Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Member stationTMC
National selection events
Internal selection
  • 1959–1979
  • 2004–2006
Participation summary
Appearances24 (21 finals)
First appearance1959
Last appearance2006
Highest placement1st: 1971
Nul points1966
External links
Monaco's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006

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". As a result, Monaco was expected to host the contest in 1972, but declined. Monaco is the only microstate which has won the contest to date.

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 Romuald (who returned to place fourth in 1974), Mary Christy who was third in 1976, Michèle Torr, fourth in 1977 and Caline and Olivier Toussaint who were fourth in 1978. After participating in 1979, Monaco was absent from the contest for 25 years.

Monaco is the only country to have internally selected all of its participants. While some countries organise televised national finals, it is believed[by whom?] that TMC does not have enough funding to organise national finals.

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, stating that regional voting patterns in the contest have effectively given Monaco no chance of qualifying for the final.[1][2]


Marjorie Noël performing "Va dire à l'amour" in Naples

Monaco participated in the contest 21 times between its debut in 1959 and 1979. Afterwards the country withdrew from the contest for financial reasons and lack of interest.[3] It only returned in 2004, 25 years after its last participation.[4] It withdrew again in 2007, after failing to qualify for the final for three consecutive years.[5]

Monaco won the contest in 1971, with the song "Un banc, un arbre, une rue", performed by Séverine.[6] The Monegasque victory is rather particular in the history of Eurovision as neither the songwriter, the singer, nor director were from the country they represented, something which also was the case with four of Luxembourg’s five victories. Séverine even declared to journalists that she had never set foot in Monaco, forgetting that the video-clip was filmed there.[7] Séverine's producer was dishonest with her and stole her prize, thus she never got paid for her victory, even after suing him.[8] Nevertheless, the singer is still a great fan of the contest.[9]

Monaco's next best placing is second place, which it has achieved once in 1962. It has placed third three times, in 1960, 1964 and 1976; and last twice, in 1959 and 1966.[10] 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.

Host country[edit]

Monaco is the only country that has won the contest but has never organised it. 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[11]


Monaco was absent from the contest between 1980 and 2003, before returning for three years from 2004–2006. During their three year return, all the artists representing the country, Maryon (2004), Lise Darly (2005) and Séverine Ferrer (2006), failed to qualify to the finals. TMC did broadcast the 2007 contest, making the country eligible to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008, but TMC decided against it.[13][14]

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), as well as new voting measures implemented in the contest that year.[15] Despite this, Monaco did not compete in Moscow in 2009.[16] The EBU announced they would work harder to bring Monaco back into the contest in 2010 alongside other lapsed participants.

Former head of the Monégasque delegation Philippe Boscagli has accused certain countries of geopolitical voting, alleging the existence of Eastern European, Nordic and Old European voting blocs, henceforth hindering Monaco's chances for qualification. With regards to the non-qualification of the Monégasque entry in 2006, "La Coco-Dance", he claimed that the audience voted more for the show than the song. Furthermore, 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. As TF1 Group being the biggest competitor to the French public channels, it is very unlikely that TMC will again broadcast the contest. When TMC did so between 2004 and 2006, its audience was much smaller 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.[17]

On 22 November 2021, L'Observateur de Monaco reported that 100,000 Euros have been allocated towards "initiating the application of the Principality to the Eurovision 2023 competition" in the state budget for 2022.[18] Monaco’s potential return to the contest would have required co-operation between the Monégasque government and broadcaster TMC which is owned by France’s TF1 Group,[19] however, in December 2021, the Monégasque government announced the launch of a new national public broadcaster, TVMonaco, which will be fully owned by the government, opening up a possibility of Monaco returning to the contest under the sponsorship of the Monegasque government starting in 2023.[20] However, the launch of TVMonaco was later delayed to 1 September 2023, meaning Monaco will not be able to return to the contest until at least 2024.[21][22]

Participation overview[edit]

Due to the country's very small size, all Monaco's entrants came from outside the principality, although French-born Minouche Barelli, who represented the principality in 1967, shared her time between Paris and Monaco, acquired Monegasque citizenship in 2002, and died in the principality on 20 February 2004 at the age of 56.[23] The large majority of the participants were French, with also one Yugoslavian, Tereza Kesovija, and one Luxembourgian, Mary Christy (born Marie Ruggeri). 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.[24] Jean Jacques, who represented Monaco in 1969, was the first child to take part in Eurovision. He was 12 years old, making him the first preteen to participate and the first participant to be born after the inauguration of the contest.[25]

Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
1959 Jacques Pills "Mon ami Pierrot" French 11 ◁ 1 No semi-finals
1960 François Deguelt "Ce soir-là" French 3 15
1961 Colette Deréal "Allons, allons les enfants" French 10 6
1962 François Deguelt "Dis rien" French 2 13
1963 Françoise Hardy "L'Amour s'en va" French 5 25
1964 Romuald "Où sont-elles passées" French 3 15
1965 Marjorie Noël "Va dire à l'amour" French 9 7
1966 Téréza "Bien plus fort" French 17 ◁ 0
1967 Minouche Barelli "Boum-Badaboum" French 5 10
1968 Line and Willy "À chacun sa chanson" French 7 8
1969 Jean Jacques "Maman, maman" French 6 11
1970 Dominique Dussault "Marlène" French[a] 8 5
1971 Séverine "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" French 1 128
1972 Anne-Marie Godart and Peter MacLane "Comme on s'aime" French 16 65
1973 Marie "Un train qui part" French 8 85
1974 Romuald "Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va" French 4 14
1975 Sophie "Une chanson c'est une lettre" French 13 22
1976 Mary Christy "Toi, la musique et moi" French 3 93
1977 Michèle Torr "Une petite française" French 4 96
1978 Caline and Olivier Toussaint "Les Jardins de Monaco" French 4 107
1979 Laurent Vaguener "Notre vie c'est la musique" French 16 12
2004 Maryon "Notre planète" French Failed to qualify 19 10
2005 Lise Darly "Tout de moi" French 24 22
2006 Séverine Ferrer "La Coco-Dance" French, Tahitian 21 14

Related involvement[edit]

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
2005 Philippe Boscagli

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

From 1959 to 1970, Monaco did not have its own commentators in the festival, Télé Monte Carlo used French commentary instead (RTF 1959–1964 and ORTF 1965–1970). From 1971 until 1979, and 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 (the semi-final of 2004 only on TMC though).

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1959 Claude Darget Unknown
1960 Pierre Tchernia
1961 Robert Beauvais
1962 Pierre Tchernia
1964 Robert Beauvais
1965 Pierre Tchernia
1966 François Deguelt
1967 Pierre Tchernia
1971 Georges de Caunes No spokesperson
1972 José Sacré
1973 Hélène Vida
1974 Carole Chabrier Sophie Hecquet
1975 José Sacré Carole Chabrier
1976 Hélène Vida
1977 Georges de Caunes
1978 José Sacré
19802003 No broadcast Did not participate
2004 Bernard Montiel and Génie Godula Anne Allegrini [27]
2005 [28]
2006 Bernard Montiel and Églantine Eméyé Églantine Eméyé [29]
2007 Unknown (final) Did not participate
20082023 No broadcast


  1. ^ Contains phrases in English and German.


  1. ^ Kasapoglou, Yiorgos (12 December 2006). "Monaco withdraws". ESCToday. Retrieved 12 December 2006.
  2. ^ Viniker, Barry (14 December 2006). "Monaco - it's not the money!". ESCToday. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  3. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2016). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Three: The 1980s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 86–103. ISBN 978-1-84583-118-9.
  4. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1980 | Eurovision Song Contest". 19 April 1980. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2007 Semi-Final | Eurovision Song Contest". 10 May 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1971 | Eurovision Song Contest". 3 April 1971. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  7. ^ John Kennedy O'Connor (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest. 50 Years. The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. p. 47.
  8. ^ Jean-Pierre Hautier (2010). La folie de l'Eurovision. Brussels: Éditions de l’Arbre. p. 37.
  9. ^ Jan Feddersen and Ivor Lyttle (2005). Congratulations. 50 Years of The Eurovision Song Contest. The Official DVD. 1956-1980. Copenhagen: CMC Entertainment. p. 7.
  10. ^ "Monaco | Eurovision Song Contest". Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Seeking out more about the 1972 contest? | News | Eurovision Song Contest". 25 March 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  12. ^ John Kennedy O'Connor (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest. 50 Years. The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. p. 48.
  13. ^ Kuipers, Michael (26 December 2006). "Monaco to show Eurovision 2007". ESCToday. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  14. ^ Floras, Stella (6 December 2007). "Monaco will not return in 2008". ESCToday. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  15. ^ Kuipers, Michael (19 November 2008). "Monaco back in Moscow?". ESCToday. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  16. ^ Konstantopoulos, Fotis (27 November 2008). "San Marino & Monaco out?". Oikotimes. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  17. ^ Paredes, Adrien (18 May 2011). "Eurovision?: Monaco, 40 ans plus tard" [Eurovision? Monaco, 40 years later]. Monaco Hebdo (in French). Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  18. ^ Bonarrigo, Sabrina (22 November 2021). "🇲🇨 Monaco: Returning to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023?". L'observateur de Monaco. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  19. ^ Granger, Anthony (22 November 2021). "🇲🇨 Monaco: Returning to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023?". Eurovoix. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  20. ^ Granger, Anthony (10 December 2021). "🇲🇨 Monaco: Launching New Public Service Broadcaster Monte-Carlo Riviera". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  21. ^ Tang, Isabella (25 April 2022). "Launch of Monaco's Monte-Carlo Riviera TV delayed until 2023". ESCXTRA. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  22. ^ "La future chaîne de télévision s'appellera finalement TVMONACO" (in French). Monaco Matin. 23 March 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  23. ^ "Minouche Barelli, chanteuse", Le Monde 27. February 2004.
  24. ^ Jan Feddersen and Ivor Lyttle (2005). Congratulations. 50 Years of The Eurovision Song Contest. The Official DVD. 1956-1980. Copenhagen: CMC Entertainment. p. 12.
  25. ^ John Kennedy O'Connor (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest. 50 Years. The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. p. 37.
  26. ^ "Monaco decides on participation next week". ESCToday. 18 September 2004. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  27. ^ Bakker, Sietse (14 May 2004). "And here are the votes from... the spokespersons -". ESCToday. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  28. ^ Philips, Roel (19 December 2005). "The 39 spokespersons! | Eurovision Song Contest 2006 at". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 19 December 2005. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  29. ^ Bakker, Sietse (20 May 2006). "Meet the spokespersons for tonight's voting! -". ESCToday. Retrieved 11 March 2022.

External links[edit]