Eurovision Blog

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We Asked, They Answered: Switzerland

Posted by DINRIL on May 15, 2010

Now here’s a first. When Switzerland’s 2010 participant Michael von der Heide agreed to talk to us, we dutifully sent him a batch of questions over, in English. He in turn replied to them. In German. Thank heavens for a very good translator who managed to make sense of what the Il Pleut De L’Or singer was saying…..

Introduce yourself to our readers and tell us how you ended up being Switzerland’s Eurovision representative this year!
My name is Michael von der Heide, I’ve sung since my childhood. Since then I’ve recorded 8 albums and many singles, won a few prizes and have had the good fortune to collaborate with many great musicians and singers (Nina Hagen). I also write songs for other artists. When I was 9 years old, I was allowed to watch Eurovision for the first time. I was unbelievably fascinated with the spectacle and fell in love with the Swiss singer Paola, who sang ‘Cinema’. I sang a duet with her many years later. Apart from that I had the pleasure of working with various icons of Swiss Eurovision history – with Daniela Simmons, Lys Assia, Sandra Simo amongst others. As a child I told my mother I’d sing one day at the Eurovision Song Contest – et voila….!

What are you most looking forward to about taking part and what can we expect from your stage show?
My whole team and I look forward to this big adventure and want first and foremost to deliver a great performance, which also suits “il pleut de l’or”. Il pleut de l’or has also now come out in English as ‘It’s Raining Gold’…have a listen and have fun!

Which is your favourite all time Eurovision song and your favourite from your home country?
I love music above all – therefore I can’t and won’t limit myself to one song. There were soooooo many wonderful songs like Waterloo, Hold Me Now, Fairytale, Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit (?!??!)…Swiss contributions: Cinéma, Pas Pour Moi, Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi, Canzone Te, T`en Vas Pas.

Which of the other entries this year do you rate?
I like lots of songs, for example the ones from Israel, Iceland, Romania, Turkey, Denmark, Sweden and of course ‘That Sounds Good To Me’, the one from the UK.

Many Eurovision fans have said it isn’t a great year for songs, what do you think about this?

I see the situation differently, of course! 🙂

Switzerland hasn’t won Eurovision in a while, despite having a decent track record in the contest. Do you have a strategy to try and reverse this trend and bring the contest back to Switzerland?

Yes, that’s true, Celine Dion’s last victory with ‘Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi’ was a good while ago! I have no strategy – I hope, pray and sing and will give my best. I’m going to stand on the big stage in Oslo…not in court.

Do you think Switzerland still has a special place in the hearts of Eurovision fans as the first country ever to win the contest?
I can’t make that judgement, but I hope so!

You have a very German sounding name yet your song is in French. Are you from French or German speaking Switzerland?
But Michael is really a very international name, don’t you think? That’s true about my surname. In English I’d be called ‘Michael from the fields’ or similar. I lived in the German part of Switzerland until I was 16 and then moved to the French part, where I had my first singing lessons. Later on I lived in Paris and also spent a year in London.

Eurovision always suffers from accusations of political/neighbourly voting. Do you think the new voting system with the re-introduction of juries has gone some way to changing people’s minds?

I don’t know, but I’m very excited (or stressed…not sure here!). It’s very hard to judge music, as with beauty…how can one measure it? It’s easier in sport.

And finally……have you heard the UK entry this year and if so what do you think of it? Any chance Switzerland could give us some points (if we asked nicely, since frankly we need all the help we can get……?)
The UK is THE country of pop music! I met Josh two weeks ago at a concert in Amsterdam. There were 16 countries there performing their current song live and your singer was great! Switzerland will HAVE to give him points. ‘That Sounds Good To Me’ is very charming…..

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