Monegasque news outlet L’Observateur de Monaco has revealed that the government’s state budget for 2022 includes an allocation of €100,000 to “initiate the application of the Principality to [join] the Eurovision 2023 competition”. If this application was to proceed then this would see Monaco rejoin the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since 2006 in which Séverine Ferrer performed “La coco-dance” in Athens.
A rich Eurovision history
Monaco has a rich Eurovision history which peaked in 1971 when Séverine was victorious with “Un band, un arbre, une rue”. However, after twenty consecutive years of participation beginning in 1959, the Principality would withdraw from Eurovision after the 1979 contest. Télé Monte-Carlo would eventually make a brief return between 2004 and 2006 but failed to qualify on all three occasions. Their 19th place in the 2004 semi-final with Maryon’s “Notre planète” was their highest placement during this brief comeback.
Their withdrawal from the contest following the 2006 contest was, according to former Monegasque head of delegation Philippe Boscagli, said to be down to so-called “geopolitical voting” and the public’s tendency to vote for performances rather than the quality of the songs.
Encouraged by France and San Marino’s success?
Eurovision’s sole remaining microstate participant, San Marino, has now secured two qualifications in a row. Furthermore, neighbouring France secured their best Eurovision result of the century as Voilà placed second in this year’s contest, performed by Barbara Pravi. Perhaps these successes have encouraged the Monegasque government to fund a return and restore Monaco’s rich history at the contest.
As Télé Monte-Carlo (TMC) is now owned by the French public broadcaster, it would require co-operation between TMC and the Monegasque government. Nevertheless, it does seem that a return for Monaco to the Eurovision Song Contest is more likely than it has ever been since their most recent withdrawal.
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