Is France, the country that famously deposed its monarchy, tempting fate just a smidge with a Eurovision entry simply titled ‘King’?
Unfortunately the budget didn’t stretch far enough to kit out this year’s French entrant, Bilal Hassani, in full ceremonial robes. But although he won’t be wearing any royal crown — he’s having to make do with backing dancers waving their hands around behind his head — Hassani has already proved a huge hit at home, and has a strong social media following with almost 500,000 followers on Instagram.
At just 19 years old, Hassani is already well-known to French viewers at home, after he appeared in in the second season of The Voice Kids back in 2015. His choice of audition song was none other than Rise Like a Phoenix, the winning Eurovision song by Conchita Wurst.
He’s also a YouTuber, with over 850,000 subscribers on the platform, and has been posting songs on his channel for years, including his 2015 song Mr No Life.
Last year French magazine Tetu named Hassani as one of 30 “icon[s] for French LGBT+ youth”.
What is France’s Eurovision 2019 song called?
The song is titled ‘Roi’, which translated means ‘King’ in French. It was co-written by Hassani and Madame Monsieur, and centres around themes of self-acceptance.
What will France’s Eurovision 2019 song look like on stage?
We’ve already seen a sneak peek of Hassani’s jazz-hands routine on French programme Destination Eurovision, which Hassani (surprise!) won.
We’ll see France’s entry singing to a backdrop of short videos from his childhood, before two female backing singers appear on stage, their jazzy — sorry, regal — hands forming Hassani’s (figurative? finger-ative?) crown.
What are the odds of France winning Eurovision 2019?
Not bad at all. Hassani is currently tipped for a top 10 finish.