France have participated at Eurovision an incredible 59 times, meaning they’ve only missed out on two contests, and those were in 1974 and 1982. France was also one of the seven nations who participated in the very first contest, and since then, they have won Eurovision a very respectable five times with the most recent in 1977. In more recent years, since 1998 in fact, France hasn’t been all that successful at all. Only a handful of entries since then have managed to go higher than the bottom 10, some of which we will discuss today in our Best of the Bunch! We’ll be looking at entries between 2006 and 2015, and then you can decide which French act between those years was your Best of the Bunch!
First off is Virginie Pouchain, who was selected to represent France in 2006 with the song Il était temps. The ballad style song didn’t impress Europe all that much, with France ending up in 22nd spot with 5 points.
The following year, France sent the eccentric Les Fatals Picards with the French/English mix song called L’amour à la française. Despite how energetic the song was, France still didn’t end up in a much better placing, again with 22nd spot this time with 19 points.
In 2008, France was represented by Sébastien Tellier, an artist who had been a part of the French music scene well before his appearance at Eurovision. This was also the first entry that was predominately in English, and as such, his song Devine actually caused a bit of controversy! Despite all that, France still couldn’t manage to reach the top of the table, although their 19th place slightly outdid the results of the previous two years.
Patricia Kaas was the French Eurovision act in 2009, and like Sébastien, had a long career in Europe previous to her participation. Her song, Et s’il fallait le faire was chosen through an online poll, which asked voters to choose the best song from her album Kabaret. Finally France made a break-through, reaching the top 10, in 8th place with 107 points, their best since 2002.
In 2010, Jessy Matador was internally selected to represent the Big 5 nation with the song Allez Ola Olé, which not only was their Eurovision song, but also was one of the songs used to promote the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Once again, France managed to stay off the bottom again, ending up in 12th position in 82 points.
The following year, Amaury Vassili was the internal selectee for France with the operatic song Sognu. This was the second French Eurovision entry to be sung in Corsican since the 1993 participant Patrick Fiori. The song was an early favourite before the contest, however ended up in a disappointing 15th place in the final.
In 2012, Anggun was chosen internally to represent France with a song she co-wrote called Echo (You and I). She aimed for a top 10 result, however it wasn’t meant to be. She ended up in 22nd place, a position that France was getting used to. In total, Anggun received 21 points.
In 2013, France once again internally selected their artist, and for 2013 it would be Amandine Bourgeois. The song she performed at Eurovision was called L’enfer et moi, and despite being a very punchy and very French number, France once again slipped back into 23rd place with 14 points.
The following year saw France use a national final, where Twin Twin was chosen by the French and international public as the act who should represent France. The song was a fun and upbeat entry, however France managed to score their worst result in a long while, finishing last in the final with only 2 points.
Finally, we have come to 2015 where we end our journey today. France decided to go back to internally selecting, and they chose Lisa Angell with the ballad N’oubliez pas. A strong vocal performance, and a strong backing from the fans still wasn’t enough to push France back in the top 10. France ended in 25th place with 4 points.
Now it’s time for you to vote for your Best of the Bunch!