France 2015

France participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song « N’oubliez pas« , written by Moïse Albert, Michel Illouz and Laure Izon. The song was performed by Lisa Angell, who was selected by French broadcaster France Télévisions in collaboration with the France 2 channel in January 2015 to represent the nation at the 2015 contest in Vienna, Austria. As a member of the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), France competed directly in the final on 23 May 2015 and did not have to qualify from one of two semi-finals held on 19 May and 21 May. However, France was obligated to vote in the first semi-final. In France’s fifty-sixth Eurovision appearance on 23 May, « N’oubliez pas » finished in twenty-fifth place out of 27 competing songs with 4 points.

Background

Prior to the 2015 Contest, France had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest fifty-seven times since its first entry in 1956.[1] France first won the contest in 1958 with « Dors, mon amour » performed by André Claveau. In the 1960s, they won three times, with « Tom Pillibi » performed by Jacqueline Boyer in 1960, « Un premier amour » performed by Isabelle Aubret in 1962 and « Un jour, un enfant » performed by Frida Boccara, who won in 1969 in a four-way tie with the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. France’s fifth victory came in 1977, when Marie Myriam won with the song « L’oiseau et l’enfant« . France have also finished second four times, with Paule Desjardins in 1957, Catherine Ferry in 1976, Joëlle Ursull in 1990 and Amina in 1991, who lost out to Sweden’s Carola in a tie-break. In the 21st century, France has had less success, only making the top ten three times, with Natasha St-Pier finishing fourth in 2001, Sandrine François finishing fifth in 2002 and Patricia Kaas finishing eighth in 2009. France have failed to reach the top ten in eleven of the last twelve contests (2003-2014). In 2014, the nation finished last for the first time with Twin Twin performing the song « Moustache« .

Since 1999, France Télévisions delegated the responsibility of selecting and organising the French entry and broadcasting the contest in France to the France 3 television channel; however, the broadcaster announced in August 2014 that starting in 2015, these responsibilities would be transferred to France 2.[2] In early September 2014, France 2 confirmed their participation in the 2015 contest and revealed that the French entry would be chosen via an internal selection.[3][4]

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

On 23 January 2015, France 2 revealed that « N’oubliez pas » performed by Lisa Angell would represent France at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.[5] The song, written by Robert Goldman under the pseudonym Moïse Albert, was selected after France 2 requested proposals from record companies.[6] Angell debuted the song in November 2014 when she performed during a First World War centenary concert held at La Madeleine, Paris.[6] On 28 February 2015, « N’oubliez pas » was officially presented to the public as the French Eurovision entry with a performance by Lisa Angell on the France 2 programme Chico And The Gypsies, Le Grand Show, hosted by Michel Drucker.[7]

At Eurovision

Lisa Angell at the Eurovision Song Contest opening ceremony

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. In the 2015 contest, Australia also competed directly in the final as an invited guest nation.[8] As a member of the « Big 5 », France automatically qualified to compete in the final on 23 May 2015. In addition to their participation in the final, France was also required to broadcast and vote in one of the two semi-finals. During the semi-final allocation draw on 26 January 2015, France was assigned to broadcast and vote in the first semi-final on 19 May 2015.[9]

The first semi-final was broadcast in France on France Ô with commentary by Mareva Galanter and Jérémy Parayre.[10] The final was broadcast on France 2 with commentary by Stéphane Bern and Marianne James.[11] The French spokesperson, who announced the French votes during the final, was Virginie Guilhaume.[12] It was also the first time since 2000 that the Eiffel Tower was not the backdrop for the spokesperson when the french votes were announced.

Final

Lisa Angell at a dress rehearsal for the final

Lisa Angell took part in technical rehearsals on 17 and 20 May,[13][14] followed by dress rehearsals on 22 and 23 May. This included the jury final where professional juries of each country, responsible for 50 percent of each country’s vote, watched and voted on the competing entries.[15] After technical rehearsals were held on 20 May, the « Big 5 » countries, host nation Austria and special guest Australia held a press conference. As part of this press conference, the artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. France was drawn to compete in the first half.[16] Following the conclusion of the second semi-final, the shows’ producers decided upon the running order of the final. The running order for the semi-finals and final was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. France was subsequently placed to perform in position 2, following the entry from Slovenia and before the entry from Israel.[17]

The stage show featured Lisa Angell wearing a black dress performing the song at a microphone stand. The story of the performance was told through the background LED screens which portrayed Lisa Angell as a woman returning to a village in ruins with war-torn landscapes and grey skies. About the performance and song, Lisa Angell stated: « It is the song about peace and hope. It was important for us to underline the role of a woman as women often stay in the shadow. » As the performance progressed, the LED screens depicted hundreds of drummers, while five male drummers joined Angell on stage: Yann Forleo, Julien Botas, Benoit Crozatier and William Pigache. Lisa Angell also had one off-stage backing vocalist: Delphine Elbé.[13][14][18]

At the conclusion of the voting, France finished in twenty-fifth place with 4 points.[19][20]

Voting

Voting during the three shows consisted of 50 percent public televoting and 50 percent from a jury deliberation. The jury consisted of five music industry professionals who were citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury was asked to judge each contestant based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song’s composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury could be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member were released shortly after the grand final.[21]

Following the release of the full split voting by the EBU after the conclusion of the competition, it was revealed that France had placed twenty-sixth with the public televote and nineteenth with the jury vote. In the public vote, France scored 4 points and in the jury vote the nation scored 24 points.[22]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to France and awarded by France in the first semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[23][20][24][25]

Points awarded to France

Points awarded by France

Split voting results

The following five members comprised the French jury:[21]

  • Bruno Berberes – Chairperson – casting director, producer, composer
  • Matthieu Gonet – composer, musician
  • Eric Jeanjean – radio DJ
  • Yseult – singer
  • Marie Myriam – singer, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1977

References

  1. ^ « France Country Profile ». EBU. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (27 August 2014). « France: Eurovision to move from France 3 to France 2 ». Esctoday.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (1 September 2014). « France: France 2 confirms participation in Eurovision 2015 ». Esctoday.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (10 September 2014). « France: Internal selection for Eurovision 2015 ». Esctoday.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Brey, Marco (23 January 2015). « Lisa Angell to represent France with « N’oubliez pas« « . eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Marsick, Laurent; Cesbron, Mathilde (23 January 2015). « Découvrez « N’oubliez pas », le titre que chantera Lisa Angell à l’Eurovision » (in French). RTL. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Omelyanchuk, Olena (28 February 2015). « Lisa Angell’s song presentation ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Siim, Jarmo (10 February 2015). « Australia to compete in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Escudero, Victor M. (26 January 2015). « Allocation Draw results: Who’s in which Semi-Final? ». Eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  10. ^ « Eurovision 2015 (France Ô) : l’autre duo de présentateurs » (in French). programme-television.org. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  11. ^ « Eurovision: Marianne James et Stéphane Bern à la présentation » [Eurovision: Marianne James and Stéphane Bern presenters.] (in French). Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (23 May 2015). « « Good evening Vienna » – Voting order revealed ». eurovision.tv. EBU. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Omelyanchuk, Olena (17 May 2015). « Lisa Angell: « It’s a song about hope and peace« « . eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Omelyanchuk, Olena (20 May 2015). « Powerful chanson from France ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (22 May 2015). « Decision night for the 40 juries around Europe…and beyond ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  16. ^ Omelyanchuk, Olena (20 May 2015). « LIVE: Day 10 at the Wiener Stadthalle ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Storvik-Green, Simon (22 May 2015). « Running order for Grand Final revealed! ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  18. ^ « Lisa Angell: N’oubliez pas ». eurovisionartists.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  19. ^ Storvik-Green, Simon; Roxburgh, Gordon (24 May 2015). « Sweden wins 2015 Eurovision Song Contest ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  20. ^ a b « Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Bakker, Sietse (1 May 2015). « Exclusive: Here are this year’s national juries! ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  22. ^ Quinn, Angus (24 May 2015). « Eurovision 2015 Split Results: Who Did the Jury Hurt? ». wiwibloggs.com. Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  23. ^ « Eurovision Song Contest 2015 First Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  24. ^ « France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 First Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  25. ^ « France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015.