Edoardo Grassi, the Italian-born Head of Delegation for France, has been in charge of France’s Eurovision efforts for three years and his determination is paying off. Under his guidance France ended the streak of bottom of the scoreboard results and achieved a sixth place with Amir in 2016.
Bringing France closer to the contest
His interest in Eurovision developed after he was invited to the contests in Copenhagen and Vienna by the the French commentator. While there, he was disappointed to see how France seemed detached compared to other delegations. He noted:
“The artistic level was very high. On the other hand, the event was approached by France in an obsolete way. We were in complete artistic shift compared to other countries.”
Seeing that made him determined to change the way France looked at the contest and he wanted to play an active role on that. With that in mind he prepared 22-page file that he wanted to become “the Bible of the French delegation” and got in touch with the then director of entertainment of France 2, Nathalie André. Soon after, they hired him as Head of Delegation and he convinced Amir to take part. He went on to achieve the first top 10 result for France since 2009.
Plans to continue with televised national selection
When asked about the plans on the selection of next year’s representative, he stated that he would be happy to continue with the televised show saying:
“I do not think the show really affects the outcome. Look at the success of Amir, it was not chosen by the public […] Nevertheless, I think that going through a televised show helps to anchor the Eurovision brand in France. This allows us to show our motivation and talk about this contest for three months”
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
France was one of the seven countries that participated in the very first contest in 1956. In total it made 61 appearances at Eurovision, only missing the 1974 and 1982 editions of the show. It won the contest 5 times, in 1958, 1960, 1962, 1969 and 1977. During the 20th century it achieved top 5 results in 24 contests. Success has been more frail in the 21st century, ending near or at the bottom of the scoreboard every year between 2012 and 2015. Results have improved since 2016 when Amir placed 6th in the grand final, their best result since 2009. In Lisbon, the duo Madame Monsieur flew the French flag with the powerful entry “Mercy”, they placed 13th with 173 points.
Do you think France will win again soon? Who is your favourite French entrant so far? Who do you think should represent them in 2019?
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