Debut – 1959
Last Appearance – 2006
Broadcaster – TMC
Best Result – Winner (1971)
Highest Score – 128 points (1971)
Worst Result – 24th in Semi-final (2005 – 22 points)
Monaco made their debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1959, and are to date the smallest country to have ever won the Eurovision Song Contest. It is also the only winning country to have never hosted it, due to the broadcaster’s lack of resources and their inability to find a suitable venue, handing the privilege to the BBC instead who hosted it in Edinburgh. Due to the size of the little principality, they have relied on mainly French performers and composers for their entries.
1950’s and 1960’s
Monaco’s debut entry was “Mon ami Pierrot” (performed by Jacques Pills), an unsuccessful debut as it came last with only 1 point. The following year in 1960 however, they made a marked improvement by finishing 3rd with François Deguelt performing “Ce soir-là”.
Monaco then spent most of the 1960’s within the top 10, including podium finishes in 1962 with François Deguelt’s second Eurovision entry “Dis rien” finishing 2nd, and in 1964 with “Où sont-elles passées” (performed by Romuald) finishing 3rd. They did however end up with another last place result in 1966, scoring ‘nul points’.
The 1970’s saw Monaco score their one and only Eurovision victory, with Séverine performing “Un banc, un arbre, une rue”, a song still considered a classic amongst fans. Monaco wouldn’t see the top 5 again until 1974, with Romuald representing the principality again with “Celui qui reste et celui qui s’en va”, finishing 4th.
The latter half of the decade saw a hat-trick of top 5 results: in 1976 with “Toi, la musique et moi” (performed by Mary Christy), in 1977 with “Une petite française” (performed by 1966 entrant for Luxembourg, Michèle Torr) finishing 4th, and in 1978 with “Les jardins de Monaco” (performed by Caline & Olivier Toussaint) also finishing 4th, which would be Monaco’s last top 10 result. 1979 would be the last time Monaco appeared on the Eurovision stage for over 20 years.
Monaco didn’t return until 2004, where after three unsuccessful attempts at qualifying for the Final they withdrew again, citing that they were left with no chances of qualifying as a result of ‘political voting’.
Any chance of them coming back?
It’s not out of the question, the EBU claimed in 2010 that they would work hard to bring former participants including Monaco to return to the Contest, however the broadcaster have not had the financial backing to do so.