The word is out: Tom Leeb will represent France at Eurovision 2020. As we reported last night, France Télévisions has ditched its national selection show Destination Eurovision in favour of a closed-door process that resulted in the 30-year-old stunner securing the spot in Rotterdam.
And now Alexandra Redde-Amiel, France Télévisions’ Director of Entertainment and the new French Head of Delegation, has staged a small press conference with French media. She flagged several key points in their selection process and gave us a tantalising tease of what we can expect from the rising star.
France’s Eurovision 2020 song was selected before Tom Leeb was
Much has been made of the fact that Tom’s father is one of France’s most well-known comedians. However, as 20minutes.fr reports, it was the song that came first and not the singer.
“We received more than one hundred songs written for France,” Alexandra told about ten journalists at the intimate event. “We convened several listening committees and it was love at first sight for one of them. Our criteria featured three main points: universality, emotion and the capacity of the song to make the audience ‘live an experience’.”
Apparently the song was the overwhelming favourite of the committee. France TV Distribution’s Music Director Xavier Bonnetain said it really broke up the monotony of listening to songs one after the other.
“When we have a listening committee, we review more or less thirty songs. It becomes hard to digest. We are sure about this specific song because we listened to it in the middle of every other song and we forgot the previous ones and the five that followed. It’s a sign. We thought that on the day of the Grand Final this song could impress, leading people to forget the other songs around it.”
Having a song is one thing — you also need a performer to bring it to life. After deciding on the number, the France 2 team had to pair it with someone who could give it life.
“It’s been pretty quick,” Alexandre said. “In our team, we follow talents. Among them was one who matched what was needed to give the song its full reach.” That was, of course, Tom, who she described as modern, universal, charismatic and attractive. His pop folk universe is interesting to the French broadcaster, as they think it adds something fresh to the original song submission.
The French HoD almost sounds mystical when discussing how the artist and song came into contact.
“It was magical — planets aligned. We’re pretty confident in this project for Rotterdam. We bring a modern artist and song, and we’re more determined than ever to get closer to the podium.”
The death of Destination Eurovision has, in the eyes of many fans, taken away the excitement of the big reveal — that moment when you experience your country’s Eurovision artist being named in real time. Well France 2 hope to address that with a special song reveal.
“We want to create excitement on our airwaves,” France’s HoD says. She’s promised an “innovative plan” and something “exceptional.”
What’s your thought about France going back to internal selection? Do you think this will deliver some impressive results?