France – French TV will host the first semi-final of Destination Eurovision 2019. Nine artists will participate: they’ll sing covers first and then present their official entries. 4 will get a ticket for the final! Check out tonight’s line-up!
Fun (and sad) fact: in 2018, France TV produced its first national final that did not pick with a song that got bottom 5 result in the contest. Indeed, while TF1 produced very strong national finals that often resulted in Top 5 results in the contest (6 out of 7 years between 1975-1981 when France got 5 Top 3 results), the sudden end of TF1’s run lead to France TV to take over. Struggling at first, France 2 managed a good run in the 90s (and one can dispute that 1992 had a national final, though it was a “Francophone” contest that picked the representative). Handing to France 3 in 1998, the national finals turned a disaster affair then: bottom 5 every year they tried to pick the entry through French televote (1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014). All other years, which often had better results (except 2012, 2013 and 2015), had internal selections (including the Top 10 results in 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2016).
So, after last year’s success (at least the show produced a national hit in France, a good OGAE result, a decent 8th place by the juries and an overall result on the left hand-side of the scoreboard), Destination Eurovision got picked up again as the selection method for the French entry.
After revealing the line-up and a snippet of the 18 entries, we had the allocation draw for the semi-finals. And tonight’s line-up is easily regarded as the strongest one (it has the biggest name in the competition, Chimène Badi, and the huge favorite, who gets more than ten times the number of views Chimène gets on Youtube, Itunes or French Deezer, Bilal).
Tonight’s line-up is:
- Battista Acquaviva – Passiò
- Lautner – J’ai pas le temps
- Chimène Badi – Là-haut
- Aysat – Comme une grande
- Mazy – Oulala
- Florina – In the shadow
- Bilal Hassani – Roi
- Naestro – Le brasier
- Silvàn Areg – Le Petit Nicolas
However, just like last year, the artists will first present themselves through a short cover. Tonight’s covers are:
- Battista Acquaviva – Parla più piano (Gianni Morandi)
- Lautner – J’ai cherché (Amir)
- Chimène Badi – Je ne regrette rien (Edith Piaf)
- Aysat – Dancing Queen (ABBA)
- Mazy – Si seulement je pouvais lui manquer (Calogero)
- Florina – L’hymne à l’amour (Edith Piaf)
- Bilal Hassani – Carmen (Stromae)
- Naestro – Perfect (Ed Sheeran & Andrea Bocelli)
- Silvàn Areg – Un homme debout (Claudio Capéo)
The voting is a bit different than last year, since the semifinals are now live and will therefore feature televote. First, a French expert jury will comment on the entries after each performance, but unlike last year they will not vote. Then, after all the performances, an international jury (5 members) will vote, but their vote will only represent 50% of the results since televote will represent the other 50%. The international juries have also been drawn in the semifinals, so that tonight’s jury will not be back in the second semi or in the final. Remember that French televote works in a mysterious way. For instance, last year, televote pushed the juries’ favorite Lisandro down to third, giving the victory to Madame Monsieur and the second place to Malo’.
The French experts are:
The international juries are:
The show starts at 9pm CET and will be hosted in Parisian studios by last year’s host, French-Canadian singer Garou. The show is set to last almost 3h! It can be watched from France 2 or their Facebook or Youtube page. If you watch it live, try to look for your Eurovision Times webmaster who will be in the audience!