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France's 10 most recent Top 10 placings at the Contest

04 July 2024 at 18:50 CEST
Slimane rehearsing Mon amour for France at the First Rehearsal of the Grand Final at Malmö Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU
With Slimane returning France to the top end of the scoreboard in Malmö, we reminisce over the past three decades of France participation - their 10 most recent Top 10 results at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Amir performed J'ai Cherché for France in 2016

One of the 'Big Five' countries, France has competed in 66 out of 68 Contests, including the very first Eurovision which took place in Lugano in 1956.

In France's first 15 Contests, they finished in the Top 5 a staggering 13 times. This included 4 victories, one runner-up finish, and a total of 4 third-place results. 

Between 1960 and 1993, France either held or tied the record for most victories at the Eurovision Song Contest. And as coincidence would have it, it's 1993 that we go back as far as, when reflecting upon France's 10 most recent Top 10 placings. 

In the past three decades, France has admittedly more often than not landed on the right-hand side of the scoreboard. But when the French have scored well, they've ended up turning in some all-time Francophone fan faves.

France TV has in recent years selected some musical megastars to represent the country at the Contest. And on a few occasions, the French entries have even picked up awards elsewhere, in place of the coveted Eurovision trophy they've fallen short of taking home.

From Mama Corsica to MOTHER Kaas, and from Mon Amour to Madamoiselle Morato - here's France's most recent success stories, all having taken place in the second half of its bumper-sized Eurovision history book.

2024: Slimane - Mon Amour

4th place 

The fella with the a capella! At this year’s Contest, no one performed to the camera quite like Slimane. He had viewers in his hands - quite literally, in parts. And his commitment to the cameraman paid ‘douze points’ dividends, earning France a 4th-place finish on 445 points.

Since his time in Malmö, Slimane has released his first Greatest Hits collection, Essentiels. It’s already gone to number 1 in France, becoming his 4th album-chart topper there.

2021: Barbara Pravi - Voilà

2nd place

Et voilà! Barbara Pravi got to make the journey home from Rotterdam 2021 positively proud of herself for giving France its best result at the Eurovision Song Contest in 30 years, since 1991. Her song Voilà also achieved France’s highest score to date - with 499 points being awarded to the dramatic composition.

Barbara has brought France even more success at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The artist has co-penned two winners for her country; J’imagine in 2020 and Oh Maman! in 2022.

2016: Amir - J'ai Cherché

6th place

Finishing in 6th place at Stockholm 2016 wasn’t the final chapter of J’ai Cherché’s success story! The song went on to become the most listened-to French song on the radio that year, and it picked up the award for Francophone Song of the Year at the NRJ Music Awards. Amir also took home the trophy for Best French Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards that same year.

Amir would go on to co-write The Best In Me by Tom Leeb, which was set to be France’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, before the event was cancelled. 

2009: Patrica Kaas - Et S'il Fallait Le Faire

8th place

It was all class with Patricia Kaas! Very much A Big Deal when her participation was first announced, and it remains a high point in France’s Eurovision history that one of its most celebrated artists got to represent the nation at the Contest

Alongside her Top 10 finish in Moscow, Patricia also used Et S'il Fallait Le Faire to launch her 8th album, Kabaret - after the first 7 had all gone Top 10 at home in France.

2002: Sandrine François - Il Faut Du Temps

5th place 

Earning 104 points for a 5th-place finish, Il Faut Du Temps also had the honour of becoming France’s 25th Top 5 result at the Eurovision Song Contest

The power ballad was produced by Erick Benzi, the producer of 4 of Céline Dion’s French-language albums in the ‘90s and ‘00s.

2001: Natasha St-Pier - Je N'ai Que Mon Âme

4th place

After almost 50 years of France competing at the Eurovision Song Contest, Je N'ai Que Mon Âme was the very first time a French entry had included some English lyrics, with a sprinkling of words added to the performance at the very end. 

It scored 142 points for the Canadian singer. And back in France, the song peaked at number 2 on the singles chart.

1997: Fanny - Sentiments Songes

7th place

A mere 18 years old when she travelled to Dublin to represent France, Fanny’s performance of Sentiments Songes ended up receiving the second-highest number of ‘douze points’ (tied with Turkey) after overall winner Love Shine A Light for the United Kingdom. 

At the other end of France’s points exchange that year was quite the legend! Alongside Frédéric Ferrer, it was Marie Myriam dishing out the French jury’s scores. And as was the case back in '97, Marie today remains the most recent Eurovision winner for France, after her victory in 1977. 

1995: Nathalie Santamaria - Il Me Donne Rendez-Vous

4th place

A musically layered number that made full use of the orchestra and even had the foresight to bring some bongos to Dublin! And the part they must have played in that 94 points coming France’s way shouldn’t be underestimated.

Nathalie had some serious composer calibre behind her on Il Me Donne Rendez-Vous. The song was written by Didier Barbelivien, who has been behind over 2,000 popular songs since the ‘70s, having written for superstars such as Céline Dion, Julio Iglesias and Patricia Kaas. 

1994: Nina Morato - Je Suis Un Vrai Garçon

7th place

Performing last on the night at Dublin 1994, Nina Morato allowed viewers across Europe to imagine they had front-row seats at a Pigalle blues club, as she sauntered and swaggered her way across the stage, interpreting her song for France in captivating fashion.

After she’d given France a Top 10 result, Nina rounded off her 1994 by winning a coveted Victoires de la Musique award (the French equivalent of the Grammys) for Best New Female Artist. 

1993: Patrick Fiori - Mama Corsica

4th place

One year earlier in 1992, it was the first time that France deviated from sending a song completely in French, when Kali performed Monté La Riviè in French, Antillean and Creole. The following year, when Patrick Fiori represented France with Mama Corsica, French was once again joined by another language - the Corsican that the title hinted at! It was the language’s first appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest, but not its last - Amaury Vassili participated with Sognu for France in 2011, which he belted out completely in Corsican.

Patrick would many years later go on to collaborate with 2024’s French participant at the Eurovision Song Contest, Slimane! The pair released Promesse in 2017. 

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

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