Eurovision: Je N'ai Que Mon Ame

It's a Eurovision first for France, in a move that thrills audiences and helps with the voting.

Natasha St-Pier.
Natasha St-Pier mixes it up.

Je n’ai que mon âme/I only have my soul

Natasha St-Pier

France

2001

142 points (fourth)



WHAT ABOUT THE CONTEST?

Huge (38,000 spectators crammed into the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen), noisy and more than a little bit over the top.


The presenters speak in rhyming couplets (not annoying at all), Aqua are the sweary interval act and an outsider wins, taking the contest to the newly liberated Eastern Europe.


Hysterical.


In every sense of the word.

AND THE GROUP (OR ARTISTE)?

Natasha St-Pier is dusky, seductive and a bit on the stern side.


Sophisticated is the word that comes to mind.


And she can sing a bit.


WHAT ABOUT THE SONG?


For years there has been a problem with French entries at Eurovision. Despite having possession of the prettiest language in the contest, the vast majority of songs since the last French win in 1977 have been at best half-hearted.


Je n’ai que mon âme was the first for France on several levels since its late 70s heyday; the first French entry (partly) sung in English and the first for years not to be totally forgettable.


ANY GOOD?

It’s a tottering torch song and very dramatic.


The sudden switch halfway through from French to English also does the trick, though those with a Broadway allergy may wish to steer clear.


AND IT CAME WHERE?


Fourth (result!) with 142 points.


AND WHO WAS THE REAL WINNER?


Bolted together in a recording studio mash-up, Tanel Padar (Eurovision repeat offender), Dave Benton (the only black man to win the contest) and boyband combo’ 2XL (good at back-flipping) take the crown with the dancy Everybody.

Which shocks everybody by winning and which nobody likes that much.


SO, IN SUMMARY


Too big, too noisy and too, too much, it is the year when the wrong song wins, though France does the decent thing and enters a proper song for once.

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