Song Title: “J’ai Cherche”
Last year’s entry: “N’oubliez Pas” – Lisa Angell (25th Place)
The last time anyone thought France stood a chance of winning the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2011. I’m not sure why people overestimated “Sognu” to the degree that they did, particularly since it ended up as the midpoint in France’s current downward slide down the leaderboard.
I expect that slide to end with this year’s entry, “J’ai Cherche” by Amir.
I’m not sure how I feel about the editing down of “J’ai Cherche.” I understand the song needed to get down to three minutes, but some of the air in the song has been taken away as a result. In Amir’s favor, the absence of air raises the degree of difficulty1 which could garner jury support.
What is most interesting about this entry: it is proving to be a real challenger to Russia. OGAE, the international fan community, currently has France at the top of its leaderboard, followed by Russia, Australia, Bulgaria, and Italy. OGAE isn’t a metric that we use in our predictions, but the fact that France is in the conversation is a pleasant surprise. The bookies have also taken notice of this, with France currently the second favorite to win.
The main challenge for Amir will be running order position, which we won’t know until after the semi-finals. Ideally, France would end up in the second half of the final, but “J’ai Cherche” could do well if it lands in the middle of the lineup. I fear France may be tempted to compete with what may be a bombastic performance from Russia, which would not serve Amir or “J’ai Cherche” well at all. Amir can’t stand behind microphone for three minutes, but bouncing all over the stage won’t work either. Perhaps if the performance borrows elements for Australia’s performance from last year or Denmark’s entry in 2014, we’ll be saying “Bonjour, Europe” in 2017.