Lisbon 2018

Destination Eurovision 2018: new details revealed!

Today, Monday December 11th, new details were revealed about the new French national selection — Destination Eurovision 2018. The candidates have not been announced yet, but the juries are.

18 candidates

The names of the candidates have not yet been announced. However, we know that there will be 18 of them (unlike the 15 or 16 announced previously). More than 1.500 entries were submitted. As in most national selections, the artist will be chosen with their song.
While we don’t know the singers, we have some more information about the composers and writers. Some of them are big names of the French music industry, like Maître Gims, Grand Corps Malade and Zazie. It also seems that Alma — who represented France in 2017 — have composed (or written) a song.

Three shows, 8 finalists

While the previous press conference (in October) was obscure about the format of the selection, this one gave us far more details. These details confirmed most of what the regional newspaper Ouest France revealed in September.
There will be three shows : two semi-finals and a final. The broadcasting dates are still unknown. However, the two semi-finals will be recorded before broadcast, on January 8th and 9th. 9 candidates will take part in each semi-final, where two juries, a French one and an International one, will vote to qualify 4 entries : none of the jurors will have listened to the songs previously.
The French jury will consist of :

  • Amir (who represented France in 2016 in Stockholm with J’ai Cherché)
  • Cristophe Willem
  • Isabelle Boulay

The International jury will consist of :

  • Christer Björkman (head of the Melodifestivalen and of the Swedish delegation)
  • Nicola Cagliore (head of the Italian delegation)
  • Olga Salamakha (head of the Belarussian delegation)

The Final will be broadcast live, and all 8 remaining candidates will sing their song again. The French jury will not vote but will still give its opinion. The International jury will vote, though. 7 new jurors will be added, to obtain a 10-member jury. Those new members will be from Armenia, Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Israel, Russia and Switzerland — presumably the Heads of Delegation. The votes of this jury and televoting will select the winner, on a 50/50 basis.
All three shows will be hosted by French-Canadian singer Garou, as announced before.

The French and National Selections

The last French National Selection was held in 2014, but its format wasn’t one of an actual televised selection. It mainly took place online : three songs competed, and the public voting was open for a month. The entry that was eventually chosen, by a mixture of online voting, televoting and jury voting, gave France its first and so far only last place in Eurovision : Moustache, by Twin-Twin.
Recently, national selections were also held in 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2007. None of them followed the same process, and none of their winners fared better than 19th in the Eurovision Final. One has to go back to the 1980’s, and more especially the 1970’s to find an “effective” national selection in France. The process used between 1976 and 1981 gave France a winner (1977) and four Top 3 placings.
Watch again the French performance in 2014 in Copenhaguen, with Twin Twin’s Moustache.

What do you think? Do you like the composition of the juries? Will Destination Eurovision 2018 give better results than the previous French National Selections? Tell us on the comments below, or on social media at @escxtra !

Vincent Mazoyer

I'm a French Eurovision fan, and an ESCXTRA Editor since August 2017. I love following national selections and live tweeting on Destination Eurovision / Eurovision CVQD for ESCXTRA. Outside of this nice Eurosphere, I'm a "fan" of the audio medium, from radio podcasts to commercialy-released audios, Modern Pentathlon, and more generally a business and law student.

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