Bonjour Tom Leeb! France choose their Eurovision representative for Rotterdam
So no national final and no public vote for France this year... and the recent rumours of the artist are true....
It's Tom Leeb for France!
Following days of intense speculation prompted by an article in the French daily 'Le Parisien' late last week, France 2 has now confirmed the country’s internally selected representative heading to Rotterdam will be Tom Leeb.
After listening to hundreds of song submissions, for the first time including those by foreign artists, it’s the thirty-year-old triple-threat (he sings, he acts, he dances!) who – according to reports – will be seeking to go at least one better than Amir’s ‘J’ai cherché’ and secure France’s first top 5 finish since Sandrine François in 2002 with ‘Il faut du temps’.
Can Tom do it? Well, let’s look at his credentials. 2018 saw the release of his first single ‘Are we too late’, which to date has had some 25 million YouTube views. In September 2019, he released his first album ‘Recollection’, thirteen folk-pop tunes with rock touches, many recounting tales of romance and lost love. And here’s another question: given the heavily Anglophone bias of his work to date, his self-professed musical influences (the Englishman Ben Howard, the Australian Matt Corby and the Americans Bon Iver and John Mayer) and his recent support act performances for Tom Jones and Sting, can we expect an entry sung wholly in English from Tom? Or will a French chorus or verse be present to please the most fervent of French language enthusiasts?
Tom’s CV also suggests that he has more than one string to his acoustic guitar, which he taught himself to play. He has followed in his actor-comedian father’s footsteps, doing impressions and telling jokes with fellow funnyman Kevin Levy in the ‘Kevin et Tom’ show and treading the boards in, amongst other productions, the 2014 stage adaptation of ‘Madame Doubtfire’. His acting credits also include two French television shows, the soap ‘Sous le soleil de Saint Tropez’ and the police procedural ‘Section de recherches’, as well as a number of feature films and shorts. Oh, and did I mention that he trained as – and almost became – a professional tennis player?
With today’s announcement, Tom Leeb becomes the ninth confirmed participant at the Ahoy Arena, but Eurovision fans will have to wait a little while yet to listen to France’s 2020 entry. Indeed, a date has not yet been slated for its release. Can Tom take out the Eurovision crown for his home country for the first time in over 40 years? On verra!