She tells us this Sunday morning on the phone that she went to bed a little late last night because of course she watched Eurovision. At age 66, Mary Miriam is the last French singer to have won the competition, in 1977, with her hit “The Bird and the Child” in 1977, which sold more than 4 million copies. She looks back on the performance of La Zarra, the Quebecer who represented France and on his inappropriate gesture which shocked her.
Have you not watched Eurovision since 1977?
MARY MYRIAM. I missed quite a few in the 1980s because I was doing a thousand things, but yesterday I was in front of my TV. It was a magnificent show, an incredible musical feast, even if I regret that there is no more orchestra like in my time. There was a special atmosphere, charged with emotion, because the show should not have taken place in Liverpool, but in Ukraine who won last year. This country is at war and there was contemplation, we were all in unison behind the Ukrainians and it was very strong. So this gesture from La Zarra at the end of the evening because she didn’t win, it’s really shocking.
You talk about that middle finger. According to her, it was not one, but a gesture of disappointment.
Watch the video, it’s a middle finger! And it was seen by nearly 200,000 million viewers. What a shame ! I am extremely disappointed because this is just not possible. She made this gesture seated in an armchair with French flags behind her. France does not deserve this! She justifies herself by saying that this gesture expresses a disappointment in Moroccan culture, but it will start a racist controversy that we really don’t need… I know exactly the stress we feel before singing, when we count the points, the tension which rises… But nothing explains that we slip!
VIDEO. Eurovision: middle finger or “toz”? La Zarra, 16th in the competition, explains his decried gesture
La Zarra is a bad loser?
Obviously. There are 26 candidates and one or only one winner. Perhaps he should have explained to her that she was not sure of arriving first. This is the principle of a competition. If we don’t want to lose, we don’t participate! By expressing her dissatisfaction, her disappointment, with this vulgar gesture, she put gray on her image, she who was all sunny with this red, this black, her magnificent hat.
Could this slippage have existed in the 1970s when you participated?
I do not think so. There is of course a drift with social networks, but you have to live with the times. And above all, the gesture of La Zarra remains exceptional. It must not hide that all the other candidates behaved very well. Eurovision is a contest and she was the only one to react like that. Look at the Finns who arrived n° 2they kept smiling!
Besides this inappropriate gesture, what did you think of his complicated career?
I find her glamorous. I really like how she is dressed, her costumes. Her diva side didn’t bother me, she’s part of the character. I supported her on my Facebook page, where I wrote: “What an artist! “. I am all the more disappointed and sad that she had spoken a lot about me and said that when she was little, her mother sang to her “The Bird and the Child”. I sent her a short message to support her.
Could she have won?
I would have liked it, because France has been waiting for this trophy for 46 years But Sweden’s Loreen was fantastic, just like Norway, Belgium or Italy. I confess, however, that I did not understand the score of Finland (laughs).