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World Hit Festival 58 | Le Havre, N&P | IC Thread

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Normandy and Picardy
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Democratic Socialists

World Hit Festival 58 | Le Havre, N&P | IC Thread

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:31 pm

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whf network | ooc thread | playlist


8:59 PM HNR
HNR = l'Heure Normale Republicaine/Republican Standard Time (Equivalent to GMT)

The final preparations had been made. SRNP hadn't realised just how difficult it would be to host the contest for a second time in a row. Why had they decided to do it? Perhaps they were buoyed on by the postive international reception to the last contest in Amiens. Perhaps it was the notion that as they had won again, they ought to host again. Or perhaps they had some sort of weird wish to bankrupt themselves. Could be any of them, who knows? In any case, they had managed to get the show together, and not on the cheap either. It was time to show off Les Deux Republiques once more, this time a different side. Where Amiens had focused on heritage, history, and the Normand musical tradition, the show in Le Havre would show a forward looking, open Normandy. It was to be a celebration of the art and culture and people of Le Havre and all of Normandy and Picardy in the here and now. And now it was time for the telespectateurs in Normandy and Picardy and around the world to see this tradition, which the hosting team hoped would blend traditional Normand hospitality and hosting as shown in Amiens with the new and exciting things going on in the country.

On screens across Normandy and Picardy, from Amiens to Avranches, the SRNP ident played. A voice, the same voice as every time, but this time with a wonderful message. "Ce soir sur SRNP1, le 58eme Festival International de la Chanson, en live du Havre. Attention, cette emission contient les clignotements". It had been made enough to hear the continuity announcer say something very similar last contest, but now it was perhaps even more surreal when perhaps it should have been less so; the surprise lay in the very fact they were hosting again. But enough of labouring that point. The final few preparations were being made in the host venue, the Stade Oceane, normally a football stadium but turned into a WHF temple for the evening's entertainment, providing a crowd of around 15,000 people, alongside the thousands in the central of Le Havre watching in "WHF Hubs" which had sprung up across the town over the week, with performances from local acts and the competitors, amongst other attractions. Marie de l'Abre, the host for the evening, went through her preperatory technique, albeit she would not be on stage for a fair while yet, given the opening that had been planned (and onto which we'll finally get in a moment). Unlike last contest, when Frederic Duchamps took up hosting duty and gained a spot in many hearts, following his victory alongside his wife Annabelle Vallence, this contest was to be taken up by Marie, a famous presenter in Normandy and Picardy, whose hosting jobs have included the prestigious Festival de la College de Cherbourg, the biggest domestic TV event of the year. In a way, just like competing was to be for the representatives, it was also going to be a dream come true for Marie; she has presented the Normand points for 8 contests now, and had been hoping to host last time.

And now, she was here, and this was her moment. Well, partially, she'd just be moving things along. The real stars of the show were all mostly in an ante-room in the Stade Oceane, waiting for their procession onto the stage that would mark the close of the opening section for the contest, and all waiting nervously. The crowd in the stadium murmured, cheered and waved flags about for no apparent reason - they wouldn't be on screen for a good while yet to show off the flags - whilst audiences across the multiverse settled down to watch the evening unfold. And speaking of which...


9:00 PM HNR

It was finally showtime! Yet, that did not mean a bunch of big glitzy fireworks, a loud brash opening, or even the official theme of the contest mixed far too loud (rip to the ears of those on the discord listenalong last contest, sorry!) No, the show started in a dark, dingy room, with no real way to tell where it was. There was barely any dark, but what could be seen is an old-styled TV set (you know the sort I mean). A few seconds. And then suddenly it burst into life, and even into colour. What followed was a brief montage of various highlights of the previous contest in Amiens; from North Alezia opening the show to Polkopia, from the Achaean Republic who the Normands had given 5 points to Faraby, Britonisea to Malta. Throughout this, the camera had slowly moved towards the TV screen and now, as the scene progressed to a recap of the top three, we were in a sense 'inside the screen', or rather the image was now full screen, showing a mixture of performance and scenes from the very tense voting sequence as each of them battled it out, before showing at the very end Alys Montgolfier's encore performance. And yet, as quickly as it had come, the screen fizzled and then went blank again, and the camera jolted back out into the same dingy screen as before...

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tune | jungle - keep moving

And so, we move into the first part of the opening act, entitled "Ici et maintenant" (Here and Now). It has been put together by the Le Havre Arts Collective, who have also been key to the creation of the visual identity of this contest. Funded by the municipal council, it provides a number of schemes and funding opportunities to support local talent across the spectrum of arts and design, and this includes the two elements that will be key to this opening number, music and dance. SRNP naturally turned to the collective to best represent Le Havre as a modern and vibrant city and to show off the best of current talent, as is very much the talent here, and is clear in the narrative thrust carried forward in this scene. How so? Well, for the first ten seconds or so, not much happens, we are within the great void of the warehouse, the dark, atmospheric feeling almost choking. And then, as the violins first come in and the tension slowly begins to build, a young man steps forth from the darkness. He is shown to be holding the plug of the TV; at least we now know why it wasn't working. Of course, this is supposed to be symbolic - we've seen the past, but now it is time to stop just watching the triumphs of yesterday, but think about what we can do today and in the future. But, of course, there is a long way to go yet, and the surroundings don't seem the most favourable. Even though of course the Port of Le Havre is very much still running and the lifeblood of the city, the look created is one that is still tired, still trapped in the past. But it is from this that the modern Normandy would spring forth onto screens around the multiverse, and into action around the city of Le Havre itself. But that is to come.

As the song progressed, a series of lights flickered, showing the empty floor, strewn with old wires, and bits of industrial ephemera. The camera slowly pans around the young man who stays mostly still but turns his head and follows the camera as far as he can as it slowly moves around. As it slowly goes around, it actually be seen that only one half of the warehouse is actually properly lit, and the trail of wires etc. seems to disappear off into the lurking menace at the other end. The camera view, which had also begun rather far out, also slowly zooms in as it circles the young man and the television set. Suddenly, voices begin to sing, notably, it must be said, in English...


We are here and now
Nous sommes ici et maintenant
Pour reverence, c'pas temps
No time to take a bow


After another pass around the young man and turning towards the darkness, something begins to slowly flicker into life. A large construction made of multiple lighting panels, a whole complex array. My god, it is the stage from the last contest! Indeed, SRNP had gone to the expense of setting up the stage from Amiens in an old warehouse in Le Havre? Whatever for, you might ask? Had they simply just answered to the whims of some random group of young miscreants, sorry, artists? Well, again, it can all be handwaved away with *symbology*. Much as with the television screen, there is a look to the past, in this case the quite immediate past as opposed to the traditions delved last contest, which in a way the stage especially is standing in for. The focus, really, however, is in a sense the way in which we build upon the past and yet have to keep ourselves focused on the here, the now, and indeed the future ahead of us, rather than allow ourselves to get bogged down in the battles and the triumphs of yesteryear, lest we end up simply dancing amongst the ruins. And indeed, there is also, perhaps, a message of hope; from the old will flourish the new, and indeed, nowhere is this more true than in the arts. From the talent of the last contest comes the talent of Le Havre and the talent in this year's contest. And several representatives of that 'talent' were represented standing on the 'ruins' of the stage, with a conspicuous gap in the formation which naturally was to be filled by our young man, who slowly approached, before, just as this opening section ended, jumped up onto the stage, across which a pulse of light actually seemed to race, before they all broke into a very modern sort of choreography, like the sort in the music video for the tune on which this section is based (and there's your fourth wall firmly demolished).

And unless you understand it
And find out what to do
The past will take hold of you
And never let go

So take the first step forward
Into another day
Here and now, here and now, oh


I will end my description of the lyrics etc. here, mostly for my own sake; I actually want time to finish the rest of this opening act. In any case, you most likely get the jist of what was going on with this song; an encouragement both to try and truly understand the past, to be in touch with tradition, but not simply to chase it into a dead end, but instead build a new world, a better world, upon it. And indeed, a vision of this in the modern, vibrant city of Le Havre, from the modernist architecture erected when the city was completely rebuilt following the Second World War - truly showing how something beautiful, now a UNESCO world heritage site, can rise again from the ruins - to the modern artistic centre designed by Niemayer, and all of the various districts and regions were to be shown off by the dance troupe and their journey through the city by all means; along the River Seine, on whose mouth Le Havre is purched, by boat, dancing and encouraging people to join them on the trams, jumping across the rooftops in parkour style, and almost everything in between. From housing developments to the MuMA art gallery, the centrepiece in the cultural crown, and from the Pont de Normandie reaching across the Seine towards Honfleur on the side - a hint of what was to come, and of the other main impulse of building connections and coming together, and especially the part of the arts to facilitate this - to the top of the large, modernist spire of St. Joseph's Church designed by Auguste Perret himself, with its commanding view over the entirety of the city and beyond - it is easily the tallest structure in the city, and actually acts as a beacon for ships in La Manche - this opening sequence took in all the different aspects of the city, ici et maintenant.

As the instrumental following the final chorus played, around the four minute mark into this section, all the various dancers, who had been travelling throughout the city over the course of it, all converged on the Stade Oceane, stadium for local football club Le Havre AC and the home of the 58th World Hit Festival for the evening. As day slowly turned into night, the setting sun casting an orangey-purple light across the dockland within which the Stade is situated, the three groups of dancers who had been followed on their journeys through the city all were able to meet up again, greet each other, and generally seem chill. In a curious turn of events, however, as the music mellowed in the song's closing moments, the group of dancers walked out into the pitch itself, and seemed to be rather confused. There was no reason for the to be confused; this was a football stadium, so why should there not be a pitch here, set up as if for a matchday. And surely they hadn't been expecting a crowd just for them, and yet some seemed to look at all the empty seats as if something was wrong. But then, all was made clear, as the camera shot, turning around the dancers from above, allowed for a transition to the live feed from the Stade Oceane now playing its roll as host. The empty pitch with a bunch of confused dancers was now replaced with some of the 15,000 WHF fans who naturally began to cheer wildly, in a way providing the transition into the next part of the opening...


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tune | bronson - tense

[WIP]


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tune | yelle - noir (tepr remix)

The camera turned around again to focus on the bridge, on which now was stood Normand pop superstar Suzanne. Since her debut album, the critically acclaimed "POP", in 2006, she has conquered the mainstream Normand music scene and has consistently remained at the forefront. Whilst she has never actively been considered to represent Normandy and Picardy in WHF, she has had a hand in helping choose entries now and again - in an unofficial capacity, of course - and back when Normandy and Picardy could be relied upon as Worldvision regulars too, she had a hand in writing a few of the entries. In any case, she jumped at the opportunity to help open this, the 58th World Hit Festival, even if it was essentially to provide the music for the Defile des Nations, the Parade of Nations. In any case, there was stood, as the Normand part of the crowd especially (and perhaps unsurprisingly they did form the vast majority) went slightly too mad, perhaps, dressed in her own take on traditional Normand style, given a modern twist, and surrounded by a series of dancers posed around her, dressed in similar designs which were fashioned by Suzanne herself (who also, alongside her musical career, runs her own fashion label; thus, she fit the criteria for this contest in two different ways).

They would slowly stand up and move themselves around her as the camera slowly panned around, some of the dancers from the previous section now shown almost frozen in position on the stage, holding a series of almost statuesque poses, whilst in the background the paint swirl motif finally showed itself, beginning with the purple-blue default setting as shown in the logo at the top of this page, but also going through some of the other options, like this, and this, over the course of the song; naturally, the lights also slowly changed over the course of the song to match. But back to this opening section. As Suzanne started singing "Finalement, dans la nuit...", her and the dancers slowly almost prowled their way over the bridge, slowly walking towards the main stage out before them. The cameras here focused on giving a number of large sweeping shots of the stage, the large space created in the Stade Oceane, and the audience that this space helped to accomodate. As she came towards the end of the bridge, Suzanne was picked up by two of the backing dancers and essentially lifted onto the stage where two of the dancers waited for her and, one holding each hand, walked along with her up until the middle of the stage. Below is again but a sample of the lyrics, taken from this opening section before the first big instrumental break, because again it is pretty much of a one-ness; embodying the party spirit, Suzanne is welcoming us to join her partying long into the night, extending an invitation to everyone across the multiverse to let go and enjoy a mad night of musical wonder. There might be a few more ballads in store than she is letting on, but we shan't let that get in the way of a good time, right?


Moi, je cherche un frisson
Je cherche un boisson
Je cherche un garçon
Moi, je voudrais s'amuser
Je voudrais juste jouer
Je voudrais rendre vous tous

Finalement, dans la nuit je sens vivante
Et je ne veux pas descendre
Ce soir j'irai jusqu'au bout

Comment vas-tu faire ce soir?
Moi, faire la fête, je sors
Je cherche le tresor (tresor, tresor)
Comment vas-tu faire ce soir?
Moi, j'sens le clair de lune
Je cherche la fortune


It turned out, perhaps unsurprisingly, that Suzanne was hardly the last person who would be crossing over the bridge onto the main stage; it would have been a pretty quick night if that were the case anyway. Instead, she would be greeting the competitors from twenty three competing countries, two more than last time in Amiens, who had decided to come along and have a go at claiming the crown, and in general enjoy the night's festivities being so well extolled by Suzanne here. The crowd cheered loudly, the cameras occassionally showing the contingents from different competing nations who had made the trip to Le Havre and out to the Stade Oceane, cheering and waving their flags and doing all the things that overexcited fans do as the acts crossed over onto the stage. The first on was Todlichebujoku, who in a wonderful twist of fate had actually closed the last contest in Amiens (well, had closed the run of competing entries). As Ía Lêsovà, the Todlichebujoki entry, crossed over the bridge and towards the stage, the LED screen on the stage behind changed to show the paint pattern designed for Todlichebujoku as for each country, and the lights also changed to match. She was accompanied by two figures in similar outfits to those being worn by Suzanne and her dancers on stage, one of whom was flying the flag of Todlichebujoku too. This was pretty much the pattern for each entry, all the way to the closing act from Darkmania. Easily the biggest cheer was, unsurprisingly, saved for the Normand entry, song number 15, Marcel Dumoulin. It is only slightly hyperbolic to suggest the temporary roof on top of the Stade Oceane was in some danger as he stepped onto the bridge. It should be noted, perhaps, that the acts only walked across and over during the instrumental parts of the songs, so there was, for a while at least, quite a high turnover of acts crossing over, but each received their proper due attention as they crossed over and around to the back of the stage and along the platform to the greenroom, located in the arena itself and overlooking the crowd below.



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As the final song in the opening act and the parade of nations came to an end, the camera switched down to the lower stage where the host of tonight's proceedings, Marie de l'Abre, could be found. Unlike the host of last contest, Frédéric Duchamps, who had ultimately been chosen as he had won the contest before, and did it alone as Annabelle, his wife and fellow winner, had not wanted yet ultimately managed to pull off the hosting gig (gaining a few international fans in the process, so much so that many memes were made about him during and after the contest), the 58th World Hit Festival would be overseen by Marie, one of the best well known présentatrices in all of Normandy and Picardy. Marie is certainly no stranger to this illustrious contest either; she has been the Normand spokesperson for the last seven contests running, as well as hosting the "Revue des Chansons", ostensibly a preview of the entries in WHF every contest but really having grown into a major spectacle itself. As has happened last time in Amiens, Marie would mostly be speaking in French, although she would provide some English in this opening section. This is due to a provision of Normand broadcasting law defending the use of Normand French. In any case, time to see what she had to say...

"Madames et Messieurs, bienvenue au Stade Océane, qui est d'habitude le domicile de AS Le Havre et ce soir, du cinquante-huitieme Festival International de la Chanson, qui est diffusé en live à des millions dans le multiverse!"

The crowd in the Stade Océane unsurprisingly cheered rather loudly as Marie opened the show. Already, things were running more smoothly than they had with Frédéric, who by this point had already messed up reading off a cue card. In any case, Marie waited for the crowd to slowly settle down, perhaps a little longer than she anticipated, before repeating what she had just said in English

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Stade Océane, the Ocean Stadium, home normally to AS Le Havre, our local football team, who tonight have kindly offered it up for the fifty-eighth World Hit Festival, which is being broadcast live to millions of people across the multiverse!"

Another wave of cheering spread around the crowd, perhaps with slightly less vigour from the Normand crowd, but with more from the international travelling fans who presumably had a stronger grip of the English than the French. For the rest of this opening section, Marie would speak first in French and then English providing a translation. Below, the time gap will be elided, the English serving simply as a translation of the French OOCly, but remember this is happening ICly too.

"Nous sommes fiers de faire bon acceuil aux 21 autres pays pour ce festival ici au Havre à côté de notre très cher Marcel Dumoulin qui chantera pour les Deux Républiques. Les artistes s'asseyent ici dans la stade; disons bonsoir!"
We are proud to welcome twenty two other countries taking part in this festival here in Le Havre, alongside our very own Marcel Dumoulin who will sing for the Two Republics. The artists are sitting here in the stadium; let's say hello!

Unsurprisingly, the name check of the home act had elicited a rather loud response from the crowd, although perhaps slightly more muted than expected; evidently the crowd had noticed that Marie held out her hand as if to say "No, not yet", not quite with an air of annoyance, but perhaps resulting in some sympathy given it seemed like she was trying to gain control over the rowdiest classroom ever. When she had finally let the audience cheer, as the camera feed focused on the green room, showing all the competing artists and delegations, waving flags about etc., and not quite on the drink just yet.

"Derrière moi, les technicien de SRNP, les Sociétés de Radiodiffusion de la Normandie et Picardie qui réalisent ce festival, préparent la scène pour la première acte de Todlichebujoku. Il semble que nous aimons ce festival à tel point que nous avons décidé de mettre nous-memes en faillite pour produire le festival à nouveau. Ça valait la peine? C'est à vous de décider
Behind me, technicans from SRNP, the Broadcasting Socieites of Normandy and Picardy who are producing this festival, are preparing the stage for the first act from Todlichebujoku. It seems that we love this festival so much that we have decided to bankrupt ourselves to produce it again. Was it worth it? That's for you to decide

As she spoke about the technicians when delivering the French version, she proded the camera to look up to the main stage behind her, as if having to remind the production team what to do, to show at first a guy in a worker's outfit who had seemingly set up a deckchair and decided to take a nap on the stage. Apparently realising that the camera was now focused on him, he very rapidly woke up, packed up and put the deckchair to one side, and rejoined the rest of the team who now actually were preparing for the act from Todlichebujoku. By the time the camera returned to Marie, she had switched to English. In any case, both the deckchair man and the joke about bankcruptcy received a polite laugh from the audience.

Comme j'ai dit, 22 pays se disputeront le trophée de la grand prix. Puis, des juries et des télévoters de chaque pays votera afin de déterminer leur top 5. Chaucun attribuera cinq points à son préféré et ainsi de suite. Mais voyons qui joue quand...
So... Well, as I have said, 21 countries will compete for the trophy. Then, juries and televoters from each country will vote to determine their top 5. Each will give 5 points to their favourite and so on. Let's see who's performing when...

OOC Note: The running order graphic is placed at the top of the post below with the links to all the entries etc., just as that makes most sense. Carry on.

Mais maintenant, sans plus attendre, il est temps que le 58eme Festival International de la Chanson commence!
But now, without any further ado, it is time for the 58th World Hit Festival to begin!

And so the crowd cheered loudly as the transition to the first postcard, for the Todlichebujoki entry, played...
Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Northern French Names but with a general Western Med vibe, welcome to N&P

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:52 pm

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Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:30 am, edited 6 times in total.
Northern French Names but with a general Western Med vibe, welcome to N&P

User avatar
Normandy and Picardy
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Posts: 1876
Founded: Aug 11, 2014
Democratic Socialists

1ère chanson | todlichebujoku

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:35 pm

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Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Northern French Names but with a general Western Med vibe, welcome to N&P

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Founded: Aug 11, 2014
Democratic Socialists

1ère chanson | todlichebujoku

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:44 pm

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01. Tödlichebujoku
"Sredh Duhàv" - Ía Lêsovà

Title Translation: Among The Spirits
Language(s): Zirnhese (Lagoan: Zirnhês, Taploukki: Zirnyan, Zirnhese: Zirnscí)
Lyrics: Ía Mesacova
Music: Felicidade Crupina, Rostislao Voronin
Tune: Silmaril - Oonagh





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Ía Mesacova, better known through her stage name Ía Lêsovà (Ía of the Forests), originates from Cachino Novo, a village in the Zirnhese heartland, the the rolling hills and low mountains of the Dicarnosth where the old songs ring out from ancient villages, as untouched by Lagoan meddling as could be. From a young age she was surrounded by the Zirnhese folk songs and lullabies sung by the grandmothers and grandfathers of the village, especially as the Lagoan princedom began to step back from its repressive imperialist and Lagocentrist ideology, a move spurred by the growing tide of unrest and violence in the major cities of the region. This backdrop of unrest interspersed with the idyllic groves and villages formed the environment in which Ía found herself growing up in, but luckily the biggest scars were beginning to heal in the national consciousness by the time she began understanding the situation. It is from this background that Ía navigated the recent unrest in Tödlichebujoku, keeping in touch with her extended family and childhood mentors to learn from their own experiences in that period, in order to best manage her well-being in this most recent trial. With her song "Sredh Duhàv", Ía hopes to weave a getaway from all the chaos and the hurt that has transpired, to transport her listeners and viewers into a mystical world to heal and to find joy.



The light shines softly upon Ía as she steps forward, barefoot, shrouded in a gauzy, airy silver dress that smoothly wraps around her body. It glimmers subtly as the camera view closes in upon her, with almost a hazy, dewy effect that gives the scene an otherworldly, dreamlike cast. She begins with her head downcast, but slowly raises it, her eyes meeting the camera view in innocent, wistful wonder

Moia shrdçe, i ducha, jajdut dìhania
Nadeiush, çhhto sàlnhçe ojivit menha
No seiçhas, mì proidhom v'lunnom suête
Mì v'drugom mire


The single, soft golden light remains on Ía as a number of dancers wrapped in very loose silvery fabric dance around her like dervishes, the fabric loose in such a manner that the human forms of the dancers are heavily abstracted, lost within the folds and billows of the fabric as they whirl and dance in circles upon the stage. Watery, silvery lights shine down at an angle from all around the stage, like a bowl of light upon the dancers and around the single beam on Ía in the center. Ía herself dances in place, the strengthening beam upon her beginning to reveal the glitter in her makeup that sparkles in the camera view. Her movements are graceful and fluid, joyful and carefree, as specks of reflective dust are faintly visible in the light

Cajdi vàz'hod, cajdi zacat, s'cajduiu noçh sredh duhàv
Ia ne boiush, ia ne boiush, ia ne boiush temnotì
Mì lêtaiem, mì lêtaiem, mì lêtaiem sredh duhàv
I ne boímsha thmì

Poidhom
Poidhom
Poidhom sà m'noi

Poidhom
Poidhom
Poidhom s'nami


The dancers fall away from view as the silver lights are replaced with golden ones, washing the stage in a golden summer glow that brings out the more vibrant tones in Ía's ruddy skin and fiery hair. She raises her head and hands upwards to the heavens, reveling in the moment, before dropping her gaze and arms down as half of her becomes illuminated in gold, the other in a cool, soft white with darkness behind. Behind and around her, lush greenery begins to appear on the "sunlit" side, with silvery plant life on the "moonlit" side

Éto nebo namecaiet na nebesa vìche
Ispìtai vhsê, peremenì, tì poimhochh çhhto lusçhe
A budh to thma, ili suêtà, esth radosth
I mì mojem isçêlithsé


The dancers return, now in both gold and silver shrouds, whirling around Ía in her beam of golden light, as wind begins to blow on the stage, magnifying the billows of all the fabric in movement, and lightly tossing Ía's hair. She slowly turns in a circle as she prances about in place, the camera view following her as she does so, and in the background the stage is no longer simply split in half between green foliage and silver foliage. Now, radial slices of gold and silver plant life are displayed, rotating at the pace of Ía's turning, as if being illuminated through a turning lens split into slices

Cajdi vàz'hod, cajdi zacat, s'cajduiu noçh sredh duhàv
Ia ne boiush, ia ne boiush, ia ne boiush temnotì
Mì lêtaiem, mì lêtaiem, mì lêtaiem sredh duhàv
I ne boímsha thmì

Poidhom
Poidhom
Poidhom sà m'noi

Poidhom
Poidhom
Poidhom s'nami


The lights turn down just enough to illuminate Ía against the darkened background as she looks down upon the dancers, who are splayed out on the floor around her. She points her arms toward them as she turns around, and gazes into the camera view with an expression of wild innocent wonder

No seiçhas, mì proidhom v'lunnom suête
Mì v'drugom mire


The dancers burst back into life as mist billows out from around the stage edge and pours down around them, fog banks swirling around the animated dancers and their flapping shrouds. Ía herself is dancing in graceful movements in the center, illuminated gold as the camera view comes down from above, so that the performers on stage appear almost like some sort of living mandala, or some magical sigil that is coming alive, the spotlights on the dancers reflecting against the fog and making it seem like the dancers are glowing

Cajdi vàz'hod, cajdi zacat, s'cajduiu noçh sredh duhàv
Ia ne boiush, ia ne boiush, ia ne boiush temnotì
Mì lêtaiem, mì lêtaiem, mì lêtaiem sredh duhàv
I ne boímsha thmì

Poidhom
Poidhom
Poidhom sà m'noi

Poidhom
Poidhom
Poidhom s'nami


Flutists dressed as wood nymphs, in very light clothing with leaves interwoven in the fabric, dance around the periphery as glittery "snow" drifts down from above, causing the air itself to shimmer and glimmer in the light, and collecting upon the clothing of the performers. As the song ends, the dancers fall to the ground, and the lights sweep outward to wash the arena in a golden glow, before fading away

"Thank you, kiitos, spasibà, merci!!" she shouts, before exiting the stage.



My heart, and soul, long for breath
I hope for the sun to bring me to life
But for now, we pass through the moonlight
We're in another world

Every sunrise, every sunset, with every night among the spirits
I do not fear, I do not fear, I do not fear the darkness
We are flying, we are flying, we are flying among the spirits
And we do not fear the dark

Come
Come
Come with me

Come
Come
Come with us

This sky hints at the heavens above
Experience all the changes, you'll realize which is best
Whether darkness or light, there is joy
And we can be healed

Every sunrise, every sunset, with every night among the spirits
I do not fear, I do not fear, I do not fear the darkness
We are flying, we are flying, we are flying among the spirits
And we do not fear the dark

Come
Come
Come with me

Come
Come
Come with us

But for now, we pass through the moonlight
We're in another world

Every sunrise, every sunset, with every night among the spirits
I do not fear, I do not fear, I do not fear the darkness
We are flying, we are flying, we are flying among the spirits
And we do not fear the dark

Come
Come
Come with me

Come
Come
Come with us
Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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2ème chanson | pas auphélie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:47 pm

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Northern French Names but with a general Western Med vibe, welcome to N&P

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Democratic Socialists

2ème chanson | pas auphélie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:55 pm

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02. Not Auphelia
"Slow" - Kitty Claws

Language(s): English
Lyrics: Aaliyah Chedidi (Kitty Claws), Jacob Hollings, Maria Black
Music: Lydia Rasat and Aaliyah Chedidi
Tune: Say So - Doja Cat




The Performance

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A woman in a massive coat stands on a platform on her stage, surrounded by twinkling mirror balls. The purple and pink tinted lights reflect in a dazzling array all around her, a prismatic spray of light casting her and her dancers in gorgeous light. She takes off a large pair of dark purple tinted glasses, looking into the camera at the audience at home as she tosses them past the camera and into the audience as the song starts. The arch above them all and the background LEDs begin to pulsate to a slowly growing beat as the dancers and the young woman, Kitty Claws, begins her performance.

The background dancers move with fluid motions, a well-practiced routine not yet turned stale with time. Their movements are fresh and energetic, youthful exuberance incarnate. The younger crowd likely recognise the choreography from the popular music video and subsequent social media phenomenon that launched the song to fame in the lead up to the World Hit Festival competition.


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Don’t be tempted baby, there’s nothing wrong with waiting
I love you and you know it, we’ve got to go slow
One moment at a time, I love the way you touch me
I want you to go faster, we’ve got to go slow

Don’t be tempted baby, there’s nothing wrong with waiting
I love you and you know it, we’ve got to go slow
One moment at a time, I love the way you touch me
I want you to go faster, we’ve got to go slow


Kitty shrugs off her massive coat, stepping down off the platform and joining her dancers in the choreography as she sings the next verse.

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It’s been a long time since we met that day
Been givin’ me all your love, make sure I ain’t running dry
How can we go so slow (can’t help myself)
'Cause I don’t know if I can hold it
I wanna jump you, ‘cause we’re goin’ too slow
But we can go as slow as you like
If you want then I'll calm down now
If you want it scream and shout it, babe
Before I go too fast


The mirror balls and lights go wild, shining and shimmering all through the stage and audience as the dancers and Kitty Claws slip back into their hypnotic dance, rolling and shaking everything to the catchy beat.

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Don’t be tempted baby, there’s nothing wrong with waiting
I love you and you know it, we’ve got to go slow
One moment at a time, I love the way you touch me
I want you to go faster, we’ve got to go slow

Don’t be tempted baby, there’s nothing wrong with waiting
I love you and you know it, we’ve got to go slow
One moment at a time, I love the way you touch me
I want you to go faster, we’ve got to go slow


The following portion would provide fodder for the social media mobs for days to come - weeks, even. Gyrating. Twerking. Suggestive dancing with mirror balls. Abstractly simulating certain sexual acts with one another.

Staying just on the right side of legal and the wrong side of the morality police, it was clear from the audience reaction that it was a popular move.

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My heart beats ba-bum, my lips gone slick (ha)
Rabbits never gonna go this fast, he’s quick (ah)
Waterfall ready for his mouth in one lick
Do I want him on the bed or on his knees, can’t pick
Lick it, slurp it, munch it, gulp
Chew my fruit into a pulp
Watch it make my body roll
Don’t you love me going fast?
Grinding, moaning, twisting, shush
Lost in all my wild bush
Hack it and you’ll see me gush
There’s no shame in lovin’ me (yeah, yeah)
Been goin’ too fast now you can see the real me
From small and real timid to a freak at warp speed
But you’re too slow you don’t got what I need
Can’t keep up with my miles, time for you to just leave


Riding high on the cheering and shouting from the audience, she went through the end of her performance on a wave of a sizeable section of the crowd singing along to her song, some young people in the crowd even following along with the choreography, the cameras occasionally cutting away from the stage to show off a particularly skilled fan.

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Don’t be tempted baby, there’s nothing wrong with waiting
I love you and you know it, we’ve got to go slow
One moment at a time, I love the way you touch me
I want you to go faster, we’ve got to go slow

Don’t be tempted baby, there’s nothing wrong with waiting
I love you and you know it, we’ve got to go slow
One moment at a time, I love the way you touch me
I want you to go faster, we’ve got to go slow


Eventually the song comes near its end, and right on the last word Kitty Claws raises her microphone up to catch the last "slow" as it is shouted by loud enough to be caught up on the mic. A certain amount of applause greets her and follows her and her dancers off stage.
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Democratic Socialists

3ème chanson | britonisie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:59 pm

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Democratic Socialists

3ème chanson | britonisie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:03 pm

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03. Britonisea
"Never Forget Me" - Liam Narain

Language(s): English
Lyrics: Liam Narain, Samantha Parkson
Music: Mark Walling, T:Rodden, Samantha Parkson
Tune: Burn Down This Room - Ruben





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Album cover of “Never Forget Me”: The song will represent Britonisea at the 58th World Hit Festival, sung by Liam Narain…

Britonisea returns for the 38th edition time at the World Hit Festival, this time sending Brito-Togonistanian artist, Liam Narain, with the song “Never Forget Me” in Normandy and Picardy...

If we go back and look at the 57th World Hit Festival, which was also hosted in Normandy and Picardy, we could see that Britonisea managed to maintain yet another top 5 placement in what was quite a difficult field of nations. Initially, Britons went to the 57th World Hit Festival thinking that they were in with a good chance of victory, with James Benamar receiving a fairly good response by the Britonish audience. In Amiens, Britonisea was picked to perform in the first half - yet again - with the Normandy and Picardy broadcaster (SRNP) deciding that Britonisea would perform 8th in the Grand Final - with many of Britonisea’s recent positions in the Grand Final being around there (6th - 8th). Brityunik Vefecosoin Cairkovoin, the Britonish broadcaster, knew that this wasn’t uncharted territory, they had to make sure that the entry was fantastic. Performing after Hafamarimet and before Axuva was a hard task, Britonisea had to be more worried about the whole of the second half, with nations at the top of the scoreboard in the end having dominated the top 5 in the end. As the points came through, despite a relatively strong start in the beginning, the nation was no match for the hosts Normandy and Picardy who scored 13 points more than Britonisea. James Benamar went home with a respectable 5th place which was a good position - a position we haven’t been in since the 44th World Hit Festival in Anollasia. Some Britonish fans were left reeling after Britonisea scored second at the orchestral edition, a contest Britonisea was tipped to win due to the fact the nation won the first orchestral edition all those editions ago. Britonisea, still, did very well - scoring the best result for Britonisea since ELIANA’s World Hit Festival win in the summer. As we move further away from the last Britonish win, nearly celebrating a year since the country last won, we have officially entered the largest win drought since the 26th World Hit Festival to the 37th World Hit Festival where, despite having hosted the 35th edition, didn’t win the contest in between. The Head of Delegation, Tom Stardust, who debuted with a winning entry through ELIANA was starting to slack, some people thought. The aim for the World Hit team was not to dive outside the top 10 like how it was in the WorldVision Song Contest. This edition, again in Normandy and Picardy, Tom Stardust decided to approach Liam Narain - a man from both Britonisea and Togonistan who will fly the flag for Britonisea at the upcoming World Hit Festival. But who is he?

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Liam Narain during rehearsals: Liam was “on point” and ready for Normandy & Picardy according to sources...

During A Hit For The World, it was announced that 31-year-old Tushlark-born singer, Liam Narain will represent Britonisea in Le Havre...

Announced on the same day of the week as the last A Hit For The World, it was revealed that Britonisea would participate in the upcoming edition of the World Hit Festival after radio silence from the broadcaster. It was announced that James Benamar's successor will be another male soloist for the third time in a row, with BVC hoping to continue the success the previous two men had at the Festival. Liam Narain has been named as the next Britonish representative where he will sing his song, "Never Forget Me" which is a pop ballad with orchestral elements in it. Some thought that "Never Forget Me" was a song that would have done well at the orchestral edition instead, which was hosted in Todlichebujoku not too long ago. Liam Narain was born in Togonistan to a Britonish mother and a Togonistanian father. As a family, they have spent time both in Britonisea and Togonistan, with Liam being pretty familiar with both cultures - he's very proud to be from both countries.

The powerful ballad speaks about Narain's struggles recently when he was told that due to a life-threatening condition that he had, he was no longer able to pursue his career in sports. Liam was a jack of all trades; he was a professional footballer, but also was very good at tennis and hockey. It all came to an end after his diagnosis which sent him "on the wrong path", something that he candidly spoke about during the A Hit For The World interview that had just finished. He said that the performance will be a very emotional one for him, with the staging and dancers on the stage helping him tell the story.

Liam performed his song for the first time tonight to a small studio audience - but only time will tell whether the song was accepted by the Britonish public and more importantly - the international voters on the night.


Liam Narain is a 31-year old man who was born in Togonistan to a Britonish mother and a father from Togonistan. The family lived in Togonistan for a few years when Liam was younger before the family moved to Britonisea to be closer to Liam’s mother’s side of the family. Liam Narain then grew up in Britonisea where he fit in very well and lived a rather modest upbringing. Liam traveled to Togonistan regularly, however, making sure that he was keeping in touch with both sides of his culture. As Liam moved into his twenties, Liam was interested in sports, working as part of the biggest sports companies in the country, leaving whatever music talent he once had growing up in school behind in order to pursue his dream. Liam did well in his sports career, but Liam - who never fully opened up about his life - says that something happened in his life where the dreams that he wanted to once pursue, he couldn’t anymore. Liam was devastated when the doctors told him that he couldn’t play sport with the vigor that he used to and suffered from poor mental health afterward but he was a resilient man. Liam rediscovered some of his creativity in music which he (at the time when he was in school) always put it to the back of his mind since he was so very focused on his sporting career. Liam used his singing as a way to feel “useful”, a word that he used himself and now he is representing his country at the upcoming World Hit Festival.

Before coming to Normandy and Picardy, he recorded his performance for the Grand Final of Vha Mehlodhivestoile in Aloquirbe City to a packed audience. He said that it gave him the confidence for when he gets to Normandy and Picardy for the 58th World Hit Festival. Upon arriving at Le Havre, however, nerves started setting in. He was quickly rushed from A to B as he was given less time than former World Hit Festival Britonish acts due to his performance at the Grand Final of Vha Mehlodhivestoile 2021. He said that he enjoyed the buzz but it was "different to the usual!". We wish Liam and his team on stage good luck!



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Duration: 03:28
Main Vocalist 1: Liam Narain
Male Vocalist 1: Alexei Posagne (offstage)
Male Dancer/Vocalist 1: Steven Brockwell-Batten
Male Dancer/Vocalist 2: Syed McNamara
Female Dancer/Vocalist 1: Jodie Knight
Female Dancer/Vocalist 2: Aaliyah Yates

It was time for Liam Narain’s time on the World Hit Festival stage, a moment that he was both looking forward to but also dreading. Liam was preparing backstage for quite some time leading up to the Britonish being called out to the stage, doing some vocal warm ups and calming his nerves. He decided to pray by himself that the performance would go as swimmingly as he hoped - as well as it did during the many rehearsals that were done before the big moment live in front of millions watching at home. Liam didn’t know whether he was religious or anything, but he thought that he would pray anyway for good measure. Liam was finally called out to the stage as the Britonish postcard was played out for the audience and viewers so that they could be distracted as they changed the stage from one nation to the next. As Liam walked onto the stage, the stage personnel was running circles around him making sure that by the time he reached the stage, everything was laid down - ready for him to go. On the stage were paper lanterns which had very safe LED bulbs which were bound not to set on fire when under the blazing heat of the strobe lights on the stage. The paper lanterns had a tinge of orange to them, each of which had an almost see through wire which held them up from the top of the lighting rigs - we had to bargain with the Normandy and Picardy officials to get that one set up. The main central platform was where Liam was standing to begin with surrounded by the lanterns which was slightly covered by a moody low laying fog. From afar, you could see that the plumes had orange sparkles in it, with the warmth atmosphere aided by colours one would associate with a cozy living area with a furnace heating the vicinity - browns and dark oranges.

Liam was wearing a white t-shirt with khaki-looking chinos (though probably a bit more tight-fitting that in the picture. He wasn’t the only person who was on the stage either - in fact there were two more people on the stage - a male and a female, both wearing all white outfits, standing on the smaller stage in front. The pair of them would be dancing with one another in a contemporary style while Liam would be singing. The cameras started to train themselves on Liam as they counted down the last few seconds until it was his time to perform his song. Liam was the one starting the music with the starting section being acapella. He needed to make sure that he would get his cue right, otherwise it could ruin the rest of the beginning of the song. Liam hadn’t gotten it wrong before - well, except for the first time that he stepped on the stage in Normandy and Picardy, but he said that he was bewildered by the vastness of the stage and the arena in which the festival was taking place in. The audience applauded as they finished watching the lovely postcard made for us by the broadcaster. After a short while, the audience quietened down as all eyes was focused on Liam who had his head down to the ground before slowly tilting it upwards, singing the first couple of words of the song before the simple notes of the piano joined him…


I was thought of as an enigma,
With his heads high above the clouds.
Judging only from my appearance,
Not knowing the man deep within.
No one here knows what I have been through,
No one knows how far I’ve been pushed.
Ignored the warning signs out of fear,
And now it has caught up with me.


As he started the above verse, there was an echo placed on the microphone so that every vowel that the man exaggerated rang out in the audience for a few seconds, resonating deeper with those who were watching would be his very personal anecdote of recent events of his life which has made him look at life in a different way to how it looked at it before. He wanted to come off as genuine - the song was genuine, the lyrics that he was singing came from him and so there was no shortage of raw emotion as he had a frank conversation with the camera poised on his alluring gaze. As he sang the line, “deep within”, his hand slightly trailed down the front of his body, with the camera cross fading to one further away, with the two people who were dancing on the stage in front of him now being in the shot. The pair of them were looking at each other, dancing as though they couldn’t touch one another even though they both wanted to - what was stopping the pair of them being as one? As we focused on the dancers for a few seconds, we pulled focus from them back to Liam who had his eyes on the pair of them for a few seconds as he let out the line “and now it has caught up with me” with a slight whimper. He tightly closed his eyes momentarily as we moved onto the pre-chorus of the song.

The warm vibe that was once created on the stage had been slightly subdued as we moved into the pre-chorus of the song, with the strobes becoming a lot less intense than they were. The LED behind Liam wasn’t as bright either, with a singular white spotlight focusing on the man as he looked straight into a mobile camera simply making its way from one side of the stage to the other. After following the camera for a few seconds, he turned back towards the audience, as a blinding white light appeared behind him, making the man appear as though he was walking away from the Gates of Heaven. As Liam continues to sing how “The pain is relentless”, he holds his stomach, slightly crouching as he does this. The two dancers slowly came into the shot, mimicking the movements that Liam was doing behind them.


Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel?
The pain is relentless.
Will I see the light of day again?
Is it too good to be true?


As Liam sings the line, “Will I see the light of day again?”, all three people who were on the stage crouched upwards from their slumped position, with their hands still under them. They all looked up in unison, as though they were all being remote controlled to move at the same pace. As they looked up, a crisp blue and yellow shone on their faces with a smile appearing on their faces - not a complete smile - but they could see hope in front of them. Liam turns off to the side to sing the final line of the pre-chorus to his right. As he sang this, a look of disappointment appeared on his face before the camera faded to black. There was a beat - a break slightly before we came back and entered the powerful chorus of the song.

As the chorus began, Liam turned to the side (only just), tilting his head back as he took a sharp breath in so that he could suddenly change the pitch and dynamics of his singing voice. The stage filled with a rich golden colour which the swirl on the main stage made look even cooler and glamorous. The LED screen behind Liam was also rather vibrant, with what looked like golden embers being burnt behind him, slowly making its way up the height of the screens, slowly gaining in intensity throughout the chorus as he sang. Liam was singing with some gusto - he had a point to prove with the lyrics that he was singing and he was trying to convey his strength through the power of his voice.


The last thing on my mind is to back down and lose,
I’ve survived the darkest days of my life, I will pull through.
Even though I’m bruised - with whatever strength I have left,
Oh, I will keep on fighting until I’m laid to rest.


As the man sang “even though I’m bruised”, the camera slowly - from a low angle - zoomed in on the pair of contemporary dancers who were embracing one another. The camera circled around the pair of them for a few seconds, not too many times just so those watching didn’t get disorientated. The final line of the chorus was another pull focus from the two dancers, now focusing on Liam as he held his hand out before quickly pulling it away, almost smiling as he said that he will keep on fighting until he was laid to rest - which were quite powerful lyrics. At the end of the chorus, the camera yet again faded black momentarily before we began the second half of the song.

When Liam protested that he refused to be made a victim, the colour of the stage (LED) slowly turned into a rich purple colour, still with the golden embers burning up behind him with intensity. He seemed more empowered as he went through this section of the song, tensing his hands as he sang the lyric “I’ll walk alone, unaided and brave”. The dancers walked away from each other at this point, making their way around the outer circumference of the main stage. The fog had also cleared up, opening the floor up to the screen which showed a beautiful crystalised design which Liam was standing in the middle of.



I refuse to be made a victim,
No, I don’t want your sympathy.
I’ll walk alone, unaided and brave
Perhaps, somewhat foolish of me.

This is journey that I must take,
I have no choice, I have no say.
Pray for me and wish me well,
I hope that I’ll be back to tell the tale.


“This is a journey that I must take” was a line that he said to the female who was walking on around the stage to the left of him, whereas “I have no choice, I have no say” he said to the man who was on his right. The camera changed depending on the way Liam was facing. When moving onto the third line, “Pray for me and wish me well”, he turned to face the audience, slowly walking forward for the first time in the performance. There was a semi-aerial shot of the man walking forward, with the crystal design changing shape with him as he moved to the front of the main stage. There was a camera which was a close up as he sang the final words of the verse. He increased the power of his voice and he came closer to the explosive second chorus that was coming up in just a second. During the close up, two more people dressed in all white joined the stage behind Liam. During the verse, the lanterns started to flicker on and off randomly, with the darker stage colour making the flickering seem much more intense. When Liam raised his voice, strobes from either side of him flickered in a similar way.

As Liam belted out the first line of the next chorus, the lanterns which were all around the stage started to raise at the same time as one another - with a wide shot of the stage showing the beauty of the lanterns slowly taking off into the air. The dancers who were behind him were dancing in a flowy expression, along with providing the backing vocals that you could hear on the stage. There were zooms of Liam as he stamped his feet along with the uplifting beat of the song, looking up at the lanterns as they made their way away higher and higher into the sky. Those that had flowy movements behind Liam were also swaying along with the powerful beat of the song. Pop music with a flair of orchestra was definitely something that was popular in Britonisea, with many Britons at home watching the beauty of the performance and the heartfeltness of it. Liam seemed much more positive that he did at the start of the song - he finally seemed hopeful that he would reach his destination...or he found comfort in the new path that he has to take even though it may not have been the path he wanted to take initially.


The last thing on my mind is to back down and lose, (ay yah!)
I’ve survived the darkest days of my life, I will pull through. (oh-oh!)
Even though I’m bruised - with whatever strength I have left,
Oh, I will keep on fighting until I’m laid to rest.
Never forget...get...get me, never forget (oh-oh!),
Never forget...get...get me, never forget.


As we hit the new addition of the chorus and the lanterns were long gone into the air, the dancers slowly made their way into a formation behind Liam and spread out onto the stage. Liam raised his hands into the air, pivoting and shaking his head, taking a break from vocalising as the backing singers came in with strong supporting vocals. You could see from that simple movement that the song means a whole lot to Liam. As he hit the final “never forget” in that sentence, he had turned around back to the front of the audience, captured on camera’s close up. He grabbed the air and smirked at the camera before the stage turned dark.

Behind Liam, the four dancers (two male and female) had both teamed up - the two boys were together and the two females were together - with one of the pair taking a ballerina pose while the other one circled them, or gently brought them down under their face - looking at them lovingly. As everything was stripped back, so was the lighting. There were three spotlights - one on Liam in the middle and one on either of the pair continuing their contemporary dance behind them. There were special effects used here a bit - one could say AR, with bluish-green sparkles and shooting stars appearing around the male dancers with the female dancers being treated to more of a red-purple glow.


If I don’t return, never forget me and the things that I said,
Wherever I end up, I’ll keep going, a promise made to you.
The last thing on my mind is to back down and lose,
I’ve survived the darkest days of my life, I will pull through.


At the end of the bridge, the sparkles burst across the arena with Liam and the dancers once again dancing freely around the stage. The cameras were trying to keep up with every move that each of them made coming from each angle. Some of the male backing vocalists decided to ad-lib, with the cameras focusing on them as they did so.


Even though I’m bruised - with whatever strength I have left,
Oh, I will keep on fighting until I’m laid to rest.
Never forget...get...get me, never forget,
Never forget...get...get me, never forget.

Never forget...Never forget.
Never forget...Never forget.


At the end of the song, the group all came together, with Liam Narain in the middle of all of them, with all the dancers resting their heads on the broad shoulders of Liam. Liam was the only voice you could hear as the once lit stage slowly plunged into darkness. After a while, the audience in Normandy and Picardy applauded the performance, “Merci beaucoup tout le monde! Remercio teis, Le Havre, thank you Britonisea!” Liam shouted out towards the audience before he blew a kiss out to the audience. It was a very emotional moment for him. Whether he would make an impact on the scoreboard was yet to be known, but regardless of how he does in the end, he knows that he did a good job and most certainly sent an entry that Britons would remember for a long time in the future.
Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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4ème chanson | teesdexie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:11 pm

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Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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4ème chanson | teesdexie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:15 pm

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04. Teesdexxia
"Telephone" - Roads to Juneau

Language(s): English
Lyrics: Matthew Fields
Music: M. Fields, Gareth Evans
Tune: Streetcar - Funeral For A Friend





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Roads To Juneau
[L to R] Gareth (Rhythm Guitar), Derek (Lead Guitar) Matty (Lead Vocals), Ry (Bass/Backing Vocals), Chris (Backing Vocals/Lead Guitar)


Roads To Juneau are a Teesdexxian post-hardcore band, formed in Thornaby in 2019 by lead singer Matthew Fields and bassist Ryan Weatherford, whom are childhood friend and had wanted to form a band since their teen years. After a few early line-up changes and an underground but relatively successful first independent release, the boys finally debuted their major debut single, "Telephone", in early 2021. While their first releases were successful in the scope of their circumstance, "Telephone" proved to be their first commercial hit, doing well on the Teesdexxian charts for a song of this genre.

With another edition of the World Hit Festival approaching and with Teesdexxia's absence from the last couple of editions of the competition, many Teesdexxian fans were wondering whether TBA had completely given up on WHF altogether. This is when TBA made the shock last minute announcement that it planned to return to WHF for the 58th Edition in Le Havre, Normandy and Picardy, and that it was in conversation with some "currently charting artists" as to who would represent the nation. A couple days later this chosen artist was revealed to be Roads To Juneau, who would be performing their already released hit "Telephone" for the nation. An obviously last minute decision, some fans of both WHF and Roads to Juneau questioned the choice and TBA's commitment to the competition, but the currently popular song and a return to the competition at all was enough to quell most doubts people had.

Roads to Juneau flew to Le Havre almost immediately after the announcement, choosing to spend the oncoming weeks in the city to get practise as much as they could. Lead singer Matty confirmed in an interview that while the offer to represent the competition was unexpected, the boys would be taking it on with full responsibility and commitment, and promised to try and do the country proud on the world stage. He also added that the boys were enjoying their time in Normandy and Picardy as well, taking time as tourist as to not become burnt out.





As the dialling noises that open the song play, the stage stays in relative darkness until the guitar riff comes in along sides, with the guitar riff playing, we get a long shot of the stadium, with the spotlights from above all rapidly flashing in coordination with the sound of the guitar filling the stadium, but un-synced with each other in a messy flurry of lights. In the backing LEDs directly behind the stage then show a titled silhouette of a woman answering a payphone. The main vocals come in just after said woman answers “Hello?”, with the camera panning down and lights illuminating the main stage to show the whole band positioned on the upper stage. However, the camera quickly cuts to another angle after the lyric “goes”, while on this lyric, spark pyrotechnics shoot up from the around the main stages. Cutting to a view of the lead singer through one of the “waves”, for the rest of the first verse the camera mainly focuses on the lead singer, interjected by wider shots of the whole band. As the band plays behind him, with the guitarists barely being able to stay in their designated spots, the leader singer sings out to the crowd as if at a festival, only ever going as far as the top of the stairs. This mostly continues into the first chorus, with the lights either side of the stage changing from an erratic flicker to a more synchronised fade in and out. The cameras also have focus shots on the guitarists.

And there it goes,
Another symphony,
But no lyrics will start to play,
The melody leads me away, the melody leads me away,
But you, you let me go astray.

So, I try, untangle this lie,
Caught up in love, won’t look above,
Blind to the bitter taste of the truth.


The staging and camera directions for the mid-section of the song follow much of the same order as the opening of the song, with more camera shots focusing on the guitarists cum backing singers and the rest of the band. During this section, the lead singer makes his way down to the lower stage, still singing mainly to the audience. With this extra space, the two lead guitarists have more space to move while playing.

In the same room, but so far apart,
Screaming for this all to end,
Waiting for you just to say it,
Cause I’m still just too in love.

So, I try, untangle this lie,
(Cut me free please)
Caught up in love, won’t look above,
(But I don’t want that release)
Blind to the bitter taste of the truth.
(Taste of the truth)
So, I try, untangle this lie,
(Cut me free please)
Caught up in love, won’t look above,
(But I don’t want that release)
Blind to the bitter taste of the truth, taste of the truth.


The stage goes dark again as the bridge intermission begins. The backing LEDs display the multiple people saying the tagline, everyone of them with their eyes blacked out by a messy, scribbled looking bar. As the music begins to amp back up, the staging mirrors this, with the spotlights, with many of the front ones now positioned much farther into the audience, mirroring the strumming of the guitar in their flashing, and the camera changing from tilted angle to tilted angle of the band, it’s members, stage and audience, more or less synchronised with the main beat of the drums until the main vocals return again. Once we head into the final chorus, the focus of the camera’s attention changes back to the lead singer. With the lights either side of the main stage turning back to a calmer fade, short flame pyrotechnics surround the outer edge of the lower stage, with the lead singer changing his attitude from singing to a festival crowd to singing directly at the camera in a way as if the viewer themselves was the person on the other end of the telephone. Beside him on the far left of the lower stage there is a prop of the same payphone seen in the silhouette at the beginning of the performance, with its phone dangling from its wire. As the lead singer passionately sings to the more stably focused camera, only switching between a few different angles of the lower stage and the lead singer, the top of the payphone erupts into flames.

“I don’t know what to say on the telephone…”

So, is this how we are gonna stay?
(It shouldn’t be)
You don’t know what to say on the telephone,
So, is this how we are gonna stay?
(It shouldn’t be)
I don’t know what to say,
How’d it all go grey?
I don’t know what to say on the telephone.
(It shouldn’t be)
On the telephone.
(It shouldn’t be)

No, how’d it all go grey?
I don’t know what to say on the telephone.
(It shouldn’t be)
On the telephone.
(It shouldn’t be)
On the telephone.


As the song comes to an end, the camera slowly pans out from the lower stage and all the lights and pyrotechnics turn off bar one, dim light, flickering above the lead singer who is staring hopelessly into the distance as the camera backs away from him, illuminated only by this dim light and the fire of the still burning payphone next to him. The camera then changes to a shot of the hanging phone to finish the song, with lead singer in the background out of focus before the performance comes to a complete close. When the lights come back on, the lead singer rushes back up the stairs and the entire band bow and wave to the camera, shouting “Thank you!” before making their way off stage to allow the Normand team to prepare for the Achaean performance following them.
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5ème chanson | république achéane

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:18 pm

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5ème chanson | république achéane

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:32 pm

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05. Achaean Republic
"Pass Me By" – Itamar

Language(s): English, Spanish
Lyrics: Itamar Maldonado
Music: Erika Robledo, Andrés Cortina
Tune:American Pie - Shea Diamond





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Itamar Maldonado is used to shattering myths and preconceptions of culture, gender identities and the dichotomy between public/private personas. Her music and art can navigate the fine line between creative and offensive, of real-life symptoms and caricature effects. She attempts to create beauty on the defensive and the offensive, a mockery of the cookie-cutter ways Achaean society tends to consume love and sex in its most expressive and downright stereotypical—the skimpy skirts, the tasteless jokes, the unnecessarily aggressive "piropos" thrown down the street by horny, ugly men who only see women as objects of personal, scatological desire instead of fully-formed, ideal members of society. Her vision is always a clash between the old and the new, attempting to transform the distorted imaginaries of gender and allowing new concepts to flourish.

Only if that were the message Itamar would spread in his life. She can’t even go one day in the street without someone misgendering her, sometimes intentionally in order to get a rise out of her temper. She can’t even go to a female public bathroom, or even a male public bathroom nonetheless, without being gawked at in the best moments, or jeered and humiliated in the worst. And now with a former religious figure as president, who has never been even performatively kind to the Achaean LGBTQI+ community in general, there’s an even bigger existential dread that the massive strides done in the past few years towards true equality could be erased with the stroke of a pen. As Maldonado once controversially declared in a Pink News article back in 2019 “Achaea is, and has never been, the ‘sexual paradise’ people look for in their travel brochures. Get away from the luxury and gated comfort of the artificial hotel estates that poison our beaches and look into the misery of the minority that still dare to inhabit this country.” Her sharp, cynical words drew the ire of many in the country and even from other LGBTQI+ activists who previously defended her work. But she didn’t care at all.

To be fair, though, Itamar was never one to please the masses, especially when she’s clearly talking the truth. While conditions for the Achaean LGBTQI+ community have improved in the past decade, from same-sex marriage to adoptions to the elimination of deferral periods for blood donations to the point of being considered the Caribbean’s “gay paradise,” and visibility of queer artists in competitions such as WorldVision and World Hit Festival have hit a nadir, conformity should never exist with the rest of society until true equality can be achieved—if ever. A somewhat radical noncomformist, there are always more envelopes to push, more attitudes to transform. Derided by critics as a “cultural Marxist” and a “trender,” the questions her imposing voice poses draw attention to the criticisms and transformations of Achaean culture, if they ever bother listening to her at all.

It wasn’t always like this for Itamar. Her birth name in fact, was Ismael, much like her father and her father’s father and her father’s father’s grandfather. Growing up in the city of Alvires near the Corola-Metrópolis state border, the family moved to Orongumilá, Islas Fortuna for his father’s Pentecostal missionary work. Even when young, Israel always felt significant discomfort with her thin frame, big nose and dark skin, all the while wearing pants and suits and ties and carrying a small Bible on his hand for six out of seven days a week. The constant pressure of portraying as a Bible-thumping, tongue-speaking hypocrite who felt such internal discomfort in masculinity. But the discomfort was not only physical: this was a spiritual, emotional, psychological struggle to initiate a conversation between herself over the emotions coursing through her body. (Reader, you might notice the pronouns have changed from feminine to masculine and then to feminine again; this is the struggle Ismael, who later became Itamar, faced within her spirit.) The constant exposure to religion also soured her into organized religion—which is why her first album, Crucifixion!!, caused so much controversy in the Achaean alternative community because it served as both a defense and an indictment of Christianity and, more so, its complex gender roles. The physical discomfort that translated into her body slowly grew into hatred, and that almost poisoned her.

This is why when she became a teenager, she took the Manamma route and decided to turn her rebellion into a sledgehammer. She turned to Santería, a religion she considered to be much more tolerant for trans people. She went to clubs as a minor and hung out in raves while stealing her mom’s skirts and dresses, making major modifications with the help of a friendly tailor. In this period of confusion and rebellion, of experimentation and frustration, she attempted to define herself as a woman. It was at this juncture that, on her journey to become the woman she always wanted to be, Israel would secretly name herself Itamar, an originally male Biblical name, as a mark of respect to her heritage and her own identity.

Originally written in English, "Pass Me By" is “a poem, a symbol, a declaration of my own empowerment” in Itamar’s own words. “I’ve said many times that I can use my voice to create my own matriarchy, but I need to create one within myself first.” Another radical departure from her transgressive, alternative roots, the song maintains her confessional structure and delves into soul and R&B, two genres she always wanted to challenge and perfect her voice in.





Itamar always enjoyed taking a stroll through the ports. The twenty-degree weather felt bitingly cold enough to have small dewdrops in her sweater, but warm enough that the sun could dry them quickly from her ebony skin. She was walking with the sweater she bought for the trip—a light-blue jacket and a fresh set of bottom-hugging jeans. Her hair had small red-orange highlights on the frosty tips and she carried a purse. And of course, she had her mask on, but she quickly put it on and off whenever nobody was looking at her so she could get a breath of fresh air. Pardon to the Normands and Picards, but this was one of the very few times she could enjoy quarantine-free travel in business class to a chic European destination.

Ports are always busy, dingy and sketchy—or so felt parts of Puerto Ámbar or Rosario. But she felt some comfort and the coming and going of different boats and barges carrying stuff up and down the pier. But Le Havre felt different. It didn’t feel like a gray, stale collection of storage rooms and cruise ships that only carried annoying tourists asking for pictures. There was something calming, relaxing about Le Havre. Nobody knew her. Nobody remembered her. Nobody questioned her. And that felt refreshing. While she waited for a chance to drink some white wine and enjoy some moules frites as the woman she deserved to be.





Once the Achaean postcard was done and the cameras returned to the cheering crowds at Le Havre, the stage was suddenly illuminated with the nation’s typical red-blue-green colors. A few Achaeans, always loud and boisterous, could be heard waving their flags and speaking Spanish to each other during the few seconds before the transition. For those that were present—and especially to progressive Achaeans—, it was a scene to behold: for the first time, a trans woman would represent the fueguero nation on the World Hit Festival, and it was a point of pride and honor that, despite the somewhat uneven forces against the community in recent times, there are still opportunities to be forged and glass ceilings to be broken.

Itamar, however, did not care about any inspirational applications; she only wanted to sing her song and get off the stage. Not that she didn’t enjoy her time in Le Havre; however, despite maintaining an outlandish, offensive persona, she tried to be practical in her stage presence and management. With the stage lights about to turn on, she only needed to breathe in and breathe out for a few brief moments. She needed to forget about the many times she felt humiliated over being misgendered, or the many microaggressions she faced from society and even her own friends and family over a misunderstanding—not necessarily supporting—her journey. She had to dismiss the critics that questioned her “unwomanly postures” or those pesky trolling radical feminists that couldn’t ignore a woman succeeding as well. That needed to be forgotten, for at least a few minutes.

Then, a light turned on and Itamar was in full view. She wore a white maxi-dress-style butterfly dress that looked like a cross between a kimono and a kaftan. Unlike other fashion choices, this one came from her own closet, being the one she normally uses for some rituals that do not require certain ceremonial sacrifices. It was long, flowy, and elegant, something she would never bother to wear in public (her style concentrates on blacks and greys and reds, intense colors and leathery substances better suited to her industrial fashion). She also wore an off-white cotton headwrap with gold trimmings that reminisced of the tignons imposed to Louisiana black and Creole women in the 18th century. This head-wrap, though, also had space for her to let her golden-brown locks flow. (She joked to paparazzi, “If I bought it, then it’s real!” whenever they shamefully asked if her hair was real or not.) Then again, this was a radically different look than the one she would typically use on the stage. But it’s always important to switch it up sometimes.

Unlike other performances, her countenance and tone of voice was much more contemplative and not as aggressive or repulsive—she used the word repulsive to describe the alienation she wanted to provoke with her music. Instead, she started off singing with her eyes half-gazed on the floor, breathing heavily but not audibly towards the microphone stand, trying to settle her unusual nerves and keeping her cool. Behind her in the center platform, there were her vocalists and musicians, a collection of enbies and nonbinaries that had great voices and auditioned alongside Itamar to perform in Le Havre. Behind them, the stage had blue and white and golden tones on the LED screens that looked more like ink blots akin to a Rorscharch test or the waves of the sea.

Instead, Itamar began her performance with a black-and-white screen barring the bling, with different camera angles capturing each of the verses of the first stanza. As much as she tried to keep a steady face and calm her nerves, it’s impossible for her not to live her fantasy as a soul chanteuse, a conception of femininity she thought it was nigh impossible for a woman of her frame to portray.


I’ve been told that I am bound to waste my youth
Because I’m not afraid to live tested, tried and true
It’s the wrath I’ve faced, I’ve been made so new
The darkness of life won’t leave me blue


It was hard for Itamar to not think of other Achaean performances in the Festival, which always involved some type of movement, be it upwards or downwards or sideways. Yet she was standing, holding tight to her microphone, crooning her discontent to people she never even met before, judging her looks, judging her womanhood, judging herself. Despite all the nimble acrobatics and feats of prowess she could throw at a number—she was a child of the streets, after all—Itamar needed to balance her insecurities with her self-worth. It filled her with anger. It filled her with sadness. The bright cameras were blinding her. The music was too loud. She worried she’d trip on her dress and pratfall down the stage in front of the Multiverse. She worried the backing track would mess up the vocalists’ performances. Too much was going on, and that made her feel powerless all at once.

Flesh and bones, they waste and I’m burning
On fire and glass I bleed and I’m hurting
Who’s to say that looks cannot deceive?
I cannot escape yet I’m skirting
The rules of lie that are always diverting
Who’s to say that looks cannot deceive?


The Spidercam had a frame at Itamar’s body, to which it then retreated to a wide pan view of her in the smaller stage, surrounded by a sea of flags and cheering fans—the Achaeans being prominently the loudest—and providing a view of the stage and the metal “twirl” twinkling with lights. This made the LED “sea” behind her look foamy and somewhat bioluminescent, like the ones on those beaches at night she hasn’t gone to yet. But it was time to work the performance and worry about beaches whenever she has the time to pull a quick vacation.

Her countenance had to be serious and restrained, forceful and brooding like those aforementioned jazz chanteuses. She was never used to take herself so seriously—in private, at least—, yet she needed to present herself as not only serious, but an awkward contradiction between aggrieved and resigned. Instead of loops and theatrics and a few curse words she could slap on for the sake of “art,” Itamar now had to rely on the power of her voice and the strength of her emotional gravitas and hope this would be enough to convince the Multiverse to vote for her. It was hard to not feel agreed for what many critics, even many queer feminists in her country, as they questioned the “minstrel-ness of oppression”, especially with the many intertextualities of her performance: “a black, trans, Latin American woman that, despite her haunting voice and performative accolades, she still feels forced to beg for likes to a hetero-patriarchal world,” wrote one blogger whom she knows was not quite fond of her presence. The criticism, the psychobabble she was used to. But she was always aware of any movements and ulterior motives, more so when she was determined to not let life…pass her by. The anger was there, yes, but that anger transformed into resolution. And that was the resolution she needed to harness.

Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
What is love, what to try
Enjoy my hands and enjoy my time
Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
Let the world see what I can see
Let them wake up and see how I’m complete


Now she has to sing the part in Spanish. She didn’t mind singing in English, even if Itamar felt she wasn’t proficient enough yet. Of course, she needed to respect the broadcaster’s wishes if she wanted to take the trip to Le Havre—getting out of the contract would be a pain—but if she were honest, she would’ve lobbied to avoid the language switch. But that was her opinion, and that cannot serve as a petty distraction. Itamar has been distracted enough by the forces. Nevertheless, she slowly and tenderly grabbed the microphone stand. It felt weird to keep one position while singing and limiting any sharp movements that would not keep into the song’s tone. She closed her eyes, breathed in, breathed out, and opened them up again. She kept the gaze at the camera, and to the Multiversal viewer at home, watching the performance. It was the time to let the resolution in her mind and body speak for itself. Maybe she should just change her line of work to soul and R&B.

Me han dicho que voy a perder mi juventud
Porque no pierdo el miedo de probar mi virtud
Mi mente se hizo libre de la esclavitud
Y ahora mis días tienen tanta gratitud


In English, she thought, the words sounded quite smooth and reflective. In Spanish, however, the lyrics felt iridescent and determined. She could be both at the same time or place it in different compartments and take them out when need be. It was—damn you, focus! Itamar immediately smacked her neck with the back of her hand as she closed her eyes and wrinkled her neck to the side, making it look like she was involving herself in the performance. (She was, yes, but she also had a terrible pain in the neck after sleeping in an oddly shaped bed and carrying the tension of these last days while rehearsing.) Movements like these would drive them interested, they said, showing a bit of vulnerability, they followed.

The LED screens behind the performers turned from blues and whites and golden wavy patterns to intense crimson and vermillion that also reflected on Itamar’s white gown. From angelical and feminine and aspirational—cunt, cunt, cunt—, a muted but primal energy was bleeding through the stage. It was hard to not think of the many costly surgeries she did in order to make herself look feminine. The humiliations of going to the women’s bathroom and weaning back at the very last minute in order to avoid inducing discomfort to other women…even though she was one. The hormones that made her puke many times over, or the dates that immediately rejected her when they knew she was trans. She was tired—no, definitely, she was tired.

Con la piel y mis huesos quemando
En fuego y vidrio hiriendo y sangrando
¿Quién dijo que el sembante no engañará?
No puedo escapar, mas bordeando
Las reglas de la vida desviando
¿Quién dijo que el sembante no engañará?


Then came the chorus—in Spanish. Like before, she had to look serious and restrained, her voice sultry and ethereal and haunting and a little bit more. In English, Itamar grew more comfortable with the fantasy. In Spanish, though, she felt like she had to struggle to convey the many emotions in her words. That was the word she was looking for: a struggle. It may sound ephemeral and a little bit vain, but even transitioning between two completely distinct languages brought a bittersweet reminder of her own journey. Someone told her years ago, she can’t remember who, that “Everything that is beautiful deserves to be transformed, like a butterfly flapping its wings once it leaves the cocoon.” This she kept with her throughout this time of transition from Israel to Itamar; from rejection to acclamation; from ignominy to infamy. Changing from one language to another also mean conforming so many perspectives into a condensed pair of words that may not even make sense. But yet, she had to keep transforming.

The Spidercam was elevated around Itamar’s waist and zoomed out from afar, almost watching her become engulfed by the flag-waving, hand-raising audience. From this position, as well as the camera on rails, showed her standing with a hand on her microphone stand, another arm moving up and down the air, her body moving and shaking that moved her dress. Then, a slight fog enveloped the stage, covering her feet. She could also feel the little dew drops forming below her feet. The LED screens and the light emanating from them would shine their colors and project them onto the opaque mist. Blue. Pink. Silver or bone white. Pastels. There was a reason, but she didn’t want to be pushy.

No quiero que la vida se haga pasar
¿Qué es el amor? ¿Qué hay que intentar?
Disruto mis manos, mi tiempo igual
No quiero que la vida se haga pasar
Que el mundo vea lo que veo y
Que se despierte una nueva razón


She was born to live, made to love, ready to win. Or at least those were the affirmations she lived by. Now, it was time to switch from English and Spanish while the vocalists keep vamping their vocals from behind her. It was also time to reflect, to show her vocal prowess, her grip and iron grit. You need it when living in Achaea. But now she needed to envelop herself in the music and take this to the end, if there ever was one. If she could not appreciate her own talents, who would do that for her? If she cannot regale herself in her womanhood, who would do that for her. The cameras were staring down Itamar’s countentance, circling around her in the smaller platform and providing brief, side-angle glances of the cheering, flag-waving, barely socially distanced (and hopefully vaccinated) crowds that were present in Le Havre. But it was time to bring closure. She needed it.

Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
What is love, what to try
Enjoy my hands and enjoy my time
Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
Let the world see what I can see
Let them wake up and see how I’m complete

No quiero que la vida se haga pasar
¿Qué es el amor? ¿Qué hay que intentar?
Disruto mis manos, mi tiempo igual
No quiero que la vida se haga pasar
Que el mundo vea lo que veo y
Que se despierte una nueva razón


Once the music died down and the cheering crowds could be heard in full force, Itamar placed her right hand to her heart and took a bow. Her backup singers, good friends she made along the way, also blew kisses and waved at the audience. Itamar, on the other hand, blew kisses at the crowd in every directions and said to her microphone, “¡Gracias, Le Havre! Merci beaucoup!” before quickly leaving the stage. She was grateful she finished the performance without a hitch, yes. But she also wanted to do it again and again.



[align=center]I’ve been told that I am bound to waste my youth
Because I’m not afraid to live tested, tried and true
It’s the wrath I’ve faced, I’ve been made so new
The darkness of life won’t leave me blue

Flesh and bones, they waste and I’m burning
On fire and glass I bleed and I’m hurting
Who’s to say that looks cannot deceive?
I cannot escape yet I’m skirting
The rules of lie that are always diverting
Who’s to say that looks cannot deceive?

Don’t want the rest of live to pass me by
What is love, what to try
Enjoy my hands and enjoy my time
Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
Let the world see what I can see
Let them wake up and see how I’m complete

I’ve been told that I am bound to waste my youth
Because I’m not afraid to try out my virtue
My mind has been made from all slavish fools
And now my days have so much gratitude

Flesh and bones, they waste and I’m burning
On fire and glass I bleed and I’m hurting
Who’s to say that looks cannot deceive?
I cannot escape yet I’m skirting
The rules of lie that are always diverting
Who’s to say that looks cannot deceive?

Don’t want the rest of live to pass me by
What is love, what to try
Enjoy my hands and enjoy my time
Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
Let the world see what I can see
Let them wake up and see how I’m complete

Don’t want the rest of live to pass me by
What is love, what to try
Enjoy my hands and enjoy my time
Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
Let the world see what I can see
Let them wake up and see how I’m complete

Don’t want the rest of live to pass me by
What is love, what to try
Enjoy my hands and enjoy my time
Don’t want the rest of life to pass me by
Let the world see what I can see
Let them wake up and see how I’m complete
Northern French Names but with a general Western Med vibe, welcome to N&P

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le premier entracte

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:34 pm

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Antoine Badeaux, 23, the first interval act at the 58th World Hit Festival

When Antoine Badeaux took the stage to provide the first interval act, a very Normand addition to the running of the contest which had been carried over from the Festival de la College de Cherbourg ,the largest domestic musical contest and TV event in the Normand year, he was doing so as a hometown act. Born and raised in Le Havre and having benefited from the schemes to promote the arts put in place by the Normand government, Antoine is a perfect example of the ethos behind this contest and which Le Havre represents. This support had ultimately carried him to the Festival de Cherbourg itself, or rather the Festival des Nouvels, the section of the contest devoted to promoting up and coming artists in the Normand musical scene, and providing them a potential platform on which to build their career, whether they received the Nouvel Prix or not. Indeed, it was certainly not unknown for an act to win both the Nouvel Prix and Grand Prix, the main prize in the main contest, over the course of their career. Antoine was not to be one of those because he did not win the Nouvel Prix when he competed in 2019, but in many ways he has had much more commercial success that the act who ultimately won, Margot Jardiner, and has been potentially linked to the 2021 Grand Festival too. But for now, here in Le Havre, he was representing up and coming Normand music and the vitality of the Normand music scene. He would perform his first major hit, his Nouvel Festival entry and Normand summer hit "Ne regarde pas le soleil" (Don't Look at the Sun), which received a very warm response in the Stade Oceane, the Normand members of the crowd very loudly singing along to the chorus and making the various noises.

Listen to the song here
Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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6ème chanson | farabie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:24 pm

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6ème chanson | farabie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:33 pm

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06. Faraby
"Dance with Me" - Ela Aydilek

Language(s): English
Lyrics: Ela Aydilek
Music: Ela Aydilek
Tune: Tears - Nilüfer Yanya




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Ela Aydilek

Background
Although Faraby's previous WHF entry, "The Star" by Pavlos Konstantinopoulos and Daoud Bakr, did not reach the upper reaches of the scoreboard, the FBC was still satisfied by their entrants' performance and soon announced that it was committed to at least another year of participation in the event. With Prince Samir and Grand Vizier Sania Russo increasingly removing themselves from FBC affairs to focus on governing the country, FBC Director-General Sabiha Vali and Head of Delegation Kara Abbas found that they were now in possession of increasingly greater autonomy in deciding which direction Faraby's next WHF entry would take. With the ratification of the Compact of Free Association and the incorporation of Faraby into the realm of Adab, the FBC now found itself a subsidiary of the Adab Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), but the ABC - which was focusing on its own WHF entry - thankfully did not intrude too much on the FBC's WHF efforts.

Faraby's entry into WHF58 occurred against the backdrop of the island state's inaugural WorldVision appearance. Like its parent broadcaster, the FBC soon found itself accused of treating the WHF as something of a secondary event. Whereas ABC Director-General Benji Akiya took the time to deny this particular accusation, Vali and Abbas chose to ignore it entirely, believing that they had other priorities to focus on. Nevertheless, their choice of contestants was seen their own, understated way of countering the accusation. The FBC had gone with up-and-coming artists Konstantinopoulos and Bakr for WHF57, so now they turned to a slightly older, more established star, someone whose fame and reputation - whether the FBC would admit it or not - could go some ways to convince the Farabian population that the FBC was indeed taking the WHF seriously. The 25-year-old Ela Aydilek had been a music star in the island for some time, with her latest album "My Name Is Ela Aydilek" hitting number one on the Farabian charts, and the FBC quickly offered her the opportunity to appear on the WHF stage with a song penned by herself, if she so desired. "Of course I agreed immediately!" Ela would later say. "Not everyone gets the opportunity to perform in the WHF."

"Dance with Me" was partly inspired by Ela's own experience. She had been an occasional visitor to The House, a popular nightclub in Faraby City. However, the club was recently closed down and demolished, with the site intended for redevelopment as an apartment building. Plans to move the club to a nearby unoccupied land were floated but so far had not yet come to fruition. "It's a bit of a shame, I think," Ela said. "That club was a nice place and I had a good time there with my friends and boyfriend. So when I heard that the club was going to be closed and demolished, it inspired me to write this little song, imagining what I'd be doing if I were in the club on that last night. I had quite the fun writing this song. I just hope the fans will enjoy it!"




The Performance
While publicly Ela Aydilek was enthusiastic about appearing on the WHF, in private she felt rather nervous and unsure if her performance would go down well. Though she would not admit it, these feelings were the strongest as she prepared to emerge onto the stage in Le Havre. The eyes of the multiverse were upon her, including the paltry yet enthusiastic contingent of Farabians who had been allowed by the government to travel to Le Havre amid continuing fears over the Great Pestilence, even though all reports indicated that this disease was very much in control in Normandy and Picardy (otherwise they wouldn't be able to hold an event of this scale).

As Ela stepped onto the stage, the previously dark floor suddenly lit up in squares of various bright colors - red, green, blue, and yellow - as if it were a dance floor, all the colors randomly distributed among the squares with no recognizable pattern. The LED screens showed footage from outside of The House, the nightclub which she used to frequent, gradually zooming in towards the door. Across the ceiling white light burst forth, breaking through the general darkness of the venue, with a spotlight pointing down at Ela and following her as she strolled to the middle of the central platform, and another two spotlights crisscrossing the stage around her. Above her towered the twirl, now turned crystal white. The Farabian attendees cheered as the cameras zoomed in on her.

Ela furrowed her brows and smiled a little smile to herself. She was going to do well, for herself and for her country if for no one else.


They’re locking the doors for one last time
“We’re shutting this place down,” they all said
They’re ‘bout to turn the lights off
Wait there a minute, wait there

Lover, come on over here and stay with me
We both know this will be our last night here
This floor is ours before they throw us out
Dance here with me now, let us dance now


In the LED screens, viewers could see the door to the club open, revealing what was inside the club: people moving about, people ordering drinks as white lights occasionally flickered around them, the walls colored in a dim purple, and finally the main attraction: the dance floor itself, bathed in squares of many colors just like the stage floor on which Ela was now standing. The angle of the view in the LED screens was such that the stage appeared to neatly extend into the screens and beyond, two floors - one real, one on video - uniting to form one large dance floor, colored squares and all. Ela swayed her hips occasionally as she traveled along the edges of the central platform before making her way down to the smaller platform, her voice growing sultry.

Everyone’s leaving now, there’s no one but you and me
And this floor is ours, this whole place is ours
So let’s dance the night away, dance ‘til the lights are out
Let’s dance the last dance


As Ela launched into the chorus, she extended one hand towards the crowd as if reaching out to them. The lights attached to the ceiling, which up to this point had been uniformly white, suddenly changed into a red-green-blue pattern, so bright and striking even to those at the farthest ends of the venue. The squares on the stage floor began to rapidly cycle between red, green, blue, and yellow. Ela pulled her hand back and laid it on her waist, all the while keeping her eyes on the audience.

’Cause you know
It’s such a precious moment
The one we have now
Alone, you and me
Nothing between us, so let’s dance
All through the night I’ll be seeing your eyes only, yeah
Nothing between our lips, let’s keep this to ourselves


At this point, two couples - male and female - ran into the central platform behind Ela, each couple coming in from the opposite direction. Each couple then began dancing the waltz around the central platform, as Ela herself remained on the smaller platform alone. In the LED screens, viewers could see some people making their way onto the dance floor and starting to dance, a few dancing with a partner, the others doing it alone, everyone seemingly having a good time. The cameras gradually zoomed out to give those watching from home an unobstructed view of the length and width of the stage and all the action on it.

Looking at you, your face just fills my gaze
You know I can’t stand it when you stare back at me
And I just melt into your hands
Dance here with me now, dance closer to me
Dance now


"Where's all my Farabian friends?!" Ela took the time to give a shout-out to her compatriots in the crowd, which was promptly greeted with loud cheers from the Farabians in the audience. Slowly she retreated from the smaller platform, making her way backwards, up the steps and back to the central platform, where the two couples were still doing the waltz. Ela now stood in the very middle of the central platform, the couples beginning to dance in circles around her.

Everyone’s leaving now, there’s no one but you and me
And this floor is ours, this whole place is ours
So let’s dance the night away, dance ‘til the lights are out
Let’s dance the last dance


Now another man ran into the central platform and went straight for Ela, narrowly avoiding one of the couples in the process. Ela stood still in the middle, raising one hand and putting her other hand around the man's waist, pulling him towards her. The crowd cheered, even though they were unsure who exactly this man was and if he was any relation to Ela. He might be just be another dancer for all they knew. Above them the twirl began to flicker and rapidly shift between white and gold and blue and back to white, and so on.

’Cause you know
It’s such a precious moment
The one we have now
Alone, you and me
Nothing between us, so let’s dance
All through the night I’ll be seeing your eyes only, yeah
Nothing between our lips, let’s keep this to ourselves


The LED screens were still showing people on the dance floor, showing their moves and having fun. There were not many people there and they were quite separated from each other. The screens gradually zoomed in to show just a man and a woman dancing together in the middle of the floor, emphasizing the intimacy of the occasion. On the real stage, the two couples gradually moved away from Ela and the man to allow them more space. Ela took the man by his hand, and then they themselves began to dance in the middle of the platform as Ela repeated the chorus, with the couples still doing the waltz and moving around Ela and the man in (now larger) circles. All the while the squares on the stage floor continued to change colors, although now they were doing so at a slightly slower speed, perhaps a nod to the fact that the song was drawing to a close.

’Cause you know
It’s such a precious moment
The one we have now
Alone, you and me
Nothing between us, so let’s dance
All through the night I’ll be seeing your eyes only, yeah
Nothing between our lips, let’s keep this to ourselves


As the song reached its outro, the lights gradually began to dim across the ceiling. On the floor, the squares still changed colors but they were rapidly slowing down. The two couples around Ela and the man, too, danced with increasingly slower speed, until they finally ceased to waltz and began to move away to opposite ends of the platform, still holding each other. Ela and the man still moved in small circles around the middle of the central platform. The LED screens still showed the man and woman dancing, but even on that fictional floor the lights were dimming and the squares on the floor ceased to change colors.

Everyone’s leaving now, there’s no one but you and me
Everyone’s leaving now
Everyone’s leaving now, there’s no one but you and me
Me-e, e-e, me-e
And you, you, you
You, you, you


At the end of the song, the LED screens went dark as well as the stage floor, the squares disappearing into the darkness of the floor. The lights on the ceiling all turned white once again and the spotlights dissipated. Ela gathered everyone else on the stage around her, after which they walked down the steps to the end of the smaller platform and bowed to the audience. "Thank you Le Havre, thank you everyone!" she said with a grateful smile, waving to the audience as they cheered and applauded her (with the Farabians even flying their miniature national flags) before leaving for backstage along with everyone else.
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7ème chanson | adab

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:35 pm

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7ème chanson | adab

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:42 pm

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07. Adab
"Sail" - Aisha al-Badri

Language(s): English
Lyrics: Aisha al-Badri
Music: Aisha al-Badri
Tune: We're Good - Dua Lipa




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Aisha al-Badri

Background
More than a decade and a half had passed since a contestant from the Islamic Empire of Adab graced the stage of the World Hit Festival. A long-running economic crisis had resulted in the country pulling out of international cultural and sporting events, including the WHF itself, and plans for the country's return were constantly delayed. But now the economy was once again on an upward trend, the general mood of the public was optimistic, and support was high for Adab's comeback to the WHF. The passage of years had left the Adab Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) feeling rather uneasy regarding this potential comeback, fearing if the current musical trends had left them too far behind, and the corporation decided to avoid jumping back into the WHF straight away. Instead, they observed the WHF efforts of the nearby island country of Faraby, which had just decided to join the Islamic Empire as an "associated state" by way of a Compact of Free Association. Faraby's two WHF entries - Iskender Salih's "Brotherhood of Man" for WHF56, followed by Pavlos Konstantinopoulos and Daoud Bakr performing "The Star" for WHF57 - did not place very highly overall, but the Faraby Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) had never really sought the top spot and in any case was satisfied with their entrants' overall performance, and so too were their new superiors at the ABC. Faraby's music was not very different from the music that was popular in Adab, and the ABC saw that maybe there was still a place for them in this competition. The Imperial Palace, for its part, was very supportive of the ABC's plan to return to the WHF.

It had long been alleged that the ABC had always seen the WHF as something of a second fiddle to WorldVision, a place to shine the light on emerging talents who, while undoubtedly talented, were seen as just not good enough for WorldVision. ABC Director-General Benji Akiya denied this in his press conference announcing Adab's return to the WHF, pointing out that the broadcaster had always held separate selection processes for WorldVision and the WHF, unlike "some other nations" which instead sent the second-place finisher in their national final to the WHF (he did not name any particular nation). Another allegation - and one that Benji did not take the time to deny - was that the ABC had never set its aims as highly for the WHF as it did for WorldVision. Adab's WHF entrants, it was claimed, were not expected to achieve a high placing, let alone win the whole thing, and would just be told to do their best.

If Benji largely avoided discussing those topics in public, behind the scenes they were never far away from his mind. Adab's WHF contestants, he told an ABC board meeting, must never be made to feel that they were competing in a "second-rate WorldVision" event. "They must see that the opportunity to represent Adab on the WHF stage is a valuable prize," he said. "It's not some sort of consolation prize for missing WorldVision. This is a golden opportunity, equally valuable as the chance to appear on the WV stage. God knows how many people want to get to the WV or WHF stage, but only a select few ever manage to get there. This is something that we must emphasize."

This perception would take some time to completely dispel, and the ABC understood it. To speed up the process, Benji suggested that the ABC pick "someone with an inspirational background, a role model", someone whose appearance on the WHF would give the event legitimacy equal to that of WorldVision in the eyes of the Adabian audience. The ABC embarked on an internal selection process similar to that recently held by Faraby for WorldVision 89; the corporation asked potential contestants to submit a video of themselves singing, with the song preferably an original composition. Playing an instrument in the video would also be a bonus, as additional proof of the applicant's musical talent. However, diverging from Faraby's selection process, the ABC also asked applicants to submit an essay (max. 2000 words) detailing their lives up to this point and the most meaningful experience they had ever had. Benji was actively involved in the process, spending up to a few hours every day with ABC staff, poring through videos and essays, making notes of which applicants they thought had the potential to represent Adab on the WHF stage.

One applicant in particular caught their attention.

Benji had never heard of the 20-year-old Aisha al-Badri, though some of the younger staff had, if only in passing. She had posted videos of herself performing covers of popular songs, in both acoustic and electric arrangements, on MyTube. She had released at least three songs on Songtify, where they racked up streaming numbers in the tens of thousands. This was a common path, followed by countless young, aspiring musicians across the country. They would post videos of themselves singing on MyTube, then if they got popular enough and/or decided to embark on a serious music career they would try to upload a few songs on Songtify and see how well they would end up doing. After that, maybe some record label would take notice and sign them.

But what distinguished Aisha from the others was her life story.

As a young girl she had fled civil war in Libya with her parents and younger sister. They were quite a poor family, and their circumstances were made even more difficult when their house in Benghazi was shelled and severely damaged. With the future becoming increasingly bleak for them, they decided to leave the country. The overland route through Egypt was highly dangerous and outright blocked in some places, so they elected to brave the Mediterranean waters on a boat to reach the shores of Adab, where they hoped to eventually join some not-so-distant relatives who had emigrated years ago to seek employment in Adab City. The boat that Aisha's parents boarded was already filled to the brim, and Aisha and her sister were forced to hop on another boat, watched over by a family friend who was also fleeing the war with them. Both boats would leave for Adab on the same "gloomy, stormy, rainy night", as Aisha wrote in her essay. Both boats were in terrible condition and grossly overcrowded, and during a heavy storm off the western coast of Adab the one carrying Aisha's parents took on water and overturned. Separated by torrential rain and violent, unrelenting waves, those on the other boat could only watch in horror as some passengers of the first boat drowned and slipped beneath the waters with the boat.

The Adab Coast Guard quickly came to the rescue. But for some it was too late, including Aisha's parents.

After an emotionally torturous overland journey by car and bus from the western coast to Adab City, accompanied by the family friend, Aisha and her younger sister were taken in by an older cousin whom they had never seen before, who worked as a construction foreman. They were not rich, but they no longer had to live in fear of war and eviction. But still, the loss of both parents - and the sight of them drowning in that storm - would haunt Aisha for years to come, the emotional pain simply indescribable even if invisible to the outside world. The pain haunted her, accompanied her as she tried to live a normal life like everyone else, as she went to school, as she and her sister became Adabian citizens, as she entered technical college. Outside she was a happy, optimistic girl who made friends easily and spent her free time performing and recording music. Inside she was a tortured soul who saw music as a way to channel her pain. Her songs were a mixture of those aspects of her personality. "Bright, catchy melody with not-so-bright lyrics," she wrote in the essay. "I must admit that, sadly, more often then not the lyrics are an accurate reflection of my condition. I just try to make them sound happy because I don't want to depress my audience.

"But," she continued, referring to the song that she performed on the video, "this song is much more optimistic, even lyrically-wise, than my usual songs. I wrote this song from the perspective of someone who has had to flee their country. It could be me, you, my parents, or anyone else who has gone through that kind of experience. That journey where I lost my parents has haunted me for so long. I want to try to look at it in a more positive way and perhaps even make it a tribute to my parents, and to all of us who have had to flee our homeland, to whom the label 'refugee' has been assigned. People who just want to feel safe. People who just want to have a home."

Benji Akiya understood her, and he saw that she had potential. "Her home," he told ABC staff, "will be the WHF stage."





The Performance
Le Havre, Normandy and Picardy. Just a few years ago, the refugee girl would never have dared to dream that one day she would be in this foreign country, carrying the banner of the country which took her in. When she was in that boat, drifting in the moonless night from wave to wave, she never dreamed that she would in the future find herself in Le Havre, admiring the timeless artistic works of Monet, Boudin, and Gaugin, counting down the clock until her appearance on the stage of the World Hit Festival. It all seemed like a dream.

And yet it was real, and the reality of it all dawned upon her as she emerged onto the stage at the Stade Océane. Dressed in gold, which happened to match the golden twirl that was the centerpiece of the venue, she made her way in quietly amid almost-complete darkness. But soon the darkness would be no more, for her entrance heralded the coming of the light. As she marched onto the middle of the central platform, the twirl gradually revealed itself in all its golden glory, running around the length of the venue. Towering over the twirl and the stage, the lights across the ceiling shone forth, with two spotlights directly above Aisha coming down on her. At the first glance she cut a small, lonely figure, overwhelmed by the massive stage, but in her solitude all eyes were on her and no one else, and that made her seem more powerful.

"Hi, my name is Aisha al-Badri," she began, as the LED screens behind her changed to show what appeared to be a stream of cars and barefooted refugees making their way down a crowded desert road on an afternoon. Swaying slightly, she started towards the smaller platform, the spotlights following her. "I was a refugee. I'd like to dedicate this song to all the people like me who are forced to leave their homes, drifting from sea to sea, land to land. I'd especially like to dedicate this song to my parents." The LED floor remained dark, except for a thin, bright line of red running along the edges of the stage, symbolizing fire, death, and danger.


I was on the road
With the fire behind me
I couldn't turn around
Let the desert wind lead me

And now we're on a lonely beach
With the last coins in our pockets
The man said, "I can get you outta here
"Hop on this boat and soon we'll be on our way"


Aisha was now descending from the central stage to the smaller platform. Below her feet the LED floor began to turn a slightly dark blue in its entirety, swallowing the thin red line. The golden twirl that towered over her now began to turn (a somewhat brighter) blue, which was oddly appropriate considering that it symbolized the waves of the sea. The LED screens behind her were now showing, from some distance, people congregating at the beach on a moonless night, the wind blowing strongly and the waves occasionally crashing against the shore. There were a few boats there, waiting to take passengers.

It was raining when we finally sailed away
Packed together like sardines, the boat was shaking
But it's better than falling into fire and blood
I still remember the black rain, the smell of death
Had to get outta here and sail away


The camera was now providing a sideways view of Aisha as she stood at the center of the smaller platform, intending to get closer to her audience. The LED screens showed the aforementioned boats slowly sailing away into the darkness and out of the screen. Once the last boat had disappeared, the screens abruptly changed to show pictures and videos of burning towns and cities and urban warfare across the world. In one scene, civilians could be seen fleeing from street to street as a building caught fire in the background and soldiers ran towards the opposite direction. The venue reverberated with the rapid and orderly, but nevertheless unnerving, sound of gunshots from the videos, along with the occasional explosion. The gunshots and explosions were accompanied by a burst of pyrotechnics along the stage, streams of fire rapidly blasting towards - but not hitting - the ceiling. The twirl and the stage floor now shifted entirely to a bright, burning red. And in the middle of the smaller platform Aisha stood still, looking straight at the audience as the stage was bathed in red and bursts of fire surrounded her.

There's never a future
But to die of hunger
Or fall to a warlord's bullet in his own war

I'm fine if that's my destiny
But I owe it to my children
I may die poor, but they should be happy
I knew I must leave this terrible land


The pyrotechnics gradually began to die down, and the stage once again changed colors, a shade of blue taking over and overwhelming the red from the front of the stage, up the steps, and towards the very back. The twirl did not, however, turn blue alongside the stage. Instead, it slowly became a dark grey mass, towering over the blue stage like a dark, sinister cloud over the sea. And this was precisely what was now shown on the LED screens. They were no longer showing scenes of war, shifting to a view of two boats in the middle of an increasingly violent sea, in a dark night made even darker by the grey clouds above and the intense rain washing over the boats, along with the occasional lightning. The sound of rain and thunder burst forth through the venue's sound system, immersing the audience in this experience.

It was raining when we finally sailed away
Packed together like sardines, the boat was shaking
But it's better than falling into fire and blood
I still remember the black rain, the smell of death
Had to get outta here and sail away


Aisha now started back towards the central platform, as the thunder and lightning came in increasingly rapid succession. Some members of the audience could be seen putting their hands over their ears in response to the noise. In the LED screens the audience could see the waves growing larger and more violent, rocking the boats back and forth in the darkness. Standing on the central platform, for a moment she turned away from the audience, jerking her head at the screens behind her, the scene reminding her of her own journey across the sea all those years ago.

Though the waves washed over me
And the rain fell over me
I'd never go back to that forsaken land
They bombed my house, I had nowhere to live there


As Aisha launched into the final chorus, the stage floor suddenly changed colors once again, turning from blue to a bright gold from end to end. The twirl above her, too, became golden, shining in the cavernous interior of the Stade Océane. The rain and thunder and lightning stopped, and in the screens the darkness gave way to the orange-blue sky of sunrise and a calmer sea, with the boats marching on at full speed. The worst had passed, and as Aisha finished the penultimate verse of the song, land could be seen in the distance in the screens, with the sun rising serenely over the terrain.

It was raining when we finally sailed away
Packed together like sardines, the boat was shaking
But it's better than falling into fire and blood
I still remember the black rain, the smell of death
Had to get outta here and sail away


At the end of the last word, the spotlights that had been following Aisha disappeared, the stage floor went dark, and the LED screens were switched off. The golden twirl remained, as did the other lights spread across the ceiling, although they dimmed somewhat. Aisha watched as the audience cheered and applauded her performance. "Thank you everyone, thank you so much," she said. "This song is for all the refugees of the world, my family, and my country of Adab, which took me and my family in and became our new home. Thank you Le Havre!" She turned away from the audience with one final wave before making her way backstage.
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8ème chanson | auphélie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:44 pm

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8ème chanson | auphélie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:52 pm

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08. Auphelia
"Lonely Skies" - Polly Hardon

Language(s): English
Lyrics: Polly Hardon
Music: Polly Hardon
Tune: Love Is Like A Butterfly - Dolly Parton





The Story So Far . . .
The Mother Empress

Disgusted was not strong enough to encompass the depth and breadth of fury that came from the Court of the Mother Empress Bernadette. Her howl scared bird into flight and seemed to chase away the sun, the palace darkening under the storm of her anger. Attendants and priestesses scuttled out of sight of full red skirts as they swished across the smooth stone floors of the palace, her personal retinue of servants and representatives struggling to keep up with her furious pace. This was not a good time for the Mother Empress. Some might even consider it decidedly bad. The old Empress of Unity, may her Majesty reign forever, had died a month ago already and now pressure was coming from all sides as the High Mothers demanded she find the reincarnation of the Empress for the next cycle. Now it seemed she couldn't go an hour without some missive from the High Mother of the City of Dark Earth Belying Bountiful Extraction demanding the search begin for the next incarnation of the Goddess in her city or that witch, the High Mother of the City of Calms Waters Birthing Strong Reeds, making moves to reconvene the Mothers and reassess the astrological charts from the day of the last Empress' death. A threat to remove her and replace her with another, explaining a simple misreading of the charts. Oh, they were out to get her, she knew. All revered the last Empress, and indeed all Empresses, but all she was was a stand-in until the next incarnation received her first blood and came of age. All of the pomp and power of an Empress with all too little of the absolute divine authority. Perhaps she had made a mistake. These periods of transition were always precarious for the imperial rule, and her recent reforms had certainly not done much to earn her goodwill. In what some considered a direct slap in the face to the imperial directive of the last Empress, she had decided to make steps towards sending Auphelian culture into the world after a century of isolation. Yet the very first time she sent out cultural representatives onto the international stage, they had been humiliated. How dare - how dare! - she be humiliated in such a way! And she was not the only one feeling the hot wash of shame. Oh, how she had been lambasted by the Doyennes, sending their three most revered Serenities to introduce the choir and now forcing them to share in the international humiliation. It was all just too much. She couldn't afford the days or weeks of prayer and study and consultation it would take to identify the child born as the new incarnation of the Goddess, now a month-old child, not with all she had to do. Auphelia had to change its policies. The world was moving on while her nation was stuck in the past in too many ways. But if she did not find the new Empress, and soon, she knew she would be struck down by her former colleagues. If she could just redeem her cultural outreach initiative, she might be able to save it before she had to go find the new Empress. But how?

Polly Hardon

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An icon.

A legend.

Polly Hardon is beloved by millions, billions. The most successful artist of her generation and an undeniable star in the music industry, she is revered as a cultural treasure and philanthropist. Her career had only lasted a decade so far and yet no one could deny she had reshaped the modern image of her chosen genre. So when it was announced she would be representing the notoriously closed off nation of Auphelia (which had only just come off a disastrous defeat at the most recent Worldvision) in the 58th World Hit Festival, the media was abuzz with the strangeness of the pairing. What would make a multi-multi-platinum artist who was known for her championing of humans rights decide to lend her talents to a nation widely condemned for its dismissal of democracy and refusal to engage with the international community for decades?

Though she avoided interviews for the first weeks after the announcements, when she arrived in Le Havre and spent the day touring the city, she finally relented after arriving back to her hotel, addressing multiple reporters who had been trailing her all day. Her blonde hair and bright eyes gleaming in the warm light of the upscale entrance of her high-class hotel, she merely had a question for the reporters.

"Hon, if you got offered a sapphire the size of your head to sing a little song, what would you do?"




The Performance

The stage was nearly invisible in the darkness and fog - and dear god, the fog was thick. However many machines it took to fill the stage and much of the floor seating with it, any guess would likely be an underestimate. The soft shuffling and clanging of instruments and stands being set up was audible from the stage as the act set up. In the faint glow of the screens of various bored World Hit Festival attendees as they scrolled on their mobile devices, the faint outlines of people and what looked like some sort of large blob - a piano, perhaps? - could be made out by those that cared to peer into the fog.

After a scant few seconds of this, Polly Hardon herself emerges, a spotlight shining down upon her, catching the swirling wisps of fog as it coils around her. The jewels on her dress wink out, nearly as dazzling as her small smile, just a flash of teeth enough to enamour the room. The thin white fabric of her sleeve waves as she greets the audience, comfortably holding a pastel blue guitar. Her star power is evident, even to those who have never seen her. Polly has whatever it is, that special something that makes someone so impossibly likeable. Set against the dark and foggy background of the stage, she stands as a beacon of light under the shining beam of the spotlight.

"Hey there, folks! How ya'll doin' tonight? Good?"

The audience cheers out in scattered patches, receptive to her but anxious with anticipation for the performance.

"Well that's just peachy! Now I've got a song for you tonight, and it's on something real close to my heart, and I know a lot of you can relate. I call it 'Lonely Skies'."

She begins to strum her guitar, a slow and light melody, fresh with a faintly bitter edge. The arena is practically bursting with energy, the slow build as they eagerly wait to see what comes.

"Love can't always last forever, and that can be a real bad thing. Oh, I know I've made mistakes of my own a'plenty . . . but that doesn't mean it's over. No, no. Because love is something you can't ever give up on, and there's a beauty in finding a way to move on from a love that's gone. And so here we are, you, me, and the music . . .

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She continues the tune for a few second before singing, her voice sweet and simple.

Sometimes I can’t help but cry
Every time I see the sky
Memories, our distant past come haunting evermore
I can’t relive this pain again
I just can’t keep playing pretend
Sometimes I can’t help but cry, when will the light return?


A piano and other guitar, or perhaps a banjo, accompany her, and a few voices come out of the darkness to back her up in some places. These other musicians and singers layer beautifully over her, creating a fuller sound to cradle her glorious voice. The lights join in as well - or at least what can be seen of them. The twisting arc structure above everyone glows faintly through the fog in shifting colours ranging from a pastel sea foam colour to a lavender or petal pink, all just a bit muted and grey. The light diffuses through the fog, filling the stage with the soft colours.

The stars remind me of you
I can’t forget I loved you
Murmurs of our long gone love drifting on the wind
Why can’t you let me leave here?
Why couldn’t you just live here?
Why must I suffer on now, staring at darkened skies . . .


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Polly is a vision of loveliness, her white form swaying in front of a weeping audience. Only the most hard-hearted of miserable curmudgeons could resist her charms in person, the overwhelming scope of her emotional performance touching the hearts of all those present.

Sometimes I can’t help but cry
Memories, our distant past come haunting evermore
I can’t relive this pain again
I just can’t keep playing pretend
Sometimes I can’t help but cry, when will the light return?


The colours of the fog become slightly less muted, from dusty to pastel, a small amount of vibrancy coinciding with the notes of optimism infecting the song, Polly leading her flock out of the valley of despair, catharsis achieved and giving way to that gloriously clean feeling, tears excising years of feelings left unconfronted.

Petals begin to fall around her from the ceiling and bright pinpricks of light begin to appear above her, a few more coming on with each note until the stage is a galaxy of stars, the fog and its many colours a nebulous mass of cosmic beauty. Still, Polly sings her song.


But maybe I can be fine
Seen you for the last time
Eternity lost with you, our days spread out like sun
My tears poured down like summer rain
But now spring skies can heal my pain
And happiness flows freely, a sea of stars shining above


The stage begins to brighten, the screens behind Polly glowing, slowly turning the fog white as the arch above takes on a more pastel yellow effect. Lights shine out from behind her, a dozen beams slowly raising their focus as she goes on until finally shining brightly behind her.

Maybe I can help but cry
Every time I see the sky
Memories, our distant past is finally put to rest
I won't relive this pain again
I won't just keep playing pretend
I know I don't have to cry, I know the light returns!
I know I don't have to cry, one day the sun will come!


And it is done. Soon thunderous applause will break through, a cacophony of cheers and shouting. They will rush off the stage for the next act and talking heads will debate her performance.

But for now, in that eternal moment, Polly stands there, a blinding halo around her, the last petals still twirling down in the silence.
Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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9ème chanson | cassegroche

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:54 pm

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9ème chanson | cassegroche

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:59 pm

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09. Kassegrochia
"Queen" - Svetlana

Language(s): English
Lyrics: Svetlana Kalyagina
Music: Andrey Kolesnykov
Tune: Phoenix - Cailin Russo & Chrissy Costanza|(Alternative Link)





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Svetlana on a promotional photo

Svetlana Kalyagina is a 26-year old singer of Kassegrochian origin. Born in Bolgarovsk, at the age of six she emigrated with her family to Togonistan, where they settled in at the town of Edrana. Svetlana found her passion towards music in school, where she joined the girls choir. Later, she started taking private singing lessons from a family friend, who saw talent in her. As time moved on, Svetlana slowly started her solo career, releasing her first solo album at the age of 18. Svetlana gained a fair amount of fame during her attempt to represent Togonistan in the 65th WorldVision Song Contest, where she came 2nd behind Alissa Fetia in Togonifest, the national final for Togonistan at the time.

With Tre Televisija looking to return to World Hit Festival after receiving a bigger budget to work with at the start of the year, the broadcaster reached out to Svetlana with an offer to represent her birth nation in the contest. In Le Havre, Svetlana is going to perform her newest single ''Queen'' written by Kassegrochian composer Andrey Kolesnykov specifically with WHF in mind.





Svetlana is standing on the main stage. The stage is lowly lit with blue light and smoke covering the floor. Svetlana is wearing a bronze armor accompanied by a head accessory. Her microphone is attached to a stand in front of her. Svetlana's hands are on the microphone as she starts singing, looking into the camera with some subtle head movements.

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Artistic representation of Svetlana's outfit on WHF58 stage. The sword got scrapped in the latest revision by the designer.

You've been walking through hell
Locked up in a cell, hiding in your shell
One false step has changed your fate and closed the gate
Another twist in the life, anyone on your side
Has gone through your mind, will they fight for you?
Call to arms, to the battle for our queen


Camera takes a 360 degree view around Svetlana. The smoke that covered the floor is gone and the LED floor displaying blue colors can be seen gradually going brighter.

What you gonna do now?
Will you give it up or stand and rise again?


Svetlana puts her arms wide open as the stage lights up in golden colours. Throughout the chorus, she does various hand gestures while singing.

So are you gonna die today or make it out alive?
Time to conquer the beast that took your freedom, time to rise
Rise, my queen, rise
Time to retake your empire
Go walk with grace and tear down the gates
That kept you locked


Lighting on the stage tones down, with the blue background once again taking over. Smoke machines start working once again as Svetlana sings the second verse while looking into the camera, doing some subtle head movements and some hand gestures.

The future never seemed bright,
The battles you fight for what's your birthright
Ten thousand voices by your side, they're chanting for their queen
Time to stand up with pride, time to turn the tide
For those who still have faith
Got them in your sight, it is time for final fight


Once again, as we get closer to the chorus, the smoke fades away and the led floor gradually turns into a brighter shade of blue.

What you gonna do now?
Will you give it up or stand and rise again?


Stage lit up in golden colours once again. Svetlana puts her arms wide open for the first line, followed by various different hand gestures throughout the chorus.

So are you gonna die today or make it out alive?
Time to conquer the beast that took your freedom, time to rise
Rise, my queen, rise
Time to retake your empire
Go walk with grace and tear down the gates
That kept you locked


Stage lighting goes pitch black for a moment, with a single beam of blue light appearing on Svetlana. She has fallen down on her knee and is facing the audience sideways, looking at the ground.

(What you gonna do now?)
(What you gonna do now?)


As the song progresses, blue glowing lines start appearing on the background screens, gradually starting to glow more stronger. Eventually, the stage goes pitch black again for a second, before being lit up in bright golden colours again. Svetlana is standing again and has detached the microphone from her stand. Now, she is standing at the edge of the main stage, singing the final chorus. Her hand gestures are more firm this time, as is her body language.

So are you gonna die today or make it out alive?
Time to conquer the beast that took your freedom, time to rise
Rise, my queen, rise
Time to retake your empire
Go walk with grace and tear down the gates
That kept you locked


As the song ends and lights turn normal, audience can be heard applauding and cheering. Svetlana thanks the audience, with a shy smile on her face: ''Thank you everyone! Thank youuuu!''
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10ème chanson | alezie du nord

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:05 pm

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10ème chanson | alezie du nord

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:12 pm

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10. North Alezia
"Atas Nama Sang Cinta" - Aminah Al Laila

Title Translation: In The Name of Love
Language(s): Indonesian
Lyrics: Aminah Al Laila
Music: Aminah Al Laila, Andi Robi Idris Novogrody
Tune: Per Sempre - Nina Zilli




BACKGROUND
North Alezia has been participating in the World Hit Festival every edition since its debut in the 52nd edition held in Monterra, Kalosia. And even with the pandemic still raging back then, North Alezia still hold on to a respectable 6th place for its debut. And after that, North Alezia continues to participate and earn top 10 every single edition, where in 55, North Alezia almost won the competition, and the edition after, North Alezia earned its worst result, which is 10th place.

Previously, to the surprise of North Alezian bookies who booked Ainii for the trophy, Ainii has to go home with 6th place. A very surprising one, especially considering that Andi Robi Idris Novogrody was on board at the whole thing. The result surely shook Robi, and he wanted to try one more time.

The team got shook considering that at moments of preparation, a referendum which they participated at yet never expect to pass, resulted in a landslide pass. The referendum is concering about the future of the Alezian Islands, which is to be reunified by 1st of May. This also brings a problem to the ABA, because while the reunification ceremony will be held at the 27th of April, the results are not going to be announced until a few days later. At this point, ABA cannot withdrew and they don't plan to even if the geopolitical condition of the lands are going to be a little tremor-y. After a discussion between ABA and The Preparation Committee of the Alezian Union was held, it was decided that North Alezia is allowed to continue its participation on this edition of the World Hit Festival. This edition is also the first time that a show is broadcasted to all of the Alezian Union solely from ABA. Should North Alezia won, a discussion between the ABA and the WHF board is planned in order to discuss whether to allow the Alezian Union to continue North Alezia's record and let the country host, or if it's not allowed which means that the hosting must be given to the country who got second.


ARTIST INFORMATION
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Aminah Al-Laila is a North Alezian (for now) singer. She was born in Al Masabilka, ZF at 27th of June 1993. Aminah has shown talent since she was maybe around four to five years old, where she would sang her favorite song, even to date, called "Felicidaeux" by Romers Touvalhavais.

She was a pretty good student, even if her grades are not really that stellar, but still good. She finished her tertiary education at the Millenial University of Zafizamarrah in International Relations and Diplomacy, where she would go on to start her diplomacy education to be a high-level diplomat. However, fate has something else for her.

She eventually went on to participate in Al Masabilka's selection for the Zafizamarrah Grand Amour Song Festival in 2017, where she won easily and got 2nd in the Grand Amour. Grand Amour is also the place where she started her gig as a singer which is something she wanted to do as a somewhat kind of a side job. She was and is still signed to ABA Records Zafizamarrah, which is massive considering that she was new back then and she's already in the big records.

From her debut in 2017, Aminah has released so many hits with the most popular being "Casual City Girl" in 2018 where she tried city pop, where it actually worked. Other than that, she has released three albums called "Duty", "Free", and "Por Favor" (Aminah said that it was a coincidence that her album names created a phrase)

Lately, Aminah got the chance to try for Alma Season Six. She first sung her song called "When Love is a Stranger". The song won the selection to Alma representing the capital, which got massive pressure due to them not winning anymore. Aminah got second in Alma, to the surprise of many. However, that is not the end. Because ABA contacted her after Season Seven to ask her to sing her song again to go against Season Seven's runner up, Ethan Clarkes. Aminah ended up winning by a 3-1 international vote, and got selected to represent North Alezia in the 58th World Hit Festival.

Aminah would've gone to Le Havre with the song "When Love is a Stranger", however, some ABA meeting later, and Aminah is asked to write a new song due to unknown reasons that might only be known by Aminah and ABA. And ABA called the same guy who write the previous entry, Andi Robi Idris Novogrody, to help her writing the new North Alezian entry.


SONG INFORMATION

"Atas Nama Sang Cinta" talks about how someone loses trust of love and feels that love is evil and is the one that has created instability of human emotions. The song teaches its listener to not let love defeat reason, as both needs to be complimenting each other, not one stepping on the other.

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PERFORMANCE

The postcard ended, The camera view starts a little bit further away from the stage. A bit of violin starts being played, slowly lighting on the stage lights, lighting up the twirl slowly yet very steadily, revealing Aminah in a gown and a standing microphone in front of her

Rasa cinta itu
Menusuk tajam ke hatiku
Rasa cinta yang menyakitkanku
Cinta yang memabukkanku


The camera view changes to show Aminah herself in detail, without any backing dancers or backing singers. The background LCD shows stars moving at the same direction slowly

Rasa cinta itu
Menggetarkan dunia dan seisinya
Rasa cinta yang menghancurkan hati manusia
Beserta isi s'luruhnya


Coming at the reff, the lights starts becoming much more visible and the overhead lights starts moving around at various direction while one stays at the same position pointing at Aminah while Aminah spreads her hands and moving it slowly, and the background changes to show more moving stars but now much further away with visible amount of trees
Karena Atas Nama Sang Cinta
Cinta yang palsu dan menipu
Cinta yang memilukan, dan yang menyedihkan
Apa artinya?

Karena Atas Nama Sang Cinta
Hatiku dipaksa tuk tetap tegar
Apa artinya? Aku berdoa, pada yang Maha Kuasa...


The reff ends, and the lights all became dim again, a split second of darkness, then the background LCD once again shows the same footage of stars moving at the same direction slowly), One overhead light lights upon Aminah where we can see Aminah moving her right knee slowly to the slow beat.

Cinta itu
Tanpa kompromi, tiada ampun
Perasaan diri yang membuatmu merenungi
Isi nyata hati


Still doing the same thing, the camera zooms in at Aminah slowly from far away. Aminah spreads her hands slowly as well.

Dan Rasa cinta itu
Ia bagaikan pisau bermata dua
Ia bisa buatmu bersuka ria
Kemudian kau berduka


A split second before the reff starts, the all lights turns off and the twirls starts lighting up from left to right. And suddenly all lights turns on and the camera view changes to a top down view of the stage, slowly turning 360 degrees around the stage. At the "Hatiku hancur..." part of the reff, Aminah puts her right hand at her heart and then points her hand upwards. And after that, all lights turns off again slowly and carefully. only leaving her sillhouette visible.

Karena Atas Nama Sang Cinta
Aku korbankan semua untuknya
Aku hilang arah, aku terfokus padanya
Apa artiku?

[box]Karena Atas Nama Sang Cinta
Aku tak tahu harus berjalan kemana lagi
Hatiku hancur, ku berdoa pada yang Maha Esa


The lights turn on again and the colour changes to red, including the twirl. The view is changed to the camera positioned in front of Aminah, which shows a serious face while singing the incoming parts

Cinta itu jahat, dan kejam,
Membelah,
Tak dapat diprediksi,
Penuh dendam dengan bara panas api,
Mencurangi, dengan kata kata cinta yang fiksi
Dan semua dengan mudahnya terjatuh


The view changes to once again a top view of the stage, rotating 360 degrees, while the smoke machine is activated slowly but surely giving an ambience, then the view changes to once again the front view, where Aminah spreads her hands "soaring the sky"
Ku hanya bisa berharap, berdoa
Bahwa cinta tak kan menyakiti aku
Ku hanya ingin, tuk bahagia
Dengan cinta yang, tak hancurkanku
Ku hanya tahu, isi dalam hati, dan kekuatanku...
dan Inginku....


Before the reff, the camera view changes per drum beat. First near front view, then overhead, then right side, then left side, and finally for the reff, all lights are turned on again and a transition of swishing the picture to the right was used and the view stays the far front view, while Aminah spreads her hand. At the second sentence, a steadicam walks around Aminah and Aminah looks at the steadicam while it walks around and exited the stage, which then the view returns to the far view where the camera zooms in slowly to Aminah

Sang Cinta..... Uuuuuu... YEAH!
Ku harus tegar, ku harus kuat hadapi sang realita
Karena, Atas Nama Sang Cinta
Ku harus kuat melawan palsu cinta


The zoom in continues, until the range is too far that it changes to the near front view, and at the "Demi hatiku..." sentence, the twirl lights on from left to right, and Aminah pivoted 90 degrees to the left slowly, with her left leg in front of her right leg. while slowly raising her hand to face the left side while continuing to face the camera until the instrumental ends.

Demi hatiku, aku kuat, melawan kejam Sang Cinta
Uoooh....


The instrumental ends, and the audience applaused the last North Alezian song in the World Hit Festival. Aminah pivoted back facing the front and bowed while saying "Shukran Kasiira, thank you very much... Merci Beaucoup."




Love is
Stabs hard into my heart
Love that is painful to me
Love th drunkens me

Love is
The one that shook the world and its contents
Love that destroys a human
and his/her inside

Because in the name of love
Love that is fake and cheats
Love that is heartbreaking and saddening
What does it mean?

Because in the name of love
My heart is forced to stay tough
What does it mean? I pray... To the Almighty

Love is
Without compromise, Without mercy
Feelings inside that makes you contemplate
What is your true feelings inside your heart?

And love is
It's like a double sided knife
It can make you happy
Then make you grieve

And in the name of Love
I sacrifice everything for it
I lost my way, I focused myself on it
What do I mean?

And in the name of Love
I don't know where to go anymore
I'm heartbroken, I prayed to the Almighty

Love is evil, and cruel
Dividing,
Unpredictable,
Full of grudges and the heat of fire
Cheats, with fictional love words
And it all easily falls apart

I can only hope, pray
That love won't hurt me
I only wanted to be happy
With love that won't destroy me
I only know what is in my heart, and my strength
And my wants

Love... Oooooh.... YEAH!
I have to be strong, I have to face the reality
Because, in the name of Love
I have to be strong fighting against fake love

For my heart, I'm strong, fighting against Love
Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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le deuxième entracte

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:12 pm

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Cher Patrocle, Normand superstar and the second interval act at the 58th World Hit Festival

Cher Patrocle, the stage name of Hugo Mazet, is a sensation in Normandy and Picardy. Loved especially by a younger audience, and a favourite target of hate by more conservative figures, he his well known for his outlandish costumes and elaborate stage shows which draw equal amounts of adoration and condemnation. Cher Patrocle burst onto the scene in 2016, bringing his mixture of rock and hip hop to audiences across the Two Republics, and has since had numerous number ones and performed at some of the biggest events. Indeed, he was the centre of one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Festival de Cherbourg, where he entered in the Grand Prix in 2018 (pictured above), only managing to come 4th; it later emerged he had won the televote in a landslide, and there was anger at was was perceived as a result rigged by the juries and the college. It should be noted that Cher Patrocle, however, refused to be drawn on the allegations himself. In any case, who is Cher Patrocle? As noted, his real name is Hugo Mazet. Aged 30 and originally from Rouen, the Federal capital of Normand and Picardy and a real mixing pot of cultures and especially musical traditions, and thus the perfect place for the young Hugo to hone his craft. He chose the name Cher Patrocle as a reference to the Greek hero Patroclus from the Iliad, where he is the lover (or some will say cousin, but yeah, no) of Achilles; follow Patroclus' death, Achilles was roused to fight, having previously refused to due to a dispute with Agamemnon. But that's enough Greek myth for you, and you will get the general idea from this about what Cher Patrocle is all about. In any case, him turning up as the interval to the World Hit Festival is a major moment in itself. It was certain to ruffle feathers across Normandy and Picardy, but it also showed the vision that the SRNP production team behind the contest had and wanted to sell; a modern, daring artistic vision, a vision powered by young talent and artists. He performed two songs; the first, "Vilain Garçon" (Naughty Boy), was a new single, whilst "Bim Bam Boum" had been a major hit in the months leading up to the contest in Le Havre.

Listen to the songs performed in this interval here here:
Vilain Garçon
Bim Bam Boum
Last edited by Normandy and Picardy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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11ème chanson | carrelie

Postby Normandy and Picardy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:16 pm

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