The verdict is out: Vence-based electro-pop duo Madame Monsieur will represent France in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon

Made up of husband and wife duo Jean-Karl Lucas and Emile Satt, hailing from Vence, Madame Monsieur beat seven other acts to become the French entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, in what was almost a local affair. The winner of the sixth season of The Voice, Lisandro Cuxi, who was born in Portugal before moving to France where his family settled in Cannes was a close second with his song ‘Eva’, English-born teenager turned Nice resident Max Cinnamon finished 6th with his own composition written in the Gallic language, ‘Ailleurs’, while Menton’s Louka ended up in 8th place with his ‘Mamma Mia’.

The two Vençois have worked together since 2008, and had their breakthrough as a duo in 2015 when they composed the song ‘Smile’ for the rapper Youssoupha, which became a huge hit in France. Since then, they have continued to work with rap artists like La Fouine, Kery James and Georgio, but also released their debut studio album ‘Tandem’ a few months ago, which includes the singles ‘You Make Me Smile’, ‘Égérie’, ‘See Ya’, ‘Morts ou vifs’, ‘Partir’, and ‘Tournera’.

The song they wrote for the Eurovison is called ‘Mercy’, inspired by the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. The song starts with the words “I was born this morning, my name is Mercy, in the middle of the sea, between two countries…”, and tells the true story of a little girl born aboard the rescue ship Aquarius, while her mother was fleeing the violence in her country. It is sung entirely in French, and France remains one of the very few countries in the Eurovision to stick to its native language. When everybody else basically sings in English, that fact alone might explain the poor showing of the country over the past few decades. Despite winning the contest five times, the last French victory was in 1977. France has only managed to finish in the top 10 on two occasions in the last 15 years, even finishing dead last in 2014 with a depressing entry about the ravages of World War I.

Will that luck change with a song whose lyrics are a punch in the face to European governments who are not doing much to prevent the Mediterranean from becoming a cemetery? We will have the answer in just a few months, but at least as a member of the ‘Big 5′, Madame Monsieur will not have to go through the semi-finals and have automatically qualified for the Grand Final.

The Eurovision Song Contest takes place from 8th – 12th May, 2018 in Lisbon.

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Lead image courtesy Eurovision Song Contest/European Broadcasting Union

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