On Friday it emerged that Tom Leeb won’t sing for France at Eurovision 2021, fuelling speculation about how broadcaster France 2 would choose their act for next year’s contest in Rotterdam. And on Saturday afternoon, during a call with Wiwibloggs, the country’s Head of Delegation gave us the answer.
Alexandra Redde-Amiel confirmed that France will not return to the Destination Eurovision format, which gave Eurofans Madame Monsieur and Bilal Hassani. Instead, it will use a new national selection format produced by the broadcaster, rather than by an outside studio as in years past.
France replaces Destination Eurovision with new national selection format
As Europe slowly loosens restrictions and charts a path forward from the pandemic, Alexandra said that she wants to rally “the Eurovision family”. France 2 is preparing to embark on a new journey for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, which will hopefully bring people together once again.
“After this tough time, we need to move forward, to feel good energy among the Eurovision family,” she told me on the phone from Paris. “France Télévisions is proud to announce a new national selection. It will not be Destination Eurovison but a brand new concept with the current project name Un Eurovision France. We have chosen to produce it internally with France TV Studio. It’s a way to spread the spirit of the Eurovision brand among our teams and channels all year long.”
Producing the show in-house, rather than through an outside company, is a significant point. It will allow France 2 to integrate it with the broadcaster’s other departments — across news, digital and more. This suggests more buzz and hype for the selection in the run-up to the show. And how many shows will there be, exactly?
“We will have one national event on primetime TV in an arena in a regional city of France as a finale for the selection. The public will get the power of choice. Regarding the jury, everything is still open now. But before all of that, we will make this selection live in various ways.”
So it seems that the public will definitely have a say. The jury element — or an in-studio panel as with Destination Eurovision — is less clear. But, as she says, “the game is very open.”
Are you excited to hear that France is returning to a national final format? Which elements from Destination Eurovision would you like to see included in their new format? Shout out your thoughts below!