The French Minister of Culture is currently assessing options for how to force France Télévisions to select French language singers for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Following comments criticising the French public broadcaster France Télévisions, for selecting a song that contains a large amount of English for Eurovision, the Minister of Culture is now attempting to stop another majority English language song being chosen in the future.
Speaking on Franceinfo yesterday Franck Riester stated that:
Let’s not let our guard down on the defense and promotion of French…This is the reason why I am currently working with my teams to see how we can force France Télévisions to choose singers who sing in French.
Mr Riester is not critical of Tom Leeb who will be singing “The Best in Me” for France in Rotterdam, but of the French broadcaster for having chosen a song that is not entirely in French.
The Minister of Culture went on to say that he would rather see France not win the competition singing in French, than taking a victory performing in English.
Tom Leeb is the son of comedian Michel Leeb and has been performing as a singer since 2018. He released his debut single “Are We Too Late” in 2018 and has said that he is inspired by John Mayer and Matt Corby. He released his debut album “Recollection” in 2019.
Tom is the first internally selected French Eurovision entrant since 2017. In the past two years, France has used Destination Eurovision to select their singer and song for the competition. The show has had mixed results, following France’s revival in the competition between 2016 and 2017.
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.