France returns to a national final for Eurovision 2021
France returns to a national final for Eurovision 2021 Photo: France TV

France has started their new selection process for Eurovision 2021

France will return to a National Final but with a new concept and a new name! France Télévisions announced the 12 participating artists and their song titles after completing an internal selection process. Let's find out who will be fighting for the opportunity to fly the French flag at Eurovision 2021 - plus an additional announcement! We (digitally) met with Alexandra Redde-Amiel, Head of Delegation of France explain more about the national selection.

The new national final will be named Eurovision France - C'est vous qui décidez! which translates to 'you decide'. Just like the name suggests, the French audience who'll be watching from home will get the chance to choose their favourite performance. The audience votes will count for 50% of the total score while the other 50% will be decided by a professional jury of 10 people. The show will be hosted live by Stéphane Bern on France 2 and will feature 12 competing artists with songs of various musical styles:

  • LMK - Magique

  • Ali - Paris Me Dit

  • Casanova - Tutti

  • Barbara Pravi - Voilà

  • Cephaz - On A Mangé Le Soleil

  • Amui - Maeva

  • Andriamad - Alléluia

  • Philippine - Bah Non

  • Juliette Moraine - Pourvu Qu'on M'Aime

  • 21 Juin Le Duo - Peux-Tu Me Dire?

  • Terence James - Je T'Emmènerai Danser

  • Pony X - Amour Fou

Soon, we will get more insight into who these artists are and what their songs are all about. Every evening from 16 December, France 2 will show a portrait of a participating artist during the prime time programme Eurovision France - les finalistes. In these portraits, the artists will present more information about their career as well as their song.

France Télévisions didn't just reveal more details about their national selection but they also announced that they will host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2021! This comes after their entry J'imagine by Valentina won the Contest in November this year. It will be the first time in the history of Junior Eurovision that France will host the competition. It's also been a long 42 years since they hosted the Eurovision Song Contest too!

We thought now was the perfect time to speak with Alexandra Redde-Amiel, Head of Variety and Entertainment and Head of the French delegation for the Junior- and Eurovision Song Contest. Let's find out what's new for France!

What can viewers expect from Eurovision France - C'est vous qui décidez?

It's a new concept created by teams from France Télévisions and France TV STUDIOS. We have selected 12 powerful songs from the hundreds of proposals that we received. We are also proud to highlight French artists and songwriters with this selection. We designed an original voting system that gives the audience a greater influence. There will be two phases of voting but the audience will have control in both these two phases. The jury will be made up of 10 people, 5 French and 5 international who will come from all walks of life. Many fans of the Eurovision Song Contest follow national selections across Europe. We really hope that this new concept will please them.

Last year France went for an internal selection after a couple of years of Destination Eurovision. Why did you decide to return to a national selection?

The situation over the past year has radically changed. This year the French public, and especially the fans, have been deprived of the Eurovision Song Contest. We want to give the audience a Eurovision moment earlier in the year.

More than ever in these difficult times entertainment is also a way to get away from it all. And we hope, more than ever, to put some glitter in people's lives with this beautiful show ahead.

Destination Eurovision was known for showing new, French talent to Eurovision fans. Will that be the same for this new show?

Yes, and I would say even more as it is one of the strong concepts of Eurovision France - C'est vous qui décidez'. Indeed we want to promote rising artists of the French music scene performing a lot of different music styles: Pop, EDM, the great 'chanson française' and Urban music. France Télévisions is also proud to support young talents from the regions of mainland France as well as overseas. You will be able to hear Corsican and Tahitian during the show.

Hosting a TV show in times of a pandemic is not the easiest. How will it work?

The pandemic does not facilitate such an organization. Like the Host Broadcasters from The Netherlands we have been working on several scenarios. We also discussed these scenarios with our European colleagues and worked with their feedback.

We have very good hope of seeing international members in our jury. In any case, the wonderful organization of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest by TVP has proven to all of us that we can organize an exceptional show despite the current events. It is now up to us to take up that same challenge.

France has just won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest which is the first 'Eurovision' victory for the nation in 43 years. Do you think that will have a positive impact on your audience and their expectations for the Eurovision Song Contest?

We are so pleased that Valentina won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with her song J'imagine which sends such a positive message to Europe and the world. We are very happy to share this victory with the fans of the Contest.

Eurovision is one of the main brands on France Télévisions and in recent years the French people have become more and more attached to it which we can see in the various ratings.

Valentina's victory can only increase the engagement of the French audience to the programme, especially as they will be able to attend the Junior Eurovision Song Contest next year 'à la maison' (at home) in France!

What is France's main goal for the Eurovision Song Contest? Are you 'in it to win it' or are there different goals to be achieved with your participation?

Of course France is competing in the Eurovision Song Contest to win and our victory at Junior Eurovision only reinforced that desire. We really want to win! I said last year that we are working hard to bring France back to the top 5 for the first time since 2002. We are fully mobilized and excited to meet this challenge. However, we know that all countries have this same desire and the competition will be tough in Rotterdam for the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

We're super excited for the new Eurovision France - C'est vous qui décidez! Will you be watching?

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