Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 3 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with France who have won the contest five times and finished second six times and third seven times. They have also been in the top 10 another nineteen times. They have finished last once in the Final. This has all been achieved in 58 participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE, Hungary HERE, Switzerland HERE, Ukraine HERE,Moldova HERE, Estonia HERE, Norway HERE, Italy HERE, Slovenia HERE,The Netherlands HERE, Armenia HERE, Azerbaijan HERE, San Marino HERE, Israel HERE,Albania HERE, Poland HERE and Serbia HERE.
So this year France are represented by Amir with the song ‘J’ai cherché ‘. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for France but the overall reaction is very positive so far. You can catch up on our recent article about our interview with Amir HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now France have fifty eight entries to choose from making the task a lot harder. There are some great songs from France over the years but I am struggling to pick out the three best. So I will highlight more good French entries after I have picked three good and bad ones.
We only have to go back a short while to find our first song that is one of the worst for France. The year was 2014 and we were in Copenhagen to see Twin Twin singing the song ‘Moustache’.
Now this was highly fancied to do well pre contest. The group consists of Lorent Idir, François Djemel and Patrick Biyik, and is characterised by a mixture of electro sounds, rock, and slam. The song was a mixture of pop and dance and sung in French. It achieved something that had never happened before in France’s long Eurovision history which was last place (26th) with only 2 points.
So moving along we look at one of the best entries for France. We were in London in 1977 to see Marie Myriam perform the song ‘L’oiseau et L’Enfant’.
Now the song was the last song for France to win the contest. It was performed in the last position in the running order and gained 136 points. Marie was of Portuguese descent and has read out the French votes at Eurovision on a number of occasions.
So now we move back to look at another worst of entry for France. We were in Athens in 2006 and the performer was Virginie Pouchain with the song ‘Il était temps’.
Now the song is a minor key ballad and had been chosen over another song at the last minute. As France had held a pre selection for the singer and song separately it was felt that the song chosen did not suit a female vocal so the song was written especially for Virginie to perform at Eurovision. She was accompanied on stage by British cellist Matheson Bayley who had written Stronger Every Minute for Cyprus in 2004. It was felt that Virginie’s vocal were off key during the performance and she ended up with 5 points and 22nd place.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the best was in the year 1991 and we were in Rome to witness Amina singing ‘C’est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison’.
This was a song that came closest to winning the contest without winning ever. This was a sultry polished performance from Amina. She is an accomplished singer songwriter and actress and the song was her own composition. The song title is one of the longest in the contests history. At the end of the voting she was tied in first place alongside Carola from Sweden but the current countback rules gave the victory to Sweden. She had 146 points. If the result had happened under the current rules France would have won. Amina has just recently brought out some stunning new music as our recent article here at Eurovision Ireland tells you HERE.
So onto our next song that was one of France’s worst. It was in 2000 and Stockholm was witness to seeing Sofia Mestari perform with the song ‘On aura le ciel’.
Now starting with the song it is a love ballad, with Mestari telling her lover that when they go somewhere together they will have everything they need for the simple reason that they will be with each other. It was sung in French by Sofia who is of Moroccan origin. It ended up with only 5 points in 23rd place.
We now arrive at another song for France and it’s another of the better ones. In 2009 we saw Patricia Kaas in Moscow with the song ‘Et s’il fallait le faire’.
It was a song that was taken off of Patricia’s recently released album Kabaret. It was typical of her jazz style and could be described as a moody ballad. It was remixed from the original for Eurovision. Kaas was already an established cabaret jazz artist on the international stage and was a welcome addition to the contest. She went on to finish 8th in the Final with 107 points.
So I have mentioned 3 best of songs above but also have to mention the following songs as all great entries too.
2015 Lisa Angell with the song ‘N’oubliez pas’.
2001 Natasha St-Pier with the song ‘Je n’ai que mon âme’.
1990 Joelle Ursull with the song ‘White and Black Blues’.
1993 Patrick Fiori with the song ‘Mama Corsica’.
2002 Sandrine François with the song ‘Il Fait Du Temps’.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into French Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland