Throwback Thursday: Monaco grieving and giving it all

When I was asked to write my throwback about Monaco, I didn’t need to think long about my song. Monaco’s return to the contest has, in terms of results, only resulted in abysmal disappointment. But there is a light in there…

Grieving and looming withdrawal

In April of 2005, Prince Rainier III of Monaco passed away. As a period of national grieve was announced, questions arose whether the tiny principality would still take part at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. Was it fitting to sing in an entertainment show?

Eventually, it all worked out for Lise Darly. The then 23 year old French singer took part in TMC’s castings for the contest in 2004. She then lost out to Maryon, but became the most logical pick for the next Monegasque Eurovision entrant. She was selected internally and eventually received “Tout De Moi” as her song for Kyiv.

When Lise Darly entered the contest on 19th May, there was a small detail which honoured Prince Rainier III. There was a little black ribbon attached to the strap of her dress.

Too sweet?

In a contest where ethnopop dominated and strong female power made a strong surge to the top, mixed with sweet female ballads, there was just no room left for another ballad. Lise Darly’s draw was an absolute nightmare for her too. She was on right before Israel’s Shiri Maimon, who sang “Hasheket Shenishar” – a ballad far superior to Lise’s, for many people.

The story of giving all of yourself to someone you love, saying you’re nothing without them – it just didn’t impress enough. To think John Legend scored a major hit with a song with the same topic a few years later… Add to that that the French language was far from popular in the contest and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. Sadly.

Over to the team – It’s all yours!


Lise has a lovely voice and good control of it; as we can see towards the end of the song. As for the song itself, I do not feel a connection to it. The biggest reason is probably that it’s not my taste in music. I also do not understand French, so I thought I would read the translation in case the lyrics would speak to me. Sadly, it did not help. I honeslty hope it sounds better in French. Because it seems that the person in the lyrics has really low self-esteem (“I’m nothing without you”). And to respond to the lyrics I want to quote Ru Paul: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else”.


This entry would have benefitted massively from the now departed orchestra. The vocal is bang on the money but there seems to be missing gravitas. The melody is hard to recall after the song has finished which isn’t a good sign for a Eurovision entry. That said, you don’t need to understand the French language to know exactly what Lise is saying – it’s all in her performance. A credible effort but was always going to struggle to qualify for the Final.


Well, the strings lover and inner romantic part of me loved those 3 minutes. It’s such a relaxing song with a beautiful message and a great performer. However, I am left really confused and distracted by her outfit. Why did she choose those colours for the performance is a mystery. With that outfit I would have expected the song to suddenly change and see her do some dances. She should have had a similar outfit of her backing vocals. Still a final worthy entry, in my opinion.


I had actually forgotten this song existed and looking at the results…most people did the same in 2005. It’s not too hard to imagine why this did so badly, sounding more like a relic from the 90s, when people were far more interested in manservants being played like a fiddle and…grandmothers with oversized drums. BUT it’s actually a lovely song with great orchestration, performed flawlessly on the stage by Lise . It wouldn’t sound out of place in a (badly dubbed into French) Disney movie. Plus, her left arm does a MEAN Celine Dion impression.

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

Comments on Throwback Thursday: Monaco grieving and giving it all

Back to top button