France’s Eurovision 2018 Entry

Madame Monsieur won a corker of a French national final with a corker of a song, “Mercy.”

Singer Émilie Satt and musician and producer Jean-Karl Lucas formed Madame Monsieur in 2013. They cowrote and were featured on rapper Youssoupha’s 2015 single “Smile” from his top five album NGRTD. Their debut album Tandem was released in 2016.

“Mercy” tells the story of a girl born prematurely to a refugee on a boat from Libya to Europe. Madame Monsieur have since had to address whether or not it is a political song, but we think whether you believe it is speaks more to your own politics than to the song’s narrative.

We got excited when we first heard “Mercy” in Destination Eurovision’s semifinals. We both had it stuck in our heads for days afterwards, even without repeated listens. It’s a cool, modern adult contemporary song and it is very, very catchy. Plus we dug Madame Monsieur’s Sprockets-esque stage look.

However, we grew concerned when we heard “Mercy” in the final. Madame Monsieur’s performance seemed to lack the intensity of their first performance, as if the added fog machine had blown away all of their warmth. We worried that they had ceded victory to Lisandro Cuxi’s “Eva.”

Our concerns seemed to be justified when the international juries placed “Mercy” third and “Eva” first. While “Mercy” took the public vote overwhelmingly (118 points to Lisandro’s 72 points), we are left wondering if the song will appeal to the international juries it will face in Lisbon.

Hand-wringing aside, we love “Mercy.” It’s sleek and memorable and it will tell a story of modern Europe at a Song Contest with a theme that hearkens back to the continent’s maritime history. How Madame Monsieur get that story across, short of a language change, will be important. Romania’s Voltaj finished 15th in 2015 with a similar humanitarian message and we hope “Mercy” does not suffer the same fate.

2 thoughts on “France’s Eurovision 2018 Entry”

  1. I was looking forward to reading your opinion on “Mercy.” I’m very happy that we are on the same page about it: EurovisionLemurs inspired me to start blogging about Eurovision this year, and seeing that you guys loved this song made me feel validated somehow. It’s good to know that a blog I admire (and that rarely gets things wrong when it comes to Eurovision prospects!) echoes my sentiments.

    Regarding the song, I don’t feel like I have anything to add. But how about Destination Eurovision? I enjoyed the hell out of it: just an incredibly entertaining, high-quality national selection. So many great songs to add to my Eurovision 2018 playlist. I hope France keeps it going in the future, regardless of their result this year. As a side note, Madame Monsieur’s album is very good. I liked them and “Mercy” enough to give it a chance and I was not disappointed in the slightest.

    (Love the new site look by the way!)

    1. Thank you for the kind words! Destination Eurovision was an absolute blast. The song quality and the performance level were so high. Dear France: More of that, please!

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