French newspaper 20 Minutes has revealed that France Télévisions plans on organising a new national selection to choose their representative for Eurovision 2021.
The article was published at midnight on June 21st, following a tradition for France Télévisions to give information about their Eurovision plans on the day of France’s Fête de la Musique (Music Day).
A national selection away from Paris
Alexandra Redde-Amiel, the new Head of the French delegation – and head of entertainment at France Télévisions – revealed to 20 Minutes that the national selection will take place outside of Paris, in a large hall, and will seemingly only take place over one show :
It will be an original creation, produced internally by France Télévisions Studios. The final concept is a work in progress. We already know it is going to be an evening show, in a large performance hall, not in Paris.Alexandra Redde-Amiel
The show will see several candidates competing against eachother, the winner being chosen by televoters and by a jury. Redde-Amiel stated that the composition of this jury is also a work-in-progress, and could be French, international, or a mixture of both. Submission for songs and candidates will open on June 29th.
While the dates of the show have not seemingly been given by Redde-Amiel, the 20 Minutes article assumes it will take place early in 2021, like most national selections in Europe. France 2 will broadcast it.
This piece of news confirms once again that Tom Leeb will not represent France next year in Rotterdam.
Destination Eurovision ?
France’s lattest national selections were the two editions of Destination Eurovision, in 2018 and 2019. The project was at the time defended by Edoardo Grassi, then French HoD. Both editions took place over three weeks, with two semi-finals and a final. In 2018, the semi-finals were pre-recorded and qualifiers were chosen by a French jury. But in 2019 all shows were live and the results were a mixture of televote and French-international jury.
While appreciated by French and European fans – the 2018 inaugural edition was deemed the best selection of the season by escXtra readers –, the shows did not fare very well neither in TV ratings nor in Eurovision results. Neither “Mercy” (a serious contender for the win at some point) nor “Roi” reached the Top 10.
The new French national selection will probably follow a different path, and use a different name, being produced internally (when Destination Eurovision was produced by ITV Studios France), away from the Parisian region, and consisting in only one show.
What do you think? Should France get back to a national selection? Does the little information we have make you confident about the future show? Did you think Destination Eurovision was a good formula? Tell us more in the comments below, or on social media at @ESCXTRA!