Switzerland’s broadcaster SRF opened on the 1st of September their national selection process. Composers can now submit their songs to represent Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 held in Lisbon in May next year.
Last year in Kiev, the Switzerland’s Eurovision delegation saw their third elimination from the final in a row. Despite being one of the fan favorite entries, Timebelle did not make it to the final. This time they only achieved the 12th position in Semi-final 2. The previous two years, Swiss participants failed to qualify for the final also: Rykka (2016) and Mélaine René (2015) ended up on the last position on their respective Semi-finals.
Reto Peritz, head of the Swiss delegation and division manager for the SRF, wants to make sure Switzerland is back in the final in 2018.
“It is our duty to qualify for the final!”
In order to achieve better results on the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, some new rules have been put in place and a revamped national final will be taking place. The Swiss broadcaster flew some members of the very successful Swedish delegation in for a workshop:
“After failing to qualify in 2010, Sweden decided to make some changes in their national selection. After this, they have achieved great results every year. This is what SRF wants to do.”
One of the new rules is that song and artist will be chosen separately. An independent 20-member jury will select the six best songs from the submitted ones. This will then compete in the big final show on February 4th, 2018 where each artist will perform the song that best suits them. During the Swiss final, an international jury will also have a 50% stake in the final result, just as in the Melodifestivalen.
According to Peritz, SRF takes its inspiration from the Portuguese victory in the 62nd edition of the contest. Portugal has been participating in the Eurovision since 1964 and has only now won the contest for the first time.
“In Lisbon everything is possible, even a victory”
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Switzerland hosted the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 a contest that they won. Lys Assia won the first contest with the song “Refrain”, it wasn’t until 1988 that Switzerland would win the contest again. At the contest in Dublin, it was Celine Dion with “Ne partez pas sans moi” who beat the United Kingdom to victory by just 1 point. In recent years Switzerland has finished last five times since 2004. In the past three years, Switzerland has failed to reach the final.