France‘s Destination Eurovision was one of the most successful national finals of the 2018 season. The show has already been confirmed as coming back for 2019, but now new details have emerged of planned changes to the format.
The 2018 edition of Destination Eurovision was an open-call contest which included two pre-recorded semi-finals and a live grand final. The show was hosted by entertainer Garou and was the first French national final since 2014.
Reception towards the new program was good and pop duo Madame Monsieur was selected to represent France in Eurovision with the emotional song “Mercy”.
But while Destination Eurovision 2019 will be back, it’s not without a few changes. French journalist Benjamin Rabier recently tweeted a summary of what was discussed at a press conference with France 2 director Caroline Got.
Plusieurs changements pour la saison 2 de #DestinationEurovision sur France 2 :
– Les 3 émissions seront en direct
– « Une partie du jury va changer » dixit @CarolineGot_F2
– Garou « toujours en discussion, ça va dépendre de son emploi du temps » pour l’animation. #Eurovision
— Benjamin Rabier ???? (@benjaminrabier) August 23, 2018
Several changes for season 2 of #DestinationEurovision on France 2:
– The 3 shows will be live
– “Part of the jury will change” said @CarolineGot_F2
– Garou “always in discussion, it will depend on his schedule” for the animation. #Eurovision
So from that, we know three things:
All three shows will be live
In 2018, the semi-finals — which were decided by jury vote alone — were pre-recorded. This meant that audience members learned who the four qualifiers were from each semi before the shows were broadcast.
While audience members were asked to keep quiet — and fans were generally good with not leaking spoilers — the news did get out and it was not difficult to learn who the qualifiers were.
Making the semi-finals live means the results will be a surprise to all and it also opens the potential for involving a televote as well as the judges’ vote.
There will be a change to the jury
They’re not saying what the change will be, only that there will be a change.
In 2018, there were three components to the jury. In the semi-finals, there were two juries: one French (Amir, Isabelle Boulay, Christophe Willem) and one international: Christer Björkman (Sweden), Nicola Caligiore (Italy), Olga Salamakha (Belarus).
The grand final also used the French jury (with Alma replacing Amir), and fleshed out the international jury with seven others.
So it’s possible that there will be different people on the juries, or indeed that the jury format itself may change. In 2018, the jury and televote contributed 50% of the vote each. This ratio could change for 2019.
Who will host the contest?
French-Canadian entertainer Garou was the host of the 2018 edition, but he has not yet been locked in for 2019. He may have other commitments that would rule out a return, or he may be able to fit Destination Eurovision into his schedule.
Submissions open until 30 November
In June, France Télévisions opened submissions for Destination Eurovision 2019. The submissions are open until the 30th of November, which gives interested acts just over two more months to get their entry in.
As is standard in Eurovision selections, the song must not be published prior to September 1, 2018. Owing to Destination Eurovision rules, it may not be commercially available until the contest.
During its Eurovision history, France has won the contest five times, although the last win was in 1977. In the early 2010s, France had a particularly rough patch, frequently finishing near the bottom of the board.
However, things turned around in 2016 when Amir placed sixth with the uplifting “J’ai cherché”. Alma and Madame Monsieur also brought home good results, placing 12th and 13th respectively.
France has their eye on a sixth Eurovision win, so it’s expected they’ll keep the same level of quality for 2019.
What do you think about Destination Eurovision 2019? Who would you like to see represent France in Israel? Let us know in the comments below!