• Steven Garner

France: artists and songs revealed for 'Eurovision France: c'est vous qui décidez'



Fresh from yesterday's confirmation that 'Eurovision France: c'est vous qui décidez' will be broadcast live on 5 March, the songs and artists for the second iteration of this national final format have now been announced.


The following twelve entries will vie to succeed Barbara Pravi:

  • 'Fulenn' - Alvan & Ahez

  • 'Ma famille' - Cyprien Zeni

  • 'Téléphone' - Elia

  • 'La tempête' - Elliott

  • 'Paris mon amour' - Hélène in Paris

  • 'Madame' - Joan

  • 'Navigateure' - Joanna

  • 'Chut' - Julia

  • 'Les chansons d'amour' - Marius

  • 'Nuit Pauline' - Pauline Chagne

  • 'Il est où?' - Saam

  • 'Seule' - SOA

Let's take a brief look at the hopeful dozen and the competing chansons!


'Fulenn' - Alvan & Ahez


Alvan is from Rennes and has been releasing, in his words, "chill electro world" music with the group 'Alvan Project' since the mid 2010s, in both French and English.

He is joined by Ahez, a trio of Breton singers (Marine, Sterenn D and Sterenn L), who perform mythical tales of their region and whose name appears to be reference to Ahes (aka Dahut), a princess and magician of Breton legend.



'Fulenn' (meaning "nugget" - think gold, not chicken!) is sung in Breton, a Celtic language spoken primarily in the Brittany region of France. It tells of a young woman who shuns what is expected of her by society and frees herself by dancing at night in the glow of a bonfire. The performance cleverly mixes the modern and the legendary. It's one to watch!


'Ma famille' - Cyprien Zeni


Cyprien, 29, hails from the island of Réunion, an overseas department of France in the Indian Ocean. He relocated to Toulouse to study music at the age of 20, where he met his wife and became father to twins.

In May 2021, he reached the final of 'The Voice: la plus belle voix', ultimately placing fourth.



'Ma famille' ('My Family') was released late last month and is a deeply personal tale with a tropical flavour in which Cyprien sings of leaving Réunion, the place of his memories and roots and where he still has family, and moving to France to follow his path and pursue his dreams. He wants his family to understand that he had to leave, but that they continue to drive and inspire him. Awww.


'Téléphone' - Elia


Paris-born with Russian/Tunisian heritage, Elia came to public attention after collaborating with French rapper Booba on 'Grain de sable', a track on his platinum-selling 2021 album 'Ultra', that already has almost nine million Spotify plays.

Her debut mini-album 'Océan' was released shortly afterwards. Elia explains that she has very eclectic taste, 'from Barbara [Pravi] to Beyoncé, from Bach to Booba', which comes across in her unique blend of, amongst other genres, hip-hop, R&B and pop.



'Téléphone' is an electro-pop number and part-critique about the "telephone generation" with which Elia identifies, a generation which "expects nothing from anybody", "loves you as long as you subscribe" and "will dance on into autumn'.


'La tempête' - Elliott


Elliott Schmitt is a 24-year-old from Alsace and another 'The Voice: la plus belle voix' alumnus, having made it to the knockout stage of the third season back in 2014 at the tender age of 16 and competed alongside Amir ('J'ai cherché', 2016).

Elliott went on to become a contributor to the popular YouTube channel 'Cover Garden', released his first EP in 2016 and has since provided sung dubbing for various animated movies.



'La tempête' ('The Storm') is, in Elliott's words, the story of an intense journey during which he will stand strong and forge ahead, but won't let down his guard or flee. The future is "wild", but he won't be deterred. There's nothing to stop him now.


'Paris mon amour' - Hélène in Paris


Hélène Benhamou was born in Morocco, moved to France aged 13, relocated to the USA in her 20s and launched a successful fashion brand 'Pistachios', later moved to New York where her home interiors store blossomed and led to the formation of the Benhamou Designs group with offices worldwide, before returning to her beloved Paris in 2019.

The lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted her to make music videos and, of course, she went viral nationally, becoming a social media star in the process and releasing her self-produced debut single 'Just Be You' in September 2020, a tribute to the musical comedies of the 50s and 60s.



'Paris mon amour' ('Paris, my love') is a jazz-backed, "Franglais" love letter to the city with which Hélène shares a "story of love": she left, returned to, was greeted with open arms by and now wishes to dance hand in hand with the French capital. The song also namechecks classic French chansons 'Je ne regrette rien' (Edith Piaf) and 'Ne me quitte pas' (Jacques Brel).


'Madame' - Joan


Joan is an established musical theatre performer who has starred in two French-language musicals: 'Timéo' and 'Emilie Jolie'. She is both a singer and guitarist, as well as a lover of the French chanson.



'Madame' is a traditional-sounding, piano-accompanied waltz about a woman (the titular 'Madame') whose love can be so passionate that she can be driven to madness. 'Madame' smiles, she cries, and yet she dances on.


'Navigateure' - Joanna


Joanna Fouquet is a singer-songwriter from Rennes (clearly a very musical city!) with a futuristic, electro-pop/R&B sound. Her debut single 'Séduction' was released in 2018, her first EP 'Vénus' in 2020 and her debut album 'Sérotine' - a concept album about love in a variety of forms - last May.



'Navigateure' is a song about a driving force which spurs her on and fills Joanna with renewed confidence and hope. It's the song of a fighter and survivor. As a "navigator" and "explorer", she will strive forward. Her hand is already on the door and she's ready to go!


'Chut' - Julia


Julia Fiquet, 20, is no stranger to live TV performances, having participated in the second season of 'The Voice Kids' seven years ago. She came to the attention of song-writing duo Laurent Boutonnat and Mylène Farmer, the multi diamond-selling album artist, and was chosen to record their song 'S.E.X.T.O.'.

Julia's debut album 'Passe ... comme tu sais' charted well in France, Belgium and Switzerland.



'Chut' (meaning 'shh' or 'hush') has been co-written by Julia. It plays with the preconceptions that people can have about young women of her generation. She isn't a "baby doll", perhaps a reference to France Gall's "poupée", and sometimes - she sings - she behaves like men do.


'Les chansons d'amour' - Marius


Marius Niollet was born in Lyon but moved to Paris a few years ago to pursue his musical career. He is perhaps best known at present for his covers of 'Aline', a 1965 #1 single for French singer-songwriter Christophe, and 'Bad Boy', a 2020 hit single by Yseult, the runner-up of the 2014 edition of 'Nouvelle Star' (France's 'Pop Idol' based talent search show).



'Les chansons d'amour' ('Love Songs') is a song born of a break-up. In an interview, Marius explained that he didn't listen to love songs until his heart was broken, at which point he discovered the beauty of, and found comfort in, Barbara's lyrics, Brel's performances and Aznavour's melodies. He co-wrote the song with Igit, who competed in 2018's 'Destination Eurovision' and went on to collaborate last year's runner-up 'Voilà'.


'Nuit Pauline' - Pauline Chagne


Pauline Chagne, a singer-musician who plays the harp, released her first single 'Orange Sanguine', an anthem to womanhood, in 2020, followed by 'Mélancolie Lolita' in mid-2021. She is also an accomplished actress, having appeared at around the same time in Paris in the feminist play 'Je te pardonne (Harvey Weinstein)'.



'Nuit Pauline' ('Pauline's Night') is a 80s-inspired, synth-pop portrait of a woman walking through the night, her high heels click-clacking along the pavement. She's variously described as an "idol who's struck down", a "she-wolf", a "vodka diva" and a "damaging diamond" ... all as "crocodile tears flow". Yup, there's a LOT of imagery involved in this one!


'Il est où?' - Saam


Saam hails from Lille and, in a past life, worked as a dentist. After realising that a life of fillings and extractions wasn't for him, he auditioned for a number of TV talent shows, sadly without success.

However, inspired by - amongst others - Jacques Brel, and with the addition of rock and urban influences, in 2020 Saam shared his first song 'Mémère' (dedicated to his grandmother) on social media and was promptly signed by record label Jo&Co. What a story!



'Il est où?' ('Where is it?') asks where "the smile of childhood" has gone. It's an ode to positivity and deals with the search for happiness in today's increasingly glum society. He wants to rediscover his naivety and innocence about life. The song also features a chaotic final build reminiscent of a certain Ms Pravi and can only be described as "super French".


'Seule' - SOA


Toulouse-born siblings LudySoa and Nathan lived in Madagascar for several years and now want to share their Malagasy heart and soul with France. After gaining some recognition on the island, the pair returned to France and competed in season nine of 'The Voice: la plus belle voix', making it as far as the knockout round.

Their debut single 'Loin de toi' was released last spring and in less than a month had racked up over 60,000 YouTube views.



'Seule' ('Alone') is a message of hope delivered in a "dark" pop/rap package: if you feel cut off from the world, then you mustn't worry as you'll find your place. There's a big, wide world out there. We all have our doubts and fears. You aren't the only one!



'Eurovision France: c'est vous qui décidez' - What do we know so far?


France's 2021 national final format, which saw the selection of Barbara Pravi's 'Voilà' who came second in Rotterdam, was clearly a success and so, applying the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" principle, the wordily-titled live show ('CVQD' for short) will return on Saturday, 5 March from 21:10 (CET).


This year's winner will be chosen by a combination of a ten-person professional jury (including Gjon's Tears) and public votes over two rounds. The top seven entries according to the televote will again advance to the "super final" round, together with a "euro-ticket" wildcard entry chosen by the jury. The winner(s) will then be crowned based on the joint jury/public vote.


Hosting duties will be assumed by last year's duo, Eurovision commentators Stéphane Bern and (the delightful) Laurence Boccolini.


And, of course, the Aussievision team will be on hand on Twitter to guide you through the show, in all likelihood aided by café et croissants. Come join us!