France 1981

France was present at the Eurovision Song Contest 1981, held in Dublin, Ireland.

The French national final to select their entry, Concours de la Chanson Française pour l’Eurovision 1981, was held on 8 March at the TF1 Studios in Paris, and was hosted by television hostess Fabienne Égal.

Six songs made it to the national final after two semi-final heats. The winner was decided by a random sampling of 1,086 television viewers who were contacted by TF1 and asked which song was their favorite.

The winning entry was « Humanahum, » performed by Jean Gabilou and composed by Jean-Paul Cara with lyrics by Joe Gracy. Cara and Gracy also penned the 1977 Contest winner « L’oiseau et l’enfant« . Gabilou, a Tahitian singer, was the first ever to represent France from one of its overseas territories.

National final

The order of the songs presented on the night of the Contest[1] vary from other published material.[2]

Draw Artist Song Informal translation Votes Place
1 Amour Un homme s’était levé A man stood up 116 6th
2 Evelyne Geller Les yeux fermés Closed eyes 165 3rd
3 Jean Gabilou Humanahum Humanahum 273 1st
4 Frida Boccara Voilà comment je t’aime That is how I love you 159 4th
5 Jeff Barnel De visage en visage Face to face 131 5th
6 Jorge Rafael C’est un oiseau de papier It’s a paper bird 242 2nd

At Eurovision

Jean Gabilou performed ninth on the night of the contest, following Finland and preceding Spain. At the close of the voting the song had received 125 points, placing 3rd in a field of 20 competing countries. Despite finishing in the top three, TF1’s head of entertainment programming, Pierre Bouteiller, famously opted out of the 1982 Contest, referring to Eurovision as « a monument to inanity [sometimes translated as « drivel »]. »[3] France would return to the fold in 1983.

Points Awarded to France
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
0 points


  1. ^ Concours de la Chanson Française pour l’Eurovision 1981, pres. Fabienne Égal, 8 March 1981, TF1.
  2. ^ French National Final 1981
  3. ^ 1982 Eurovision source in French