Aussievision votes: France's Top 10 Eurovision Songs
To mark France's national day - known in the English-speaking world as "Bastille Day" but in France simply as "Le Quatorze Juillet" - some of the team here at Aussievision have re-viewed and ranked the country's 65 entries to date (the 63 which actually took to the Eurovision stage, plus the "withdrawn" 1974 and 2020 songs), awarding points in the familiar 12-to-1 format.
A Eurovision stalwart having sought to participate in all but one edition since Eurovision's inception in 1956, France's story at the Contest is very much one of two halves: a powerhouse in the early years with five wins and multiple "podium finishes", often tempered by an inability to reach the left-hand side of the Grand Final scoreboard more recently.
But which French entries struck a chord with the team?
Will novelty be favoured over tradition?
Will pop songs outdo chansons?
And how will this year's silver medallist and two-time Marcel Bezençon Award winner fare?
Before we begin we reveal the full voting results:
= 40. Jean-Paul Mauric 'Printemps, avril carillonne' (1961) - 1 point
= 40. Anne-Marie David 'Je suis l'enfant soleil' (1979) - 1 point
= 36. Rachel 'Le chant de Mallory' (1964) - 2 points
= 36. Profil 'Hé, hé M'sieurs dames' (1980) - 2 points
= 36. Amaury Vassili 'Sognu' (2011) - 2 points
= 36. Tom Leeb - 'Mon alliée (The Best in Me)' (2020) - 2 points
= 33. Jacqueline Boyer - 'Tom Pillibi' (1960) - 3 points
= 33. Noëlle Cordier 'Il doit faire beau là-bas' (1967) - 3 points
= 33. Nathalie Santamaria 'Il me donne rendez-vous' (1995) - 3 points
32. Martine Clemenceau 'Sans toi' (1973) - 4 points
= 30. Jean Gabilou 'Humanahum' (1981) - 5 points
= 30. Les Fatals Picards 'L'amour à la française' (2007) - 5 points
29. Nayah 'Je veux donner ma voix' (1999) - 6 points
28. Ortal 'Chacun pense à soi' (2005) - 7 points
= 25. Jean Philippe - 'Oui, oui, oui, oui' (1959) - 7 points
= 25. Nina Morato 'Je suis un vrai garçon' (1994) - 7 points
= 25. Sofia Mestari 'On aura le ciel' (2000) - 7 points
= 22. Catherine Ferry 'Un, deux, trois' (1976) - 8 points
= 22. Sandrine François 'Il faut du temps' (2002) - 8 points
= 22. Patricia Kaas 'Et s'il fallait le faire' (2009) - 8 points
21. Bilal Hassani - 'Roi' (2019) - 9 points
= 18. André Claveau - 'Dors, mon amour' (1958) - 10 points
= 18. Joëlle Ursull 'White and Black Blues' (1990) - 10 points
= 18. Amandine Bourgeois - 'L'enfer et moi' (2013) - 10 points
17. Dan Ar Braz & L'Héritage des Celtes 'Diwanit Bugale' (1996) - 10 points
16. Alain Barrière 'Elle était si jolie' (1963) - 12 points (12 points from Ford)
15. Lisa Angell - 'N'oubliez pas' (2015) - 16 points
14. Patrick Fiori 'Mama Corsica' (1993) - 17 points
13. Marie Myriam 'L'oiseau et l'enfant' (1977) - 19 points
12. Sébastien Tellier 'Divine' (2008) - 19 points
11. Natasha St-Pier 'Je n'ai que mon âme' (2001) - 21 points
Here's our Top 10, as voted for by twelve members of the Aussievision team:
10th place - Roger Bens, 'Femme dans ses rêves aussi' (1985) - 25 points
(12 points from Dale)
Just making the team's Top 10 - largely thanks to a maximum "douze points" from Dale - is this mid-tempo ballad in praise of womanhood, performed by the vocally-talented Roger Bens (who seems to have disappeared since coming 10th in the Contest - we'd love to know more about him!).
9th place - Amina, 'C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison' (1991) - 28 points
(10 points from Fleur)
Next up, it's this wordily-titled (one of the longest in the Contest's history!) entry written and sung by French-Tunisian artist Amina Annabi with a distinctly African sound, echoing its author's heritage. It's also famous for its points-tie for the top spot with Carola's 'Fångad av en stormvind', ultimately losing out to the Swedish song on a countback in accordance with the tie-break rule.
8th place - Frida Boccara, 'Un jour, un enfant' (1969) - 28 points
(10 points from Ford and Steven)
Coincidentally, our next choice involves another tie, this time between four acts. Yes, it's Frida Boccara's winning song from the (in)famous 1969 Contest, a honour she shared with the UK's Lulu ('Boom Bang-a-Bang'), Spain's Salomé ('Vivo cantando') and the Netherlands' Lenny Kuhr ('De troubadour'). The note-perfect, passionate Frida belts out this chanson about the world seen through a child's eyes. C'est magnifique!
7th place - Anggun, 'Echo (You and I)' (2012) - 43 points
(12 points from Guy and Mike)
Our 7th place couldn't be much more different from our 8th: from a traditional, very French ballad to an upbeat entry in both French and English performed and penned by an Indonesian-born French national. It also notably featured some rather eye-catching gymnastic dancers *wink*. Despite pre-Contest high hopes, the song ended the night in 22nd spot, receiving the dreaded nul points in the televote.
6th place - Twin Twin, 'Moustache' (2014) - 48 points
(12 points from Emma and Tim)
Entries don't get much more divisive than this one! Despite scoring points from seven of the twelve Aussievision voters, including two lots of 12 points, hip hop group Twin Twin and their song about wanting to grow the titular facial hair came dead last in the Grand Final scoring just two points in total. As a French speaker the lyrics make me cringe, but it was certainly a high-energy performance of a song with ear worm qualities.
5th place - Madame Monsieur, 'Mercy' (2018) - 49 points
(8 points from Tim)
Continuing the theme of initially highly-favoured songs that failed to live up to the pre-Contest hype comes the husband-and-wife duo Madame Monsieur and their poignant song about the plight of a young Nigerian refugee called Mercy who was born at sea whilst her mother was trying to reach Europe. The song won many fans, spawned an iconic hand gesture, showcased some ultra-chic polo neck sweaters ... and just made the left-hand side of the board in Lisbon in 13th place.
4th place - Alma, 'Requiem' (2017) - 49 points
(12 points from Ally, 10 points from Tim, 8 points from Emma and Mike)
Just pipping Madame Monsieur to fourth place is the bilingual (French-English) 2017 entry from the sweet-voiced Alma, who pleads to be kissed and told that she is loved. The song's message is that love is born and then dies, but nevertheless persists through time. Oh, and the Eiffel Tower appears behind the artist, who stands alone on a massive stage. 'Requiem' placed 12th, continuing France's more recent consistent form in the Contest.
3rd place - Barbara Pravi, 'Voilà' (2021) - 54 points
(12 points from Hugo, Kyriakos and Steven)
Well, she got a podium finish in May as runner up and she's reached the podium again in our poll. Yes, the sublime Barbara Pravi and her beautifully moving, timeless, passionate (I could go on!) ballad in the Piaf/Brel style is the Aussievision team's bronze medallist. Achieving 499 points in the Grand Final (with an almost 50-50 split between the jury vote and televote) Ms Pravi now holds the record for the highest points haul for France at the Contest.
2nd place - Jessy Matador, 'Allez Ola Olé' (2010) - 57 points
(12 points from Liv, 10 points from Kyriakos and Dale)
Taking out the silver medal in this poll is another high-octane French entry, which was used to promote the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Embracing the soukous genre of dance music popular in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jessy Matador encouraged listeners to get up and dance, and the stadium crowd in Oslo certainly joined in. Whilst lyrically simplistic, there's no doubting the appeal of this summertime dancefloor filler, which charted throughout Europe.
1st place - Amir, 'J'ai cherché' (2016) - 71 points
(12 points from Fleur, 10 points from Ally, Emma, Guy and Hugo, 8 points from Kyriakos)
There was simply no stopping our winner, who scored points from eight of the twelve Aussievision voters (six of whom ranked him in their Top Three). Marking the resurgence of France after a series of disappointing results, Amir's co-written 'J'ai cherché' - an upbeat number radiating positive vibes - finished 3rd with the national juries and 9th in the televote, achieving France's best placing since 2002 with a very creditable 6th place overall.
So, what do you think? Did your favourite(s) make the Top Ten or miss out?
Let us know!
And, most importantly, Bonne fête nationale à tous nos abonnés français!