France3 decided (the same day as Nina wondered what on Earth they were up to) to select their entry for Belgrade internally. An excellent idea, if you ask me. If I were them, I would spend every waken hour trying to persuade some real talent to get involved with the contest.
Most fans I ever spoke to from France always repeated as a mantra: there is no point in asking stars, let's not do it, they will just say no, nobody in France with a career would ever get involved with Eurovision. And, as icing on the cake, they shoot at you: you don't understand the French market. Everything is different in France.
Well, one thing I know for sure is that the one thing that makes the world go round also in France is success. If there is the chance of a decent income, most artists would throw their artistic pretence overboard in order to please a record company or a fanbase and gain a buck or two.
Let's face it - the day when French stars automatically got a shot at an international career are long gone. A few blessed ones get to go abroad, but most of them, no matter how successful, are confined to the French-speaking world. Not a small market, but it's quite some way from world domination, right?
I am sure that quite a few French acts would do Eurovision if there was something to gain from it. This is where France3 come in. If there is a pre-contest tour, where the singer gets to do radio and important television (not national finals, but real shows, talk shows, entertainment shows) and there is a widespread record distribution already before the contest, as well as a functionable distribution of the clip in advance - what silly singer wouldn't go under these circumstances?
And since ratings aren't bigger at home - what harm could it do? If you fall flat on your face, most people won't remember it anyway. Not in the long run.
So, here are some people I'd LOVE to see sing for France. Come on - give them a call. What is the worst thing that could happen? That they say no?
Julie Zenatti - Princesse
Julie started her career as Fleur-de-Lys in Notre-Dame, just like Natasha St Pier did after her. This song would have rocked Eurovision, I'm sure.
Najoua Belyzel - Gabriel
Wonderful singer with a huge hit. Something down this line could do what Evridiki unfortunately failed with - making the ESC a bit more electronic.
Faudel - Mon pays
The prince of raï should do the ESC just to be able to promote his style and heritage all over the continent in these times of arab-scepticism.
Amel Bent - Nouveau Français
Yet another great talent that would be worthy of pan-European exposure.
Pascal Obispo - 1980
What a dream to have Obispo at least write a song for somebody else. Patrick Bruel wrote a eurosong back in 2002, why would it be impossible to get a big name now?
Zazie - Je suis un homme
Wonderful Zazie could, like Obispo, also do just writing a song for someone else. But I think this mademoiselle could be wacko enough to say yes if she was asked.
One factor one should not forget here is the shock factor - if a big star did Eurovision is France everyone would think that he/she was totally mad as a brick, and they would get a media coverage like nobody else. If the final result is a top placing, it will also pay off and generate more singers who want to do the same. And if they flunk...? Who cares? In this day and age, exposure is always exposure and as important as oxygene.
Go for it, France!