YouTuber Bilal Hassani recently won the French national final with ‘Roi’, which translates as ‘king’. The first thing anyone’s going to notice here is the singer’s striking androgynous looks. People will no doubt be debating his gender identity in their living rooms for the majority of the three minutes. The song itself isn’t up to much, sounding a bit like it could be a Miley Cyrus album track. It’s also terribly performed at the moment, but the French delegation have good recent form in covering up dodgy vocals with Amir and Alma. ‘Roi’ performed so badly with NF juries and the next ‘Bearded lady’ isn’t to be found here, despite currently trading on Betfair at around 40.0. It seems nailed on for the right-hand side of the scoreboard.
Czech Republic by default seems to be the best entry selected thus far. ‘Friend of a Friend’ by Lake Malawi has a very modern production which I think should be appreciated by juries. Though the song isn’t anywhere near as good, Benjamin Ingrosso from Sweden 2018 is a fair comparison here. The song is catchy and inoffensive in a middle-of-the-road sort of way. I find the ‘She was my neighbour…’ part with the faux British accent pretty cringeworthy, but I can’t say much else is wrong with this entry. There is good staging potential here and singer Albert is a telegenic enough guy, so at the moment I’m expecting it to qualify.