France will select its entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 through an internal selection by French broadcaster France Télévisions. On 19 February it was revealed that France 2 had selected Congolese singer and dancer Jessy Matador to represent France at Eurovision, with the hope of creating a summer hit and to promote the 2010 FIFA World Cup in France. Matador’s song will be « Allez Ola Olé« , as announced on 24 February.
Bruno Berberes, the Head of Delegation for France for the ninth time, has revealed that France Télévisions has secured a big name to represent France at the Contest in May 2010. Berberes said that « We can’t give less than Patricia Kaas » after her success at Moscow, and the contest’s success in France after years of obscurity and ridicule.
It has been speculated that France Télévisions’ selected artist is a recent former Eurovision entry who scored well at the Contest. It was speculated that this was Natasha St-Pier, who achieved 4th place at the 2001 Contest. However Berberes has denied that France Télévisions have approached St-Pier to go to Oslo.
On 15 February, Télé Loisirs stated that the final choice for the French entry would be between Emmanuel Moire, singermade famous for playing Louis XIV in the successful musical Le Roi Soleil, and Congolese singer and dancer Jessy Matador. It was said that France Télévisions would like to see beyond Eurovision, hoping to create a hit song for Matador to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In the morning of 17 February on the talk show Le Grand Direct on the private radio channel Europe 1, it was claimed by journalist Gaëlle Placek that France « will be represented by Jessy Matador », before she explains that « France Télévisions is not willing to win the contest but aims to promote a song in relation to the Football World Cup and to have a smash hit for next Summer ». « France’s got very few chances to win Eurovision with this singer », Placek added. Matador was confirmed at the French representative at the contest on 19 February by Nicolas Pernikoff, entertainment manager at France 2, with tight connections to the FIFA World Cup. No information on the song selection has yet been announced. On 24 February it was announced that Matador will sing « Allez Ola Olé » at the contest. The song’s title is a reference to the 1998 album Music of the World Cup: Allez! Ola! Ole!, the official album for the 1998 World Cup, held in France.
Matador’s selection has provoked anger and disappointment from French Eurofans, claiming that France 3 sacrifices Eurovision for promotion of other events « which should not be allowed from a public channel », and that France 3 are not willing to win Eurovision. France 3 responded with positivity and support for Matador’s entry, and his stage presentation and song « to glow on Eurovision stage ».
On 19 March a one-minute clip of « Allez Ola Olé » was published on the website chartsinfrance.net, with the full song released soon after. The song received positive feedback from the fan community, believing it will be singled out for its festive and upbeat nature in a year when ballads dominate the contest.
As a member of the « Big Four » countries, France automatically qualifies to the final on 29 May. France will perform in 18th position.
As will all automatic finalists, France was given one semi-final in which they were obligated to broadcast and vote in. This was initially decided to be the second semi-final on 27 May. However France 3 was given permission by the EBU to change its voting rights to the first semi-final on 25 May after scheduling problems prevented live broadcast of the second semi-final. At the same time, France 3 would commit itself to more intense promotion of the contest, including the commitment to broadcast both semi-finals (the first one live, the second one in a taped format).
Points Awarded by France
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- Dufaut, Dominique (2010-02-25). « We believe in his talent ». ESCToday. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Dufaut, Dominique (2010-03-16). « French song « to glow on Eurovision stage« « . ESCToday. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Hondal, Victor (2010-03-19). « Snippet of Allez ola available online ». ESCToday. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
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- Bakkar, Sieste (2009-02-07). « Results of the Semi-Final Allocation Draw ». EBU. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Klier, Marcus (2009-02-07). « Semi final allocation for Oslo determined ». ESCToday. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Bakker, Sietse (2010-03-31). « France requests to vote in first Semi-Final ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- Hondal, Victor (2010-03-31). « France to broadcast and vote in the first semifinal ». ESCToday. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
- Eurovision Song Contest 2008
(Note: Entries scored out are when France did not compete)