Will Bilal Hassani get France out of the spiral of defeat? With his song "King", the French was a favorite bookmarkers one week away from the final of Eurovision. It has been forty-two years since a national candidate won the competition. The last time was in 1977: Marie Myriam was then performing "L'Oiseau et l'Enfant". Since then, nothing. After Spain, France is the country that has not won the musical contest since the longest.
To get out of the tunnel of defeat, France Télévisions has tried everything in recent years and has varied musical styles, with varying degrees of success. In 2009, Patricia Kaas placed 8th with "And if it had to be done". Jessy Matador finished 12th in 2010 with "Allez ola ole", and Amaury Vassili 15th in 2011, with "Sognu", performed in Corsican.
Performance that touches the bottom
After having more or less managed to save the furniture, France then accumulated poor performances with Anggun (22nd in 2014), Amandine Bourgeois (23rd in 2013), Twin Twin (last arrived in 2014) or Lisa Angell (25th). in 2015). If the honor of the country takes a hit with these disappointing rankings, for the public broadcasting group, these bad years were mostly accompanied by a continuous decline in audiences. They reached their lowest in 2014, year of the last Twin Twin and their song "Mustache": only 2.57 million viewers on France 3, or 13.6% of audience share.
In 2015, France Télévisions tries to give a boost to Eurovision by passing the France 3 contest to France 2. A paying choice that allows in just one year to almost double the audience, despite the poor score of Lisa Angell this year -the. Amir transforms the test the following year with his catchy song "I looked for", and offers France the 6th place, its best ranking since 2002. These last two years, the French candidates have not done better than 'Amir, but still limited the breakage, Alma and Madame Monsieur respectively obtaining the 12th and 13th places in 2017, then 2018.
Create excitement around French candidates
Above all, France Télévisions tried to remobilize the French public by involving it in the selection of the national candidate with a competition in the competition born in 2018: Eurovision Destination. Failing to have exploded the ranking at Eurovision, Madam Sir, chosen by the viewers themselves, have at least allowed France 2 to raise its audiences to a record level since 2009, exceeding 5 million viewers.
The new recipe seems to have worked this year: Bilal Hassani has been designated largely thanks to the plebiscite of viewers (35.7% of televotes alone). If that will not be enough to guarantee a good ranking – viewers and jurors can not give points to their country – the young man, with the craze it provokes, could at least be the candidate who will give the French in front of Eurovision.