Though we are a little way into our look at this year’s hopefuls for 2012’s Eurovision, Switzerland were at the head of the queue, as the first nation to select their representative way back in December.
Switzerland drew attention during their selection process by the variety of sort-of famous names that had been lured to enter the Swiss pre-selection. This included former X-Factor 3rd place brother & sister duo Same Difference, fellow X-Factor contestant Maria Lawson, original South African Idol winner Heinz Winckler, Ultra Nate (of “Free” fame about a million years ago), and the very first Eurovision winner Lys Assia who won for Switzerland in 1956. Quite a list if you are into a good comeback story. Sadly only Lys Assia made it as far as even the semi-finals, eventually bowing at 8th place in the final. So who got in there instead??
Disappointingly for pop fans, Switzerland plumped for a guitar-based song, perhaps a bit like The Killers, but more accurately a slightly down-scaled version, like One Night Only (I’m out of my depth here, so no follow-up questions please!). So here we have brotherly duo Sinplus.
I can’t say I’m too enthused by this track, it’s pretty authentic for what it is, but I just can’t see lots of people going “wow!” during their three-minute slot in the semi-finals. There’s nothing too objectionable, except I had no idea he was singing English for the whole song, I really can’t understand most of what he’s singing. Ooops!
Not that my opinion counts for anything, but Switzerland have an uphill struggle at the best of times, and I don’t think this is the one to take them all the way. Full marks for effort though, they have entered every contest except for four, and those were due to poor performance in one year relegated them from participating the next time. Sadly, they don’t have a lot to show for this effort, especially recently. Since their win in the very first contest, Switzerland have only won one other time, though this is the other ‘big’ launchpad story after ABBA’s win, in that it launched the career of Celine Dion. At that time she hadn’t even released an English album, so this was no doubt a big international platform for her.
Swiss performance in recent years – despite some pretty good entries in my opinion – has been unenviable. Aside from a decent 8th place finish in 2005 with Vanilla Ninja’s “Cool Vibes”, they haven’t really had a good finish for nearly 20 years. Indeed, on the seven occasions they’ve been required to qualify for the final via the semis, they’ve only managed it twice, and last year it was only by the slimmest of margins, ultimately leading them to come last in the final.
A bleak picture really, but I wouldn’t brace myself for this one qualifying, especially since plenty of other countries are pitching rockier songs this year.