Review: “C’est Vous Qui Décidez 2022” (France)

France will choose an artist and a song for Eurovision 2022 via their national selection C’est Vous Qui Décidez 2022″.
12 artists will compete on the right to represent the country at Eurovision 2012.

The national selection “C’est Vous Qui Décidez 2022” will be held on Saturday, the 5th of March 2022. The format will include one show that will be hosted by Stéphane Bern & Laurence Boccolini

The results will be determined by 2 rounds:

Round 1 – The public will choose 5 songs and another song will be chosen by the jury panel
Round 2 – The resuls will be determined by 50% public vote and 50% jury voting

In this article, I will review the 12 competing songs:

#1. SOA – Seule

It’s a mid-tempo R&B-pop song.
The song begins with an introduction which is a part of the chorus. They sing this part together.
The first verse melody is based on keyboards and guitar playing. It is performed by a female singer with a mid-low voice. In the chorus, they sing together. She sings powerfully with some long high notes. In this part, we can hear a drum beat decorating the melody. The chorus is more energetic and rhythmic. The second verse that comes after the chorus is performed is rap style. The male singer sings fast, while we can hear a lot of digital production over his voice. They sing the chorus together, the female singer’s voice dominates the singing. The bridge that includes a change is the melody, based on keyboards and guitar playing. Thereafter, we get a simpler part that grows back to the familiar chorus. The chorus gives the song attributes of hymn.
I find the chorus more powerful and memorable. At the same time, I want to say that the song is a little bit generic and expected. I didn’t like the choice to use a lot of digital effects over the singing parts.

#2. Pauline Chagne – Nuit Pauline

It’s a pop song with synth elements and wide influences of 1990s music.
The song starts with the harp playing. The first verse is based on a light dance beat, drum beat, and keyboards playing. Later on, the harp joins again. She sings confidently with a tender voice. As the harp joins, the pre-chorus begins. She uses a higher tone of voice in this part. The chorus is rhythmic, and the dance beat wraps it. Towards the end, the chorus becomes slower and lets her lengthen the syllables. She uses a very high voice which makes the chorus sound more impressive. The second verse is performed with a mid-low voice, and it is a little bit more rhythmic. Then again, we get the pre-chorus and the chorus is the same shape as before.
The bridge is magical, the melody is airer, and she sings it differently, more fragile. Thereafter, she decorated her singing with high notes and harp playing.
For some listeners, it might be a little bit dated, but for one reason I really like this one!
The harp is wonderful and she is strong vocally.

#3. Saam – Il est où ?

It’s a French Waltz pop song.
The song starts with a traditional accordion playing.
The first verse melody is based on keyboard playing. Saam sings it with intention. His voice is a little bit raspy, and some of the singing parts sound like reciting. The pre-chorus is a faster. The chorus includes keyboards, string elements and accordion playing. It feels more like a hymn and we can hear other sides of his voice, as he use other technique. The second verse is short and the singer sings it in reciting. Thereafter, we get once again the chorus with mid-high voice. The bridge is namely based on the accordion and it sounds more traditional, and less modern. With some manners, he leads us to another chorus, while being accompanied by backing vocals. Towards the end, it becomes faster and intense with the “la la la” singing, until the song ends.
Something is missing here for me and I’m not sure that I can point it out.
Probably it is about the effortless singing in the simple verses. As i see it, the chorus is much better than the verses.

#4.Cyprien Zeni – Ma Famille

It’s a mid-tempo pop song.
The song opens with a short introduction that’s composed of guitar playing.
The same melody composes the first verse. He sings the first verse quite fast. We can hear some backing vocals in the background. The chorus is even faster and has some Caribbean elements. The chorus includes a cyclic beat that grows into drum beat, while we can hear a choir singing. The second verse is rhythmic and based on the same melody. Thereafter, we get another chorus which is very similar to the first one. The following part is instrumental and it is namely based on tribal drum beat and choir singing. At this point, the song is almost over, besides 2 additional lines that finalize it. For some reason, this song sounds like a sound track of children show, like “The Jungle Book” or “Tarazn”). It is special in its own way, but for me it doesn’t stand out. I can’t see this kind of song making people to take their phones and vote for France.

#5. Hélène in Paris – Paris mon amour

It’s a Cabaret jazz pop song.
The song starts with keyboards playing. The first verse is based on a simple keyboards playing, she is theoretical, as the interposition focuses on hands movement. Her singing is simple, and maybe too simple. Her singing sounds more like talking in a raspy and thin voice. The chorus is more jazzy and therefore a little bit more interesting. We can hear some backing vocals that support her. The chorus includes wind instruments like saxophone. The second verse is once again based on simple keyboards playing, but this time we get the addition saxophone playing in the verse. The verse is short, and very fast we get the chorus. The bridge is a piece of cabaret jazz with focus on the wind instruments.
Although the song is in French, it includes some phrases in English.
The song is one that you can hear in a musical cabaret, and therefore it can even be recognized with the 1950’s – 1960’s music. I find it forgettable and somehow not relevant to the Eurovision scene. I think I appreciated it more, if it would have been performed by a stronger vocalist.

#6. Elia – Téléphone

It’s a dance club pop song.
The song starts with a light dance beat and keyboards playing. Her singing is simple and effective. As the pre-chorus begins, the rate is faster and the beat is stronger and more danceable. The chorus is a little bit weaker, as it namely repeats on the song’s name. The second verse relies on the upbeat beat. The chorus this time relies heavily on pre-recorded electronic vocals. After some vocal improvisations, we get additional verse. The third verse is faster , and the rhythm is a little bit different. At this point, the song continues in the same way as before.
In my opinion, the song is catchy, but I would prefer a braver production. It is like they gave 2 electronic candies, where we could have received 20 candies. With sharper arrangement and some more motives, it would have the potential to explode.

#7. Julia – Chut

It is a dynamic pop song with the 2000’s music elements.
The song starts with percussion beat and backing vocals that repeat on the song name. The first verse is based on uplifting beat (that has some Latin vibes) and guitar playing. The singing part starts sensually, and almost effortlessly. Thereafter, she sings with a slightly higher tone of voice. The chorus is catchy and includes some electric guitar playing. Bass guitar stringing transfers us to the second chorus. This guitar element continues to the verse as well. This verse is a little bit sassier, as we can hear her laughing. She sings the second chorus with some support of backing vocals. Thereafter, we get the bridge which is namely based on fading backing vocals. She opens the bridge with a short speaking part. The last chorus includes some wind instruments as well.
I find the song as a decent throwback, but still there’s something refreshing in it. I liked the idea to combine several different elements in one song. Her stage presence makes the whole package even better

#8. Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn

It’s an electro-folk song.
The song starts with a special introduction – one of the female singers is trilling, while another singer is reciting with electronic production. The first verse is performed by another female singer. She has a stable voice with a great presence. Thereafter, we can hear Latin guitars and some forest animal voices (as well as birds chirping). The three of them join together to sing the chorus. The male singer has a low and deep voice which is the most dominant. Due to the high variance of their voices, we get satisfying and strong singing. A powerful electronic beat takes over the melody, and we can see the male singer (Alvan) dancing in the background. The second verse is performed by the other singer. She sings in the Breton language. Her singing is slightly more intensive. Thereafter, they all sing together, while Alvan is playing the guitar. The bridge is mysterious and dark, until the drop. At this point, the electronic motives reach their peak. The song ends with whispering and guitar playing.
I find this song unique in the line-up. The combination of electro and folk music work excellent together. Each one of the singers contributes to the song. The song is catchy and also helps us to know more about the Breton language.

#9.Marius – Les Chansons d’Amour

It’s an emotional chanson ballad.
One of the writers is Igit, who competed in the French selection in “Destination Eurovision 2018” with the song “Lisbon Jerusalem“, and was one of the writers of “Voilà” by Barbara Pravi (Eurovision 2021).
The song starts with piano playing. The first part of the song is the chorus itself. The melody accelerates as the first verse continues. The first verse is calming and has an impact of lullaby. Marius sings with a soft and high voice. The second chorus is powerful, as the production is richer. We can hear in the background a strong production that relies not only on piano playing, but also on some string and wind instruments. The second verse is similar to the first one, but the interpretation is more theatrical. Towards the end of this part, he sings in a higher tone and reveals another dimension of his voice. The next chorus is performed more powerfully, but as the same time in a lower pitch. The bridge includes a gentle drum beat. The last part is naked and minimalistic.
It is probably one of the simplest songs in the line-up. But this is the right way to write and perform a chanson ballad.

#10. Joan – Madame

It’s a theatrical cabaret jazz ballad.
The song starts with massive violin playing. She opens the sing with thick mid-low voice. The production is namely based on the music instruments themselves: we can hear wind instruments that builds kind of cyclic amplitude sound. Dramatic chords of piano and violin leads us to the chorus. The chorus is performed with more optimistic vibe, the sound is softer and warmer. It is little bit faster, but at the same time the musical measures are longer. She uses a higher tone of voice. Towards the end of the chorus. we move to the dramatic atmosphere again. This time the melody changes a bit. with more virtuoso piano playing. The chorus comes again, and gives a place for hope. The bridge arrives just after the second chorus, it is theatrical and intensive. At certain point, it becomes really fast, limits in fast speaking without breathing.
Thereafter, she uses a very soft side of her voice, almost falsetto. The production disconnects from all the elements, besides the piano playing. But all the elements return in the last part, including an emphasis on the violin playing.
The biggest advantage of the song is actually Joan’s performance. She has a great character with convincing stage presence. At some points, the verses might be too heavy. Some listeners might find it a little bit dated. Instead, I would say it is more about showing the beautiful heritage of the French music. I am more connected to the chorus, in this case.

#11. Elliott – La tempête

The song starts as a slow ballad, but it is actually more mid-tempo pop song.
Elliott opens the song with keyboards playing and high and young voice. We can hear in the background, electric guitar playing. As the slow first verse ends, we move on to the chorus which includes a mid-tempo beat that is composed of drum beat and string elements. His voice reaches to a slightly higher pitch. The chorus ends with reciting and guitar playing.
The second verse continues the line of the chorus. We can hear different elements in the production, but the main thing is the keyboards playing.
The chorus arrives again and it is catchy. I really like the choice to put a focus on the string elements in this part. The bridge is more hymn, we can hear backing vocal and guitar playing. When the bridge explodes, we get a more convincing version of the chorus. First of all, he is braver vocal wisely, but also the melody is more dynamic.
It is one on the contemporary radio – friendly songs in the line-up.
I could easily imagine this song performed in English for example. Or in other words, the only French thing about it is the use of the French language. However, having this king of a song in the line-up is important and diverse the flavor we get in this list of songs.

#12. Joanna – Navigateur

It is a mid-tempo pop song.
The song starts with a light electro dance beat, alongside keyboards playing. Her voice is velvety and blended in the digital production. She sings with a mid-low voice. We can hear backing vocalists supporting her. The first verse is considerably slow. However, the pre-chorus relies on synth keyboards that for some reason adds the song a layer of mystery. She sings it with more air. The chorus sounds like a throwback to dance pop form the 1990’s. The dance beat is stronger, but still puts the singing in the focus. The second verse relies on the same beat, is is shorter and very fast we move to the pre-chorus. The chorus this time is longer and ends with an instrumental part which relies on the dance beat. The bridge includes a lot of blended singing, and we can hear less from the keyboards playing. She uses some vocal improvisations, while backing vocalists sing the main part of the chorus.
The song is catchy, but I think the production makes it over blended. In some parts, it seems that her voice is hidden by plenty of digital motives.

My Personal Ranking

I have mixed feelings about this selection. I feel like half of the songs can be a good contenders to represent the country, while the other aren’t in the suitable level.
This selection is characterized by electro dance music on one side, but also on traditional music as well.
Here is my full ranking:

  1. Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn
  2. Pauline Chagne – Nuit Pauline
  3. Marius – Les Chansons d’Amour
  4. Julia – Chut
  5. SOA – Seule
  6. Joan – Madame
  7. Saam – Il est où ?
  8. Elliott – La tempête
  9. Elia – Téléphone
  10. Joanna – Navigateur
  11. Cyprien Zeni – Ma Famille
  12. Hélène in Paris – Paris mon amour

My Prediciton

It seems to me that the tight race will be between :

  • Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn
  • SOA – Seule

As one of the big 5 countries, France has already guaranteed its place in the grand final of Eurovision 2022 which will be held on the 14th of May 2022

You can read all about Eurovision 2022 on our homepage

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Doron Lahav is 30-year-old, who lives in Israel. Doron has been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and shows interest in singing and writing.

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