This year, many broadcasters are putting their national finals on hold for 2021 and going internal. However in France, fans are being treated to a brand new national final. France Télévisions has confirmed Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez! as part of its new season lineup.
The new selection show — whose name essentially translates to Eurovision France: You Decide! — was first mentioned in June by French Head of Delegation Alexandra Redde-Amiel.
France TV has now confirmed that Eurovision France will be part of the broadcaster’s new season of programming. A specific date for the national final has not yet been given, however, it will take place sometime in January 2021.
Also confirmed is that the show will involve 12 competing acts. Eurovision France will be hosted by Stéphane Bern, best known among Eurovision fans as France’s commentator since 2015.
The broadcaster has also confirmed that the show will be filmed in a provincial French city, rather than the Paris locations of previous national finals.
France’s return to a national final
Over the years, France has used both national finals and internal selection to choose its act for Eurovision. The most recent national final was Destination Eurovision, which ran from 2018 to 2019. However, for Eurovision 2020, France TV internally selected the singer Tom Leeb. But now France will return to a national final.
Back in June, Redde-Amiel explained the broadcaster’s decision to return to a national final instead of internally selecting Tom Leeb for 2021:
“You have to look at it in context. Tom Leeb had been internally selected. Covid arrived and Eurovision was cancelled. Eurovision is one of our strongest brands. We couldn’t let our audience go another year without it. We talked about it with Tom and we decided to rally the public around this event by creating Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez!.”
The HoD gave a few hints about the format of Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez! She confirmed that the national final would involve a public vote, but was less clear about whether the show would also have a jury vote. At the time she said, “The public will get the power of choice. Regarding the jury, everything is still open now.” However, it is possible that by now, the voting format has been decided.
Redde-Amiel also confirmed that the new national final would have a different format to Destination Eurovision. The previous national final format had involved two semi-finals and a grand final, with all the competing acts internally selected by the broadcaster after liaising with record labels. For Eurovision France, the broadcaster accepted public submissions.
What do you think? Are you excited about the new French national final? Which acts would you like to see compete? Tell us your thoughts below.