A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
There is always some matter to discuss or just a song I want to share
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Friday, December 25, 2015

December 25: Dani

This is it - Christmas day and the end of this calendar. In Sweden or Finland, yesterday would have been the last entry but I include also the 25th. Because I can. And because I want to share one more jewel that never made it to Eurovision.

Not because it was rejected in any national heat. This one won the internal selection held by French television in 1974 and was all set for going to Brighton and collect a lot of points there.

Then something came between Dani and Brighton. Georges Pompidou, president of the republic, died unexpectedly four days prior to the ESC and was buried on the very day of the final. Not a chance that France would take part. Dani had to unpack her bags and stay at home.

I have often found myself wondering how this one could have changed the history of the contest. Hardly a winner - not direct enough for that, I'd guess - but could it have stolen points off Abba? And would the French jury have preferred the Italian ballad instead? The voting could have been much more of thriller had France made it to the starting line.

The message of the song - there's nothing bad with doing yourself a bit of good - is also a good motto for the holiday and for the new year. Cheers!

Dani / La vie à 25 ans (France 1974 preview)


  1. I wonder how long the rehearsal period took back in 1974. Did Dani actually arrive to Brighton before it was decided that France does not take part? Had she already rehearsed the song on the Royal Pavillion stage. I guess that is the only time a song has been withdrawn so late before the actual contest.

    1. Dani wrote about this in her autobiography but I haven't read it myself. I believe the French were due to travel to Brighton on April 3rd, the day after the death of the president, and therefore never left Paris.

      And you are right: no other song has been withdrawn with as short notice. Turkey 1979 probably comes in second place there.

  2. In Wikipedia it is said that "Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed." Some other internet sources say this too. I tried to look, but I could not spot her. I wonder if this is a fact or fiction.

    1. My rule is this: never take anything Wikipedia says about Eurovision as fact. There are so many things going around there that is pure fiction. In case a French delegation ever arrived in Brighton, why would French tv pay for them to stay when they knew they wouldn't perform? Highly unlikely.

    2. That's true. It might be, though, that to cancel the Eurovision was not the first decision made by RTF after the death of the President. Dani could well have arrived to Brighton before it was decided to cancel the Eurovision participation. But what do I know and I at least could not spot her in the audience.