France’s Bilal Hassani is now the third favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
This is a significant move: before rehearsals began, France were outside the top 10 favourites with the bookmakers.
It was revealed today at the press conference following France’s second rehearsal in Tel Aviv that Bilal will perform his entry, Roi, in the second half of the Grand Final next Saturday.
You can now see rehearsal footage of France’s rehearsal via Eurovision.tv:
The performance features Bilal in a long blonde wig and white outfit with two female dancers. Various messages are displayed on the LED screens behind the stage. Amongst the backing vocalists is Émilie Satt from Madame Monsieur, the duo who represented France in 2018 and co-wrote this year’s entry.
Pre-contest favourites; Italy, Switzerland, Iceland and Cyprus have all fallen back with the bookmakers over the past week. Azerbaijan, Sweden and Australia have all moved up in the bookies’ estimation.
According to Eurovision World, the current top 10 with the bookmakers, with their percentage chance of victory, are:
- The Netherlands – 22%
- Sweden – 16%
- France – 9%
- Russia – 9%
- Azerbaijan – 7%
- Malta – 5%
- Italy – 5%
- Australia – 4%
- Switzerland – 4%
- Iceland – 3%
Source: Eurovision World
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
France was one of seven countries to participate in the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. Since then they have participated in every contest aside from 1974 and 1982. Their withdrawal in 1974 was caused by the death of President Georges Pompidou, while 1982’s withdrawal was a result of TF1 declining to enter the contest. France has won the contest on five occasions, the most recent being in 1977 when Marie Myriam performed “L’oiseau et l’enfant”. France’s best result of the 2000s came in 2001 when Natasha St-Pier finished 4th in Copenhagen, Denmark.