France 2, the French national broadcaster, announced more details about Destination Eurovision, the French national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, at a press conference today at the headquarters of France Télévisions.
From the 1,500 songs received, 18 were chosen for the live shows. Destination Eurovision will consist of two semi-finals with nine songs each and a grand final. All three show will be presented by Garou. In each semi-final, a jury made up of three Francophone and three international members will select four songs to advance to the final. The three Francophone jury members are Christophe Willem, Isabelle Boulay and Amir, who represented France in 2016. The three international jury members are Heads of Delegations for various countries: Christer Björkman (Sweden), Nicola Caligiore (Italy) and Olga Salamakha (Belarus). In the final, the result will be decided by a jury of 10 international members (50%) and public voting (50%).
Some well established names in the French music industry, including Zazie Maître Gims, Grand Corps Malade, Vitaa and Dany Synthé are behind some of the entries. The majority of the entries will be entirely in French.
As well as the live shows, France 4 will produce a documentary about Destination Eurovision that will air before the Eurovision semi-finals on May 8 and 10. An online show, Eurovision L’essentiel, will guide fans and newcomers through everything Eurovision related. It will be hosted by Youtuber Fannyfique.
The entries will be revealed through online teasers a few days before the semi-finals. The shows will air in January but the exact dates are yet to be confirmed.
This will mark the first time since 2014 that France will be holding their own national final. Back in 2014 their artist TWIN TWIN finished in last place in the final with just 2 points for their entry “Moustache”. This was the first time the Big 5 Nation finished in last place. France have since opted for an internal selection for the following three contests.
In the last two years France’s fortunes at the contest have reversed. Amir finished sixth in 2016 with “J’ai cherché”. This was the first time since 2009 that they finished in the top 10. This year France were represented by Alma where her song “Requiem” finished twelfth.
Source: France 2
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
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.