Switzerland has confirmed their participation in Eurovision 2018 as work begins on their national selection process for Portugal.
Switzerland joins an ever-expanding list of nations competing in next years Eurovision Song Contest. Confirmation comes as Switzerland turns to Martin Österdahl and Christer Björkman to assist in the creation of the Swiss selection process for Eurovision 2018. Martin Österdahl was the Executive Producer of Melodifestivalen in 2007 and 2008, a role he also took on when Sweden hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 and 2016. Christer Björkman has been responsible for the Swedish selection process for Eurovision since 2002 and Head of Delegation for the country annually, he was also a producer at Eurovision 2013, 2016 and 2017.
Switzerland isn’t the only nation competing in the Eurovision Song Contest to turn to Sweden for assistance in the creation of a national selection process. Paul Clarke the Australian Head of Delegation stated in May that Melodifestivalen, the Swedish pre-selection, has had a big influence on how Australia would hold a national selection. He hopes that Christer Björkman the Producer of Melodifestivalen would come to Australia to help establish a selection format of the calibre of Sweden’s eventually leading to a Eurovision winner.
This is not the first time that Switzerland has decided to revamp their selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest. Last year the Swiss broadcasters dropped the online part of their selection process after two years of finishing last in their semi final. From the submissions 20 songs were to selected from SRF, 20 from RSI, 20 from RTS and 20 from RTR. A 20 member jury made up of producers, people from the music industry, musicians, journalists then attended a live check. The jury then selected six songs to go through to the final. The winner of the selection which has moved to a Sunday was decided by 100% public televote.
To date the following countries have confirmed that they will be participating in Eurovision 2018:
- Portugal – Host country
Switzerland were represented by Timebelle in the second Semi-Final of Eurovision 2017, they finished 12th just 4 points away from qualifying for the final. Switzerland finished 10th on the televote with 49 points and 11th with the juries on 48 points. The result represents Switzerland’s best result since qualifying for the final in 2014.
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Switzerland hosted the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, a contest that they won with Lys Assia and the song “Refrain”. Switzerland didn’t win the contest again until 1988, when in Dublin they were represented by Celine Dion with “Ne partez pas sans moi”. She beat the United Kingdom’s Scott Fitzgerald to victory, winning by just 1 point. In recent years Switzerland has struggled at the contest, finishing last five times since 2004.