Last week, French media reported that broadcaster France 2 had scrapped its national final Destination Eurovision and would instead internally select its act for Eurovision 2020. But it has turned out to not quite be that clear cut.
French newspaper 20 Minutes reports that confusion arose around the term “internal selection”. While this has a clear meaning in the Eurovision bubble — when a broadcaster selects the act without using some sort of public vote — that’s not exactly what the broadcaster meant.
The newspaper reports that France 2 has not yet decided how it will select the French act for Rotterdam. The broadcaster is said to be considering several different avenues for choosing Billal Hassani’s successor.
How will France select their act for Eurovision 2020?
One possible method would be a cut-down national final, with three or four shortlisted songs. The public would be able to vote for their favourite during a prime time grand final show. This is similar to the format used in 2014, when Twin Twin and two other candidates faced the public vote.
Another possibility, though, is a classic internal selection. France last used this format from 2015 to 2017. That era included Amir being selected with his song “J’ai cherché”, which gave France a sixth-place finish in the Stockholm grand final.
And because the broadcaster says they haven’t decided on a format yet, this suggests it is possible that Destination Eurovision could theoretically return for a third year. However, given that the 2019 acts were revealed in early December 2018, it seems too late for France 2 to organise a national final on the same scale.
The broadcaster has, however, already put out a call for songs. The big change for 2020 is that France will accept entries from foreign songwriters as well as French creatives. 20 Minutes notes that only one previous French Eurovision entry has been co-written by a foreign songwriter. In 2004, Jonathan Cerrada’s song “À chaque pas” was co-written by the Welsh songwriter Steve Balsamo.
Destination Eurovision ran for two years, from 2018 to 2019. The first year was won by duo Madame Monsieur whose ballad “Mercy” placed 13th in Lisbon. The following year, Bilal Hassani won with his empowerment anthem “Roi”. It placed 16th in Tel Aviv.
What do you think? How should France choose its act for Eurovision 2020? Would a small national final work? Tell us your thoughts below!