Over the past three years he’s made France relevant to Eurovision again, choosing acts that become fan favourites while strengthening perceptions of the show at home.

And during the most recent Eurovision fortnight, Edoardo Grassi sat down with Le Monde — France’s newspaper of record — to discuss the country’s incredible turnaround.

Speaking to French journalist Aurélie Blondel, he made it clear just how much investigative work he had done prior to taking the helm.

“I was surfing on the wave of French failures at ESC,” he says, remembering when France finished near the bottom between 2012 and 2015, which seemed to mirror the country’s low finishes between 2003 and 2008.

“When I attended the show in 2014 and 2015, invited by the French commentator, I was surprised by the total madness of it. I also felt that France was completely out of step with the other delegations.”

When he came back from Austria after the 2015 contest, he wrote a 22-page memo that he presented to the head of entertainment at broadcaster France 2. The memo, he says, “had to become the bible of the French delegation” and nothing less.

“At the end of our discussion, I was hired and became head of the French delegation.”

You know the story that follows: His choice of Amir and the song “J’ai cherché” propelled France to a top 10 position — a result that hadn’t been seen since global superstar Patricia Kaas took France to eighth in 2009.

Edoardo also discussed his ongoing strategy of strengthening ties with other delegations, letting it be known that France takes the contest seriously. The Italian-born TV executive also oversaw the art direction of Madame Monsieur on the stage of Lisbon’s Altice Arena and lobbied with the media.

For Edoardo, the only limit was the Lisbon sky. “All I want is that everyone talks about France, I want to see France as a focus of attention.” And surely it was, with Madame Monsieur getting shout-outs globally, in publications from Billboard to The New York Times and beyond.

We were happy to see Wiwibloggs on his roadmap as well.

“It was important to me to develop strong relationships with foreign bloggers, like the famous Wiwibloggs, which has many followers,” he said, saying that domestic blogs and web sites are “less visible because there are too many of them.”

Edoardo is also very proud of Destination Eurovision — the very first national selection organised in France for ESC last January.

“It helps to anchor the Eurovision trademark in the French public. It shows our motivation and gets people talking about the contest for the three months” before Eurovision really starts.

It all seems to be working. Ratings for Eurovision 2018 in France were more than double what they were in 2014.

Are you loving Edoardo’s passion and honesty? Do you think that he will lead France to a victory in the years ahead? Let us know down below.

Read more France Eurovision news

Family photo…with France’s HoD Edoardo ?? #eurovision #france2 #esc2018 #umk18

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30 Comments on "Edoardo Grassi: “I want to see France as a focus of attention at Eurovision”"

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Davve
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Nice

Adam Jones
Guest

One of my all time favorite songs out of all the years Eurovision has been broadcasting was Anggnn’s – “Echo (You and I) France 2012. I was shocked at how low a score they received from everyone during the contest. It came in 22 place. I don’t care. It will always be one of my all time ESC hits.

Dean
Guest

He had done a good job. 3 great songs. But now he needs to learn staging!

perrs
Guest

Song from 2016, 2018 was very overrated by betting odds, many fans of Eurovision… especially song from 2018. I think France would be in TOP 10 with Malo, Igit, Lisandro, Noee. Song from 2016 ,2017 was so simillar only we had man singer in 2016 and woman in 2017. Similar song was in french national final 2018 who was pre semifinal one of favorites.

Steph
Guest

He did very well with Amir and average with the two other acts. Nevertheless, the results are better as a whole. It’s a real shame that he is not a nice professional. On location, if you happen to question something (without being rude at all) about the French songs or staging, he will be rude/insulting and block you. This is not being professional. Liberté d’expression!

NickC
Guest

Merci beacoup monsieur Grassi pour votre passion. You had 3 amazing songs, if you just get the staging right, French victory is near…

Kyna
Guest

I love how one person’s huge passion has led a country, in this case France, to rise from the ashes and I’m living for it. This remarkable achievement is truly admirable.

CyxCy
Guest
Edoardo is really the man we needed in France. Bruno Berberès worked a lot before him, but he could not find the right formula. Nathalie André was absolutely unaware of what Eurovision was today and she discovered it by landing in Vienna. XD And then there are all the prejudices that some people have in France concerning Eurovision … Fortunately, in this chaos Edoardo has arrived! he was not disconnected from reality because he worked for NRJ radio, he knew exactly what kind of music young people like to listen to and what singers could represent us. he does a… Read more »
AngieP
Guest
I absolutely love this guy! He knows what Eurovision needs. He invests in good songs, good performers and a good relationship with other delegations and the press. He’s trying to promote his country and I give him credit for that. Also, French public is more interested in Eurovision. It’s clear they’ve taken it seriously. It’s not just France competing. It’s France showing Europe its talented artists and its music culture. There are many charismatic performers and many talented songwriters. And they use them in a good way. He’s done a great job so far! I hope he stays as long… Read more »
Carl
Guest

Why cant Macedonia,Montenegro,San Marino, Iceland,Spain,Switzerland hire a passionate soul like this as their HOD? They seem to not have the best. He does research, 12 points 🙂

Alex
Guest

Destination Eurovision was more exciting than the actual ESC this year IMO.

Alex
Guest

DADDY

TransMermaid
Guest

2 bottoms don’t make a top xD

YoungsterJoey
Guest

Good for him. Shoutout to Italy too.

Stephanie
Guest

Edoardo has done a great job so far: three years, three straight left-side finishes and the launching of Amir into French superstardom. They’ve really got their act together under his leadership, I can only hope for more good things to come

Roelof Meesters
Guest

This year, DE was head and shoulders above the other NF’s (song-wise, the stage wasnt spectacular and the duo’s were boring) and I am really happy To see that France is doing JESC. Edoardo did a great job for France so far.

Sabrina
Guest

It’s refreshing to see a head of delegation that shows great deals of passion and reason at the same time. He is doing a fantastic job so far. In just 3 years, he put the country back on the contenders’ list and also developed one of the best national finals. Madame Monsieur deserved a much better result, I don’t even think they had a bad staging, they only opted for something simple and chic. It lacked some impact though. Anyway, it was a great step forward. Can’t wait for the next Destination Eurovision!

Rui Carreteiro
Guest

I totally adored Mercy and Madame Monsieur. But just for the amazing Destination Eurovision, France deserved victory or at least a top 10. Alez, Edoardo!

Kirby
Guest

I adore countries and their delegations who do have passion and take ESC seriously! France did a wonderful job with Destination Eurovision and that effort’s outcome could be clearly noticed before, during and after Lisbon 2018. BTW, I’d offer my kingdom for having the chance to read that 22-page memo -it must be so interesting!

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

He’s doing an incredible job. He has made France one of the countries to look forward to during pre-Eurovision season.

Denis
Guest

It is good that he takes it seriously. If everybody took it seriously and really send thier best and made efforts to reach out to other delegations and platforms the Contest would reach new heights. Every song competing in national finals should be a winning candidate, that’s what I say
But it’s not all there. There is still a lot to learn about staging. France has had good songs since 2016 that all got destroyed by bad staging. With good staging France could reach top 5 and even win again

jPod
Guest

I’d sit on his face. I mean, who wouldn’t? #goals

KYLLITO
Guest

French HoD deserves every accolade. Destination Eurovision was the best national selection in 2018. Many of the songs I still listen to on Spotify. And Madame Monsieur were awesome. Keep up the great work. Much Respect From Texas!

Curve
Guest

Keep the status quo. France is doing great since 2016.

Mohrant
Guest

His passion is fantastic! I think it’s really good for France in Eurovision and is going to help them continue to send great acts.

Toinousse
Guest

I appreciate his efforts, but everything is far from being perfect yet and we have a lot to learn yet. We still have to work on our stagings . Italy are doing better at this game, and even Germany this year and UK last year.

Matt C
Guest
The staging of France has always been horrible going back to Amir. Also something to note is to hire someone who knows of stage direction, not use the HoD to create the artistic part. Maybe that’s their downfall. He’s obviously done an amazing job but maybe that’s a step too far for him, let someone else do that part of the job. Amir had childish staging, Alma was on her own dancing on top of Paris-generated LED screens and MM just vanished on stage. They bring good songs, but there also needs to be some sort of a direction when… Read more »
Jonas
Guest

I agree. This is the one element that they are still lacking. A bit like Italy, staging has not been their strongpoint.

Jonas
Guest

Although Italy do tend to make their low-budget stagings effective with what little they have.

Elsa Alves
Guest

Well, this year’s song was not that good, plus the couple was not so charismatic either. Staging is important, but cannot make miracles.