France 2 will reportedly hold a three-show televized selection in January to find their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
Ouest-France revealed that France Télévisions has decided to produce two semi-finals and a grand-final for its national selection process in search for their best bet to win the Eurovision prize in Lisbon in May. The programs will be broadcast in January.
Around 15 entries will be performed, divided between the two semi-finals. The shows will be pre-recorded, with the results will be decided on by a panel of judges. The final will be broadcast live, with a televote in addition to the jury vote deciding the winner of the contest and France’s entry at Eurovision.
Specific dates for the broadcast are yet to be announced, but a source had revealed to Ouest-France that France 2 is courting French Canadian singer Garou to host the three national selection shows. Best known for his work playing Quasimodo in the musical Notre-Dame de Paris, Garou has had four number-one singles on the French charts. He has also worked with Eurovision stars in the past such as Patrick Fiori and Céline Dion.
This news comes after rumors in May that France 2 would be producing a “Mission Eurovision” show with Endemol to select its Eurovision participant. Whether the upcoming program will take on that format is yet to be revealed. As previously reported, song submissions have been open since June.
The last time France held a televized national final was in 2014, where a combination of votes from televiewers and a jury panel saw Twin Twin fly the French flag at the Eurovision Song Contest. They came in last place in Copenhagen, scoring only 2 points, France’s worst result since it entered the contest.
Last year’s French entry, Alma with the song “Requiem,” finished in 12th place at the Eurovision Grand Final, bringing France’s second consecutive result on the left-hand side of the scoreboard.
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France was one of seven countries to participate in the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. Since then they have participated in every contest aside from 1974 and 1982. Their withdrawal in 1974 was caused by the death of President Georges Pompidou, while 1982’s withdrawal was a result of TF1 declining to enter the contest. France has won the contest on five occasions, the most recent being in 1977 when Marie Myriam performed “L’oiseau et l’enfant”. France’s best result of the 2000s came in 2001 when Natasha St-Pier finished 4th in Copenhagen, Denmark.