France: Amandine’s “L’enfer et moi” Revealed
Back in late January, broadcaster France 3 revealed that “Nouvelle Star” champion Amandine Bourgeois would be following in Anggun’s footsteps and heading to Eurovision this May. It’s been a long wait, but the 33-year-old singer’s entry, “L’enfer et moi (Hell and Me)” has finally been introduced to the public.
As expected, “L’enfer et moi” is a complete departure from France’s previous entries at Eurovision. Since switching from a national selection to an internal system in 2008, we’ve seen low-key techno from Sebastien Tellier, jazzy chanson from Patricia Kaas, zouk from Jessy Matador, opera from Amaury Vassili, and straight-up pop from Anggun. In contrast, Amandine is serving up a dark, gritty, bluesy entry rife with jealous anger and more than a hint of sexuality. (Seriously, people, check out those lyrics!) This sounds, to my ear, like something you’d expect to hear running through the opening credits of “True Blood”, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. (Interestingly enough, the way the song built upon itself and embraced the slight texture of Amandine’s voice, allowing her to jump between octaves, reminded me of fellow “Nouvelle Star” alum Julien Doré’s cover of “Moi…Lolita“. Or maybe it’s just me.)
France has had a rough go of it lately, with only one Top Ten placement in the past ten years (merci, Patricia!). Much like the Dutch this year, the French are bringing a song to the table unlike any other this year, which would either help or hurt their chances. “L’enfer et moi” isn’t a stereotypical Eurovision entry; will that singular nature grab people’s attention or turn them off?