Israeli-French singer Amir Haddad will fly the flag for France at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in May. The 31-year-old French-born Israeli-raised television song contest star will try to snag ‘deux points’ with his mid-tempo pop song “J’ai Cherché” (I’ve been looking for) at the international song competition.
Haddad, who is actually trained as a dentist, first tried his luck in the world of televised song contests in 2006 on the Kochav Nolad (Israeli Idol) show. In 2013, he finished third in The Voice: La Plus Belle Voix De France.
Haddad is known as “Amir” in France, à la Madonna, with no surname.
He sings his Eurovision entry in French and English.
“Choosing an Israeli to represent France is a fantastic end to a tough period for the French in general and not just for the Jews of France,” the country’s head of delegation for the Eurovision Song Contest, Edoardo Grassi, told Ynet. “What happened in Hyper Cacher supermarket and the chain of terror attacks a few months ago is tragic, not just to the Jews of France but to everyone. Amir’s religion is not relevant. Amir could be a Muslim or a person of color. We’re sending a message to the world that everyone is equal.”
Speaking to Radio RFM in France, Haddad said he is “happy, flattered, and proud” to represent France at Eurovision in Stockholm.
Israel was scheduled to choose its representative to Eurovision the day after this paper went to press.