If Rotterdam 2020 had not been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow would have been the event’s Grand Final. Here at EuroVisionary, we though we would keep our Eurovision spirits high by discussing the entries that had been selected for this year. Today, we share our views on France’s Tom Leeb and his song Mon Alliée (The Best In Me).
Tom Leeb was internally selected by national broadcaster France 2. Mon Alliée (The Best In Me) was written by Tom Leeb himself as well as former Eurovision entrants John Lundvik (Sweden 2019, 5th place) and Amir Haddad (France 2016, 6th place) and Léa Ivanne.
The French broadcaster used listening committees consisting of music industry professionals and France Télévision members to select the best entry amongst over one hundred songs they had received. It was later claimed that every single committee had chosen power ballad Mon Alliée.
As in 2016 and 2017, the French entry for 2020 was bi-lingual, with the verses sung in French and the chorus sung in English. This later generated some controversy, in particular, after a comment of the French Minister of Culture in the National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee.
Despite the enthusiastic support of the French broadcaster, Mon Alliée was featuring at a mediocre 30th place in the betting odds before the cancellation of Eurovision 2020. But what do we think about what would have been France 2020? These are some of our views here at EuroVisionary:
Theo – ‘Good choice of artist, not so sure about the choice of song. It is not that the song is bad as such, it’s just that it sounds as yet another entry that might be emulating last year’s winner, Arcade. I don’t think it would have stood out enough. I would rather have seen Tom Leeb singing a song that sounded more French personally. And, if I was the French broadcaster, I would try to persuade Leeb to return for the next contest, he’s got the full package for a Eurovision entrant.’
Álvaro – ‘The revamp version was a huge improvement from the first version. Still I am not impressed by the style of the song that makes me think about an old fashioned Disney song.’
Michael – ‘The only thing I don’t like about this song is the repetition of the de toi de toi in the first verse. Perfectly melodious, nice instrumental break in the middle and pleasing to listen to throughout. Another classic doomed to be forgotten.’
Charlotte – ‘I love it! This is my favourite song this year, and had we been in Rotterdam now, I would be covering his rehearsals, his press conferences and do whatever I could to arrange an interview with him. I love the song. I love the combination of languages. I love his voice – and… yeah, I also love the look of Tom Leeb . This is the whole package for me, it doesn’t get better than this. At least not this year.’
Josef – ‘Tom Leeb is definitely a good choice. The song unfortunately not, well, let’s blame the songwriting team here. France have so many good writers to choose from and they went with a Swedish team. No, thanks. The song in its first version was very old fashioned and unoriginal, that not even Tom could save it. Luckily French television realised what was wrong and at least added more French and switched to folk acoustic version which is so much better for Tom. Still not good enough but definitely better than what was served us at first. Unfortunately I did not expect France to end up high on the scoreboard. Luckily Tom gets his second chance and he doesn’t ruin it.’
Elvir – ‘The best thing about the French entry this year is the singer. Tom Leeb has such a crisp and pleasant voice. But, the problem is that the song doesn’t work for me. Even though the revamped version in French is much better than the original, I get pretty bored after a short time. Mon Alliée sounds dated and as something Boyzone or Westlife have rejected about 20 years ago.’
Kevin – ‘When I first saw the name Tom Leeb, I had no idea who he was, but the contest is a SONG contest so I waited for the song. And it came out and I was very very disappointed because it was very bland, nothing special, very monotonous. The only thing I enjoyed was the staging of the reveal on the Eiffel tower. Then I was even more disappointed that we selected a Swedish production because, indeed, when I listened to the song, I felt nothing French about it. When I learnt about this I was right on the money. I was even more disappointed that our team teased it as a song that made all the other songs they had listened to fade into the background. And also disappointed that Destination Eurovision was dumped for that. Since 2016, we have had quite a good comeback compared to before. But, with the change of Head of Delegation, I fear for 2021 to be back to how things were before. Dark era of France in the contest.’
Stay tuned – tomorrow, we will be discussing another entry for what would have been Rotterdam 2020!
In the meantime, you can revisit Tom Leeb and Mon Alliée (The Best In Me) in the video below: