Editorials & Opinion

Eurovision is not always easy to get right… right, Switzerland?

Aiming for a change in tide, we look at their worst mistakes in the last few years

At the end of last week, the Swiss plans for Israel 2019 were revealed. SRF, the Swiss broadcaster, announced they will no longer use the Die Entscheidungsshow to select their Eurovision 2019 entry. Instead, they will try to improve Switzerland’s luck through an internal selection.

Looking back at Switzerland’s results in the last few years, when the only thing they were actually competing for was the hardest national final to pronounce (at least for this poor Spanish speaker) and even then Iceland had something to say, it may not be a bad idea to revamp the whole process. Since 2011, when Die grosse Entscheidungs was introduced, Switzerland have managed to qualify only twice, and even one of them saw them at the bottom of the scoreboard in the final.

And it is not hard to understand why. The Swiss audience have made some catastrophically bad decisions when selecting their entries in the last couple of years (2014 and 2018 (the result not withstanding) being the honourable exceptions), leaving out some pretty good gems that are now condemned to Die grosse oblivion…

These are the 5 best songs that would have been better choices than what Switzerland treated us to:

5. ‘The Point Of No Return’ – Melissa (2013)

Literally anything in 2013 would have been better than Heilsarmee’s inexplicable ‘You And Me’. While Melissa’s live performance was, let’s say, not particularly impressive (and the staging was odd to say the least), the song was memorable and it would have made a banger to dance to at Europarties everywhere. Sadly, this failed to impress and finished 4th on the night and never made it to the Eurovision stage.

4. ‘Half A Smile’ – Vincent Gross (2016)

This is such a nice little song, with endearingly weird smiley emoticons in the background and a certain charming awkward smile by Vincent, that it is hard to believe that not only Rykka but also Bella C managed to beat it. Vincent surely knows how to sell his song, he performs it well and overall leaves a good feeling after every listen. Sadly, I may be the only one still listening to this from time to time.

3. ‘Anima Nuova’ – Chiara Dubbey (2012)

I suppose it is a really obscure choice when you can’t even find a live version of this on youtube (please Eurovision fans, prove me wrong!). But Chiara’s voice is so subtle, her singing style so understated, and the song just so beautiful, that I struggle not to get emotional every single time. Die grosse Entscheidungs 2012 had a very spread voting and it was anyone’s contest to lose. Unfortunately for Chiara, the Swiss voters didn’t see it as a good Eurovision entry and she missed out ending up in a bitterly tasting third place that should have seen her first Die grosse Entscheidungs victory.

2. ‘Singing About Love’ – Timebelle (2015)

This came so close to making it to Vienna. And it surely would have been a much better choice than Mélanie René’s attempt of an entry. Singing About Love makes me so happy that it was actually my alarm to wake up in the morning for most of the 2015 season. Try it, your days surely will look brighter, and well, you will be singing about love the whole day… this earworm is hard to get out of your head. One of the best entries of the entire 2015 season, and a shame that now seems to exist only to brighten my days… sigh…

1. ‘Bela Sera’ – Chiara Dubbey (2013)

‘You And Me’ is so instantly annoying, that it’s hard to believe something could make it even worse. That is, of course, until you realise that Chiara Dubey had to sit through this final and see this absolute masterpiece lose to *that*… The only reason I’m happy Chiara didn’t win in 2012 is that she came back a year later with this. One of the classiest entries of that season (and many other seasons, really), that Chiara performed with deep feeling and elegance, pure raw emotion. Still gives me goosebumps with every listen, and I’m sure I am responsible for about half of the under 1,000 reproductions it has on Spotify (come on Eurofans, let’s bring this to 2,000?). Pure perfection is how I would describe this…

Do you agree with this list? Are there other Swiss songs that you think would have made better choices than what Switzerland sent?

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