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Chronicle of an announced French mess - Loxpex News
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“For me, La Zarra won today by making France proud, by its delivery of a chic and a French identity of which we can be very proud”, declares Alexandra Redde-Amiel, the head of delegation, just after the final of the Eurovision contest, on the night of Saturday to Sunday. Ironically, as she speaks her words, Tattoosthe song of the real winner, Loreen, is broadcast at full speed in the press center of Liverpool (United Kingdom).

Anyway, it is no longer the time to comment on La Zarra’s sixteenth place with his song Obviously. Everything is swept away by the gesture sketched by the artist when she heard the number of points that the public attributed to her.

The singer assures her, it was “absolutely not” a middle finger, but “a cultural, generational gesture”, to express “disappointment”. “I apologize if this was misinterpreted,” she wrote a little later in a story on Instagram. No doubt she does not measure the effect produced by this furtive movement in front of 160 million viewers (including 3.5 million on France 2), nor that everyone perceives it in their own way, as a sign of contempt, of spite, as a hilarious insult or bravado.

“It was time for her to answer that it was not a middle finger. Now that everything will be put back in its place, there will be no event, ”hopes Alexandra Redde-Amiel. In vain, this affair has been feeding the media chronicle for two days now, sometimes for the worse. This finger story is the end point (or suspension, as it seems that the epilogue remains to be written) of a chaotic Eurovision adventure. Everything seemed to have started well.

Unhappy affair

Let’s rewind. At the beginning of January, the head of delegation said that she had a “coup de coeur” for La Zarra. “She has all the qualities I’m looking for: she’s a complete artist, with charisma, voice and song,” she argues. Evidence such as the titles submitted by Anne Sila, according to our information, and Slimane, according The Parisian, have been withdrawn. It was thus decided to assume this choice taken internally by doing without national televised selection where the public would have its word to say.

On February 17, two weeks behind the announced deadline, the song was revealed to a handful of journalists and fans. “My heart, my hands, my eyes, my kidneys”, sings La Zarra at the very beginning ofObviously. Not many people notice the resemblance to the opening of Wife, a piece by Barbara Pravi – who preceded her two years ago on the Eurovision stage: “My body, my legs, my back, my arms, my hands, my bones”… Which is obvious by many, on the other hand, it is the linking error “de vouz’a moi de moi z’a vous”. La Zarra, who we will later discover is not inclined to questioning, is ready to assume what is poetically called a velvet, but not the delegation. Result, on the final version of the song made official two days later, the unfortunate “z” disappeared.

The reception of the song by Eurovision aficionados in France and abroad is very warm. Obviously does not take long to appear as a favourite. A good result is in orbit. However, the road ahead will not be a walk in the park.

A mysterious “gluten” intolerance

On March 8, in an Instagram story, La Zarra wrote, “I have made a decision, it is about my mental and physical well-being because lately I have been feeling heavy and numb, very confused. I can no longer do my job and I have lost my creativity. So I stop. This strange message more or less coincides with the deadline for sending the final application file to the organizers of the competition. Is La Zarra renouncing to participate in Eurovision? If so, it would be too late to come up with a plan B.

20 minutes seeks, in vain, to join Capitol, the record company of La Zarra, and the tricolor delegation. Then, an hour after her post, the singer publishes a video in which she specifies that she stops… gluten. A good joke? Not really. When we meet her in Amsterdam (Netherlands) a month later, the artist informs that she had not kept anyone informed of her publication and specifies that she has no problem with gluten. “I can consume it, it doesn’t bloat me. But there are certain things that have the same effect on me, ”she slips in. “It represents a lot of things, these false promises…”, she simply says to explain her metaphor, without explaining whether she is referring to her personal or professional life.

Rant removed

La Zarra prides herself on being “a free electron” and posting what she wants on social networks, despite the delegation’s warnings. She proves it during Eurovision week by posting a video in an Instagram story in which she responds to the xenophobes who insult her and stigmatize her Moroccan origins. “I piss in your face and bugger you with a cucumber,” she snaps while filming herself in front of her hotel. The rant will finally be removed and the delegation will do its utmost to remove all traces of it.

This April day when we meet her in Amsterdam, on the other hand, La Zarra maintains the story published in the morning in which she attacks the cleanliness of her hotel room which would smell of “mold” and whose pillows would be studded with “bloodstains”. This misadventure conditions her day, puts her mood in a rollercoaster mood, and it culminates, at the start of the evening, in her withdrawal from the concert at which she was to perform. The Dutch organizers still have it in their throats.

With Zarra being “emotionally exhausted”, according to the delegation, her participation in the pre-Eurovision concert in London the following day was also cancelled. From now on, the representative of France will be kept away from the media until her departure for Liverpool. But the damage is already done, former collaborators are spreading in the press about the “unmanageable” character of La Zarra and her “diva” side. “She is very shy and lacks self-confidence. Often, people who have this character compensate by seeking to be noticed”, confides to 20 minutes an artist who has collaborated with her and supports her tooth and nail.

A vocal coach called in disaster

On April 26, to break the silence, through a video, the singer bets on simplicity, and leaves her sophisticated outfits in the closet. She thanks her supporters and says she is “more determined than ever to wear the colors of France with pride and love”. What to be reassured?

Not really. Behind the scenes, the home stretch is organized in urgency and stress. La Zarra is not at all confident in terms of singing. She told in a live on Instagram that she lost her voice at the end of last year due to an ENT problem. It is unclear whether the delegation was aware of these concerns. His performance in Madrid (Spain), at the beginning of April, is the only one where we hear him sing Obviously live and without editing. Even for the revelation of the song in 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, she did not interpret it while the France 2 broadcast usually ends with a live performance… Her appearance on the Madrid stage is far from perfect but, who cares, she thrills the room which was conquered in advance . However, this lackluster performance may have instilled doubt in La Zarra’s mind, a week before the Amsterdam and London fixtures.

The singer must therefore regain confidence. The problem is that the current does not pass between her and the vocal coach with whom she must work. In disaster, the delegation goes in search of a savior capable of restoring faith in the artist in record time (three weeks, therefore) and succeeds in convincing one of the most famous. It is he who embarks for Liverpool. With some success: from rehearsal to rehearsal, we can hear the effects of their collaboration.

Preferential treatment

Another pair of sleeves, same urgency: questions of clothing. In a very last minute reversal of which she has the secret, La Zarra chooses Romain Thévenin. It was time: the Parisian designer barely had more than a week to design the stage outfit and the cocktail dresses for the representative of France.

Upon arrival in Liverpool on May 3, the days of the French delegation follow one another and are not alike. The relatively good weather is followed by more tormented hours. La Zarra speaks of his “perfectionism” but others see it as zealous nitpicking. The organization is running amok. Example: after each rehearsal, the traditional photos are slow to arrive on the Eurovision website. The delay is counted in hours. The singer demands to validate them. A snapshot taken behind the scenes, on which it is not in value, even disappears from the image database a posteriori. The production accepts this while the other artists are not really entitled to this preferential treatment.

A failure

On May 5, the day after his first rehearsal, La Zarra told us that he was in an “electric” state of mind, and the word then had a positive connotation. When we find her the following Wednesday, she uses the same term, now charged with tension. During the short interview she grants to 20 minutes, the artist seems distant and upset. Between the lines, she is preparing for a less flashy result than she hoped and claimed.

Then comes the final on Saturday. La Zarra is there. She delivers her best performance of the week – her performance the day before, on which the international jurors evaluated her, was more fragile. She could have left Liverpool on this satisfaction, but her spontaneity decided otherwise.

With hindsight, his rebellious gesture appears as a failed act. A way of saying that behind the polished facade of a candidacy committed to winning hid a much less rosy reality. Everything was told there, before our eyes, especially in the responses to journalists and the cryptic posts on social networks. The explanation of his controversial gesture is even available on the official Eurovision YouTube channel (see the video above)! Interviewed by the British host Rylan, who tells her that in the United Kingdom, making the peace sign with the fingers, while turning the hand, is an insult, La Zarra demonstrates the gesture that she will reproduce on Saturday evening. “In Morocco, we do this with our fingers, it’s very intense,” she says, bursting out laughing.

Within the delegation, many were waiting for this Sunday, May 14 to turn the page, stop saving the furniture and finally move on. Relief will have to wait. There is a crisis communication to manage.

By admin