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Nouvelle Star (a.k.a. A La Recherche De La Nouvelle Star for the first series) is a Frenchmarker television series based on the popular Pop Idol programme produced by FremantleMedia and broadcast by M6 in France.

It was hosted by Benjamin Castaldi for the first three series (2003-2005). He also hosted 13 episodes of Series 4 (2006). Virginie Efira presented the remainder of Series 4, as well as presenting Series 5 and 6 (2007 and 2008). Season 7 (2009) is presented by Virginie Guilhaume.

French Format Of The Series

The four members of the jury have to judge about 25,000 contestants in various towns around France and Belgium. Until the final rounds begin, the show presents both the successful auditionees and the poorest performers, known as the "inoubliables" (unforgettable ones). Some of the worst performers have also performed as guests during the final stages.

Of the 25,000 contestants, only 150 (140 in series 6) are selected for the next round of auditions, which takes place at the Theatre Trianon in central Paris. There are two auditions over the space of three days, the highlights of which are shown over the course of two shows. Specific exercises are given to the contestants in order to evaluate their artistic talents: pitch, rhythmic accuracy, ability to remember lyrics and to learn songs, sing in a trio, and deal with tiredness and stress, etc. During the first day of the Theatre stage of auditions, contestants perform on stage in lines of eight, each contestant performing the song of their choice a capella. On day 2, 70 contestants who made it through the previous day are given a choice of three songs (two specifically for boys or for girls, and one for both, as of Series 6) and have to form trios with other contestants of their choice but of the same sex, they will be accompanied by a guitar and a piano. The 50 remaining contestants will interprete a song, in french, accompanied by an orchestra band. For the first time at this ultimate step before the live primes, this year, the contestants have performed in front of more than 400 persons including the jury at the theatre.

The jury will have to decide between 20 remaining contestants (27 in series 6) on a television screen, reviewing the all auditions of those contestants, of which they will select 15 for the first live television prime where they will be submitted to viewers' vote. In series 6, the viewers rejected 6 contestants of which the jury saved one.

There is no wildcard round in the french format, and viewers only vote by text or by phone. Only viewers' votes decide of the result during the prime, but the judges comment by giving first an illustrated verdict by colored traffic lights in front of them Blue for Good, and Red for bad performance (coloured lights introduced in series 5, and taken the form of traffic lights in series 6). The voting is different from American Idol as viewers vote during the programme and results are given at the end of it, by Virginie (The Host) and Maitre Najar(bailiff), where Virginie selects at random the saved contestants leaving only the ones dropped by the viewers. The previous series' jury (Mainly Marianne James) was used to contesting a lot the results.


The first series featured auditions in Francemarker, Belgiummarker, and Quebecmarker, Canadamarker. Later series dropped Quebec from the audition tour, as Canadian Idol had debut, and therefore, Francophone auditioners could simply audition in their home country.

For Nouvelle Star 2 & Nouvelle Star 3, auditions were held in Toulousemarker, Rennesmarker, Marseillesmarker, Lillemarker, Liègemarker, Lyonmarker, and Parismarker.

For Nouvelle Star 4, auditions were held in
Rennesmarker (18 October, 2005)
Marseillesmarker (31 October, 2005)
Lillemarker (6 November, 2005)
Toulousemarker (14 November, 2005)
Liègemarker (21 November, 2005)
Lyonmarker (5 December, 2005)
Parismarker (17 December, 2005)

Nouvelle Star Judges

Finals elimination chart

Series 1

Date Theme Bottom Three
May 15 Favourite Songs Gabrielle Ducomble Cindie Bruzzi Yoann Kelyann
May 22 My Birth Year Priscilla Cindie Bruzzi (2) Alexis Juliard
May 29 Film Songs Cindie Bruzzi (3) Jonathan Hassen-Ali Thierry Amiel
June 5 Love Songs Jonathan Hassen-Ali (2) Yoann Kelyann (2) Alexis Juliard (2)
June 12 Cartoon Songs Yoan Kelyann (3) Laetizia Alberti Alexis Juliard (3)
Bottom Two
June 19 Années 2000 Laetizia Alberti (2) Alexis Juliard (4)
June 26 Le Voyage Alexis Juliard (5) Jonatan Cerrada
July 3 Hommage Jean-Sébastien Lavoie
July 10 Grand Finale Thierry Amiel (2) Jonatan Cerrada

Series 2

Date Bottom Two
March 18 Simon-Gad Barbey Charles Cattaret
March 25 Geoffrey Lupart Amel Bent
April 1 John Zera Charles Cattaret (2)
April 8 Pascal Crisinel Laura Tabourin
April 15 Babeth Lando Charles Cattaret (3)
April 22 Charles Cattaret (4) Laura Tabourin (2)
April 29 Laura Tabourin (3) Steeve Estatof
May 6 Amel Bent (2)
May 13 Julien Laurence Steeve Estatof

Series 3

Date Bottom Three
March 17 Malik Benjamin Myriam Abel
March 24 Benjamin (2) Dan Perez Sarah Riani
March 31 Phillipe Léger Mervyn Kennedy-Macfoy Pierrick Lilliu
April 7 Sarah Riani (2) Dan Perez (2) Mervyn Kennedy-Macfoy (2)
April 14 Dan Perez (3) Mervyn Kennedy-Macfoy (3) Francine Massiani
Bottom Two
April 21 Francine Massiani (2) Mervyn Kennedy-Macfoy (4)
April 28 Mervyn Kennedy-Macfoy (5) Pierrick Lilliu (2)
May 5 Roland Carle
May 13 Pierrick Lilliu (3) Myriam Abel

Series 4

Date Bottom Five
March 30 Joana Gaël Faure Stéphanie Lipstadt Válerie Castan Dominique Michalon
April 5 Célia Perez Jean-Charles Chapuis Sophie Vladimir Streiff Beverly
Bottom Three
April 13 Joana Beverly Stéphanie Lipstadt
April 19 Beverly (2) Stéphanie Lipstadt (2) Florian Lesca
April 28 Stéphanie Lipstadt (3) Bruno Rua Valérie Castan
May 4 Bruno Rua (2) Valérie Castan (2) Florian Lesca (2)
May 12 Florian Lesca (3) Valérie Castan (3) Dominique Michalon
May 18 Valérie Castan (4) Cindy Santos
Bottom Two
May 25 Cindy Santos (2) Dominique Michalon (2)
May 31 Gaël Faure
June 8 Dominique Michalon (3) Christophe Willem

Series 5

Top 10 Finalists
Date Theme Bottom Three
April 18 Rock'n'Roll Ilyès Yangui Julie Mazi Canelle
April 25 French Hits Canelle (2) Soma Gaëtane Abrial
May 2 Idols and Legends Alex Raphaëlle Dess Julie Mazi (2)
May 9 Viewer's Choice Soma (2) Gaëtane Abrial (2) Tigane
May 17 Big Band Raphaëlle Dess (2) Julie Mazi (3) Gaëtane Abrial (3)
May 24 Love Songs Pierre Darmon Gaëtane Abrial (4)
Date Theme Bottom Two
May 31 Acoustic Julie Mazi (4) Tigane (3)
June 7 Free Choice Gaëtane Abrial (5)
June 13 Grand Final Tigane (4) Julien Doré

Series 6

The judges this series were eligible to exercise a veto power on one eliminated contestant at any given point of the competition and spare them from elimination. The power was exercised in the very first live programme when Kristov received the least amount of votes and thus no-one was sent home the first week.

Top 10 Finalists
Date Theme Bottom Three
April 9 Rock Kristov Leroy Ycare Cavens Lucile Malghem
April 16 Big Band Julien Pierson Kristov Leroy (2) Thomas Marfisi
April 23 Personal Siân Pottok Ycare Cavens (2) Kristov Leroy (3)
April 30 Unplugged Kristov Leroy (4) Lucile Malghem (2) Ycare Cavens (3)
May 7 Viewer's Choice Thomas Marfisi (2) Ycare Cavens (4) Benjamin Siksou
May 15 Free Choice 1 Lucile Malghem (3) Jules Pélissier Ycare Cavens (5)
Bottom Two
May 21 Free Choice 2 Jules Pélissier (2) Ycare Cavens (6)
May 28 Movie Song Ycare Cavens (7) Benjamin Siksou (2)
June 4 Love Song Cédric Oheix (2) Benjamin Siksou (3)
June 11 Grand Finale Benjamin Siksou (4) Amandine Bourgeois

Series 7

Main Article: Nouvelle Star

Top 10 Finalists

  • Soan Faya (27) - Winner
  • Leïla Aissaoui (18) - Runner-up
  • Camélia-Jordana (16)
  • Thomas Bonneau (17)
  • Dalé (24)
  • Damien Vanni (29)
  • Lary Lambert (20)
  • Mahdi Jaggae (27)
  • Mélissa Reffas (18)
  • Yoann Pigny (21)

NOTE: Lary selected as the 10th finalist by the jury.

Semifinalists (Top 15)

  • Antoine Vignette (25)
  • Charlotte Robin (21)
  • Maria Paz (21)
  • Mickaël Frémeaux (25)
  • Yasmina (17)

Eliminations - Top 10

Date Theme Bottom Three
April 14 Yoann Pigny Leïla Aissaoui Thomas Bonneau
April 21 Love Songs Mélissa Reffas Thomas Bonneau (2) Leïla Aissaoui (2)
April 28 Dance Floor Mahdi Jaggae Leïla Aissaoui (3) Lary Lambert
May 5 Lary Lambert (2) Thomas Bonneau (3) Dalé
May 12 Cinema Damien Leïla Aissaoui (4) Dalé (2)
May 19 Viewer's Choice Dalé (3) Soan Faya Thomas Bonneau (4)
Bottom Two
May 26 Quarterfinal Thomas Bonneau (5) Camélia-Jordana
June 2 Semifinal Camélia-Jordana (2) Soan Faya (2)
June 9 Final Leïla Aissaoui (5) Soan Faya

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