The beginning of the year marks France’s return to the national selection process for Eurovision 2021. But it comes with a completely new format: Eurovision France: C’est vous qui décidez.
And today French head of delegation Alexandra Redde-Amiel and her team at France Télévisions held a press conference in Paris to clarify all the details of the show. Due to current health restrictions and the developing situation with the pandemic, the broadcast date has not been decided.
To convey their seriousness of purpose, the team held the press conference at the mythical Apollo Theatre in Paris. Mindful of the pandemic, they gathered only a select group of journalists and the 12 finalists who it hopes the French public will discover throughout the month. Redde-Amiel was accompanied by presenters Stéphane Berne and Laurence Boccolini. Among other things, we learned that the new format was inspired by Melodifestivalen and that Duncan Laurence will be part of the jury.
Eurovision France producers originally wanted to stage the show outside of Paris and in a provincial town to help spread the love. But the entertainment director of France Télévisions said that this will not be possible this year because of the pandemic, which is still hitting France hard.
So, to avoid any possible transmission during a train or plane trip, the production teams will stay in the capital. Alexandra was heartened to say that it is still too early to know whether the public will be allowed to attend the event. Of course, France Télévision hopes for a return to normalcy by the time the show airs, but remain cautious and realistic.
And what of the entries? “We wanted each artist to correspond to a universe. These 12 titles and musical styles are the artistic face of France today.”
- 21 Juin Le Duo – “Peux-tu me dire?”
- Ali – “Paris me dit”
- Amui – “Maeva”
- Andriamad – “Alléluia”
- Barbara Pravi – “Voilà”
- Casanova – “Tutti”
- Cephaz – “On a mangé le soleil”
- Juliette Moraine – “Pourvu qu’on m’aime
- LMK – “Magique”
- Philippine – “Bah non”
- Pony X – “Amour fou”
- Terence James – “Je t’emmènerai danser”
Eurovision France, C’est vous qui décidez: The voting process and jury members
Eurovision France’s new voting system will be divided into two stages. The first stage will be the qualification phase: the 7 songs that came first in the public vote will be selected for a final vote. An eighth song can be picked by the jury — a so-called “euro-ticket” — and will be eligible for the final vote. The vote will then be reset to zero. The public and the jury will then vote 50/50 for the song that will represent France at Eurovision 2021.
For this first edition, an exceptional jury chaired by Amir – France’s Eurovision 2016 singer – consists of 10 personalities. The jury is made up of former Eurovision participants, but also actors and the fashion designer Jean-Paul Gautier, who will design the stage costume for the French representative. The winner of the last Eurovision Song Contest, Duncan Laurence, will also be part of the jury:
- Amir, president of the jury (France’s representative at Eurovision 2016)
- Marie Myriam (last French winner at Eurovision 1977)
- Jean-Paul Gaultier (French fashion designer)
- Michele Bernier (French actress)
- Elodie Gossuin (Miss France 2001, who gave the points for France at Eurovision 2016)
- Agustin Galiana (French singer and actor)
- Natasha St Pier (France’s representative at Eurovision 2001)
- André Manoukian (French classical musician)
- Chimène Badi (French singer)
- Duncan Laurence
The Eurovision France stage design
During this press conference, France Télévision’s entertainment director also revealed the first elements of the stage. It will be composed of a central and circular stage
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Finally, Alexandra Redde Amiel said that the return to a national selection process resonated strongly with the people: “People missed Eurovision, Tom Leeb could not participate in Eurovision this year so it was an opportunity to give the public a voice again, especially after Valentina’s victory at the Junior Eurovision.”
What do you think? Does France on the right track with their revamped national final? Who would you like to represent the tricoleur in Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below!