During an episode of Incroyable Talent, France’s answer to U.S. reality talent shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent, one of the contestants, metal vocalist Rachel La Voix D’Homme, shocked the audience and judges with her growling cover of Swiss industrial metal band Sybreed’s song “Emma 0.”
The beautiful D’Homme took the stage in a tight black mini dress and high heels with her long dark tresses stylishly pulled back in a headband and sweetly answered the judges’ questions. Then the crunching sounds of “Emma 0” began and the beautiful Talent hopeful belted out her best guttural screams in perfect time.
You can watch the video of D’Homme performance here below, and also listen to Sybreed’s original version, which D’Homme definitely gruffed up a bit (yes, the original is actually more melodic).
Now, I’m not fluent in French, so I don’t know how D’Homme described her song selection or what the judges said to her afterward, but in the video it’s clear that the hosts, judges, and audience members, who held their hands over their faces in disbelief and out-right laughed, did not see this coming. So, I’m guessing that beautiful ladies belting out industrial metal songs on French national television is not common. While there were some people in the audience rocking out with her and she did receive polite applause at the end, I’m confused as to the general shocked reaction to D’Homme’s performance.
Brace yourself for what most likely will be another instance of Eve’s stereotypically ignorant of the rest of the world ethnocentric American assumptions (but don’t blame me, that’s how they breed us here!)…
As a metal fan growing up in the United States, I was led to believe that there’s a lot of tolerance for all musical genres in Europe and that metal acts like Iron Maiden and Slayer can harmoniously share a main stage at an outdoor music festival with the likes of pop queens like Pink and Britney Spears and all 100,000 attendees would be totally fine with it. Then I see the repulsed reactions of the people on a French TV talent show to a singer covering a heavy song – and yes, I realize it was seriously heavy, but I’ve heard way more intense metal – and I wonder, what happened? Shouldn’t the audience have embraced D’Homme’s excellent version of the song, especially since she not only demonstrated the talent required to advance in a show like this, but she also has the attractiveness required for someone who’s to be the next “superstar”? But, perhaps it’s because reality TV is just reality TV everywhere in the world – simply mindless. Or, maybe it was just a shock to see a glamourous-looking woman sound like she had reached down into the bowels of Hell and pulled out Satan’s voice?
So now I beseech the French to come forward and educate me on their culture, and also explain to me what’s going on in this video. What did D’Homme say about her song selection and what were the judges’ critique of it? And why did the people in attendance gasp in surprise or laugh from uncomfortableness at this – is metal really that shocking to them?
And, like I said, I don’t know what was said, but I can say that if this was say America’s Got Talent, the physical reactions to this type of performance – audience laughing/acting shocked, judges baffled, hosts acting like idiots in an attempt to ridicule what they do not understand – would be the same. C’mon, France, I thought you were better than that!
Video: Incroyable Talent: Sybreed’s ‘Emma 0’
If you’re curious what the original version sounds like, here’s Sybreed’s song.
I’m not perfect in French, but I’ve transcribed what I could make out:
0:52 – female judge says “what’s that?”
1:00 – host says, “we call that an exorcism”
1:23 – female judge, “there’s such a contrast between your look and voice… i was stupifide… it’s strange”
1:35 – 1 male judge, “can you sing long like that long?”
1:38 – Rachel, “one year and a half like this”
1:40 – 2 male judge, “it’s metal, it’s metal with the voice of a man”
– Rachel, “exactly”
1:48 – 2 male judge, “…it was a little repetitive. for me it’s a no”
– female judge, “for me, it’s a yes.”
– 1 male judge, “… you have an incredible talent…”
2:15 – Rachel, “it’s a real surprise for me, two yeses…”
2:25 – 1 male judge, “2 minutes like that and she won’t have a voice”
2:30 – 2 male judge, “I’m curious about the voice, objectively. ”
2:36 – Rachel, “I should do two known metal songs, it should be more interesting for them and less repetitive.”
Comment by Shawn Loeffler — January 12, 2013 @ 1:27 am
I’m a little bit lazy to translate it all, but I just want to tell you that the judges and the audience weren’t making fun of her. They were just shocked since they weren’t expecting at all that kind of music. Most of the judges’ comments were positive and tehy could believe that she could since like that. On a cultural note, you have to realise that in France Rock (specially metal) is not common at all, much less in public TV. Normally in that kind of TV shows, people will sing what they call “VariÃ©tÃ© FranÃ§aise” or Pop.
Comment by Chainrules — January 14, 2013 @ 1:11 pm