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.
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
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 Here was a beautifully produced song, sung gorgeously in French and in a way that superseded language.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.
Photo: Indrek Galetin (EBU)