If this were the Eurovision Baking Contest, French patisserie would have obliterated all the competition and we’d have been to Paris a hell of a lot more often. Sadly it isn’t and the French have fared extremely poorly of late. Strong speculation on French victory in 2011 led to cruel disappointment when Amaury Vassili underwhelmed in Düsseldorf. The French have yet to recapture the glory of their early decades in the Contest. Their recent record is decidedly mixed with a single Top 10 appearance, three further Top 20 finishes and two disappointing finishes beyond. They’ve averaged 59 points in Contests since 2008 and taken an average 0.3 sets of 12 Points. Yes, that means that in many years they didn’t receive douze points from anyone.

Finals Qualified For: Automatic Qualification as a Member of the Big Five.

Recent History:

2013: Amandine Bourgeois with ‘L’Enfer et Moi’, 23rd Place with 14 Points

2012: Anggun with ‘Echo (You and I)’, 22nd Place with 21 Points

2011: Amaury Vassili with ‘Sognu’, 15th Place with 82 Points

2010: Jessy Matador with ‘Allez Ola Olé’, 12th Place with 82 Points

2009: Patricia Kaas with ‘Et s’il fallait le faire’, 8th Place with 107 Points

2008: Sébastien Tellier with ‘Divine’, 19th Place with 47 Points

Song Stats:

How many times did Amandine give you hell in 2013? 9 Times

How often did Anggun talk about ‘you’ and her in 2012? 10 Times

If you listened to Jessy Matador’s cry for ‘allez’ how often would you be on the move? 53 Times.

How many points has France given to Belgium since 2008? 21 Points

Best Scoring Entry:

Patricia Kaas with ‘Et s’il fallait le faire’, 8th Place with 107 Points

A truly gorgeous entry that deserved to go much further in 2009 than it actually did. Patricia delivers the power and glamour of the French chansons of old and immediately grabs your attention. Simplistic staging and performance allowed her vocal ability and presence to shine, without hiding behind cheap stage effects or dancers. This entry took the Contest seriously. Here was a beautifully produced song, sung gorgeously in French and in a way that superseded language. I’m still holding out for France to try something like this again…

Memorable Lyrics: “And if it had to be done, I would repel the winter, with hard blows of springtime and long clear mornings.” By day chanteuse extraordinaire, by night, weather woman. 

Worst Scoring Entry:

Amandine Bourgeois with ‘L’Enfer Et Moi’, 23rd Place with 14 Points

Proof if any were needed that a good score isn’t everything. Poor Amandine. Lumped with the cursed opening slot there was no hope for France’s best entry since Kaas in 2009. Her performance wiped the floor with a great swathe of competition but come voting time the French Fury had been lost amidst the panpipes and giants of the entries bringing up the rear. The girl gave us hell and she deserved a lot better than she got. You do wonder if part of the venom towards the end was directed against SVT for that appalling performance draw…

Memorable Lyrics: “I’m gonna give you hell. Right when you’re losing yourself, have a good look in the rear mirror, I’ll be the one standing right behind you.” Watch your backs SVT, Amandine’s coming for you. 

And here’s what Team Wiwi have to say on France’s recent performance:

David T: I liked Anggun a lot in Baku last year – there was a je ne sais quoi about her! Her song really appealed to me.

Zach Thomas: Patricia Kass was incredible! She channeled the French chansons style of old with ease. Pure elegance and perfection – it has to be the cruellest televoting result EVER! The worst French entry has to be Jessy Matador. Allez Ola Olé has a good vibe, but it’s way too repetitive and was one of the poorest entries of 2010.

Wiwi: Jessy Matador’s 2010 entry “Allez! Ola! Olé!” was my guilty pleasure. Uptight Frenchies said that the song bastardized the French language with lyrics like this: “Darling, you must get up and move your butt. Dancing, squeezed tight for a salty kiss. Take me by the hand, make me weak. Lala, it will heat up, I feel the stuff up.”

I didn’t mind the nonsense because this song made me move! He essentially took Eurovision outside of Europe and, in a line-up of 25 songs, that was a welcome departure. If you read his lyrics out loud with the right voice, he actually sounds like a Nobel Laureate. “Ola, beautiful people who want to move. Surrender to the rhythm of the year. Go, go, go, you should make the most of this. It’s a good day and we will celebrate.” Olé!

You can check out all of our country profiles by clicking here.

Angus Quinn contributed this report from the U.K. You can follow him on Twitter at @Angus_Quinn17. Then like our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and gossip.

Photo: Indrek Galetin (EBU)

12 Comments
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jumper
jumper
6 years ago

Amaury, Anggun, Amandine still in my favorite top 10 in their participating.
They just got a bad luck.
Wish they’ll join eurovision again with their best song and stage performances

Kristín
Kristín
7 years ago

France has been on my top 10 non-stop since 2007. There, I said it! 🙂

D
D
7 years ago

2008 (Sébastien Tellier, ‘Divine’) – Am I psycho for liking this song? It was weird, definitely, but just weird enough for me without going overboard. The guy actually had a nice voice, the song was nice, and I enjoyed the show as a whole. 2009 (Patricia Kaas, ‘Et s’il fallait le faire’) – I’m sorry but I don’t know what people saw in this one. I was watching Eurovision not some bad cabaret act. I don’t get how it finished so high, her voice irritated me and the genre just wasn’t my type. 2010 (Jessy Matador, ‘Allez Ola Olé’) –… Read more »

Marion
7 years ago

I read your posts and I agree with you! They need to be able to choose our song and our song (I’m french), I do not understand why they are journalists who choose!!!!!!

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
7 years ago

Bravo, Angus, on your assessment on what went wrong with Amandine’s performance. Nowadays, singing first is the kiss of death. Since the current points system went into effect in 1975, the winner has come from the leadoff spot 3 times; 1975, 1976 and 1984. There have been several top-10 finishes from the leadoff spot, the last one from 2010. I personally think they ought to use the bookies’ boards to decide who should sing first in the program (which, in my opinion, would go to the longest shot on the board), who should sing in the middle (where I would… Read more »

JulianaESC
JulianaESC
7 years ago

I loved France 2007, 2009, and 2011 and 2013 were also great. I love Anggun in general but her song choice wasn’t amazing and the performance wasn’t up to her standards. I’m frustrated with the French. They have such great artists and their language is beautiful but they can’t seem to get their act together. They need a great performance coupled with a song that even people who don’t speak French can understand. I really feel that France should beg Mylene Farmer, Shy’m, Helene Segara, or Alizee. Any of those stunning women can sing live and would give a very… Read more »

Z24
Z24
7 years ago

Since 2009, France has always done right in my book. Regardless of live performance, 2011 was my winner, with 2012 and 2013 landing a spot in my top 10. Whether it is class or upbeat, they play their cards right.

Sadly, they also have the bad, bad luck of getting the crappiest placing available (exception of Jessy). I hope next year will be as good as the past and that they finally get a good freaking order place, 20th song or lower at least.

Tiggeh
Tiggeh
7 years ago

France have been the country who have always pushed the boundaries in recent years. Sebastien Tellier’s almost full english language Divine (was full english until the nation took a hissy fit) was a personal favorite of mine. I knew from the performance he was going to fail, but this never took away from the song. Even if you go back as far as Natasha St Pier, the tune oozed class. Plus it was the fist song to embrace the english language in a larger way for this proud nation. I seriously wanted France to win in Denmark. Les Fatals Picards… Read more »

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Patricia was easily in my top 5, but I think so would’ve been Jessy. The jury really screwed him over that year – televote had him in 8th!!! I think Jessy’s was the best performance of the last few years, actually. Tons of energy, amazing choreography, and good enough vocals considering the elaborate moves they were putting on! I loved the improvised “put your hands up, clap your hands” etc. part too. But yeah, France has put out nothing but quality since 2009, ignoring Amaury’s disappointing performance in 2011 (but the song choice was great). It’s really a shame they… Read more »

Ian
Ian
7 years ago

For me – the last three French songs have been excellent and will remain favorites of mine. Maybe they were just too good.

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

Patricia Kaas (funny her last name means cheese in Dutch language) was my personal runner-up in 2009 behind the beautiful Urban Symphonie. But at least she deserved much higher then the 8th place.

Marion
7 years ago

You can say what you want about Jessy but this is the only song that represented France that the French have loved!!!!!!