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Getting ahead of the game….again

Posted by Caroline on January 7, 2012

So here we are in 2012. Another year in which Eurovision has yet to happen, and here we stand teetering on the brink of another national finals season. With a contest which will be late in more ways than one, falling as it does right at the end of May, and – for the people in Baku at least – in the middle of the night. And once again the Swiss and the Albanians have beaten everybody to the touch by having chosen their songs already.

This year Switzerland, fresh from the sweet smell of – well, reaching the final for the first time in yonks, even if they did finish last in the entire world – were first out of the gate, playing host to a final which included a song from the contest’s first ever winner, Lys Assia. Sadly for the 87-year-old a return to the Eurovision stage was not to be, as her song C’etait Ma Vie was ultimately beaten by a pair of young whippersnappers called Sinplus and a track called Unbreakable. Which isn’t bad at all in a sort of ‘this doesn’t have a cat’s chance in hell of winning but we quite like it anyway’ sort of a way, but is it just us or does this sound a teeny weeny bit like The Killers’ Mr Brightside? Judge for yourselves, people:

Onwards to Albania, and in a Festival i Kenges full of songs which can only be described as ‘better’ (and included 2007’s representative Frederick Ndoci, he of the memorable pudding bowl haircut) this little number, Suus by Rona Nishliu ultimately triumphed. Now, since our Albanian’s a bit rusty and we found ourselves faced with a long list of song titles which made no sense to us whatsoever, we took the liberty of putting them all through an English-Albanian translator online and discovered what most of them meant. Except that is for this one, which translates as, er, ‘Suus’. We’re guessing it’s not a heartfelt ballad about the author of the Cat In The Hat, but if anyone can enlighten us further then do please get in touch.

As for the song itself….well let’s be honest it’s a bit of a messy effort which is around 47 minutes long (or at least feels like it is) and is backed by some slightly worrying screeching from the winsome Ms Nishliu. That said, we’re not going to file it under ‘no-hoper’ just yet given that the Albanians always do a clean-up job on their song and it always ends up sounding comparatively different by the time the contest rolls around. There is a kernel of a decent tune in there and potentially this could be OK in a Slovenia 2011 sort of way but they’re going to have to do some serious work on it to get it up to scratch. And somebody PLEASE buy the woman a hairbrush:

Coming soon: Denmark, Belarus and Malta. Which contrary to popular rumour is not being represented by Russell Grant. If it were we might find ourselves having to watch THIS in Baku (we know, we know, this clip has nothing to do with Eurovision. But it is damned funny):

Posted in Albania, Switzerland | 2 Comments »

Is it that time of year already…..??

Posted by Caroline on December 10, 2011

Is it really seven months since we were sat here, patriotic flags and assorted snacks in hand, cheering Blue and Jedward all the way to the finish line only to utter a slightly subdued ‘Oh’ when Azerbaijan scooped their first victory? (because we’re being honest, we’ve forgotten what that song sounds like already).Indeed it was, and if we’ve been a little quiet during the ensuing downtime it’s only because a little thing called work has gotten in the way. In the past seven months however we have witnessed a low-level buzz of Eurovision activity including preparations in Baku, the ‘will they won’t they?’ dilemmas of Slovakia and Israel (both of whom appear to have signed up for the madness of May 2012), Jedward’s threat to represent Ireland once again, and of course a deafening silence from the UK. Apart from the usual scattered random stories about us being represented by The Spice Girls/Mika/Beethoven/Keith Harris and Orville etc. etc.

But now it’s that time of year again, as national final season is about to get underway. Yes folks, in just a few hours Switzerland will choose its song for Baku – the first song to be chosen for Eurovision 2012 in fact. We’ll have the Albanian entry too before the month is out, and there’ll be a trickle of national finals in January before the inevitable flood of songs in February and March. But the Swiss quest has been attracting a bit more attention than usual this year, and it can only be down to the presence of the legendary Lys Assia, who won the first ever contest back in 1956 and is back for another go, thus far doing so well that she’s managed to make the national final and will be competing with those young folks for the ticket to Baku.

Although we’re a bit peturbed by her intention to wear the dress she won the contest with all those years ago in Saturday’s show (does the name Miss Havisham spring to mind or is it just us?), we’re kind of hoping the now 85-year-old Lys triumphs, because frankly that will make for far more interesting viewing than yet another round of Jedwardian larks. And even if her song, C’Etait Ma Vie, sounds a teensy bit too old-fashioned to actually score her a second victory, she would be a more than welcome addition to the line-up – and we reckon she could teach those young ‘uns a thing or two.

Oh and we should point out Lys is not the only familiar name who’s tried out for Switzerland this year. Anybody remember Same Difference, the appallingly wholesome brother/sister duo who inexplicably made it to the finals of The X Factor in 2007? Well they’ve also made a bid to represent the Swiss, the only problem being that their effort Music didn’t make it to the national final. We’re gutted, obviously (well you don’t sound it – Ed) But cheer up chaps, there’s always the UK. Maybe.

And on that note let the festivities commence….

Posted in Switzerland | 1 Comment »

Just talk to us already: Switzerland

Posted by Caroline on April 20, 2011

Hoping that the rest of Europe will be In Love For A While with her song (oh come on, we sat here for hours working on this intro, you try coming up with something better 🙂 ), Anna Rossinelli takes on the Eurovision Blog interview challenge….

Introduce yourselves and tell us how you ended up representing Switzerland in Eurovision this year! My name is Anna Rossinelli. For almost 3 years I’m playing with my band in the streets of our hometown Basel and other European cities. One day David Klein passed by and heard us play. Later he called me and asked me if I wanted to sing his song for the Swiss Eurovision preselection. Of course I said yes.

Are you looking forward to going to Dusseldorf? What can we expect from your stage show? Of course I do, it’s a good feeling to be part of such a big event. Our stage show is going to be authentic and easy, but there will be some surprises.

Switzerland failed to make it out of the semi-final last year, how do you plan to change that this year? In the last years men represented Switzerland, I think it’s time for a woman.

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate? I really like the song from Italy.
Which is your favourite Eurovision entry of all time and which is your favourite from your home country? I don’t have a favourite all time Eurovision song. The best representative of my country is probably Celine Dion.

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke (something we are aiming to change this year with our entry). How is it regarded in Switzerland? Many people in Switzerland are a bit disappointed that it has really been a long time since Switzerland has reached the final.

Why do you think so many people still love it so much even after all this time? The nice thing about the ESC is that so many nations come together and their very different styles of music get mixed in the same event.

What will be the first thing you do if you win? I’m calling my friends and I’m going to have a real big party.

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it? Is it a bit better than our recent entries or are we going to come last again? Be honest……:) Of course I heard the UK entry. It’s a big advantage that Blue already is a famous band, so I definitely think you’re not going to become last again.

And finally, tell me why Switzerland should have the chance to host Eurovision in 2012 and which city would you choose to host it? It’s been more than 20 years since Switzerland won last time, so it’s about time. I would choose my hometown Basel, there’s a big stadium and it’s a nice city.

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News, Interviews, Switzerland | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Caroline on December 22, 2010

They’re under starters orders…….and they’re away, with the first song of the 2011 Eurovision season (yup, that’s right. The first song has been chosen already. We know, choosing a song at the beginning of December for a contest which isn’t taking place for five months is a bit like having Christmas in June but who are we to complain…..?). Now normally it’s Albania who gets the ball rolling, but in this instance an unusually keen Switzerland has beaten them to it with their effort, a winsome little ditty entitled In Love For A While by Anna Rossinelli. A song we can only sum up as pleasant but forgettable. Which is pretty much what we’ve thought of every single Swiss entry since about 1874. Albania will be weighing in at the weekend with the next song for Dusseldorf, but in the mean time heeeeeeere’s the Swiss…….

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Switzerland | 1 Comment »

We Asked, They Answered: Switzerland

Posted by Caroline 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…..

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News, Interviews, Switzerland | Leave a Comment »

It’s Raining Gold! Hallelujah! Etc….

Posted by Caroline on January 11, 2010

Ladies and gentleman, we present song number two in the long and arduous trek that is Eurovision 2010. This one comes courtesy of Switzerland’s Michael Von Der Heide and is called Il Pleut de l’or, aka It’s Raining Gold. And despite our initial ‘meh’ reaction and insistence that we couldn’t tell you what it was like as we nodded off two minutes in, why do we have a feeling we will end up quite liking it……?

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News, Switzerland | Leave a Comment »

And one more for good luck….

Posted by Caroline on March 2, 2009

Presenting an audio clip, minus any actual footage, of Switzerland’s entry by Lovebugs. Some say this is waaaaaay too good for Eurovision, others simply think it sounds curiously like Then Jerico…..

Posted in Switzerland | 1 Comment »