For months now, French broadcaster France 2 had been silent about plans for a 2020 edition of national final Destination Eurovision. But now fan suspicious have been confirmed — Destination Eurovision has been cancelled. The broadcaster cites low ratings and disappointing results as the reason for the cancellation.

The French newspaper Le Parisien confirmed the news with the broadcaster.  France 2 will return to internally selecting their act for Rotterdam.

The confirmation follows previous speculation that France would go internal for 2020, following France 2’s silence about a 2020 edition. The broadcaster has also removed all Destination Eurovision performances from its YouTube channel.

France Télévisions Director of Entertainment and Variety Alexandra Redde-Amiel told the newspaper that the broadcaster wants “more control over the process, with an in-house selection.”

She also says that by reverting to internal selection, France hopes to better its results at Eurovision. Redde-Amiel explained that “by changing our [selection method], we hope to get closer to the podium in 2020.”

France’s best results in recent years have been internally selected acts — Amir, who placed sixth in 2016, and Alma who placed 12th in 2017. Since then, France has slipped further down the scoreboard.

France 2 also cites poor viewing figures as another reason for cancelling Destination Eurovision. An average of 1.9 million viewers (10.4% of the available audience) watched the three shows in January. This contrasts poorly with Eurovision, which had 4.8 million viewers (30.2% of the audience) watching the grand final in May.

France 2 is now calling for song submissions, from both French songwriters and — for the first time — foreign authors.

While there won’t be a national final, the broadcaster will host a special event held later in the season to introduce the artist eventually selected to represent France in Rotterdam.

The history of Destination Eurovision

French national final Destination Eurovision was introduced in 2018 and only ran for two seasons. While the show was able to attract top French talent, the show format was criticised for the large discrepancy between the jury and televote favourites.

In 2018, the jury ranked both Lisandro Cuxi and Emmy Liyana higher than televote favourite and overall winner Madame Monsieur. Things were even more extreme in 2019, when four acts — Seemone, Silván Areg, Emmanuel Moire and Chimène Badi — scored higher with the jury than televote favourite and overall winner Bilal Hassani.

Madame Monsieur went on to place 13th at Eurovision with “Merci”, while Bilal Hassani placed 16th with “Roi”. The results suggested that Destination Eurovision was good for selecting acts that were popular with the French public, but less so with general Eurovision viewers.

France’s cancellation of Destination Eurovision follows two other Big Five countries who have also ditched their national final formats. Spain internally selected Blas Cantó instead of using the talent show Operación Triunfo again, while the UK is working with music publisher BMG instead of holding its national final Eurovision: You Decide.

What do you think? Is France 2 right to cancel Destination Eurovision? Which artist would you like to see represent France in Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more France Eurovision news here

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[…] daily. The term "internal selection" has been misinterpreted by several media and event observers because, in the Eurovision universe, it means that the artist and the piece that will defend the […]

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

I thought the first DE was fantastic. I think the results were entirely understandable. While I did enjoy last years DE, it did have a number of issues. My number one issue with last year was that the most well known candidates seemed to just swallow up the popular vote. Bilal’s televote success in France was (I believe) largely due to his internet fame. Chimène Badi (who does have an INCREDIBLE voice) and Emmmanuel Moire, who are already famous in France, rounded off the top 4 in the final, and I don’t think it is a co-incidence. Seemone, the only… Read more »

Bart
Guest
Bart

Wise decision and a major blow for you’all that for some strange reason adored Bilal. The song was awful and the kid couldn’t sing. The problem is that internal selections do not also gives guarantees of success either. Between Alma and Madame Monsieur is only one position of difference and there are countless bad placings for France which were internally selected.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I am sad about how many NFs got reduced or entirely scrapped, because part of what makes ESC so fun is the process of getting there. DE was certainly among the best produced ones out there. I hope they at least have some sort of televised internal selection, but now it looks like so many countries will just pick one song and reveal it down the line in February / March. Thus, big THANK YOU to Norway and Finland for expanding their NMGP and UMK.

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Just like UK and German, France’s NF selection shows suffers from audience erosion. Its hard to get the young crowd to watch and vote for a current song that’s strong enough to win ESC..

Jake
Guest
Jake

Thank you, Bilal.

Tom
Guest
Tom

You are welcome

Grftn
Guest
Grftn

I hope they will go with Maëlle (she could win the contest if she has a strong entry, her voice and charism are 10/10). I’m hoping for Yseult or Camélia Jordana as well, fantastic singers !

Martin
Guest
Martin

Emmanuel Moire’s song last year “La Promesse” was not quite strong enough to win Destination Eurovision, even though it was my favourite. Emmanuel has so much back catalog that would be worthy of Eurovision – I am sure that if he is selected internally, he and his team will be able to offer up some really great songs to choose from.
Just take a listen to this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atT_PP-3xVE

Timi
Guest
Timi

Seemone… She was awesome.

Cyxcy
Guest
Cyxcy

It would be surprising nobody has heard about Seemone since “Destination Eurovision”, she returned to anonymity (even on social networks, no publication for a year). On the other hand the songs of Chimène Badi and Silvan Areg were widely diffused this summer.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

If I’m not mistaken, Seemone’s performance in DE’s semifinal was her first on live television. And after the contest, she hasn’t released more music. I wonder when we’ll hear about her again.

Timi
Guest
Timi

I don’t understand how she didn’t win, her song was like a good wine, refined, sophisticated, but full of feelings. It was so authentic! Bilal was cute, but there’s thousands of songs that give the same powerful message and are far better than “Roi”.

Talent needs to win.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Vianney, Patricia Kaas, Seemone and i am readyyyy

Étoile
Guest
Étoile

This article is missing a big information, I’m disappointed. Le Parisien said that a public vote may happen when it’’ll be restricted to 3/4 candidates/songs so us French still don’t know if it’s really an internal selection or a vote between 3/4 at some point . I’m fine with an internal selection because last year showed that fans voted just for their artist and Fr2 was unable to pick a fair roster (a.k.a not big fan base artist and mostly unknown artists so that we knew that he was him that will go to Tel Aviv). The audience is very… Read more »

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

Maybe they got 30 songs from various “influencers” and decided to get rid of it completely

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

I throughly enjoyed watching Destination Eurovision, and I do think this is a huge mistake on the French broadcaster even though you received poor results in your view in regards to the final but with the exception of 2016 your results ranged from 15th to last place and within 2012 to 2015 you were one of the favourites to finish last so poor results more like average results. With that being said, to lose a National Selection that was stronger than Melodifestivalen both the years it was active is extremely disappointing, I still listen to the entirety of Destination Eurovision… Read more »

Valentino
Guest
Valentino

Hopefully they select Lisandro this time with a good upbeat song.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Sad and depressing news, because if France can’t stick with a NF format then what hope do the rest of us have? DE was actually a great show in its own right, so sad indeed.
However, there was a big problem last year with its audience being disgusting on social media… and apparently it wasn’t a big enough audience anyhow to justify the show continuing. Too “toxic” perhaps? That’s also a bad sign for France’s future in the ESC as a whole.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Why would they delete all the videos though?
I still want to watch the live performances every now and then

Cocooo
Guest
Cocooo

Copyright issues. I believe there are some live performances left on Vimeo and Dailymotion though, managed to find some through Google.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

i’m sad, now i got only one national final (probably left to watch if that one goes through)

France pls get last place in esc2020 with some overrated pop song

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I never liked Destination Eurovision, neither musically nor the concept of the show. But to be fair, I wasn’t entirely convinced of what France sent over the last 20 years at all, so internal selection in my opinion only makes sense if you choose your artist carefully (that’s obviously not only true for France). Personally I would love to see a little more alternative stuff like Fishbach or Christine and the queens. What about M or Suzane or Saule or even Julien Doré. There’s plenty of talent in France, they just have to make the right pick.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

destination eurovision was good, but if French public can’t just choose the best song, but going for trolls like madame monsieur, bilal

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

You can vote me down all you want, folks, but Europe agrees with me, just look at the results. A sixth place in a middle of the road year if there ever was one and an eighth place with Patricia Kaas who is known in a lot of European countries since the 80s. I’m not mean, I love French music, but what they usually send to Eurovision is neither fish nor fowl, I’m sorry.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

I agree! Christine and the queens in ESC would be awesom!

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Good to see you, l’oiseau. 🙂

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Vote me down all you want, I’m not trying to be mean. And Europe agrees with me: France hasn’t done particularly well over the last years, a sixth place in a particularly middle of the road year and and eighth place for a singer who is well known throughout Europe since the eighties are nothing to write home about. I love French music and know they have a strong and creative music scene, but their approach to Eurovision could be better.

Sun
Guest
Sun

-.- I only wanna watch this and Australia Decides this year but they cancelled it….

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

It’s better than DE. They still need to learn how to cap the televote and select performers carefully in order to make a good NF.

Alybloggs
Guest
Alybloggs

Well, it wasn’t a failure. Why go back to something safe like internal selection once again? And we are still unsure if it will be better than DE or as better than what they did in 2016 and 2017.

bryan soullier
Guest
bryan soullier

Je vois 3 propositions sois aya nakamura sois lisandro ou lea castel et vous ? Je veux juste votre avis , je veux pas d’insulte 🙂

Julienbch
Guest
Julienbch

Maëlle, Philippine, Suzane aussi pourraient être pas mal. Il faut juste LA chanson.

Jeydelrey
Guest
Jeydelrey

Moi je dirais aussi Maëlle, Suzanne, ou bien Yseult 🙂

MahpeykerKösem (KESC)
Guest
MahpeykerKösem (KESC)

Aya Nakamura ne ferait jamais l’Eurovision.

Cyxcy
Guest
Cyxcy

Aucun des trois (Aya est incapable d’assurer quoi que ce soit en live et dans un français à peu près correct, Lisandro ne risque pas de revenir, il était partant pour Lisbonne mais refusera une autre édition, quand à Léa Castel c’est la fête d’autotune… Donc non.) Depuis des années je milite pour Cécile Corbel, Black Rain, Shaka Ponk ou Hyphen Hyphen. Vincent Niclo pourrait surprendre avec une bonne chanson (d’autant qu’il est un peu connu en europe en accompagnant Sarh Brightman sur sa tournée). Mais les ténors, ça ne nous a pas réussit avec Amaury Vassili. Donc ça peut… Read more »

bryan soullier
Guest
bryan soullier

Steven quand il sélectionne les chansons c’est un véritable succès. Il a fais ses preuves que en version junior . On va voir ce qui propose en choix pour la version adulte.

Étoile
Guest
Étoile

Exactement la directrice du divertissement devrait mieux lui faire confiance.

SebXavier
Guest
SebXavier

Vianney for Eurovision?

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

Sure, Vianney would be great for France to place last again. That kind of humming singers who can’t sing in key doesn’t work outside of France.

bryan soullier
Guest
bryan soullier

Vianney fais partie des chanteurs qui peux pas s’exporter ailleurs que en france.

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

Audience on this website is pretty international and diverse. If you want to communicate, maybe you should use the lingua franca English?

ffre
Guest
ffre

OMG… such a lame comment about diversity of languages while we speak about Eurovision and Europe …

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

All I’m saying is that it’s pretty rude to come on a website with audience from more than 40 countries and write in your native language, when you know people won’t understand you and will have to Google Translate. This has nothing to do with diversity: English is a common language understood by most people. Vote down all you want, it’s just courtesy to make the effort to communicate in a common language.

Can you imagine conversations here if everyone did the same?

Cyxcy
Guest
Cyxcy

I don’t share this opinion. Vianney’s songs have a poetry and universality that can be touched internationally. “Dumbo” is a good example. (But it’s too late for this song.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ienc1nBwp30

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

France: has a great NF with diverse and many great options, but ends up selecting a generic song and doesn’t stage it well.

*gets a mediocre result*

France: *surprised Pikachu face*

NOAH
Guest
NOAH

TBH Bilal´s staging and performance wasn´t bad lol

Milan S.
Guest
Milan S.

How bad do you have to be for the organizer to cancel the entire festival after you win it?

Denis
Guest
Denis

Could be positive. France did better when they selected internally. And the same guy also selected French entry for JESC and that did well so..
It’s a broadcaster acknowledging what doesn’t work and improving it. National selections are fun but they are tricky to pull of. If it didn’t work out then good that they changed it.

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

If the same guy who chose France’s Junior ESC, gets to choose their adult ESC then they are doomed to fail.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Doomed to fail? They got 5th in JESC. If you consider that a fail then I don’t know..

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Quel dommage! I feel like they could have given DE a second (or rather third) chance, but I understand the reasons behind this decision. Whatever song they choose, I hope it retains the unique French vibe present in many of DE entries and both of JESC acts (and features French lyrics, but that’s obvious). They know how to select good songs (MM) and make a good stage show (Bilal), so I hope they manage to mix these two in 2020.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Expected but disappointing news. DE was one of the best finals in 2018. The fact that “Mercy” was my 2nd pick (the 1st was “Ciao”) and still became my favorite ESC’s song that year tells a lot. Sure, the level wasn’t the same in 2019 (though Seemone was great) and Bilal’s strong fanbase spoiled the fun, but they had a promissing national final blossoming and now it’s gone. I hope at least they pick something interesting. They can do it, because they got a bunch of good entries for DE and also did a great job with Carla in Junior… Read more »

L' Eurovisioneur
Guest
L' Eurovisioneur

I’m confiant because Steven Clerima (boss of the french delegation) made a very good work for the internal selection of Junior Eurovision, so im sure he will find a good song !

helloagain
Guest
helloagain

What a shame.. They never chose the right song from their selections, they could have had much better results if they did..

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

that is the French public their fault 😉 with the voting based on fanbases crap

Lise Mortier
Guest
Lise Mortier

Heartbreaking. I was so looking forward to Destination Eurovision and thought maybe they were going to wait until Junior Eurovision is finished to focus on it. It’s a real shame as Destination Eurovision was really well produced and allowed French fans AND abroad to feel connected and implicated in the decision of the représentant. True shame.

Troy
Guest
Troy

Bilal was the last straw. Now they go internal so they don’t have any more Bilals in the future.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Any national final being gutted (and we’ve had a lot this year) is a huge loss in my book. Not only it takes away new songs to listen and stuff to discuss as Eurovision season approaches, but – what’s more important – it reduces the investment of people for their own entry and therefore interest in the contest.

I’m VERY curious to see if this year’s Eurovision will still break 30% of share in France.

Joko97
Guest
Joko97

Madame Monsieur was so underrated!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

well it’s over. too bad bc it served some of the best songs of the season

MALTESER
Guest
MALTESER

Yep… tous le deux still my fave ?

PP77
Guest
PP77

DE 2018,2019 was one of best national final, but both time winner for me and many was not best choice. Both times won Madame Monsieur songs. For me in 2018 Malo , Igit, Lisandro Cuxi was better choice then Madame Monsieur. In 2019 Chimène Badi, Silvan was better choice for me then Bilal, Same mistake UK and Spain made in last 3 years

Joe
Guest
Joe

And another national selection bites the dust. Honestly? I appreciated the effort, and they had good options, but they could’ve done better. Looking forward to another potential Alma or Amir.

Romain Gorgol
Guest
Romain Gorgol

I am sorry but Alma’s song was very weak in french, and it wasn’t a success… (12th, probably because she was the last performance during the show). Everybody forget about her in France. Mercy and Roi didn’t make it at Eurovision, but they were more memorable for the french audience and medias. The fact is that Eurovision pop music is not the French cup of tea, and I am not sure that introducing the french song for Eurovision 2020 in a « special show » will really succeed, as DE didn’t manage to do it…

Joe
Guest
Joe

I’d debate you on Requiem. Maybe the overall position wasn’t fantastic, but consider that it finished top ten in the televote when Mercy and Roi weren’t even that close. Requiem also had a very (deliberately) appealing French sound. Even without the Eiffel Tower literally spinning around behind her, it sounded very French.

WannaEatMySpaghetti
Guest
WannaEatMySpaghetti

Right choice! When you can’t produce a good national selection with good songs, choose the internal selection option. Destination Eurovision wasn’t good enough for Eurovision imo. It was nice but that’s all…
Only some countries understood how to make a good national selection (Sweden, Italy, Norway, Ukraine and Estonia are the best).

4 countries from the 5 of the big 5 withdrew the national selection this year. Quite interesting.

JulienBch
Guest
JulienBch

After listening to the songs that the Estonian broadcaster released tonight, I wouldn’t say Estonia is one of the best countries for national finals.

yom124
Guest
yom124

Just because this may be a down year for Estonia doesn´t mean Eesti Laul is suddenly terrible, it has served quality for a long time by now.

Plus disregarding the songs (which aren´t even that bad this year, sure theres no winner quality but theres plenty of easy qualifiers), Eesti Laul generally has some of the best production and audience engagement of all the NFs.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

wish france would withdraw from esc2020 instead, which is better than a boring internal selection

Youhouhouuu
Guest
Youhouhouuu

Alexandra Redde-Amiel (France Télévisions Entertainement Director) also specified in this interwiew that a special show will be broadcasted on France 2 to present the artist and his song for Rotterdam and potentially that the french audience would have to vote to choose between 3 or 4 acts that would have been pre-selected by the broadcaster and who will each defend a song. A sort of “restricted Destination Eurovision’ at the end. I find that this year, Big Five is really taking things over control and I’m pretty sure now that one of them is going to win it all next… Read more »

Sailoromain
Guest
Sailoromain

If only you were right… But I have weak expectations about this new internal french selection…

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Foreign songwriters? I really don’t want France to send a generic factory-made “hit” made by panel of 16 songwriters, each one in a different country, who also write for 19 other broadcasters. France, stay French! Please.

Hi243
Guest
Hi243

Some people might be sad, but I support this move. In the end, we all want strong acts at Eurovision. If a delegation is confident that they can find that act through a national selection (Sweden for example), I’m happy to see that national selection. But if this is not the case, and this seems to be true for France, an internal selection is fine too. I mean, I would rather get a well produced song from an internal selection, that was carefully chosen, than a mediocre song from a national selection.

Sailoromain
Guest
Sailoromain

French internal selection finished in :
– 2012 at 22nd place,
– 2013 at 23rd place,
– 2014 at 26th place,
– 2015 at 25th place…
France Télévision’s decision to make an internal selection again is a bit… frightening to me

Celeste
Guest
Celeste

Your forgot Amir and Alma 6th and 12th 😉
And 2014, Twin Twin, was choose by a national selection. And your list is from France 3’s era, who didnt care about the contest. Now it’s I France 2 in charge and i trust them and our HoD for great result, their ambition is to win within the next 3 years 😉

Jack Pricefield
Guest
Jack Pricefield

We all knew this for weeks, while DE had a decent selection of songs in both years but the format was messy, shows were too long and they could’ve jammed all 18 songs altogether in one big final not bothering with semis. France is one of those countries who just do it better internally, their broadcaster is making the right decision, especially after very low viewing figures. Perhaps we’ll see France do well on televote again like in 2016-7?

Danni
Guest
Danni

The one national selection that I watched in full every year :((((( but it is expected. I hope they do well without it.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Loved Merci and liked Roi, but it was expected, France 2 expected more from DE and after a couple of trials, they decided to go back to internal, that it didn’t work that badly for them after all. And if Germany gets another bad result and UK, Spain and France do relatively well, they might even go internal too for 2021.

Circle of Bibles
Guest
Circle of Bibles

Wouldn’t have happened if they rigged it and let Seemone win. Clowns!

Sailoromain
Guest
Sailoromain

This is only a point of view… I liked Seemone song, but no one can say what should have been her position at the end of the show…

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest

After what won in 2019, I’m more happy than sad they are selecting internally again because I feel like the possibility of them selecting an act I like is much bigger this way. Generally, it’s an interesting dynamic that televised NFs work much better in smaller countries.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

not a surprise tho

OohhHoney
Guest
OohhHoney

Hahaha disappointing results. They let Bilal win, what result did they expect!? Haha

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

french trolls who went with bilal’s fanbase and voted for him, instead of going for best song, what a national final is meant for, to go for the best song