He’s only had the job since October 2018 but now France’s Head of Delegation Steven Clerima has resigned from the position. Clerima confirmed the news today in a post on social media.
Steven, who previously worked as assistant Head of Delegation, shared a series of photos on Twitter which showed him with France’s Eurovision stars, along with a heartfelt message.
He wrote, “After four beautiful years spent in the delegation, I take off to new horizons! Thank you all for all those beautiful memories of #Eurovision! I’ll never forget.”
Après 4 belles années passées au sein de la délégation ??, je décolle vers de nouveaux horizons ! Merci à tous pour tous ces beaux souvenirs d’ #Eurovision ! Je n’oublierai jamais ??? pic.twitter.com/Vinys5u8D8
— Steven Clerima (@stevenclerima) December 6, 2019
Clerima also shared a tweet looking forward to France’s upcoming Eurovision efforts. He wrote, “What is coming up for the contest is a continuation of all the work done in recent years and I wish all the best to the next HOD! GO FRANCE”
The broadcasting professional took on the French Head of Delegation position in October 2018, following the axing of former HoD Edoardo Grassi. Previously Clerima has been assistant HoD, giving him plenty of experience with France’s Eurovision efforts.
Clerima stepped into the HoD role at the end of Grassi’s three-year tenure as Head of Delegation. But unlike Grassi — who was an independent contractor that worked solely as France’s HoD — Clerima was an in-house employee of the French broadcaster. This meant he had other work to manage as well as his Eurovision duties.
Clerima also teaches at Sorbonne University’s CELSA journalism school and is a creative director at La Sucrerie production house.
France 2 has confirmed that the new Head of Delegation will be Alexandra Redde-Amiel. The new HoD wrote that she is “Very happy and very proud to be the new Head of Delegation”.
— Alexandra Redde-Amiel (@amielalex) December 6, 2019
Redde-Amiel has already been active with France’s selection process for Eurovision 2020.
France’s Eurovision turnaround
Grassi and Clerima spearheaded France’s Eurovision Song Contest renaissance and saw France also become established as a Junior Eurovision power player.
Grassi became French Head of Delegation in 2016 and scored immediate success with that year’s entry “J’ai Cherché”. It finished sixth on the night of the grand final and became the first French top-ten entry for seven years.
Grassi followed up 2016’s success with two further critically lauded efforts in 2017 and 2018. “Requiem” by Alma finished 12th in 2017 and this year Madame Monsieur finished 13th with their entry “Mercy”.
Before 2016 France had spent four years outside the top 20 on the scoreboard, so Grassi’s results represent a vast improvement.
Clerima stepped in as HoD in October 2018 and was tasked with running the second holding of the new French national final Destination Eurovision. National final winner Bilal Hassani went on to place 16th at Eurovision 2020.
The outgoing HoD also oversaw France’s Junior Eurovision entries in 2018 and 2019. France made its Junior Eurovision comeback in 2018, where Angélina placed second with “Jamais sans toi”. Last month France established themselves as a new JESC power player when Carla placed fifth with “Bim bam toi”.
France’s plans for Eurovision 2020 have not been confirmed at this stage. France 2 has reportedly cancelled the national final Destination Eurovision. The broadcaster is said to be considering either a cut-down national final involving three or four acts or to internally select their entry for Rotterdam.
We thank Steven Clerima for his work as France’s HoD and wish him well for the future!