For the past two years, France has left internal selection in favour of a public vote through the Destination Eurovision national final. While broadcaster France 2 still has not confirmed if a 2020 edition will be produced, there is a hint that planning is underway. In a recent interview with TV Télé Loisirs magazine, French semi-finals commentator Sandy Héribert suggested that fans will see a return of Destination Eurovision.

Early this year, Bilal Hassani won the second edition of Destination Eurovision, broadcast by France Télévisions. The show was hosted by the French-Canadian singer Garou, while the green room welcomed a new host, anglo-French TV presenter Sandy Héribert.

Sandy recently spoke with TV Télé Loisirs magazine ahead of Junior Eurovision 2019, but she also chatted about her future plans involving the Eurovision Song Contest:

“With France 2, we are talking about future plans, and my involvement in the new season of Destination Eurovision, but also the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 (…) The general direction of France 2 is to have me as the face of the Eurovision Song Contest in France.”

The comment implies a possible return of Destination Eurovision in 2020. In previous years, the show has taken place in January.

But if France 2 will again use its national final, it is so far keeping quiet. In previous years, Destination Eurovision has been confirmed in the summer.

Back in 2018, the entry submission period was from June to November and was open to both established artists and newcomers. This year, France 2 hasn’t even confirmed if the contest will be held, let alone publish the entry rules.

The silence could suggest there may be changes to the format. Despite the fan enthusiasm for Destination Eurovision, the two national final winners have not scored as well at Eurovision as the two acts internally selected in the two previous years.

According to earlier rumours from popular French talk show TPMP (Touche Pas à Mon Poste), Destination Eurovision could be shortened to a one-night show. As well, French television host Daphné Bürki is rumoured to be in talks as the new host of the national final, replacing Garou.

If France 2 does revamp Destination Eurovision, they will be in good company. This season, the Spanish and British broadcasters have ditched their national finals, in favour of internal selection, while Lithuania’s broadcaster will be revamping its national final and Norway is expanding to include five semi-finals.

What do you think? Should France use Destination Eurovision again? What changes should they make to the format? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

Read more France Eurovision news here

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Peters
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Peters

They had strong selections for the last two years but they just couldn’t reach top 10. I guess it’s time to choose something daring and unique next year instead of good pop songs to breakthrough.

Valentino
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Valentino

In the first year, there were many songs/performances which could have done as good or better than Mercy @ESC, but the quality was lower in the second year. And what works for the french public doesn’t translate the same way in Europe. So maybe it will be a good idea to go back to internal selections for this year or at least get good performers with good songs for one big show.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I really liked Destination Eurovision so far. Both editions had at least 3 quality entries (“Mercy” being one of them) and a bunch of other entertaining stuff. I would say the average level was higher than what we’ve seen in some celebrated long-running national finals. I believe it would be a mistake to use Bilal’s divisive win to get rid of it when the show is still finding its own path. Of course, there’s room for improvements. Artist selection was better in 2018 and the voting system proved itself flawed when there’s an avid fanbase involved.

Eurovisionfan12
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Eurovisionfan12

Just have a 10-12 artist DE with songs varying in different genres (e.g. pop, alternative, rock, EDM), then everything’s set.

Preuss
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Preuss

France’s problem the last years has been the staging, although Bilal’s staging was great and Angelina (jESC 2018) was stunning and the dancers were top notch. Amir came 6th, which was respectable, staging kinda brought it down I guess, and he deserved his position despite his vocals which people criticized. And I don’t think were bad by the way- sure they could’ve been stronger but I’ve heard considerably worse vocal performances over the years doing well. Madame Monsieur was robbed, but I was always afraid of their staging due to the no LED screens that year and that affected their… Read more »

Azaad
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Azaad

Good point- it’s never FYR Macedonia tragic (using the old country name because North Macedonia had lovely understated staging for Tamara) so it’s not noted as a huge problem but they tend to impede rather than enhance the song.

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

I think the only country in Eurovision who always brings great staging, this decade at least, is Sweden. They always have a great package, so it’s not like France is alone about not matching the artist and song with good enough staging

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

True.

Joe
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Joe

Psst…pick Seemone next time…

Phary
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Phary

As a French I really like having a national final. However I would like the show to be rebranded completely. I think now it’s too “Eurovision-oriented” and I would like it to be just a song contest with cool, fresh and diverse French music. To me there is a lack of a platform where French artists can just promote their songs and get known (especially if they’re more alternative).
DE is never going to be Melfest or Sanremo, but I would like it to become something like Slovenia’s EMA, MGP, or Eesti Laul in its early years.

lola
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lola

I really wish they go back to internal selection. Despite the eurofans’ endless hype for all things french, this is a poorly produced show that never attracts the best songs or singers. A youtuber with no discernible talent winning this year should have been the last straw.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

DE is one of the best NF’s and I think it might become a staple of Eurovision. It is also early in the year so for me it kinda means the start of NF season. The quality is so high (I still have Ok Ou KO and Comme Une Grande in my playlist), and if they manage to select the right winner (even tho MM and Bilal were good too) I think France can get to the top 5 soon.

Jo.
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Jo.

Great show for the fans, but the investment needs to be paid back, and so far it hasn’t been. They did better with the internal selections.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I understand why they might want to change up the competition given that Amir and Alma did better than MM and Bilal, but DE has so much class. Their consecutive silver and gold medals in Second Chance show that DE is really good.

FanESC
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FanESC

For those wondering, the french head of delegation said that the first meeting concerning the 2020 contest would be held by the end of september so maybe we will get some news soon. About the Junior ESC2019, he said (like 2 weeks ago) that they were still hesitating between 2 songs (sang by two “famous” young girls, apparently).

KESC
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KESC

Actually I really like the national final itself. There were really good entries, especially in the first edition. “OK ou Ko” and “Eva” could have done very well with a proper staging.
But, somehow, I am afraid that the French public might choose the wrong act again.
As much as I liked the revamped version of ‘Roi’ and the staging, I still do not think that ‘Roi’ was the best decision. Bilal was chosen due to his popularity, so I’m not really sure if they should continue with DE.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Given what won in the last two years, I much prefer their internal picks so far.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I think that the lack of information about the show and its rules might be explained by the fact that this time France 2 is internally selecting the artists and songs taking part in DE, which could turn out to be a good solution, looking at their past two internal picks. Either way I hope Destination Eurovision comes back for 2020 and that its quality remains high. Third time’s a charm, France!

Toffeenix
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Toffeenix

This may just be me, but I’ve felt that while I haven’t loved a whole lot of the Destination Eurovision entries (not as much as Sanremo or Melodifestivalen, for example), even the stuff I don’t really like is still respectable. It’s not as if there’s anything genuinely awful in the competition, it’s all of quite a high standard. Pity that they haven’t done better, Madame Monsieur were in my top 10 of the year and Bilal wasn’t far off either.

Karen
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Karen

please keep Destinatin Eurovision! It has been by far the best NF in nearly every aspect (exept the winners) in the last two years!

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

France is a country which doesn’t really need internal selection like UK or Spain. Destination Eurovision turned out to be very successful, the thing is that they never choose the best possible option from nf. I have a feeling France will win next year:)

Joe
Guest
Joe

One show might be the way to go. I’d be bummed if they dropped it entirely, but while the quality of entries is high, the final results haven’t led to much. I hope they just narrow it down to a handful of really talented artists and go from there. France look to be really trying and I’d like to see this renewed dedication get better results.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

One show also makes sense for a country that automatically qualifies. Multistage shows make more sense for countries that need to get through a semi as well as win a final, but for France that first part doesn’t exist so DE might as well be a one night show, and thus put more money into the final night itself.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Agreed. Pretty consistent w the other automatic qualifiers too.

Joe
Guest
Joe

(Except Italy, technically.)

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I can’t see the logic here – what makes it different for the big 5 countries? It’s just the decision of a broadcaster based on many factors, like e.x. the viewership, but it doesn’t really matter whether the chosen song is going to be performed in the semi or not – the goal is simply to choose the best song.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

In DE’s case, I would say going to the “final only” format could be tricky. I say it based on the fact that some entries really improved on their second attempt, when they figured out more about how to stage it (“OK ou KO” being the best example of it). Of course, they can go through the same process with more filmed rehearsals. The silver lining is that it makes more about the song. It’s easier to figure out better staging for Eurovision than to elevate an average song, like we’ve seen this year about “Roi”.