Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest
Monaco has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 24 times since its debut in 1959. The country's only win in the contest came in 1971 when Séverine performed "Un banc, un arbre, une rue". In 1972, Monaco was expected to host the contest, but declined. Monaco is still the only microstate which has won the Eurovision Song Contest.
|National selection events|
|Appearances||24 (21 finals)|
|Best result||1st: 1971|
|Worst result||Last: 1959, 1966|
|Monaco's page at Eurovision.tv|
Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006
Monaco finished last at its first contest in 1959 before achieving three top three results in the 1960s. Two of these were achieved by François Deguelt, who finished third in 1960 and second in 1962. Romuald also finished third in 1964. Severine's victory in 1971 was the first of five top four results in eight years. The others were achieved by Romauld (who returned to place fourth in 1974), Mary Christy who was third in 1976, Michèle Torr, fourth in 1977 and Caline & Olivier Toussaint who were fourth in 1978. After participating in 1979, Monaco was absent from the contest for 25 years.
Monaco returned to the contest for three years from 2004 to 2006 but failed to qualify for the final on all three occasions. The Monegasque broadcaster then withdrew from the contest saying that regional voting patterns in the contest have effectively given Monaco no chance of qualifying for the final.
Monaco participated in the contest 21 times between its debut in 1959 and 1979. Afterwards the country withdrew from the contest for financial reasons. It only returned in 2004, 25 years after its last participation. It withdrew again in 2007, after failing to qualify for the final for three consecutive years.
Monaco won the contest in 1971, with the song "Un banc, un arbre, une rue", performed by Séverine. The Monegasque victory is rather particular in the history of Eurovision because the songwriter, the singer and the director were not from the country they represented, but from France. Séverine even declared to journalists that she had never set foot in Monaco, forgetting that the video-clip was filmed there. Séverine's producer was dishonest with her and stole her prize, thus she never got paid for her victory, even after suing him. Nevertheless, the singer is still a great fan of the contest.
Monaco's next best placing has been second which it has achieved once at the 1962. It has been third three times, in 1960, 1964 and 1976; and last twice, in 1959 and 1966. Monaco is among the eight countries which finished last on their first participation, the others being Austria, Portugal, Malta, Turkey, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and San Marino.
Monaco never organised the contest. After winning in 1971, the country decided to organise the 1972 contest as an open-air show, setting the date in June rather than early spring. However, because of a lack of funds and material, Télé Monte Carlo sought help from the French public broadcaster, ORTF, which accepted to organise the contest. Because TMC wanted the show to be held in Monaco while ORTF wanted it in France, negotiations never succeeded. Monaco left it up to the EBU. The EBU asked Spain and Germany, who respectively finished second and third at the 1971 contest, but the countries were not interested in organising the 1972 contest. It was eventually organised by the BBC in Edinburgh.
Monaco was absent from the contest between 1980 and 2003, before returning for three years from 2004–2006, but Maryon (2004), Lise Darly (2005) and Séverine Ferrer (2006) all failed to progress from the semi-finals. TMC broadcast the 2007 contest, opening the way for participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. However, TMC decided against it.
TMC had announced that it was possible Monaco would return to the contest in 2009 after a two-year absence, following talks with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organiser of the contest, as well as new voting measures implemented in the contest that year. Despite this, Monaco did not compete in Moscow in 2009. The EBU announced they would work harder to bring Monaco back into the Contest in 2010 alongside other lapsed participants.
Officials have denounced geopolitical voting between the countries in East Europe and the ones in Scandinavia, leaving practically no chance for the principality to qualify. They also regret that the contest is now more about the show than singing. Furthermore, Monaco does not really have a public broadcaster anymore. TMC is now part of the TF1 Group, the leading private broadcaster in France and is now available everywhere in France. TMC programs no longer revolve around the principality. TF1 Group being the biggest competitor to the French public channels, it is very unlikely that TMC will broadcast again the Eurovision Song Contest. When TMC did so between 2004 and 2006, its audience was much lower than the one of the French public channel. In those years, it was the government and the municipality of Monaco who chose the contestant and funded the delegation, while it is usually the responsibility of a broadcaster or a producer.
Due to the country's very small size, all Monaco's entrants came from outside the principality. The large majority of them were French, with also one Yugoslavian, Tereza Kesovija, and one Italian, Mary Christy. Several singers selected to represent Monaco are key figures of the French scene, such as Françoise Hardy and Michèle Torr. Luxembourg, another small country, also sent a great number of French artists to the contest. At the 1967 contest, the Monegasque entry, "Boum Badaboum", sung by Minouche Barelli, was written by Serge Gainsbourg. He had already composed the winning entry in 1965, "Poupée de cire, poupée de son", sung by France Gall for Luxembourg. Jean Jacques, who represented Monaco in 1969, was the first child to take part in Eurovision. He was 12.
Commentators and spokespersons
From 1959 to 1979, Monaco did not have its own commentators in the festival, Télé Monte Carlo used French commentary instead (RTF 1959–1964, ORTF 1965–1974 and TF1 1975–1979). Between 2004 and 2006, TMC did broadcast the contest with its own commentators, but they were French. As TMC had been available in the South-East of France since the 1980s and by digital terrestrial television throughout the country since 2005, French audience was able to watch the Eurovision Song Contest on both France 3 and TMC in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
|1959||Claude Darget||TBC||rowspan="22" data-sort-value="" style="background: #ececec; color: #2C2C2C; vertical-align: middle; font-size: smaller; text-align: center; " class="table-na" | Spokesperson did not present visually until 1994|
|1971||Georges de Caunes||N/A|
|1975||Georges de Caunes||Carole Chabrier|
|1977||Georges de Caunes|
|1978||Léon Zitrone and Denise Fabre|
|1980–2003||No broadcast||Monaco did not participate|
|2004||Bernard Montiel and Génie Godula||Anne Allegrini||Prince's Palace, Monaco City|
|2006||Bernard Montiel and Églantine Eméyé||Églantine Eméyé||Prince's Palace, Monaco City|
|2007||Unknown (final)||Monaco did not participate||Monaco did not participate|
Franck Pourcel (1959) Raymond Lefèvre (1960–63) Michel Colombier (1964, 1968) Raymond Bernard (1965, 1972) Alain Goraguer (1966) Aimé Barelli (1967) Hervé Roy (1969) Jimmy Walter (1970) Jean-Claude Petit (1971) Jean-Claude Vannier (1973) Raymond Donnez (1974, 1976) André Popp (1975) Yvon Rioland (1977–78) Gérard Salesses (1979)
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- Adrien Paredes (2011). "Eurovision : Monaco, 40 ans plus tard". Monaco Hebdo.
- Jan Feddersen and Ivor Lyttle (2005). Congratulations. 50 Years of The Eurovision Song Contest. The Official DVD. 1956-1980. Copenhagen: CMC Entertainment. p. 12.
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- Points to and from Monaco eurovisioncovers.co.uk