Destination Eurovision: Artists to perform cover songs in the semi-finals…which will be broadcast on worldwide TV


It’s the new national final that everyone is talking about. And while the two semi-finals of Destination Eurovision have been filmed this week, fans are patiently waiting for the first of these to be aired on Saturday 13th January.

But while we wait, new details have emerged on what the show will entail. French newspaper  20 minutes attended the recording of the first semi-final on 8 January, and was permitted by the French delegation to publish an overview of what went down . So what juicy bits did we learn?

The semi-final is set to start with a rendition of “Waterloo” by the three members of the national jury –  Amir , Isabelle Boulay and Christophe Willem  – along with Garou , the show’s host. As the newspaper notes, it may be best for the superstitious among you to forget that “Waterloo” refers to the dramatic defeat of the French army (let’s hope their Eurovision 2018 candidate does not suffer a similar fate).

After a tribute to the recently deceased French-singer, and winner of Eurovision 1965 for Luxembourg, France Gall , the competition gets underway.

However, it won’t be a simple case of the eight artists performing their national selection song, with each set to start by singing a verse and chorus of a cover of their choice. The aim is to allow each contestant the chance to discuss their musical influences and style. Masoé starts proceedings off with a rendition of “Pas là” by Vianney, while Noée covers Michel Berger’s  “Le Paradis Blanc” and Pheno Men opt for “ABC” by the Jackson Five.

In addition, 20 minutes notes the judging style of the three French jury members. Isabelle comes off as kind, Amir “masters euphemisms and innuendos”, while Christophe is seen as the most harsh, but still fair. An unnamed contestant, who apparently did not receive 100% positive comments from the jury, says after their judging that: “They are objective and they are right. I still have work to do.”

Each member of the French and international jury, which for the semi-finals comprises of Sweden’s Christopher Bjorkman and the heads of delegation from Italy and Belarus — Nicola Caligliore and Olga Salmakhe — awards 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points to their favourite six songs of the evening. The scores are added up and then we will finally know who will qualify for the final on 27th January.

The view of the journalists backstage is apparently very diverse, with no one having the same top four. It’s looking like it could be a nail-biter!

Semi-Final Allocation Revealed

The eight artists to compete in the first semi-final this Saturday have also been revealed. The French delegation sent out the following tweet after the recording on Monday, with a picture of the eight acts involved.

The photo shows Lisandro CuxiMalo’NoéeElhaMasoéEmmy LyiannaLoukaEnea, and Pheno Men.

By process of elimination this leaves Madame MonsieurJane ConstanceMax Cinnamon, Igit, June The Girl, Sarah CaillibotNassiSweem and Lucie Vagenheim to battle it out in the second semi-final on 20th January.

Extended clips of the songs of each contestant in semi-final one are also currently being released by the French delegation on Instagram. The first two, for Pheno Men and Louka, are included in the article above.

There’s also still time to vote in our polls of who your favourites are based on the initial clips: 1st set of 9; 2nd set of 9.

How To Watch The Show

For those fans wishing to watch the show there are several options available. Firstly, a worldwide Facebook Live stream will be put up on the Eurovision France Facebook page, which you can find here.

But additionally, the show is set to air on TV5Monde, a global television network that broadcasts several channels of French language programming. This means anyone with Sky or Virgin Media will be able to watch the show from the comfort of their own TV, and avoid any buffering problems the rest of us may face with the live stream.

In the UK TV5Monde is found on Sky channel 796 and Virgin Media channel 825, but make sure to double check if it is included in your specific package, and with your local version in other countries.

Are you excited for Eurovision to begin? Do you think every act is good? And who are you routing for? Let us know all in the comments below!

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