovision. The international judges placed The Divaz 4th, while the audience placed them 3rd. While not a favorite, the international jury members and audience both agreed that The Divaz deserved to be in the Finalz.
Ugo - Ce qui me blesse // Disqualified (5th Place)
Destination Eurovision 2019 had its Max Cinnamon (remember DE 2018). a kid (born in the 2000's) singing an original song about a heartbreak written in his bedroom...deja vu. Pretty pleasant melody but very weak for any contest of that nature. Unlike last year, Ugo did not convince the audience (ranking 8th) to allow him to compete in the final show. International judges placed him 2nd.
Tracy de Sá - Por Aqui // Disqualified (8th Place)
Destination Eurovision had an urban song with a catchy melody. While the studio cut version as fun and engaging, Tracy de Sá's performance did not deliver on the promise to bring some calor to the show and "invite people to dance". Vocals were below average. Thankfully, the international judges and audience were in total agreement placing Tracy last (with 2 points) and 7th with 13 points.
Emmanuel Moire - La Promesse // Qualified (2nd Place)
Emmanuel Moire was the other famous artist (along with Chimène Badi). After having the leading role in a very successful musical in the early 2000's and having a very successful career, Emmanuel Moire attempts to represent France in Tel Aviv with "The Promise". The promise to be true to himself...being gay! The message is very touching, and I am sure many at Eurovision could identify with it, but the melody and staging were more on the weak side. Given his celebrity status, Emmanuel placed 1st with the audience and 3rd with the international judges.
Noémie - Ma petite famille // Disqualified (9th Place)
Ma petite famille is a pretty "sunny" song about family. the song was light and uneventful. Pretty ethnic and colorful melody. The vocals were not bad, but the song is not at the caliber of the Eurovision Song Contest. The song placed last overall with only 6 points from televotes and 8 points from the international jury.
Seemone - Tous les deux // Qualified (1st Place)
"Tous les deux", a song from a daughter to her father. Great voice and very emotional. European judges were raving about Seemone who received 12 points every international judge -- Mikolas Josef (Eurovision 2018 // Czech Republic), Zoë (Eurovision 2016 // Austria), Christer Björkman (Eurovision 1992 // Sweden) , and ... an Armenian backing vocalist in Eurovision 2016). The act was sponsored by Kleenex and appeared to appeal to televoters as well. I agree that the song is beautiful and moving, and odds seem to put Seemone as strong contender to win Destination Eurovision and represent France in tel Aviv. Unless Seemone is able to appeal to all Europe the same way Salvador Sobral did in 2017, I would prefer a more interesting and fun act to represent France in Tel Aviv (#Roi)
Doutson - Sois un bon fils // Qualified (4th Place)
A song about being a good son...new and interesting concept with average vocals and cheap staging. The song has nothing special going for it and I believe it will have a low score during the final. 5th palace with the international judges and 4th with televotes. Being a good son allowed Doutson to qualify to the finals (1 point more than Ugo).
PhilipElise - Madame la paix // Disqualified (7th Place)
Nice French melody, average vocals, weird dance moves. Not enough to qualify for the finals for PhililpElise who wanted to promote finding peace with yourself. PhilipElise landed a 7th place with 31 points.
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This concludes the second-semi final with 4 finalists : A love declaration from a daughter to her father, a "coming out"/acceptance story, divas paying tribute to Aretha Franklin, and a song about being a good son. Self-acceptance and Family themes dominated the show with 2 acts each. The Final show will air on January 26th with two favorites (Bilal Hasssani's "Roi" and Seemone's "Tous les deux").