It’s the Big Five country that’s turned around its flagging fortunes at Eurovision. Now French broadcaster France 2 has revealed details of France‘s new national final Destination Eurovision. And there’s plenty of proof that they are really making an effort.
France 2 held a press conference today where they introduced the three French jury members who will help to select the acts.
In the semi-finals, the acts will be chosen by a panel of six jurors. Three will be French, while the other three will be international. The French jury consists of France’s 2016 star Amir, French-Canadian chanteuse Isabelle Boulay and French Pop Idol winner Christophe Willem. The international half will be made up of Christer Björkman (HoD Sweden), Nicola Caligiore (HoD Italy) and Olga Salamakha (HoD Belarus).
The three French jurors were at the press conference and ready to share their enthusiasm for their new roles. Amir told the press conference, “I am very honoured.”
Christophe noted that the three jury members all have very different tastes in music. And, as Isabelle added, ultimately it comes down to the public.
One thing not revealed at the press conference was the competing artists or their songs. Even the judges don’t know. “We still haven’t heard anything,” Christophe said. “It will be a surprise.”
However, it was confirmed that there will be a total of 18 songs competing in Destination Eurovision. The competing acts will be revealed just days before each of the two semi-finals. From each semi-final, four acts will progress to the grand final.
A total of eight acts will compete at the grand final. The result will be a decided by a 50/50 French public televote and jury split. The grand final jury will be made up of 10 international jurors — the Heads of Delegation from Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.
Many big-name French stars are behind the songs in the contest. Artists Zazie, Maitre Gims, Vitaa and Grande Corps Malade are among those listed as songwriters for the national final. However, France 2 isn’t saying who will be singing their songs.
The French-Canadian singer Garou was also confirmed in his role as host. This was first announced earlier in the year.
The last time France used a national final was in 2014, when Twin Twin’s “Moustache” won a month-long public vote held as part of the music show Les chansons d’abord. Since then, the French broadcaster has internally selected their acts.
Along with a new Head of Delegation with fresh ideas, France has managed to deliver strong performances that have earned good results. In 2016, Amir placed sixth with “J’ai cherché”, while in Kyiv, Alma placed 12th with “Requiem”. Buoyed by these good results, France 2 has embraced their new national final format.
What do you think? Who would you like to see competing in Destination Eurovision? Share your thoughts below!