Tom Leeb sings bi-lingual ballad ‘The Best In Me’ for France in Rotterdam
After years of finishing in the bottom of the scoreboard, 2016 was a big year for France, as Amir brought his country back to the top 10 (a 6th place to be precise). In The years after, France more than once was a favourite with the bookmakers, but the country finished mid-table every single time. The French broadcaster is hoping to change this by selecting singer and comedian Tom Leeb with his ballad ‘The Best In Me’, with lyrics in both French and English.
Leeb co-wrote the lyrics of the song together with Amir Haddad (French contestant in 2016), John Lundvik (Swedish contestant in 2019) and Léa Ivanne. The song itself was composed by Swedish composers Thomas G:son and Peter Boström, the creators behind one of Eurovision’s biggest hits ever, ‘Euphoria’ by Loreen. Unfortunately, they gave France far from their best work. ‘The Best In Me’ is the type of predictable, middle-of-the-road ballad they would let the winner of a talent show perform during the final about ten years ago. The production tries to make the song bigger than it actually is, but in trying to do so, also makes it sound more outdated and cliche. It is pushing for a climax, but the flat melody just lets it down.
The same unfortunately goes for the English part of the lyrics; they are plagued by cliche sentences and open doors. Even with a great vocal performance and some eye-catching staging (including Leeb’s much discussed good looks) I can’t see this make a lasting impression on either juries or televoters in May in Rotterdam. The trend of ‘borrowing’ songwriters from other countries (often from Sweden) is not great for the diversity in Eurovision, but in this case it is especially baffling. Did they really think no one in France could write a better composition than ‘The Best In Me’? Eurovision history has proven that the contest isn’t all too friendly for predictable middle-of-the-road pop and I am afraid that France is one of the contenders for the last place this year.
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