- For several years, cities such as Amsterdam, London or Madrid have organized concerts bringing together Eurovision candidates, a few weeks before the competition.
- On Sunday, the French representative, Bilal Hassani participated in the event of the British capital: the London Eurovision Party.
- For the Frenchman, it was an opportunity to present himself to the foreign media and perform in front of an audience composed of fans of Eurovision.
From our special correspondent in London (United Kingdom)
The platinum blonde wig throws a crowd of onlookers Sunday afternoon on the side of Leicester Square in the heart of London. " It is
Bilal Hassani! Exclaims without feigning discretion a young French tourist who recognized him. The singer does not go unnoticed. Followed by two cameras – including one of France Televisions for a documentary dedicated to him – he gives an interview while walking. The step is fast. Time is running out: he is expected for the sound check at the Café de Paris where, a few hours later, he has to sing King, his song Eurovision.
– Fabien Randanne (@fabrandanne) April 14, 2019
The clusters of fans, who are already waiting while the doors will open in two hours, proclaim the name of the Frenchman who, protected by his team, rushes illico in the theater. Welcome to the London Eurovision Party, an event organized for twelve years, and which this year participate in about fifteen candidates of the 2019 competition. With the show in Amsterdam (Netherlands), which was held last week, and the one from Madrid (Spain), coming next weekend, this is one of the main events on the pre-Eurovision agenda.
Bilal Hassani, busy with the shows of the NRJ Music Tour in France and the promotion of his album, Kingdom, expected for April 26, will be satisfied with this date in the British capital. "It's important for me to be here because it allows me to have real contact with Eurofans [les fans de l’Eurovision] and I have not had the opportunity to have a lot of Eurovision Destination ", Advance the singer to 20 minutes. He is "happy to be here", but admits to being very impressed by other competitors. "I'm very scared, he slips, because I admire everyone. I met some of them from far away. Mahmood [le candidat italien] has an impressive aura. "
"It's important to show journalists who Bilal is"
Despite what he says, Bilal Hassani seems perfectly comfortable. Before repeating on stage, he meets John Lundvik, the Swedish representative, and poses at his side for a photo. "He is so humble. It's crazy how it shines! », Confides us, a few moments later, the Scandinavian who, he says, regularly exchanges with the Frenchman in private messages on Instagram. In the evening, the singer Nikki French, co-host of the concert will also praise her, in public this time, praising the kindness and modesty of the interpreter. King.
– Fabien Randanne (@fabrandanne) April 14, 2019
But for the time being, the tricolor representative has to return to the ninth floor of the Indigo Hotel, where some 80 accredited media are waiting for him. Cameras, microphones and dictaphones struggle to glean a few minutes of interviews with the artists in the running. Steven Clerima, the head of the French delegation to Eurovision, makes sure everything is fluid for his protégé. "It's important for us to present the song to Europe, to show journalists who Bilal is, why he is doing Eurovision and what is the message he wants to deliver," he says. "The question that comes up the most is the meaning of King », Confirms Bilal Hassani, who does not skimp on the explanations of texts in the language of Shakespeare -« I thank my father for having taught me to speak English when I was little », he smiles during a pause time.
The "jealous" boos
His performance at the London concert can change his rating with bookmakers. Sunday, he emargait to a cautious twelfth place on forty-one candidates. "We like this position, because we have the impression of working in the shadows, not necessarily be expected, ensures Steven Clerima. It is a comfortable position. We are sure to show something on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest [le 18 mai], to have an interesting proposal and a speech that stands. "
When, shortly after 10 pm, Bilal Hassani comes to the Café de Paris stage, he receives a warm welcome from the hundreds of spectators present. The audience, mostly English-speaking, sing in chorus King with him, without stumbling over the words in French. In the process, the performer Jealous, one of the titles of his future album and, in the preamble, explains that this song was inspired by the hate messages he received after his victory at Eurovision Destination. While the crowd reacts noisily in support of the singer, he silences the boos: "These people do not deserve to be given importance. Applause cheered.
"It's more fun, bursts it, than strategy"
In the room, several cameras record the performances of the candidates who will soon be posted on YouTube. In the comments, many users will note the vocal progress of the artist. Auspicious for the competition? It is too early to say, especially as the Dutchman Duncan Laurence, announced as the favorite, greatly impressed his London audience this Sunday. Be that as it may, Bilal Hassani joined Steven Clerima on the stairs on one side of the stage and fell into his arms, visibly pleased with his performance.
– Bilal Hassani (@iambilalhassani) April 14, 2019
The French had warned, this event in London, for him, "it's more fun, the bursts, than strategy." He stored memories and selfies. And he posed for a photo at the side of Mahmood on a background of glittering wall, without being eclipsed by the "aura aura" of the Italian.